Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spaced Invaders

The Movie: Spaced Invaders

Year: 1990

Director: Patrick Read Johnson

Cast: Douglas Barr, Royal Dano, Ariana Richards, JJ Anderson, Kevin Thompson, Jimmy Briscoe, Tony Cox, Debbie Lee Carrington, Tommy Madden, Fred Applegate, Gregg Berger, Wayne Alexander, Patrika Darbo, James Eustermann, Tonya Lee Williams, Ryan Todd, Barry O'Neill, Adam Hansley, Casey Sander, Rose Parenti, Glen Vernon, et al.

Format Viewed: DVD (R1)

MPAA Rating: PG

Run Time: 100 minutes

Premise: A patrol ship full of Martian misfits picks up a re-broadcast of Orson Welles infamous "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast and mistake it for a report on actual events. Not wanting to be left out of the glory said Martians steer their craft toward Earth, where they bumble through a series of embarrassing comedic misadventures.

The Reality: Spaced Invaders is a silly, ridiculous, simple yet childishly awesome War of the Worlds jibe that pokes an gignormous clown stick at sci-fi movies, especially those from the fifties. If you aren't a fan of the genre you may miss some of comedic references and genre in-jokes but the plot is pretty straightforward otherwise. .

* * Be advised the overview below may contain slight spoilers. * *

The Story: The Martian Imperial Atomic Space Navy, Battle Group 7, is preparing to invade Arcturus. .

Meanwhile, back on Earth, Halloween is getting into full swing as single dad Sam is settling into his new job as sheriff of a small town. See he moved here with his daughter Kathy after her mother died to get away from the hustle and bustle of big city life. He probably figured this sort of small town environment would be good for his darling little girl. However young miss Kathy is none too pleased, and with good reason. It's Halloween, she's in a unfamiliar town, has no friends, and is not really looking forward to going trick or treating. (Yet she put together one awesome looking costume!)

Enter the Martians. Or rather a group of oddball misfits relegated to patrolling asteroids in their small craft. Seems they've been left out of the Arcturus mission, which is not going very well, and are gung-ho to fight! So when they receive a distress signal from the fleet they're ready to lock and load. Problem is they have no idea where the fight is so they scan the heavens to try to find out which direction to set course toward. Unfortunately, for us poor Earthlings, what they pickup is a re-broadcast of Orson Welles 'War of the Worlds' and so the fun, er, I mean the invasion begins.

But before they arrive (it's a long way from the asteroid belt to Earth) Sheriff Sam has to deal with an irate elderly farmer, Mr. Wrenchmuller, whose in dept to the Farmer's Trust bank. Seems the scumbag in charge wants to foreclose on the farm so Mr. Wrenchmuller is heading into town with a shotgun. Klembecker, the teabag in charge of Farmer's Trust, cowers behind his door as the Sheriff has words with Mr. Wrenchmuller before stepping up- or rather down, the man is short!- to tell the sheriff how everything he's doing is perfectly legal. It may not be right, it may no be moral, but by the sweat on Mercury's testicles it's legal!

Did I mention this is Sheriff Hoxley's first day on the job? And it's not even lunch time yet! As dusk settles over this quaint quiet town of middle America and the Halloween festivities start to swing look, up in the sky, is it a meteor? No it's a Martian spacecraft coming in for a crash landing at. .

The Wrenchmuller farm! And with a Martian yell of, "Prepare to die Earth scum!" the movie really starts to get weird.

No, really, we mean it this time!

Did I mention it gets really weird. .

Assessment/ Verdict: While the DVD is barebones the picture is clear, the audio is crisp, and at least the movie is presented in widescreen format. As for the movie itself, let's be honest, Spaced Invaders isn't for everyone. If you have a low tolerance threshold for silly science fiction and the ludicrous watching this parody is going to be like a visit to the dentist. Spaced Invaders is a send-up of the sci-fi genre with silly elementary school level humor that's potentially entertaining for older children, which makes it a good choice for family movie night. Have fun Earth scum!


Copyright © C. Demetrius Morgan

This review has been part of March's. . .

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