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Lotsa fun and some real thrills
ctomvelu123 April 2013
I reviewed this clever tribute to low-budget 1950s sci=fi flicks (most notably "Invaders From Mars") some years ago. Having just watched it again, I felt compelled to write it up one more time. The people who put this charming cult classic together definitely knew what they were doing: A big city college teacher (LeMat) goes searching for his missing ex-wife in a rural Midwest town, only to discover the town is populated by what appear to be very hostile aliens (for one thing, they love blowing up cars). The professor learns the aliens took over the town in the late 1950s, with our government's permission. One of the great gags in this delightful movie is that, 25 years later, nothing has changed in the occupied town. It's still full of hayseeds and sock hops and hideous American-made monster mobiles. A tabloid journalist (Allen) joins the professor in his search, and all hell breaks loose as the aliens attempt to keep their identity a secret. The supporting cast is populated by award-winning actors like Louise Fletcher, doing a variation on her legendary Nurse Wratchet (around the same time, she also appeared in a spoofy remake of "Invaders From Mars"), and Michael Lerner, whose woebegone character has lost his wife and kids to the aliens and has been locked away in the funny farm. The movie was clearly shot on a shoestring, with poor sound quality and way too many single takes (watch the little boy at the end put his right arm around his dad for a split second before dropping it and staring off-camera at what probably was one of his real-life parents). But the film also exhibits a unique charm and features some truly unnerving moments (dig the "Evil Dead" bit when the professor's dog, now a captive of the aliens, appears to rush back and forth past the professor on a lonely road, unseen but definitely there via incredible sound effects and unusual camera work. Also, some of the other effects are extremely satisfying in their crude way, such as a series of glowing orbs that hold the captive humans and the aliens' spaceship. Plus, the story's pace never slackens. There's something going on every second of this movie; there ain't no padding. The ending is utter hokum, but intentionally so, I suspect.
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A "serious" spoof.
brijess-212 July 1999
This movie is pays great respect to the Sci-Fi movies of the 50's, but takes itself somewhat serious. If you view this film in that sense, you will have a great time!

The special effects are on a low budget and some of the camera angles are kind of strange, but the acting and the story are what keep this film going. A pre Barton Fink Michael Lerner is here and is great as always!

Be sure to look for two cameo's from former Lost in Space stars! Also, a very early R.E.M. song can be heard in the back ground of one scene.

Again, if you watch this with the frame of mind that this is a 50's sci-fi movie made in the 80's, you will get a real kick out of it!

I give this film a B+
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Nostalgic Tribute to the Sci-Fi's from the 50's
claudio_carvalho13 March 2015
In 1958, in Centerville, Illinois, a spacecraft lands on the city in an alien invasion and the population vanishes.

Twenty-five years later, Margaret Newman (Diana Scarwid) leaves her daughter Elizabeth in New York with her ex-husband Charles Bigelow (Paul Le Mat), who is an entomologist and professor of Columbia, since she would go to her hometown Centerville to attend the funeral of her mother. Margaret disappears and Charles drives with his dog Louie to Centerville to seek out his ex-wife. He finds a weird population living in a typical 1958 town. While looking for Margaret, Louie disappears and Charles is attacked by an alien but he succeeds to escape.

Back in New York, Charles visits a government department directed by Mrs. Benjamin (Louise Fletcher) to report his findings but she does not give credit to his words. Charles finds a tabloid newspaper with a picture of an alien and he visits the editor Betty Walker (Nancy Allen) that discloses that she has made up the story using a photo that the newspaper received ten years ago from a lunatic. Soon Betty has a close encounter with an alien disguised as Avon Lady and is chased by them. So she teams up with Charles expecting to rescue Elizabeth from the extraterrestrial beings.

"Strange Invaders" is a nostalgic tribute to the sci-fi from the 50's. The naive story is very well written with humor and good screenplay. The cameo of June Lockhart and Mark Goddard from the original "Lost in Space" is another tribute to the series that is part of the childhood of a generation. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Estranhos Invasores" ("Strange Invaders")
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The Resurrection Of 1950's Science Fiction
DMERCER82 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Strange Invaders is an enjoyable(1983) Science - Fiction film that stars Paul Le Mat and Nancy Allen.

