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Los Nuevos Extraterrestres (The New Extraterrestrials) is a 1983 French-Spanish Sci-Fi Horror film directed by Juan Piquer Simón.

Set in the excessively foggy mountains of "New England" (actually filmed in Spain), the Hyperlink Story follows three distinct sets of characters. One is a seedy group of dim-witted poachers headed by Burt (Frank Braña) and Matt (Guillermo Anton), looking for eggs. Another is a family who lives in an isolated cabin with a very well-stocked bar: widowed Molly (Concha Cuetos), her gruff older brother Bill (Manuel Pereiro) and her young son Tommy (Oscar Martin), who has an extensive array of pets he likes to call "specimens". And there's singer Rick (Ian Serra), who takes a break from recording nightmarish "pop" music to travel by RV up to the mountains for a camping trip with his Andy Travis-lookalike manager Brian (Emilio Linder) and his female backing vocalists, including his girlfriend Sharon (Nina Ferrer).

Some sort of extraterrestrial pod filled with huge eggs crashes in the woods. One of the poachers finds the eggs and, for no particular reason, destroys all but one of them, leading the alien mother to launch a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the poachers. Tommy sneaks out of the cabin at night and finds the one egg that wasn't destroyed, takes it home, then when it hatches a creature that looks like some kind of unholy cross between an orangutan and an aardvark, he names it Trumpy. Trumpy has fantastic powers such as being able to suck up peanuts with his snout and warp time and space with his fingers. Meanwhile, Trumpy's mom, for no particular reason, starts killing off Rick's entourage one-by-one, and when the survivors take refuge at the cabin and hunt for the culprit, Tommy is determined to protect Trumpy.

The film was as much of a mess behind the scenes as it is on-screen. Los Nuevos Extraterrestres (The New Extraterrestrials) 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 (awkwardly) 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.

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

In 2023, Severin Films gave the movie a Blu-Ray release under the title Extra-Terrestrial Visitors. As a limited promotional event, some copies were packaged with a plushie of Trumpy and the memorable "I'm a Virgin Islander" shirt worn by a minor character in the film.

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

Pod People contains examples of:

