Film: Pod People

Not to be confused with People Jars, which involves Jar People, or Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which features pod people, unlike this movie.

A little boy named Tommy who has an extensive array of pets he likes to call "specimens" finds an alien egg to hatch, somewhat like Horton. When it hatches, Tommy names the creature—who manages to use his snout to suck up peanuts and warp time and space with his fingers—Trumpy. Unfortunately, Trumpy's mom is found by poachers (who destroy all of her pod-like eggs) and goes on a killing spree in response. To add to the terror, a group of unappealing young people takes a break from recording nightmarish "pop" music to travel by RV up to the scene of the alien foothold. When one of their members is killed by the alien, they are drawn into the hunt for the culprit.

The film is as much of a mess behind the scenes as it is on-screen. Los Nuevos Extraterrestres began its life as a low-budget horror film. Then, after the initial script had been written, the producers demanded the addition of the subplot about the little kid adopting the alien, in a blatant attempt to cash in on the success of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It was filmed in Spanish and French. For the US release it was (badly) dubbed into English and retitled The Unearthling. Then, when the copyright expired, the distributor Film Ventures International purchased the film, slapped the credits from a completely different film onto the beginning and end, and changed the name to Pod People.

You can check out The Cinema Snob's review of the film, this time under the title Extra-Terrestrial Visitors.

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, please go to the episode recap page.

Pod People contains examples of:

  • Artistic License Astronomy: Just after the opening credits, an asteroid is seen approaching the familiar face of the Moon...which is so familiar because it always faces the Earth, meaning the asteroid is leaving the Earth, not approaching.
  • Creepy Child: There's something wrong about a boy who wants to collect specimens. Doesn't help he's dubbed by an adult female.
  • Cute Kitten: Which actually attacks Trumpy's snout at one point.
  • The '80s: Complete with a picture of Ronald Reagan in one scene. One of the rock girls has a very eighties headband.
  • Fake-Out Opening: It doesn't get much more misleading than using footage from another movie entirely.
  • For the Evulz: Really the only possible reason for anything the poachers do, be it smashing the eggs, threatening to rape a girl they find in the woods, or attacking Trumpy's mom when she shows up at their campfire.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom / Power Glows: Trumpy eyes' glow when he uses his powers.
  • Gratuitous English: Burning Rubber Tires, as seen in the original Spanish version.
  • Hong Kong Dub: The English dub was recorded by two actors and two actresses at most.
  • Jerk Ass: Rick (the leader of the band) and Bill (Tommy's uncle).
  • Karma Houdini: Despite cheating on his girlfriend and even bringing his second girlfriend on their camping trip, the Bastard Boyfriend (and to be fair his first/real girlfriend too) is one of the four survivors.
  • Kill 'em All: This movie manages a very respectable body count. It's even lampshaded in the MST3K presentation.
  • Informed Ability:
    "He's really good!"
    "Good? He's the BEST!"
  • Informed Attractiveness: "Especially when she has boobs like that!" Boobs like WHAT?
  • Megaton Punch: Trumpy's mom kills two or three of the cast by punching them in the face.
    • Many of them she appears to kill by simply pushing them over.
  • Mondegreen: The reason "The Engines Roar" is so susceptible to mondegreens is that the Spanish composer is singing the song, dubbing Ian Sera, and trying to hide a thick Spanish accent.
  • Mood Whiplash: The movie can't decide if it's trying to be a cutesy E.T.-like movie or a monster movie, so it settles on being both.
  • People in Rubber Suits: Trumpy, looking like a mutant offspring of Ro-Man and an elephant.
  • Reality Warper: Trumpy wastes his awesome time-and-space-warping powers doing stupid tricks for Tommy.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Trumpy's parent goes on this, justifiably. First, all but one of the eggs on its ship are senselessly smashed by a poacher, then, when it approaches two more poachers by a campfire, they lure it closer, then shoot and wound it without provocation. After that, you'd understand why it kills everyone it sees; it thinks Humans Are the Real Monsters.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Oh God, the three poachers. Let's see here...
    • So, you're poacher number one and you come across a glowing cave full of eggs. What do you do? If you said "smash them all with a stick for literally no reason whatsoever and then become the first victim of the monster's revenge" then you win!
    • If you're poacher number two and you see a random teenage girl walking through the woods, then clearly your only reasonable response has to be to grab her and make a joke about wanting to rape her. Even poacher 3 refuses to help him when she runs off, telling him "you better run!" The only reason this doesn't end with him behind bars is that she dies instead after jumping off a cliff to escape him. Of course, he still proves Too Dumb To Live when...
    • Later on, Trumpy's mom comes across the two remaining poachers at their campfire. They lure her closer with some food, and she actually seems ready to accept that they're not responsible for the egg-smashing and move along... until they attack her, again for absolutely no reason whatsoever. This after number 3 was close to seeming like the Only Sane Man of the group!
  • Word Salad Title: Despite what the title implies, the aliens of the title don't come in pods and don't look like people.
  • Worst Aid: When Laura falls off the cliff landing on her back, the other campers find her and carry her around without even attempting to keep her spine straight. Also, Tommy's mother seems to think the cure for a crushed spine is a good night's rest.