Film Review: The Pod People (1983)

Also known as: Los nuevos extraterrestres, lit. The New Extraterrestrials (Spain), Extra Terrestrial Visitors
Release Date: December 13th, 1983 (France)
Directed by: Juan Piquer Simon
Written by: Joaquin Grau, Juan Piquer Simon
Music by: Librado Pastor, Michael Demer
Cast: Oscar Martin, Concha Cuetos, Manuel Pereiro

Almena Films, Film Ventures International, 100 Minutes

Review:

Out of all the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes, the one featuring The Pod People was one of the first I experienced. Actually, it was the second, as the first was Gamera vs. Barugon and then I saw this on a video tape my cousin had, that same night. It was cool revisiting it now, as it had been a really long time since I had seen the movie.

This came out just after E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and from the poster alone, it’s obvious that this picture was a ripoff of that 1982 Steven Spielberg classic. Now it wasn’t the only film to try and capitalize off of E.T. but it was probably the strangest.

The Pod People was a co-production between France and Spain. The English language version is plagued by fairly horrible dubbing. But it really just adds to the unintentional hilarity of this hokey oddity of a motion picture.

The special effects are about as bad as they can be. Also, the physics of things are bizarre and none of it makes any sense. When the kid looks through his telescope in the beginning, we are treated to a nonsensical acid trip. When the aliens appear on screen, they are essentially brown bears with heads that look like a hybrid of an elephant and a pig.

The film itself is fairly boring but the scenes between the young boy and the young alien he names “Trumpy” are actually entertaining and for the most part, hysterical. The scene where Trumpy makes everything in the boys room dance around and go apeshit is probably the best moment in the film.

The film has a sad ending and really just feels anticlimactic. The poor toddler alien, whose family has been murdered, is left to survive on his own in the woods – trapped on a planet that isn’t his home. Plus, the woods are full of hunters that want the aliens dead. I give Trumpy about 47 seconds after the credits end before he is shot by a French redneck wielding a Mossberg 500.

The Pod People is a bad movie but it stands apart from most others due to its bizarreness. Also, for many, it was one of the films first seen on MST3K after it went national on Comedy Central.

Rating: 4/10

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