  • The '80s: Complete with a picture of Ronald Reagan in one scene. Tracy also has a very eighties headband, and '80s Hair is all over the place, most notably with Rick's perm.
  • Alliterative Title: The Film Ventures re-title does this.
  • Ambiguously Gay: The guy at the recording studio in the "I'm a Virgin Islander" shirt, who describes Tracy as "even more of a bitch than I am", and seems quite attracted to Rick.
    Good? He's the best!
  • And Starring: The original Spanish opening credits say "and introducing Oscar Martin as Tommy" en español  at the end of the cast list.
  • Arc Symbol: The Big Dipper. For some reason, it appears on the forehead of anyone Trumpy's mother kills, plus on the star map when Trumpy "tells" Tommy he's from outer space.
  • Artistic License Space: 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.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • One of the poachers finds a bunch of eggs at the beginning and decides to smash them all. Shortly after, Trumpy's mother shows up and kills him.
    • The other poachers aren't much better; when Trumpy's mother first confronts them in the woods, their first (and probably only) thought is to attempt to poach her. Naturally, she kills them.
    • Laura might be a mild, "disproportionate karma" example; while she does nothing quite deserving of death, and commits no offense against the aliens themselves, she does behave in a petty, mean-spirited manner toward Sharon, and is openly trying to get into Sharon's boyfriend's pants.
    • Uncle Bill is a former poacher who may not deserve to die, but is undeniably a total asshole.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The Pod People release of the movie spices up its opening titles with footage from The Galaxy Invader, featuring a monster that looks worse than the one from here.
  • Big Eater: Trumpy is fed by Tommy and literally vacuums up a ton of food, sucking up peanuts into his trunk and downing a big glass of milk in seconds. After a brief time skip, he has suddenly grown to about the same size as Tommy.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Trumpy and Tommy are both safe, but Trumpy's mom has been killed and Tommy had to pull the Break His Heart to Save Him on Trumpy, and that's most likely the last thing the poor alien ever heard from him. The final shot shows the poor alien, alone and friendless in the foggy woods, with nowhere to go and no way back to his home planet.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The four young women in Rick's entourage are blonde Laura, brunettes Sharon and Kathy, and redhead Tracy.
  • A Boy and His X: Tommy and Trumpy are A Boy And His Space Monster.
  • The Brainless Beauty: Laura is referred to as an idiot (in-universe, even), and certainly seems to have trouble reading a room. Like when she tries to brag to Sharon about making out with Sharon's boyfriend. In the English dub she has a dippy Southern drawl that also gives her a Half-Witted Hillbilly vibe.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Trumpy has to run away and hide or else get blamed for all the murders committed by its parent. When he refuses to leave, Tommy tells Trumpy "I hate you" and then leaves himself.
  • Broken Bird: Tracy shows lots of elements of having a very low opinion of herself and her own appearance, which she overcompensates for by acting very flirtatious and boy-crazy (when Tommy mentions bringing food to "Joe", Tracy hears a male name and wonders if there's another man in the house, only to be disappointed to learn that Joe is a hamster). This may also be a case of Hollywood Homely, since the actress is perfectly good-looking.
  • Character Development: Rick. He's introduced as a prima donna who is rude to his bandmates and is almost openly cheating on his girlfriend. At the end of the movie, however, he is the only witness to Tommy's tearful goodbye with Trumpy, and decides to give the alien a chance to get away before calling the others, realizing how much Trumpy means to Tommy.
  • Creepy Child: Probably an unintentional example, but there's something wrong about a boy who wants to collect specimens. Doesn't help he's dubbed by a breathy adult female (he's a lot cuter if you watch it with the Spanish audio).
  • Cute Kitten: Among Tommy's many pets is a truly adorable black-and-white kitten, who actually attacks Trumpy's snout at one point. The camera singles it out for the occasional Animal Reaction Shot whenever Trumpy is up to his Reality Warper shenanigans.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Rick's backup singer Tracy constantly makes sarcastic jokes, often at her own expense.
  • Developing Doomed Characters: Rick, his singers Sharon, Tracy and Kathy, his manager Brian, and his groupie Laura get several scenes establishing them as distinct characters (especially Rick as a hotheaded perfectionist and Lothario, Brian as the Team Dad and Tracy as the man-hungry Deadpan Snarker), but they end up getting victimized by the aliens.
  • Dies Wide Open: All of the people who die do so with their eyes open.
  • Disappeared Dad: Tommy's dad is nowhere to be seen. Dialogue from his mother suggests that she's a widow.
  • Disposable Woman: Laura doesn't even make it to the end of Act 1 before falling off a cliff while trying to escape the poachers and being startled by Trumpy's mom.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: One thing this movie does pretty well is make the alien-haunted forest seem like a generally frightening place.
  • Driving a Desk: There's no back-projection, but it's still blatantly obvious in the shots of the motorhome cab as the band drives to the mountains that they filmed them on a soundstage; the lighting is flat and constant and the cab rocks back-and-forth in a really forced way. There's an over-the-shoulder shot in a cab looking out on a highway as the scene starts, but it's obviously stock footage, because the driver, who's supposed to be Brian, has glasses on in that shot, then it cuts immediately to the front view where Brian doesn't have glasses (nor does he in any part of the movie).