It begins with a small town in the 1950's suddenly taken over by aliens. In 1983,LeMat who's a college Professor has an ex-wife played by Diana Scarwid who comes from this small town and when Mr.Le Mat goes to this small town, he finds that this community still functions as if time has stood still and remains stuck in the 1950's.

Soon after he arrives, his dog is turned into a ball of glowing energy and he must steal a car to escape the residents who have proved to still be aliens who are willing to try and kill him.

Le Mat arrives back in New York City consults an F.B.I official(Louise Fletcher) about it but receives no satisfaction.Finally he's forced to go to a gossip paper about what he's found and meets with(Nancy Allen-looking stunning)who has an important position at this paper.That evening,Miss Allen has her apartment infiltrated by a female alien who presumably kills her landlord(Wallace Shawn).

The next day,Mr.Le Mat goes back to the worried Allen's office and both go out together that evening and fall in love. Some of the aliens from the little town Le Mat has just escaped from; come looking for him. The aliens kidnap his daughter and try to kill his new love -Nancy Allen. Both Allen and Le Mat leave New York City with F.B.I Fletcher in hot pursuit.

Allen and Le Mat meet with Michael Lerner who's a mental patient who turns out not to be crazy but helpful in their plight to return to the little town where Le Mat had escaped from and years before,Lerner's own family had been taken from him by the aliens inhabiting this town . When they return to the town,they are met with hostile opposition from the U.S. Government and the aliens who attempt to take Le Mat and his ex-wife's(Scarwid is an alien) little girl because she is half alien! An alien official (in a projected image)tells all of his followers of soon to be future plans ....that include taking Le Mat's little girl back to their planet! There is a wonderful chase scene involving Nancy Allen and the little girl as they try to escape the marauding aliens. Le Mat and his little girl are taken aboard a spaceship,they escape from the alien ship and normalcy is returned to one and all in this little town.

Strange Invaders is a really wonderful, science -fiction film.It has a Superb fifties feel to it as well as a great supporting cast of character actors such as Kenneth Tobey,June Lockhart,Wallace Shawn,Fiona Lewis,Mark Goddard and veteran character actor Charles Lane as Professor Hollister(a trusted colleague of Paul Le Mat's character).

