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Film: Spaced Invaders
"They're not really bad, they're just... stupid."

A 1990 comedy film in which the idiotic crew of a small Martian spaceship overhear a Halloween re-broadcast of Orson Welles' seminal The War of the Worlds radio-play, leading them to "invade" the small Midwestern town of Big Bean. All very cheesy.

Contains examples of:

  • A Girl and Her Robot: Kathy is very quick to wrest possession of the Help-in-a-Can droid from Brian. It decides to stick around for a while.
  • The Alleged Car: After crashing into Wrenchmuller's barn, the Martians' patrol craft seems to develop one problem after another, which Blaznee has to combat during the course of the movie. Its larger problem seems to be its sensitivity to gravity, which would eventually cause the Earth to explode, among other problems.
  • Alien Blood: Subverted. Blaznee is blasted by the enforcer drone, and seen lying in a green puddle. Later it turns out he merely landed on a can of green paint.
  • Alien Invasion: A parody of the all-out invasion type. The only Martians participating in the invasion are these five idiots. There actually was a full-on invasion, but the target was another solar system entirely and this ship got lost.
  • Aliens Steal Cable
  • Back from the Brink
  • Bad Ass Normal: Plural for Kathy, Brian (the kid in the duck costume), and Old Man Wrenchmuller.
  • Butt Monkey: Russel Pillsbury, deputy sheriff. In a single night, he has had his patrol car torched, half of his face visibly reddened from the heat of the Martian craft, misses his sought-for opportunity to catch Big Bean's first speeder, fails in his attempt to impress his parents with a video of him in action, and takes a bale of hay straight to the face. By the time the movie is half-over, he is visibly timid, panicky, and a tad agitated, drawing his gun on Brian at one point believing him to be a Martian.
  • Call Back: Before he is turned into a robot slave by Captain Bipto, Vern makes reference to the "Farm-zoid" while brooding over Klembecker's visit to his gas station.
  • Cassandra Truth: At first, the whole town laughs at Wrenchmuller's assertion that Martians are invading Big Bean. His story, as well as Russel's chiming in about writing one of them a ticket, quickly loses merit when the captured Blaznee comes to and scurries off before anyone can see him.
  • Catch Phrase: Giggywig's "Prepare to die, Earth scum". Mocked by Pez later on.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Wrenchmuller's box of TNT.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Sheriff Hoxly explains to Pillsbury why he moved out to Big Bean.
    Sam Hoxly: This kinda thing doesn't happen in small towns. I moved out here to get away from this.
    Russel Pillsbury: (beat) This happened a lot in Chicago?
  • Corrupt Bureaucrat: Steve W. Klembecker, for trying to throw folks off their farms BEFORE the crops and farm loans are due, including Old Man Wrenchmuller.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The rest of the invasion fleet ends up in the right system, then promptly gets their asses handed to them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: A majority of the cast dip into this. Blaznee takes the cake and even drops a comment or two at the viewer.
  • Double Take: "Nobody gets away with going three thousand miles-per-hour in a fifty-five mile-an-hou... Damn..."
  • Drives Like Crazy: Blaznee gives us this when he crashes their ship into Wrenchmuller's barn.
    "Kids, 3D and driving just don't mix."
  • Duck!: While riding with Sheriff Hoxly as he is following the mob of townspeople looking for the Martians, Pillsbury utters the word duck. He shouts it out next, prompting Hoxly to crouch against the steering wheel of his truck. Pillsbury is very quick to correct him with "No! DUCK!!" while pointing out the front window. Sheriff Hoxly brakes short of running over Brian, still in his duck costume. Given Pillsbury's lack of cohesion all night, the mistake may be a little understandable.
  • Expy: Blaznee is an Expy of Jack Nicholson while Giggywig is one of John Cleese.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Under the influence of Captain Bipto's mind control device, Vern the gas station attendant turns a bunch of old tractor parts and windmills into a Humongous Mecha.
  • Grumpy Old Man/Cool Old Guy: Old man Wrenchmuller, who's also quite Genre Savvy.
  • Herr Doktor: Doctor Ziplock
  • I Got a Rock
  • Killer Robot: The Enforcer Drone.
  • Jerk Ass: Klembecker for drinking, driving, womanizing, handing out cigarettes to kids on Halloween when they wanted candy (last year it was dead rats), stealing Vern's Zorro hat by rolling up the window and trapping it, and not paying for gasoline after intentionally parking on the wrong side of the pump with Vern having to pull the gas nozzle to the other side of the truck!
  • Land Poor: Woe unto Old Man Wrenchmuller. He gets better, though.
  • Large Ham: Pretty much anyone on the Martians' side of the issue. Lieutenant Giggywig is constantly spouting typical invader lines and, at one point, imitates General Patton. Captain Bipto is just a few shades under him. Blaznee might as well be Jack Nicholson. Doctor Ziplock is a consistent critic on how his fellows handle weapons, and his target is usually Pez. After Bipto takes control of him, Vern's personality takes on a combination of Lieutenant Commander Data and a game show host. And the Enforcer drone seems to channel Darth Vader in both appearance and attitude.
