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Oh, how I love this, the movie that introduced me to the work of
Piquer Simon, one of the best "bad" directors ever. It was also the
first episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 I ever saw, way back when, so
it will always have a special place in my heart. Although this version of
his movie was run through the Film Ventures International ringer (a company
that takes movies and re-edits them, adding new music & credits), Simon's
style shines through. There's also the usual Juan Piquer Simon stable of
actors, including Ian Sera (Kendle in "Pieces") and Frank Brana (the guy who
says "You don't have the authority to declare Happy Birthday!" in
The movie is about some poachers who encounter some strange eggs in the woods- no wait, it's about a rockin' rock-n-roll band who are going on a camping trip- no, wait, it's about an animal-loving red-haired kid named Tommy who lives with his unpleasant aunt and uncle deep in the woods. Eventually all these tales converge when Trumpy, a lovable fuzzy alien with an odd shaped head and phallic snout, hatches out of one the aforementioned strange eggs.
Tommy takes in Trumpy and teaches him the joys of jigsaw puzzles and eating peanuts (which Trumpy sucks through his snout, which should be charming but is ultimately a creepy image). Unfortunately, another alien who looks exactly like Trumpy is on a killing spree, and a case of mistaken identity could land Trumpy on the business end of alcoholic Uncle Joe's shotgun!
This is a pleasantly dumb movie, full of dumb characters and dumber dialog ("Oh yeah? Well, you're a jerk!" says Brana to his bearded sidekick). Trumpy is cool, especially when he does "magic things" like stand on the ceiling, make Tommy's laundry fly through the air, and turn an old Simon game into a slammin' beat box (Mix Master Trumpy's jams would later be pilfered by Moby, The Beastie Boys, and others). Also putting in an appearance is a picture of Ronald Reagan, which completely fooled me into thinking this was an American movie.
The MST3K episode featuring this masterpiece is available on video from Rhino, and no fan of absurd cinema should be without it!
A small group of dimwitted poachers stumble upon a cache of strange
looking eggs stashed in a cave. One of them gets killed by an unseen
creature. Then, a young boy with a weird girly voice and a menagerie in
his bedroom discovers one of the over-sized eggs and takes it home to
hatch it. Meanwhile, the worlds worst rock band decides to go camping
in the same woods. When the sluttiest girl in the group runs afoul of
both poachers and unseen creatures and takes a plunge off of a cliff,
the unmusical losers take refuge in the house of Molly and her -
husband? brother? who knows? - and her young son, the same boy who has
just hatched an alien creature called Trumpy out of the egg he found in
the woods. Trumpy looks like a cross between a plucked turkey and a
vacuum cleaner, and does a lot of dippy things like levitating toys and
allowing the cat to play with his nose. When people start turning up
dead with strange glowy marks upon their foreheads, it seems to be the
work of Trumpy. But soon the truth becomes apparent: there is another
creature on the loose in the woods, killing anyone who crosses his
This is a very stupid film. Even with the assistance of Joel and the bots, this is still a very painful viewing experience. None of the actors can act and none of the characters are likable at all. All of the girls are either sluts, bitches or doormats and all the men are jerks. The plot is nonexistent, the script seems to have been written by an imbecile...it just roundly sucks. Avoid it, unless it's the MST version. Or unless you're a complete masochist.
My favorite scene was the part where the tiny cat starts chomping on Trumpy's nose and wont let go. The actor tries to play it cool by moving along and ignoring it, but the cat is persistent. Everything else was wacky beyond description and the plot was looser than a wet noodle
They say that MANOS is the worst movie that MST3k has ever shown, I beg to differ. I'm not just saying this to get it through that this movie is a piece of trash, I actually mean everything I'm going to say. This movie is so awful it's unbelievable. I never thought anyone could make a movie that I actually hated as much as this heap of garbage. There is absolutely nothing scary at all, except the fact J.P. Simon made this as a serious film. The acting, dubbing, directing, dialogue, producing, editing, anything you can say about this is in the poorest quality. They couldn't even use the right opening credits for the re-release, they had to use choppy scenes of "The Galaxy Invader" for no reason at all. Why would anyone in their right mind actually want to see this without Joel and the bots? Who would want to see this in its uncut, subtitled version? Who would want to see this at all. Scene for scene, much worse than "Plan 9..."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
While I don't agree with those reviewers who claim that "Pod People" is
the worst movie of all time - these viewers have obviously never seen
"Teenagers Battle The Thing" - it is, indeed, a very painful viewing
experience. It's got brain-dead characters uttering highly contrived
and unlikely dialog and acting with the finesse of sock puppets. (It's
also got an English dub created with a tin ear and ESL voice actors
reading their lines from cue cards for the first time). It's got fuzzy,
washed out sepia tinted photography that resists any attempt by the
viewers' eyes to pull pleasure and satisfaction out of the film stock.
(It's possible I just saw a bad print of the movie, but even so.) It's
got a highly derivative plot that is derivative in all the wrong ways -
what's the point of ripping off E.T. if all you do with it is create a
"spam in the cabin" type horror movie??
It also gets off to a rousing start by subjecting us to a full length performance of the worst version of an 80's pop song ever heard by human ears. Seriously, as if the movie didn't have enough problems with pacing and atmosphere and dialog and characterization, it also alienates us by subjecting us to a supposed "studio session" where the pop star sings a would be song about driving a car with some of the most maladroit lyrics you will ever hear. (FYI, Mr. Pop Star, you don't want feel the wind in your EYES, you want feel it in your hair or your face. If you feel it in your EYES, you are effectively blinded and will soon crash your car.) The character comes off as an abrasive, self-important jerk, and his cronies and cohorts seem to have been drained of all intelligence, humor, self-awareness or even basic motor functions.