This film is an enjoyable experience that's done somewhat tongue in cheek while still paying great homage to classic 1950's science-fiction.This film received an 8 because of it's pacing which tends to be a bit awkward at times. In closing,another real plus for Strange Invaders is it's marvelously dramatic score which is well done by John Addison. This is (overall) a wonderful piece of science -fiction...very imperfect,but it's fun and worth watching.
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A kind of silly movie but worth watching!
Sylviastel19 December 2002
I never saw Strange Invaders until yesterday but I found it immensely pleasurable to watch. Diana Scarwid, Nancy Allen, Louise Fletcher, and the cast was pretty interesting to watch with their material about alien beings playing humans for 25 years. While it probably took off from E.T. in the previous year, Strange Invaders is worth watching for the fans of science fiction and fantasy. I enjoyed it immensely maybe because I think Diana Scarwid deserved better in terms of scripts and she should have been a household name ever since her performance as the older Christina Crawford in Mommy Dearest. Oscar Winner Louise Fletcher also deserved more than roles that were secondary, supporting or featuring. Nevertheless, Strange Invaders is strange but fun to watch for kids, adults, or anybody who doesn't take themselves too seriously.
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Fun 80's treat for fans of nostalgic 50's Sci-Fi.
Coventry18 December 2005
"Strange Invaders" is a cheerful and likable 80's movie, regretfully forgotten these days because nowadays audiences don't understand the charm and inside jokes of authentic "Alien Invaders"-science fiction from the 1950's. This movie is one giant spoof/tribute to wonderful films such as "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and "Invaders from Mars", but the screenplay is intelligent enough to add new and surprisingly original twists of its own. We have the typical remote American town – Centerville, Illinois – getting colonized by hideous aliens that take over the identities of the locals and examine the earthly life-style in the meantime. The ingenious elements in the script are, however, that this whole invasion-project was seemly approved by the government AND that the aliens never evolved after they landed on our planet. Centerville still looks like a swinging 50's town, with jukeboxes, old cars and traditional dress codes. University professor Charles Bigelow teams up with a gossip-journalist Betty Walker to investigate the town's bizarre secret. "Strange Invaders" is well-directed by Michael Laughlin ("Dead Kids") and cleverly co-written by Bill Condon. There's very few gore, which is a good thing, but the special effects are definitely not bad with a couple of adorable space-ship designs and the aliens' inventive method to "cristalyze" people. The acting performances are vivid, with Paul LeMat ("American Graffiti) and Nancy Allen ("Carrie", "Dressed to Kill"). The supportive cast is even better with spirited roles from Michael Lerner, Diana Scarwid and the wonderful Louise Fletcher, once again as the mean shrew. The happy-ending is somewhat lame and far too Disney/Steven Spielberg-like, but I suppose that's forgivable. Good, cheesy and nostalgic 80's entertainment.
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Kenneth Tobey!
ctomvelu-12 February 2009
A clever plot -- aliens take over a small town in rural America -- is almost done in by a plodding pace and the weakest leading man to ever appear in a sci-fi movie, Paul LeMat. Nevertheless, the movie has a strange charm, as LeMat travels to this podunkville to find his ex-wife, who inexplicably vanishes while visiting the town. The ending holds a couple of surprises, but by then you'll probably be glad the damn thing's over. The main reason to watch this sort-of cult classic is to see how closely a film made in 1983 succeeds in paying homage to all those cheeseball sci-fi flicks of the 1950s, when commies were the biggest threat, often showing up in sci-fi movies disguised as invading aliens. I have no doubt that as low-budget as this production was, it had its influence on ABC's classic sci-fi show, THE INVADERS. Also, keep an eye out for several familiar faces dotting the landscape, including Ken Tobey, star of Howard Hawks' 1951 commie threat epic, THE THING FROM Another WORLD.
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Really liked it as an homage.
Boba_Fett113810 June 2011
Seems that the foremost reason why this movie isn't much appreciated is because most people don't seem to understand that this movie is being an homage to the science-fiction movies from the '50's. As an homage this movie is really a quite good one, surprisingly. So, all of those silly and sloppy moments, that weak story and unusual camera handling and editing was all intentional. The creators did a good job at recreate the same sort of style and atmosphere but at the same time also manage to place it in the modern world and time of 1983. I liked some of the subtle and nice touches in the movie, that were a nod and throwback to the '50's genre movies. Those who are a bit familiar with that period of genre movies will most likely be able to appreciate this movie. But a good homage of course doesn't make a great movie as well. No, in the end this movie will certainly not make any of my favorite lists but the movie remains a good enough one to watch. The movie fails to make a lasting impression, also because it's an obvious low budget one, so it's lacking in any big spectacular moments. Also the story isn't' that much special and basically is like a whole bunch of other science-fiction movies thrown together but then again, also those movies from the '50's never really featured a great or original script and to be fair, they weren't always that much good as movies. So in that regard this movie also pays perfectly homage to that and I don't think it ever was the film-makers goal and aim to make a spectacular and classic genre movie. They just wanted to have fun, paying homage to the movies they love and with this movie they also give the viewers, that understand this, some good fun to watch as well. 7/10
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With "American Graffiti"'s drag racer, "Carrie"'s creep, Christina Crawford, a certain character actor, and Nurse Ratched, just guess.
lee_eisenberg29 July 2006
It's "Back to the Future" meets "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" when a woman goes to her hometown in the Midwest but doesn't return. Her husband (Paul LeMat) goes there and discovers that aliens took it over 25 years earlier with the government's complicity! To complicate things just a little further, we find out that "Men in Black" was right: the tabloids DO tell the truth (in this case, there's an article about a town getting taken over by aliens)! It's just neat seeing that when he goes there, everything still looks like the 1950s, and then no one believes him. But overall, how they develop the story is pretty interesting. Louise Fletcher seems to be channeling Nurse Ratched as the government bureaucrat trying to keep the alien takeover under wraps, and Nancy Allen plays her usual kind of role as the tabloid reporter who wrote about the alien takeover. But really neat is Michael Lerner as a man whose family got abducted by the aliens many years earlier.

