Morons from Outer Space
Comedy, Sci-Fi | 90 mins | Released: 1985
Director: Mike Hodges
Starring: Mel Smith, Griff Rhys Jones, Joanne Pearce, Jimmy Nail, Paul Brown, James Sikking, Dinsdale Landen
Our Rating: 7
The story begins on a small spaceship docking with a refueling station. On board are a group of four aliens, Bernard, Sandra, Desmond, and Julian. During a particularly tedious period of their stay at the station, the other three begin playing with the ship’s controls while Bernard is outside playing spaceball. They accidentally disconnect his part of the ship, leaving him stranded while they crash into a large blue planet close by (Earth).
The aliens become instant celebrities on arrival, despite being able to bring no great revelation or technical ability to the people of Earth (as is central to the plot of many “aliens on Earth” films). They find a manager (Jones) and become wealthy more or less overnight, packing fans in auditoriums just to see them. Meanwhile, Bernard arrives on Earth via other means of transport. Despite being by far the most intelligent of the group, Bernard is not afforded any celebrity, and is in fact condemned to vagrancy and a brief stint in mental hospital before reuniting with his fellow travellers near the end of the film. The others, fearing that the introduction of Bernard would lessen their popularity and celebrity, fail to mention that they had originally been travelling with a fourth.
The film was released on VHS and Betamax in 1986 and re-released in 1989. It was released on DVD by MGM in 2001.
The movie’s Morons from Outer Space (1985) title was similar to the title of the cult Michael McCarty B-movie sci-fi film Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959).
Debut theatrical feature film of actor-comedian Griff Rhys Jones.
The name of the game of sport that the morons from outer space played in the space-ship was “Spaceball”. Around two years after this movie was first released, another sci-fi comedy was made and released, that being Mel Brooks’s Spaceballs (1987).
Mike Hodges directed this movie on the condition that the production company Thorn EMI, would finance his script “Mid-Atlantic”, which didn’t get off the ground.
To receive a PG certificate the film was extensively re-edited by the distributor, and the finished product was then cut further by the BBFC to remove cocaine footage and references. In total 6 minutes 10 secs were edited from the film.
The original title was “Illegal Aliens.”
Comedians from the English comedy TV series Not the Nine O’Clock News (1979) who didn’t appear in the movie include Chris Langham, Rowan Atkinson and Pamela Stephenson.
First of two cinema movies that English comedians Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones made together. The second would be The Misadventures of Mr. Wilt (1990) around five years later.
The name of the planet that the morons from outer space came from was “Planet Blob”.
The film’s director Mike Hodges previously directed the earlier science-fiction movies Flash Gordon (1980) and The Terminal Man (1974).
The place where the space-ship crash-landed was the M1 motorway between Leeds and London.
Names of the acts appearing at the rock concert were “The Inkblobs” and “The Aliens” (in America).