is a 2010 Irish movie directed by brothers John and Kieran Carney, concerning a small rural town on the west coast of Ireland where, following the passing of a comet, an extra-terrestrial visitor has taken up residence in the Cassidy's household. He eats all their food, drinks all their booze, is loved by all, and works his way through pretty much everything female he lays his eyes on. Things couldn't be better.
Too bad he's actually an escaped convict. And too bad his fellow escapee isn't far being him, quite angry at being abandoned in the woods for three days.
Also in the mix is the love triangle between Zonad, Jenny Cassidy and Guy, Jenny's ridiculously apple-pie-American boyfriend, and the supporting cast of a sadistic cop, a crazy german scientist, an entire town of gullible fools and... Bonad.
The film is a pastiche of 50s alien movies, from the hairstyles to the interior decor, to the use ridiculously bad background-projection for scenes in transit. It takes numerous silly tropes to their extreme and plays them completely straight, the teenaers in the village are all ridiculously old, the townspeople ridicuously welcoming of an alien, and then ridiculously sudden to switch to an angry mob.
The film does to 50s alien movies what Shaun of the Dead
does to 70s zombie movies. Not a rip-off though, it's an extension of a short that was made in 2003.
During it's Irish theatrical run Zonad
was proceeded by an unrelated short film (a very common practice with Irish movies). Fittingly, the short preceeding Zonad
was a deliberately bizarre parody - Moore Street Masala
, the first ever Bollywood
film made in Ireland.
contains examples of
- Ambiguously Gay: Benson.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Guy dresses up as a woman to catch Bonad in a Honey Trap. He gets Bonad's attention but only after having to fend off the interest of another man.
- Bilingual Bonus: The road signs for Ballymoran give the Irish name for the town as Baile Amadáin. This literally means Idiot-Town.
- The Cast Showoff: Simon Delany gets a few oppurtunities to show off his singing. It doesn't quite gel with the rest of the film, but still gets a few laughs in.
- Corrupt Cop: He enjoys tying people up and pissing on them. It's a strange movie.
- Dawson Casting: part of the satire
- Eagleland/Oireland/RetroUniverse: Ballymoran is an (intentionally) bizarre mix of 50s America, 50s Ireland and modern Ireland.
- Kavorka Man: Zonad and Bonad are both this.
- Lampshade Hanging: When Zonad visits the school one small child starts pointing out all the gaping holes in his story.
- Man Child: Guy's parents died when he was young means no-one ever explained sex to him, and isn't entirely sure what it is Jenny wants him to do. He's worked it out by the end of the movie.
- Meaningful Name: The town is called Ballymoran. Taken up a notch due to bilingual bonus.
- Playing Against Type: Who would have expected this to be from the people who made Once?
- The Ditz: Nearly everyone.
- Shout-Out: The "love you" eyelids from Raiders of the Lost Ark are skewered mercilessly. Zonad and Bonad's costumes are bargain basement 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Stylistic Suck: The unbelievable back-projection effect from when people are driving around. You could also apply this to the gaping plothole that every single person instantly believes Zonad when he says he's an alien.
- What Could Have Been:The excuse for the costumes was originally supposed to be that a prison was putting on a musical of 2001ASpaceOdyssey. At some point in the production this was geared to simply putting on a fancy dress party. Presumably this was to save budget.