  • Little Green Men: Lampshaded.
  • Look Both Ways: "If only Captain Bipto had known!"
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: Old Man Wrenchmuller is played by veteran character actor Royal Dano, perhaps most famous for playing Elijah the Prophet in the 1950s adaptation of Moby-Dick, and Grandpa Jesse in House II: The Second Story.
  • Meanwhile, Back at the...
  • More Dakka: The heat ray they use to heat up a grain silo they've mistaken for a nuclear missile site. It results in an interesting mess.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: One of the more blatant examples. The tone and plot were conveyed accurately enough in commercials, but the Martians were redubbed with different voices and entirely new dialog throughout.
  • Not Evil, Just... Stupid: Kathy's evaluation of the Martians.
  • Not Quite Dead: Somehow, Captain Bipto manages to survive being hit by Klembecker's truck. The rest of the crew, after regrouping back on their spacecraft, are understandably scared shit-less when he announces himself after casually taking his seat where they can't see him.
  • Oh Crap: Humorously enough, the Enforcer drone when he sees his charges pull out the Donut of Destruction. Just seconds after they cart it out, he starts digging himself a hole to hide in.
    • The whole town gets one when Vern's "diversion" shows up.
  • Only Sane Man: Sheriff Hoxly.
    • Notable, though, is the response he has upon discovering Kathy in the Martians' ship. For a moment, his sanity seems to slip as he delivers a question befitting a father catching his teenage daughter fooling around with a boy.
    Sheriff Hoxly: I don't suppose you'd like to explain what you were doing wandering around in an alien spacecraft.
    • Blaznee is this for the martians. He suspects something is wrong from the very beginning, but nobody listens to him.
  • Pet the Dog: Captain Bipto freeing Verndroid at the end.
  • Possession Implies Mastery
  • Puny Earthlings
  • Prepare to Die: Used ad nauseum by Lieutenant Giggywig.
  • Schmuck Bait: Averted with Blaznee, who can tell when a candy bar is in the wrong place.
  • Shout-Out: Several to The War of the Worlds, and a particular subtle one to an old videogame.
    • Also a shout-out through two of the Martians' names; one of them is a brand of plastic bag, and the other is candy.
    • And to Star Wars: "Never tell me the decimals".
  • This Is Gonna Suck: As mentioned above, Russel is not having a very good evening. After he reads off a list of charges to Blaznee (including calculating just how far above the posted speed limit he was), Blaznee tells him to "step back and get the big picture". Russel then proceeds to step back. Onto the candy bar trap Wrenchmuller had placed earlier. The ensuing remarks before Russel's lights are put out are downright hilarious.
    Russel: I've just made a serious mistake. (listens to the overhead noises) Haven't I.
  • Toilet Humor: To lighten the load as they take off, the martians empty their septic tank. The contents turn out to be a super fertilizer that cause Wrenchmuller's crops to grow enormously overnight.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Discussed between Doctor Ziplock and Corporal Pez:
    Doctor Ziplock: Perhaps if we ride in this transport, we can find their secret resistance headquarters.
    Corporal Pez: Come on! Let's shoot our way out of this! It'll be fun!
    Doctor Ziplock: Shhh! They don't know we're Martians!
    Corporal Pez: How can they NOT know we're Martians?! We're little green men with antennas!
    Doctor Ziplock: They think we're wearing costumes.
    Corporal Pez: What a bunch of MORONS! Let's flame these bozos! They're too stupid to live!
    • For all the enforcer drones' menacing qualities, they're about as competent as a bag of bricks with the intelligence to match. One drone is defeated when Wrenchmuller poses as the ambassador of Earth and convinces the drone that it has won an award for being generally awesome and he presents it with a lit stick of dynamite.
    Enforcer Drone: I don't know what to say!
    Wrenchmuller: You can just say your prayers...
    • Once the Enforcer Drones are introduced to handle command of the Martian fleet, they prove as incompetent as their Martian masters and command the entire battle fleet to its doom.
    • Ziplock fires something which resembles a cannon. Four of them scream "Hit the dirt!" Captain Bipto is the only one to respond with a confused "What?"
    Ziplock: The bomb, stupid!
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Except that the locals use shotguns instead.
  • You Have Failed Me: Right off the bat from the Enforcer Drone when it performs a "disciplinary review" upon a Mook who complains about having an Enforcer Drone giving the orders, and plays it straight with the pilot, Blaznee.

The Puppet MastersCreator/Mill Creek EntertainmentThe Facts of Life
SoultakerFilms of the 1990sTales from the Darkside: The Movie

alternative title(s): Spaced Invaders
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