Steve Barron directs Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin and Michelle Burke in this sci-fi comedy based on an SNL skit where shipwrecked aliens with cone shaped head assimilate into the American way of life.
Dublin’s Steve Barron is an interesting character. He directed some of the most iconic music videos of the Eighties – with a real penchant for SFX. And then his feature film career stalls with projects that maybe weren’t worth the effort he no doubt always put into them. Take On Me’s animated promo will stand the test of time. Electric Dreams, the first Turtles movie and this probably won’t. You can see the intention and ambition here – it could easily be the Ghostbusters of science-fiction – but the laughs just aren’t there. Most five minute Saturday Night Live sketches go on for four minutes too long. 90 minutes of this… yeucch… Yet, if you accept you’ll rarely laugh, there’s a competent movie sitting in the ex-rental bin of your long closed Blockbuster. The alien vocabulary suits Aykroyd’s deadpan, mad thesaurus reciting schtick. The support cast is a who’s who of Nineties TV comedy faces. The plot has quite a few honest things to say about the American immigrant experience in the latter 20th century. The space-set finale is actually very impressive – with a stop motion Phil Tippet monster and a well realised planet. Can you ignore the lack of workable jokes? Can I give this the same score as Tarkovsky’s Mirror?
Perfect Double Bill: Nothing But Trouble (1991)
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