I have to say that I liked the little boy. In spite of the high-pitched feminine voice they dubbed over his part, he seemed genuinely alive with the enthusiasm and magic of childhood, which is a miracle given the situations he was probably working in. The cast and crew probably loved him to death, and he was probably as the only person in the film who wasn't aware that he was sinking into a pile of suck. The kid's performance, even buried under a painfully affected dub, adds a star to the rating.
Also of interest is a synthesizer-heavy soundtrack with very "New Age music" elements that both adds to and takes from the movie's watchability. It's got some nice hypnotic "drone" and "trance" elements, but there is far too much of it and it's mixed waaaay too loud at times. It adds another star to the ratings. Well, half a star, but it would have been a full star if the composer had cut it in about half and turned the volume dial down to "10".
As far the rest...I'm pretty sure the director just pointed the camera at the actors and let them roll. It doesn't look like a film with very many second takes or screenplay rewrites, and the poor actors (who come off as European community theater players at best) are left to struggle with the script as best they can. And as I mentioned, the horrible English dub robs their performances of even the limited nuance and dignity they may have contributed to the film in the first place.
Boy, what a *painful* film. I recommend saving it for times when you feel bad about yourself and your career and prospects. Watching "Pod People" for even a few minutes will put things in perspective: "I may have made some dumb mistakes", you can tell yourself, "but at least I never had anything to to with 'Pod People!'"
Ahhh... Pod People. Very rare is the movie that is obviously shot on a
limited budget, contains a particularly ridiculous plot, and yet finds
a way to be oddly entertaining. Such is the case with this infamous
Mystery Science victim.
Along those lines, let me make clear what i think is decent, if not good, about Pod People. Despite jokes stating otherwise, the plot is somewhat simple; linear, interwoven, and predictable. However, that mere fact alone makes this film higher quality than countless other MST movies. Furthermore, there is an attempt, despite it falling prey to the painful trap of stereotypes, at character development; admittedly, a handful of the characters are irritating, but even then, they have their moments. The trollop character plays her part with genuine enthusiasm, and serves to provide a shred of actual comic relief.
Ultimately, Pod People is a mediocre film. Its story is laughable in parts, drawn out in others. However, much of the scenery is intriguing, if not outright beautiful, and as a result, the movie has an almost surreal atmosphere.
It's as if Pod People has an intangible charm to it, borne out of its clear vision, mild ambition, and occasional moments of decent film-making. All in all, a watchable movie, but probably just that....
This movie combines the friendly alien and the killer alien into one adventure. Well actually it is almost like watching three movies, and none of them are very good. First, you have poachers, then you have a kid living with relatives of some sort, then of course are the wacky teens going camping. Then there are the two aliens, both look alike, but their personalities differ. One is on the rampage, killing people here and there. The stupid thing is I just don't see how anyone dies. Sure one girl falls off a cliff and her friends pick her up and jostle her around continuously, but everyone else seems to die for no reason. The monster hits the people with very weak karate chops (the alien looks like Alf) and the people fall over dead. The friendly alien starts as an egg that the boy raises. This alien has powers to move stuff around that the other alien seems to be lacking. In the end it is just a bad movie. The boy says all the aliens want it to be their friends and sure the one he raises is nice enough, but the other one is killing indiscrimintly.
They say that no good deed goes unpunished. This movie - or should I
say "this swill" - shows that to be 100% true. Spielberg made "E.T."
and someone made "Los nuevos extraterrestres" (called "Pod People" in
the United States) in response. The movie has a boy befriending an
alien who looks sort of like an anteater, and some weird things result.
WHY CAN'T ALIENS KIDNAP THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THESE KINDS OF MOVIES?!
There are plenty of good stories out there and they have to go and make
That said, the movie was not a complete waste. Quite the opposite: "MST3K" once showed it. As you might imagine, Joel, Servo and Crow have lots of fun with it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Spoiler Warning: Short version-- Alf meets a young boy scientist, i guess,
and shows him how to play Simon the right way.
This is one of my favorite MST3Ks of the Joel era. The "Idiot Control" host segment is a must see. Well, to the movie. This is a combination of E.T., Alf, Behind the Music, and fog. Lots and lots of fog. It is the story of a group of bad musicians that take their job too seriously, so they go the mountains. They apparently stay there for quite some time because of the winter comes and goes a few times. One member of the group falls off a cliff and is promptly killed by her companions when they fold her in half and bring her back to the camper. The road is blocked after too much fog causes a rock fall, and the phones are out too, due to fog. They meet up with a family of voice throwers that have a kid that has been trying to hatch an egg he found in a cave next to a dead guy. The thing hatches and starts drinking all the milk in the house. It looks like the head of a small elephant glued to a bear. Trumpy, as the kid with endless imagination names it, can do stupid things (as Joel says in one of my all time favorite line), like create stop motion animation and shake animal cages. Pretty soon, Trumpy's dad goes on killing spree instead of asking for directions. It reminds me of my own dad. 'Nough said about that. I know it doesn't make sense. I believe that the director dropped some acid, cranked the Pink Floyd and watched E.T. with a running tape recorder in his hand as he dictated the screenplay. Hey, it worked for Keith Richards and "Satisfaction," without the Floyd, obviously.
Says one of the many annoying characters that populate this really stupid movie. Something comes to earth and lands in the woods next to a cabin inhabited by a high pitched boy who has a thing for animals, his mother and some old cranky guy. There's also poachers running around, and pretty soon there's a group of teenagers driving around. Eventually they all wind up getting killed by the aliens. Well, not all of them, which is unfortunate because then the movie would be over in thirty minutes! Watch this stinker with Joel, Tom and Crow and laugh along at this really, really bad movie. As Tom would say "Huzzah!"
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