Anyway, "Strange Invaders" shows that alien invasion movies can be really cool, especially since the aliens took on human form. You're sure to like it. Also starring Wallace Shawn and Charles Lane (who's now 101 years old and still going).
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Great sci-fi spoof and tribute
skad1314 August 1999
Much-overlooked but quite enjoyable movie that's both a spoof of science-fiction films and a wonderful sci-fi flick in its own right. With terrific performances from Paul LeMat, Diana Scarwid, Michael Lerner, Nancy Allen, and Fiona Lewis as the nastiest Avon Lady you'll ever see. The movie's Steven Spielberg gag is worth the price of the tape rental in itself
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"Yes, could I have a BLT? Room 2121."
utgard1414 August 2015
A college professor (Paul Le Mat) goes looking for his missing wife and finds a town that appears to be stuck in the 1950s. While there, he's attacked by an alien but manages to escape. He then tries to get a reporter (Nancy Allen) to believe his story, which she does after she has her own close encounter.

The '80s was a fun decade for movies, not only for original material but also for movies that were inspired by the great sci-fi flicks of the '50s, such as this one. It's an enjoyable sci-fi horror movie that doesn't take itself seriously but isn't a straight-up comedy, either. Nancy Allen is lots of fun and Louise Fletcher is terrific in a supporting role. Paul Le Mat makes for an unassuming lead but he's quite good in the part. My favorite part of the whole movie is Michael Lerner's flashback scene. Love seeing older actors like Kenneth Tobey, Charles Lane, and June Lockhart. There are also some amusing genre references I got a kick out of. The sets, props, and special effects are excellent. Good use of location filming by director Michael Laughlin. Why does it seem no one shoots in small towns anymore?

It's a little slow-going and I can imagine some viewers will be frustrated that it skirts the line between straight sci-fi and comedy as much as it does. It's an entertaining movie, particularly if you like '50s sci-fi. I think it gets better with repeated viewings.
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Unexpected sleeper that might knock your sox off...
miller-movies18 June 2000
This is a "smaller" science fiction film about aliens being discovered on Earth. Excellent cast, intelligent story and suspense carry this well above others of its kind. Well worth a viewing by fans of the genre. Solid 8 according to the Miller Movie formula.
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Interesting and entertaining
Teenie-129 June 2002
Warning: Spoilers
What a refreshing treat! I saw this film on AMC and found it fascinating. The story line centers around a typical 50s sci-fi film about aliens invading a small midwestern town. Entomologist Paul LeMat and sleaze tabloid reporter Nancy Allen get themselves into quite a mess when they discover the aliens.

There are a couple of scenes to make you jump but not out-and-out frightening. **spoiler** There is one scene of a child turning into an alien which is kind of disturbing. I wouldn't recommend this film for kids under 10.***end of spoiler*** The aliens are nasty-looking when they peel their human faces off and have what looks like Gatorade for blood shoot out when they're injured. I got a real thrill from seeing veteran actor Charles Lane in a bit of a different role than a grumpy turd but still stern and serious. The musical score also adds to the thrilling chase scenes. This is definitely worth the time. Enjoy.
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A fun, 50's style alien invasion flick.
willywants30 November 2003
In the 1950's, aliens landed on Earth and blended in with our society. Now, they're ship is back, and they will do anything to silence the few who know they're real identity. "Strange invaders" has a good cast, top-notch visual effects, some really creative creature effects, a decent plot, and a fairly adept (If not rather routine) script. The cast includes: Paul Le Mat, June Lockhart, and Wallace Shawn. Recommended.
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Hidden gem
J-bot620 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of those movies that seems to be hard to find and as a result, one that few people seem to have actually seen. I saw this one as a kid and the scene where the aliens turned the humans into balls of light was terrifying.

