This movie is a bit special to me for reasons below. I would like to dedicate this What not to Watch of Spaced Invaders to my dad. Thank you.
Many of my favorite childhood memories involved time spent at the dollar theater with my dad. He would get me the popcorn and soda and there was no way a 7 year old was going to eat all that popcorn but he didn’t care. One time, we saw Spaced Invaders. The theater was us, a couple, and three teenagers. The couple left after 15 minutes and the teenagers were leaving at about 45 minutes in. When they were passing by us one of them said really loud “This movie sucks!” and for years that was an inside joke with my dad. I know my dad loved me. Not because of memories we shared or that I was his son. I know he loved me because he sat through that holocaust of a movie without complaining once only because 7 year old me wanted to see it.
Mars Attacks! showed us that old school martian movies can be done right with late 90’s special effects. Six years before, Spaced Invaders showed us that old school martian movies can’t be done right with early 90’s special effects. Between rubber suits, dated references, and bad impressions, Spaced Invaders is not only a What not to Watch movie but it’s definitely a how not to make a martian movie.
“But, Dad, they’re not really bad, they’re just… stupid.” This line from the movie was the truth about the dialog and special effects. A lot of the lines are potentially quotable but in context of the movie they aren’t enough to make it watchable. Most of the lines from the martians are hard to understand because their voices are too high pitched. If the lines were delivered in a clearer voice the movie may actually be better. The rubber suits were quite stupid in their inability to match the voice to the lips like an old Sonny Chiba movie. They looked very lifeless and made it really hard to watch. You may be thinking because the movie was made in 1990 the effects weren’t good enough but keep in mind Aliens was 1988.
The little people in the rubber suits that don’t show their faces went on to bigger things than everyone else in the cast, besides Ariana Richards only because dinosaurs are pretty damn big. The acting felt like a bad episode of The Andy Griffith Show, just very over the top and unrealistic. It wasn’t even over the top in an entertaining way like The Room, it was just flat and hokey.
Facelifting Spaced Invaders was already done for the most part. Paul from 2011 had a lot of the same elements. Numerous pop-culture references, humorously tested leading cast, and a story loose enough to suspend disbelief made Paul the remake Spaced Invaders should have had. If I was tasked to remake Spaced Invaders I would overhaul the plot. The martians, who look human besides a different pigment of skin, are taking over the galaxy and decide to not bother with Earth due to it being absolutely no threat. The martian ruler has a cousin who is a total idiot. The ruler wants him to go away so he takes 4 of his worst men and send them with his idiot cousin to ‘take over’ Earth. Once they arrive they decide that Earth cannot be ruled and they decide to lay low. 10 years later they are in a circus and humans discovered travel at light speeds. The martians deem them a threat and decide to take over. Our 5 idiot martians have to decide if they want to let the martians take over Earth or if they want to defend it to maintain the human lifestyle they are now accustomed.
I would like to thank you once again for reading and allowing me to remember my dad, even if it’s something as odd as me watching and reviewing movies deemed not fit for human consumption. As always I am Tim McDonald, your movie watching stunt double. Hit me up on Twitter or Facebook to make suggestions or comments.