If you visit Lower Cwmtwrch today, you’d never know that flesh-hungry aliens once walked the streets, terrorised the residents and called into the ‘pub for a couple of pints and a game of darts.
The aliens sneakily landed on New Years Eve, knowing their presence would hardly be noticed amongst the cacophony of fireworks, renditions of “Agadoo” and general revelry for which Lower Cwmtwrch is renowned, not just at the turn of the year but most Saturday nights.
As I reported back in July 2017, the aliens were characters in the new science-fiction comedy film “Canaries” and were accompanied by a film crew under the supervision of Swansea-born director and writer Peter Stray.
One year on, “Canaries” can be seen in selected cinemas around Wales and on Sky Cinema. There will also be a gala screening in Ystradgynlais on October 21st, at the Brecon road cinema, followed bya cast and crew Q & A session.
“Canaries” stars Kai Owen, Robert Pugh, Hannah Daniel and Cwmtwrch-born Craig Russell, who is also the producer. Apart from Craig’s home town, locations included Washington DC, Vietnam and Martha’s Vineyard – on a budget of less than £30,000!
Because the cast and crew believed in the script, they were willing to defer salaries and Craig explained that the film also had enormous help from the local community. “My mother, who owned the post office, together with Ruth Levy, did all the catering, and housed the cast, crew . . . and the aliens!
“We filmed next to my mother’s shop in a converted chapel, knocked on doors asking if we could plug things in and filmed late into the night, but no-one complained. They even closed The Castle pub just to let us film.”
An eerie alien invasion movie with a dash of Welsh humour sounds like a winning formula that’ll appeal to science fiction fans around the world….and possibly other worlds too!