  • Eagle Land: The set dressers occasionally feel the need to remind us that the movie we're watching is set in America. Therefore, the bar in Tommy's house has a picture of George Washington on the wall and an American flag on the bar, and the park ranger cabin has a giant framed portrait of Ronald Reagan.
  • Expo Speak Gag: Tommy has acquired a bug preserved in glass, which he excitedly shows to his uncle Bill, and, being the amateur naturalist that he is, he refers to it by its scientific genus and species name. Bill angrily insists that "To me, it's a centipede! It's always been called a centipede!"
  • Fake Band: The main characters are a part of one. We're introduced to them at the studio, performing "The Engines Roar".
    "It stinks!"
  • Fake-Out Opening: It doesn't get much more misleading than using footage from another movie entirely.
  • Fanservice: When Kathy gets out of bed to take a shower, it's shown that she was sleeping with no pants on.
  • Food Slap: Sharon throws a mugful of coffee into Laura's face after Laura smugly suggests that Sharon's jealous of her and starts talking about what she and Rick were doing in the woods.
  • 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.
  • Fun T-Shirt: The goofy guy at the recording studio wears a white shirt that reads "I'm a Virgin...Islander", with the "Islander" in tiny letters. Because of the awful video transfer used in the MST3K episode, it's really hard to make out the "Islander" part, so viewers and even the show's creators thought it just said "I'm a Virgin".
  • Genre-Busting: There probably wasn't very high demand for a film that's equal parts Sci-Fi Horror, Slasher Movie, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial ripoff, but here we are.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Trumpy eyes' glow when he uses his powers.
  • Gratuitous English: The songs "The Engines Roar" and "Sara" in the original Spanish version.
  • Hollywood Darkness: A particularly noticeable example, where they shot day-for-night without any blue filter on the cameras, and for whatever reason didn't darken anything in post-production. This leads to many scenes where it's bright out (very foggy, but still clearly daytime) yet the characters refer to it being night, and even insist it's too dark to see anything clearly.
  • Hong Kong Dub: The English dub seems to have a fairly limited voice cast (it sounds like the same woman dubbed Tracy, Tommy and maybe Laura), but generally they do a good job in avoiding Lip Lock, and at times it's hard to tell that it wasn't originally in English, though some of the dialogue is weirdly-phrased to fit the lip movements. The big exceptions are Tommy, whose lip movements are often way off, and Bill, who, as the film's Large Ham character, was probably harder to dub properly. Another issue is that the dub may have been written by British translators and some of the voice actors might be British actors trying to sound American. A big hint in this direction is the poachers using the extremely British slang term "sweet F.A."note  early in the film.
  • Housewife: Tommy's mom seems to be this, quickly taking on a motherly, nurturing role when the band shows up at her doorstep.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The poachers come across as far more vile than the "bad" alien, as she's ultimately just a mother who's mad someone killed her babies.
    Matt Collins: Now we can kill us some game in peace and quiet.
  • Hyperlink Story: A band going camping, some poachers wandering around the woods being jerks, a family with a Creepy Child living in the woods... what do these things have to do with each other? Not much until the aliens show up.
  • In the Style of: The synth-heavy score by Librador Pastor takes obvious inspiration from the film score work of Giorgio Moroder.
  • Informed Ability:
    • Tracy is apparently supposed to be the "smart one" among Rick's singers, judging from her comment to Molly that "I don't know what frightens the guys more, my face or my intelligence," but we don't really see her do or say anything particularly intelligent. She spends most of the movie either snarking, whining, or acting horny.
    • Bill is supposed to be some sort of rugged woodsman—Molly brags how "he knows the forest", and the poachers at the beginning of the movie mention that he used to be one of them before signing on with the rangers, but he just spends the movie barking at everybody. Even his one act of unquestionable heroism, getting through the snowpacked road to the rangers' cabin, happens offscreen.
  • It's All My Fault: Sharon, who'd splashed Laura with coffee, blames herself after Laura storms away from the campfire, gets lost in the woods, and falls off a cliff.
  • Jerkass: The poachers, Rick (the leader of the band) and Bill (Tommy's uncle) are all pretty unlikable. Rick does improve a bit by the end, though - see Character Development above.
  • Karma Houdini: Despite cheating on his girlfriend and even bringing his second girlfriend on their camping trip, the bastard boyfriend is one of the four survivors.
  • Lovecraft Country: Downplayed. It's (mostly) a Scifi Horror movie set in a region of eerie forest and hills surrounded by Ominous Fog and intermittent snow, but the only way you'd know it's specifically supposed to be set in New England are the Massachusetts plates on all the vehicles, which are easily missable in most prints of the film, plus Tommy having Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins and New England Patriots pennants on his bedroom wall.
  • 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.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Trumpy and its parent look like some sort of sasquatch or ape, with an aardvark nose. One of the poachers refers to them as "a cross between a pig and a bear".
  • The Mockbuster: Of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It's even enshrined in the Mockbuster Wiki.
  • Mood Whiplash: The upshot of the Executive Meddling discussed above is that the movie zigzags wildly between dark Scifi Horror and cutesy boy-befriends-alien scenes. This massive inconsistency of tone is probably the movie's biggest problem, but also the thing that makes it so strangely fascinating.