Having re-watched it, I was still pretty blown away by the effects. The creature work was amazing, and even the comps are really good. This movie has a bit of a different vibe than its contemporaries. Apparently the director was trying to capture some of the character of the classic 50s sci-fi films. It certainly shows. However, as one might expect, it became sort of a hybrid between the 50s and the 80s. As for production design -- it's really cool. The only choice that I thought was a bit odd was the steam powered equipment in the space ship. I'm not sure I buy that. Of course, we only see a bit of the ship's interior, so maybe there's some super high-tech in there powering things.

Watching this, it's refreshing to see a slightly different take on the 'alien invasion' concept. I like what they did with this and I can't think of any other film quite like it. Despite a few of the early scenes having somewhat odd line delivery, this is definitely a film to see. That and it's shot in full wide screen. If you can, try to get it in its original aspect ratio.
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Great Low-Budget Tribute to 1950's Sci-Fi and Ufology
LeonLouisRicci6 December 2015
Incredibly Astute Homage to 1950's Sci-Fi and the Not very well Understood World of Ufology. Hip Filmmakers like Stephen Spielberg and some Low-Budget Types Know what They are Representing when They Portray the Real World of Flying Saucer Cultists and Researchers. This one Gets It and that In Itself is a Refreshing, Accurate, and welcomed Inclusion.

The Average Movie Goer Probably Doesn't Know, for example, that CUFOS (Center for UFO Studies) was a Real Life and Serious Non-Profit Investigative Unit. A Respected Sister than the more Recognizable MUFON.

The Even More Hip than Spielberg Chris Carter (creator of the X-Files) Knew This and Included it in the much Loved "Max" Two-Parter Episodes.

There is a Veiled and Hidden Conspiratorial Truth that the Tabloids are thought to be in Cahoots with the Govt. to be a Debunking "Agent" of the Subject with its Lurid and Often seemingly Ridiculous Exploitation of the Abduction and Sightings Phenom. In Other Words Their Stories are so Outlandish that the whole Subject by Association is Evidence that the Thing is Not Worthy of Consideration by "Serious" Folks and is Grist for the Cover-Up Mill.

The Movie also is a Colorful and Visual Treat with its B-Movie SFX and Makeup that is Excellent Considering. It has its Share of Horror and Paranoia (a staple of 50's greats).

The Cast may be Inconsistent in the Acting Department but the Inspired but Dumbed Down Script is Funny, Spot-On, and a Neat Treat.

Overall, this Minor and Virtually Unknown Cult Movie is a Must See for Anyone that Loves the Alien Invasion Stuff and Unacknowledged and Starving UFO Researchers that might Not Know of this Respectful Tribute to Their Hard Work at the Hands of a Laughing and Viscous Populace that uses the "Giggle Factor" to Insult any chance They get to "Cover-Up" Their Lack of Knowledge and Lessen the Fear.
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Strange Invaders
feltonl-129785 January 2019
It's One Of My Favorite Movies I Ever Have! This Is Extremely Outstanding!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I wonder why some people even bother to comment?
chango71430 December 2004
I just read MonsieurMS comments. Did he see the same movie as i and either folks saw? I guess it galls me when someone takes to the time to write negative, uninteresting comments that give readers no insight to a movie. Comments like "There is somewhere in here the makings of a decent if routine SF story. It is thwarted by several factors. First, the actor is just awful. Even the competent actors are awful. The dialog is wooden and stilted. The plot plods along predictably. This seems less like a finished movie than actors going through a walk through. Extremely disappointing." This is an opinion, not a review of a movie. These comments do NOT help me in making a decision as to whether I want to watch this movie. "The actor is just awful" Do you mean the male actor? or the acting? But I digress, these types of opinions are cast by many others on this site, not just poor "MonsieurMS" If you are going to critically review a movie, state your opinions and cite examples. The plot of this movie rivals the plot of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" wherein are hero(s) are aware of the danger and are being pursued by the antagonists. A familiar "reds under the beds" 1950 plot that in my opinion is well executed and the viewer is keep interested. Paul Le Mat's character, Charles Bigelow, in particular is well crafted. So i guess in closing, please try to keep the vague comments to the AOL chatrooms, where this sort of banter is welcomed. I, for one, find this website very well constructed and helpful and would like to see it stay this way. BTW to the Gods of this site, do you choose comments made by members to be seen on the main page? Or is it chronological? If not, placing the most informative and best constructed comments first would probably serve to discourage persons creating comments simply to make them "first". Just my humble opinion.
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More horror than sci-fi, and really bad either way
eichler218 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I like sci-fi movies, sometimes even bad ones, so when I saw this was coming on the MGM channel, I set up the DVR to record it. Took several days to watch it because I had to keep turning it off - I just couldn't believe how bad it was.

