Early ’90s Sci-fi Hi-jinks! A Review of Spaced Invaders

Spaced Invaders is a science fiction comedy from the early 1990’s. While I wouldn’t say that it’s a good movie, I also wouldn’t exactly say that it’s a bad movie either. I didn’t look up anything before watching it, I just went into it based solely on its trailer. It currently sits at an 8% critic rating and a 50% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes and I can definitely see why. Let’s dive into the meat of this film and see what’s it’s all about. If you have any interest in checking it out for yourselves, I suggest you stop reading now because there will be spoilers.

The movie starts off by showing us the aliens, a Martian army from the Imperial Atomic Space Navy, fighting a war against the Arcturans. They’re being led by rejected Star Wars droids that are supposed to keep things running smoothly in battle. After this bit of set up, we jump straight to Earth where we find ourselves in Big Bean, Illinois. This is a town that, based on its sign, is run by a giant, benevolent green bean creature (which honestly would be a much more interesting movie). We meet the town’s new sheriff as he tries to settle a dispute between a real estate developer and Wrenchmuller, a shotgun wielding farmer. I’m going to take a moment here to explain something that will soon be important. This is one of those movies where the adults are bumbling and clueless and the kids are the smart ones. More on this in a bit. So the sheriff diffuses the situation between Wrenchmuller and the real estate tycoon (played by Gregg Berger, voice of The Gromble from Aaahh!!! Real Monsters) for the time being. Meanwhile back in space….oh they just exploded.

Screenshot 2015-05-17 18.45.02

The sheriff is at home with his daughter Kathy discussing Halloween, because of course it’s Halloween. It’s the perfect setting for alien-related misunderstandings and quirky hi-jinks. Kathy is an alien for Halloween this year because of course she is. Turns out she’s not happy about suddenly moving to Big Bean and asks why she has to go trick-or-treating with kids she doesn’t know while her dad goes out and protects the town from cows. A local radio station rebroadcasts Orson Wells’ The War of the Worlds and we finally get introduced to our “invaders,” a Martian civilian patrol that accidentally tunes into the broadcast. They land their ship on Wrenchmuller’s farm and get caught on the deputy sheriff’s radar gun. I thought the deputy looked kind of like Cam from Modern Family and since I don’t know his name that’s what I’m going to call him. Cam, oblivious to the fact that extraterrestrials have landed on Earth, attempts to give the invaders a series of tickets for speeding, not having registration, and for not having wheels. This guy clearly has his priorities in order. The aliens stun Cam and proceed with their invasion. During the movie I didn’t really catch what each of their names were so I’m going to differentiate them based on character traits. There are five of them: the pilot, the scientist, the one that’s really eager to kill stuff, the easily excitable one, and the one that gets hit by a truck. As it turns out, this truck is driven by none other than the real estate guy who stops for gas while drinking and driving. Happy Halloween kids! My favorite character of the movie is the gas station attendant, who is dressed like Zorro. He’s so odd and he sprays a Z on the windshield when asked who he’s supposed to be. It turns out tycoon guy is one that hit the alien captain and he demands that it be scraped off of his truck. Zorro does as instructed and doesn’t seemed phased by the fact that it’s obviously and alien body. We find out that the alien is still alive and he takes over Zorro, turning him into Verndroid. They then begin building Zorro’s creation, a tractor megazord thing.

Verndroid does wacky things like stick refrigerator magnets to his head
Verndroid does wacky things like stick refrigerator magnets to his head

It’s about time we check in on Kathy and see how Halloween is going. She meets a kid dressed like a duck and they become friends because she doesn’t know anyone in this town yet. The aliens show up and get mistaken for children in costumes and they pile into the car with Kathy, duck kid, and a few other children to go trick-or-treating. Kathy is the only one that realizes they’re actually aliens. The kids are being supervised by Carol’s sister Penny from Step-by-Step. I’d say this must be where she disappeared to after the first season but this movie is from 1990 and the show didn’t premiere until 1991. They stop at their first house and a really creepy guy who I think is supposed to be Hulk Hogan and a woman tried up like a mummy answer the door and he seems surprised to see a bunch of kids. He gives them each a pack of cigarettes and quickly shuts the door. I didn’t realize this right away, but that was the real estate guy. I think he got interrupted while kidnapping that woman or something. Back in the car, Penny demands to know who these alien kids are and Kathy defends them saying that they’re her cousins from California. They try to take over the car and fire a missile out the window. Penny has had enough antics at this point and kicks the children out of the car right on the street! This woman clearly shouldn’t be watching these kids. Also, how the fuck do you not acknowledge a rocket being fired out of your car?! See what I mean about the clueless adults?