  • Never Trust a Title: While that weird gelatinous substance with the eggs in the cave might count as a "pod", Trumpy's species, whatever it is, certainly doesn't count as "people". Averted by the "Extra-Terrestrial Visitors" release, which is both technically accurate to the plot of the film and also tips you off that it's an E.T. Mockbuster.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Trumpy, if you consider Tommy the protagonist.
  • Ominous Fog: "The Fog didn't have this much fog!"
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Trumpy wearing Tommy's coat to try to hide from their mother. It doesn't work at all.
  • People in Rubber Suits: Trumpy, looking like a mutant offspring of Ro-Man and an elephant.
  • Precision F-Strike: In the English dub, Tracy gets one in a brief scene that didn't appear in the MST3K version.
    Tracy: What a fuck-up this back-to-nature crap is!
  • Reality Warper: Trumpy has some pretty amazing space-and-time warping powers, which he mostly uses to perform silly 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.
  • Scenery Porn: The movie was shot in Spain's Sierra de Guadarrama range, but most prints of the movie are too washed-out and muddy to really appreciate the landscape. The restored Blu-Ray edition looks a lot nicer, and lets you appreciate the eerie beauty of the fog-shrouded hills.
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll: When Sharon is (understandably) upset about her boyfriend's dalliance with Laura, Brian tries to comfort her by invoking this trope, saying that Rick will be expected to make out with lots of women and she needs to accept that it's nothing serious.
  • Shoo the Dog: At the end of the movie, knowing the others will try to kill Trumpy if they see him, Tommy tries to abandon him in the woods and makes a point of shooing him away. Unbeknownst to Tommy, Rick sees all this happen, and in a rare moment of genuine compassion, decides not to interfere.
  • Slasher Movie: While it's basically Sci-Fi Horror, the plot actually fits a lot of the checklist for this. A bunch of young people go on a vacation to a remote area, get the Developing Doomed Characters treatment, but then get killed off one-by-one. You even technically have a Final Girl (Sharon), but it's Rick and Uncle Bill who end up in the final confrontation with the alien.
  • The Speechless: Trumpy. Obviously he doesn't know English since he's an alien from outer space that just hatched from an egg a few days ago, and he can only communicate through grumbling sounds.
  • Stop Motion: Used extensively in the scene where Trumpy demonstrates his Reality Warper powers to Tommy, which ups the silliness factor of the whole thing by several hundred percent.
  • Stupid Evil: One of the poachers finds some weird eggs which, for all he knows, could be really valuable. Rather than take them to sell on the black market or anything he instead decides to smash them all, apparently only because one of them hatches and he finds resulting creature to be too disgusting.
  • 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 just because you can and then become the first victim of the monster's revenge" then you win!
    • If you're poacher number two (the guy with the beard and crossbow) 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 decide she'd be worth a lot of money and try (and fail) to catch her in a net). This after number 3 (the older guy who looks like Leslie Nielsen or Lorne Greene) was close to seeming like the Only Sane Man of the group!
    • And then there's Laura who, after the girlfriend of the man she wanted to get with expressed her resentment toward her, decided her best course of action was to go running away from the safe camper and wandering around a twilit, foggy forest she was obviously unfamiliar with. Not to mention her smug braggadocio which resulted in said expression of resentment, even after she herself noted that the other campers didn't seem terribly fond of her in the first place.
  • The Unintelligible: Pretty much the entire "Hear the Engines Roar Now" song. The reason it's so susceptible to mishearings is that the film's composer Librado Pastor is singing the song, dubbing Ian Sera, and slurring his words in an attempt to hide his thick Spanish accent.
  • We Come in Peace Shoot to Kill: If the human characters had greeted the aliens with anything other than total hostility, all the bloodshed in the movie could have been avoided.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Rick is not a bad-looking guy by any stretch, but he's a terrible boyfriend to Sharon. It's a great mystery why she's so determined to keep him.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The whole reason Trumpy's mother kills a bunch of people is because one of the poachers smashes all her eggs, and the other poachers later try to kill her. As such, it's hard to blame her for hating humans.
  • Worst Aid:
    • When Laura falls off the cliff, landing on her back, the other campers find her and carry her around. Obviously they had to get her someplace safer and warmer, but even someone not trained in medicine should have known to keep her spine straight, perhaps even build an improvised stretcher from the many branches all around. These idiots don't even so much as try to carry her steadily, much less anything like that.
    • A couple of band members also pour whiskey down her throat to warm her up, which is terrible on several levels. First, alcohol doesn't actually warm you up; alcohol dilates the vessels and brings blood toward the skin which causes feelings of warmth, but in drawing that heat toward the skin it draws it away from the body's core and the vital organs there, which can cause the body's core temperature to drop to dangerous levels. Second, drinking alcohol after suffering a head injury (and potentially brain damage) is even more dangerous, as alcohol can enhance the negative effects of brain injury and inhibit recovery as well. Third, giving fluids to an unconscious person risks the fluid going into the lungs instead of the esophagus.
    • Also, Tommy's mother seems to think the cure for a crushed spine is a good night's rest. Unsurprisingly, Laura is dead in the morning.