Several other reviews call this a "homage" to '50s sci-fi movies. To me it seemed a lot more like a low-budget attempt to cash in on the popularity of E.T. and other sci-fi movies that had been packing theaters over the previous half-decade. This badly-made tale of invading space aliens was more of a gross-out horror flick than a sci-fi movie though. Way too many shots of people ripping their faces off to reveal slimy alien brains and whatnot underneath.

There were a lot of recognizable actors in the movie, but their performances are pretty uniformly awful and flat, which makes me think the director had no idea what he was doing. The writing is cringe-inducingly bad and the film was apparently edited by a 10 year old with attention deficit disorder. And the soundtrack music - don't get me started. Most of it sounded like it was lifted from E.T. and it almost never matched what was actually going on in the movie. Wrap it all up with a happy ending that felt forced and tacked on, and which made very little sense after the evil way the aliens had been behaving the whole rest of the movie.

The only thing saving this from a 1 star review is that some of the special effects aren't bad. I liked the glowing balls that the aliens turned people into. And if you go for gross, gory stuff, the aforementioned transformations from human to alien will be right up your alley. On the other hand, some of the effects (like the geyser of green blood from an alien that had been shot) are just as bad as the dialog, direction, acting, music and editing.

My only question is how the Mystery Science Theater guys never got their hands on this movie.
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Nothing Memorable
view_and_review31 December 2019
I think we will always be fascinated with aliens. The idea that there exists life on other planets or in other galaxies will always be on our minds. And one of the biggest fear inducing thoughts is that there could be aliens living amongst us and we're not aware. That premise was explored in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," "They Live," and in this movie.

"Strange Invaders"--not to be confused with the Atari game Space Invaders--is about an alien invasion that occurred in Centerville, Illinois in 1958. The movie skips up to the year 1983 when Professor Charles Bigelow's wife visits Centerville and never returns. When he went to find her he found a town full of strange people and at least one alien looking being.

"Strange Invaders" was just at the verge of comical. The special effects and even the plot itself had an air of humor. Comedy, though, it was not. For that matter it wasn't that good regardless of genre. I connected with the main character to some degree as he tried to find out the truth of Centerville, Ill. The "X-Files" lover in me pined for him to expose the aliens and bring them down, but that's as far as my interest went, and it wasn't all that deep. It's an OK movie but nothing memorable.
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Hits all the right buttons for sci-fi lovers.
Hey_Sweden10 February 2019
The decidedly miscast Paul LeMat here plays Charles Bigelow, a Columbia University entomology professor who tracks his odd-duck ex-wife Margaret (Diana Scarwid) to her old hometown, which is typical Smalltown, U.S.A. (She'd left their daughter (Lulu Sylbert) with him and then disappeared.) Not only does he find it to be a strange environment (it seems to be stuck in the 50s), but the locals aren't exactly welcoming. A couple of WTF experiences later and he realizes that, in fact, the aliens have landed, and have kept this town in this state for a quarter century. He teams up with a tabloid journalist, Betty Walker (ever lovely and appealing Nancy Allen), and a supposed nut case (the excellent Michael Lerner) to take on the "strange invaders".