Nothing to see here folks
Nothing to see here folks

Back at the ship Cam wakes up and tries to arrest the pilot, again not recognizing that it’s a real alien. The pilot realizes that they’re made a mistake and that the radio broadcast was just a joke. One of those enforcer droids appears from out of the ship very pissed off at the error that was made. He vaporizes the pilot and takes off on his own. Wrenchmuller returns to get pictures of the aliens and he teams up with Deputy Cam. They load the body into a truck and head into town. The townspeople begin to gather and Wrenchmuller and Cam try to show them the alien. Too bad it wasn’t actually dead and has already escaped the truck. Despite this, everyone finally realizes they’ve been invaded by aliens. At the gathering, the sheriff finds out that Penny is incompetent and has let his daughter run off on her own with space creatures. He finds Kathy safe and takes her home to be put to bed. She says the Martians aren’t dangerous and only want to get home but he tells her that he wouldn’t be a good sheriff if he didn’t protect the town. A bowling ball drone that Kathy befriended (that I totally forgot to mention before) shows up to get her to help them all get back to their ship. She sneaks out, grabs duck kid (who is no longer in costume but is still talking like a duck for some reason) and they head out to help the invaders. The drone shows them a detailed map of the area and Kathy immediately knows where they are after glancing at it. She knows the map so well, I have to wonder if it was a Unix system? This knowledge will prove handy when she has to fend off dinosaurs in three years. They make to the space ship after duck kid kidnaps the pilot by taking him out with a trash can Frisbee. They have some rocky partial take offs but the ship doesn’t have enough power to actually blast off. After driving around shooting off guns in random directions, further proving how safe trick-or-treating is in this town, the angry mob led by creeper Hulk Hogan arrives at the spaceship. By this time all the aliens have gathered back together and stand up against the human resistance. They try to blow everyone up with their doughnut of destruction but it just falls apart. Kathy exits the ship and tells everyone to leave them alone and that they just want to leave. Her father scolds her for riding around in an alien ship because apparently that’s the most important issue right now. Wrenchmuller gets won over by Kathy, along with the impending threat of the ship blowing up and turning the earth into a black hole, and decides to help them escape, as long as he can profit off the pictures he takes of them. Oh yea, the enforcer droid shows up but gets tricked into blowing himself up with dynamite. They gather up a bunch more dynamite that Wrenchmuller just happens to have in abundance on his green bean farm and they use the blast to send the ship flying off into space. The ship is still too heavy and the aliens decide to release their sewage load. The alien shit covers the farm, the town (and planet) are saved and the bumbling invaders are finally on their way home. The next day, the sheriff and the tycoon come to take Wrenchmuller’s farm, but wouldn’t you know it the alien fertilizer has created gigantic, mutant green beans and the farm is saved because it’s profitable again. The End.

The town is now one step closer to green bean overlords
The town is now one step closer to green bean overlords

Overall, it was kind of boring for a sci-fi comedy, but it still made me laugh at times. Which is the goal of a comedy, right? I still had fun even if some parts were hard to sit through. Also characters like Verndroid made me laugh every time they were on-screen. Personally I would recommend giving this movie a watch. If you like cheesy movies from the ’90s and sci-fi shenanigans then this might be a movie for you.

I meant to have this posted sometime last week, but my work schedule has been pretty chaotic. Finding time to watch the movie and then write everything up just wasn’t very easy this week. I’m going to try to come up with smaller bits of content to post in between larger reviews like this one so that something new is posted at least once a week.

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