Friday, September 11, 2015

SPACED INVADERS (1990)

SPACED INVADERS (1990)

Label: Mill Creek Entertainment
Duration:101 Minutes
Rating:PG
Region A
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Patrick Read Johnston
Cast: Douglas Barr, Royal Dano, Ariana Richards, J.J. Anderson, Gregg Berger, Wayne Alexander

Now this is a movie I would have sworn I had watched before, it definitely looks like something I would watch, which honestly is not exactly a mark of quality, I sort of love bad movies, and this one comfortably falls into the realm of not-a-good-movie. We have a crew of five Martians from Mars (Duh), members of the Civilian Asteroid Patrol, the civilian branch of the Atomic Space Navy; Blaznee, Captain Bipto, Corporal Pez, Dr. Ziplock and Lieutenant Giggywig. The Martian launch and armada against their sworn enemies the Arcturans but our crew have veered woefully off course and are lost in space, until they intercept a Halloween broadcast of Orson Welle's Mercury Theatre presentation of H.G. Welles War of the Worlds, which they mistake for actual news footage of the Martian invasion and head straight for the source of the signal, the agriculture town of Big Bean, Illinois.

On Earth we have small town Sheriff Sam Hoxly (Douglass Barr, TV's The Fall Guy) and his daughter Kathy Hoxly (Ariana Richards), plus the overly serious Deputy Russell Pillsbury (Fred Applegate). Then we have Royal Dano (Ghoulies 2) as Wrenchmuller, a strange old man on the verge of losing his farm to the unscrupulous banker Klembecker (Gregg Berger), a pretty typical small town prick out to screw over the little guy.

The Martians crash land into a barn owned by Wrenchmuller ho hopes to capitalize on the discovery of aliens to save his farm, meanwhile the aliens run around town trying to unsuccessfully launch an invasion, which is difficult when no one takes you seriously, it's Halloween and the grown-ups assume the green men with antennae are kids in costumes. At first only young Kathy and her friend Brian (J.J. Anderson), a kid dressed as a duck, seems to realize they're for real, at least until the Martians blow-up a silo full of corn feed, leaving an avalanche of popcorn in their wake.

As things play out the human and aliens must also contend with a Enforcer Droid bent on destruction and Kathy befriends an overly cute Scout-in-a-Can droid who only seems to be there to play up to the younger kids in the audience. Spaced Invaders is a mighty silly '90s artifact, without a doubt if this had been released in the mid '80s I would have seen it in the theatre but in 1990 I was seventeen and chasing after the opposite sex with a fury and this would have been something I deemed to be way to kiddie, and I would have been right. 

The young cast are pretty good, cracking wise and being cute, the Martians are a fun bunch, the alien-costumes are not he most articulated special effect but they are good enough, the pilot Blaznee is an easy favorite, his voiced modeled after Christian Slater or a young Jack Nicholson, as if their was a difference. What sapped my viewing experience the most was the overly extended running time, over 100-minutes in length, a film that easily could have run eighty-five and been done. 

Spaced Invaders feels very '80s but it also feels very '90s straight-to-video at the same time, which is not to say I did not enjoy it, this is a fun '90s science fiction comedy for the kids and the young at heart who love bad movies. 2/5

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