This film was fashioned by director Michael Laughlin ("Dead Kids") and his co-writer, Bill Condon (a future director, himself) as both a loving tribute to and parody of vintage science-fiction. In that respect, it gets its look and feel just right. It's often amusing, has its heart in the right place, and in this viewers' humble opinion, actually has a fairly decent pace. The script isn't perfect; it does have some holes, but overall Laughlin and Condon did a nice job here. Having partly shot their film in Canada, it does have a delightful scenic quality, which is only enhanced by the widescreen photography. It also features some wonderfully icky and gross makeup and creature effects that are certain to have some more squeamish viewers going, "Ewww." Best of all is the score by John Addison, which does a fine job of truly evoking the era.

As part of their presentation, Laughlin and Condon cast the film with some supporting roles and cameo appearances for performers from old time sci-fi: June Lockhart and Mark Goddard from 'Lost in Space', Kenneth Tobey ("The Thing from Another World", etc.). Cinemas' original grumpy old man, Charles Lane, co-stars along with Louise Fletcher (playing a not-quite-on-the-level government agent), Fiona Lewis, a too briefly seen Wallace Shawn, character actor Jack Kehler (in his film debut), singer Bobby "Boris" Pickett, and Dan Shor & Dey Young, the young stars of "Dead Kids". LeMat is a rather bland hero, but Allen is luminous, and Lerner pretty much delivers the best performance in the thing. Condon has an uncredited cameo as a guy listening in a doorway.

Perhaps the most value lies in trivia revealed by Laughlin on his audio commentary: at the time, he was young Sylberts' stepdad; her real dad was the legendary Hollywood production designer Richard Sylbert, and her mom is Susanna Moore, the production & costume designer on this film; Laughlin was involved with Moore when this film was made.

Pay close attention during an early scene to hear what may have been the first use of an R.E.M. song in a movie.

Seven out of 10.
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It's OK, But Don't Believe Siegel
ccthemovieman-120 August 2006
A takeoff on the 1950s sci-fi films, this has its good moments and moves along a good clip, particularly in the first half. The second half doesn't measure up to the first 45 minutes.

There is a mixture of satire on those '50s films along with some genuine suspense and action. There is even some bad acting and some bad dialog, but I couldn't tell if it was done on purpose! It wasn't as innocent as the old films, however, especially when Nancy Allen started using the Lord's name in vain. Other than that, it's a fairly clean, language-wise.

It's okay but nothing great, certainly not "stunning," as quoted by Joel Siegel on the video box. Joel is one of those national film critics who is so far out of touch with normal citizens it's laughable.
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I love movies.......
uscmd6 August 2008
I love movies, all genres, and from big dollar spectacles to small indie projects. But even making allowance for this piece of junk being 25 years old and its attempt at homage to the 1950's it just suffers in almost aspect, by which we judge films.

Throughout the movie, I was reminded of several "student films," I've had a chance to watch, efforts where creativity is required to fill gaps where funds are needed.

All in all, chances are there are much better uses for 90 minutes of your life.

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How long have they been among us?
michaelRokeefe19 June 2003
This is a well directed(Michael Laughlin)low budget, but interesting paranormal tale of a professor(Paul Le Mat) and a determined tabloid reporter(Nancy Allen)investigating bug eyed aliens. Of course the visitors from far, far away are disguised know...human. Special effects are very good and make watching worth while. A diverse group of supporting actors includes: Diana Scarwid, Fiona Lewis, Michael Lerner, Louise Fletcher and even June Lockhart. At times slow, but stick with it. Discovering aliens on Earth...what will they come up with next?
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What a piece of dreck!
Samantha-Kimmel16 September 2006
Where to begin.... This hideous excuse for a motion picture makes "Plan 9 From Outer Space" look well thought out. The music? It's culled from every single overwrought piece of PD shlock in existence. The focus? Hell, doesn't matter if in one shot there are thirty people standing in the road; the new angle shows a lone Packard with a waitress posing for Argosy Mag shots. Paul Le Mat, Diana Scarwid, Louise Fletcher, Wallace Shawn: fine actors who must have all been starving to death at that point in their lives and the director lured them to sign on with tempting bits of cat food. The production budget must have skyrocketed to well over fifty cents with the addition of The Space Alien Phallic Transportation Machine which, for a time, must have meant that the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile was not available. When Bad Movies Happen to Good Actors
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