A while back, I bought this 50-movie set, Sci-Fi Invasion, for five bucks. That adds up to ten cents per movie. Morons From Outer Space, made in 1985, is the only comedy on the set. The only intentional one, that is.
Here’s what happens: Three aliens crash-land on Earth and become overnight celebrities. Everyone on Earth believes the aliens bring new knowledge and technology with them, but the aliens are, in fact, morons. A fourth alien, Bernard, shows up in pursuit of the three, but he ends up homeless instead of famous.
Speculative spectacle: We’re deep into social satire mode, as the humans prove themselves to be every bit as dumb as the spacey morons. It’s the classic sci-fi “We are them and they are us” thing.
Sleaze factor: The dim-bulb aliens eventually become glammed-up rock stars, with all the sex and drugs that entails.
Quantum quotables: Earth scientist: “The planet you come from! What do you call it? What’s its name?” Alien: “I’ve forgotten.”
What the felgercarb? Out in space, Bernard hitches a ride with what appears to be a skeleton flying a spaceship. Make that a horny skeleton flying a spaceship.
Microcosmic minutiae: The movie was directed by Mike Hodges, director of the original Get Carter and the 1980 Flash Gordon. According to never-wrong internet rumors, Hodges agreed to direct Morons From Outer Space only if the producers would also finance his dream project, a film called Mid-Atlantic. Sadly, it never got made.
Bernard is played by Mel Smith, who also co-wrote the film. Most folks probably know Smith best as the albino from The Princess Bride. Where did we put that wheelbarrow the albino had?
Worth ten cents? It’s as if Close Encounters took place in the world of Idiocracy. There are some solid laughs here, but it’s all a little too madcap for its own good.
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