Copyright Warner Bros. Pictures 1996
President James Dale: Jack Nicholson! He might make a good president if he didn’t have a bunch of morons giving him very bad advice. He is impaled by a Martian’s flag.
Art Land: Jack Nicholson! He owns a casino, is a big time property developer and flirts with waitresses around his wife. Sounds like a nice guy. He’s killed when one of his buildings collapses with him in it.
First Lady Marsha Dale: Glenn Close! She cares too much about her appearance and is killed when a chandelier comes crashing down on top of her during the aliens’ attack on the White House.
Barbara Land: Annette Bening! Apparently, she can look the other way for some chips to gamble with while her husband flirts with the waitresses at his casino. She is former alcoholic becomes an alcoholic once all this alien business happens. Sounds about the right time to start drinking again.
Professor Donald Kessler: Pierce Brosnan! He has the wrong idea about the aliens coming in peace and he is what you call an idiot. He has his head removed during an alien experiment after he is captured. He presumably drowns when the spaceship he is in crashes into the ocean.
Rude Gambler: Danny DeVito! A gambler and a lawyer who is deep fried by the aliens’ ray guns.
Press Secretary Jerry Ross: Martin Short! He is a dolt and he has a thing prostitutes. He ends up picking up a Martian by accident and is mostly likely killed when it hits him over the head with something.
Nathalie Lake: Sarah Jessica Parker! She’s a TV show host and has one ugly looking dog. It’s not nice to call someone a dumb blond, but lets us all make an exception for her case. She drowns presumably in a spaceship when it crashes into the water near the end of the film.
Jason Stone: Michael J. Fox! A reporter and TV anchor from New York. He is Nathalie’s boyfriend until he is turned into a green skeleton!
Riche Norris: A regular guy working a donut shop. His grandmother’s music blows the aliens’ heads up and he helps spreads the music around the world, thus saving everyone. I think he becomes Taffy’s boyfriend in the end, despite the fact that they just met for the first time in the last scene.
Taffy Dale: Natalie Portman! James and Marsha’s daughter who seems a bit neglected before and during the whole alien invasion. Survives to the end and I suppose hooks up with Richie.
Byron Williams: Jim Brown! Works at a casino in Las Vegas and has an ex-wife who lives in Washington D.C. He goes a couple of rounds with a bunch of aliens.
Florence Norris: Sylvia Sidney! She is a bit out there and forgetful of the people that are close to her. Her country music makes the aliens’ head explode, which saves the human race.
General Decker: Rod Steiger! The only person with a brain in this film that works for the government! He wants to destroy the stupid Martians, which everyone should have done in the first place!! He is shrunk down and then squashed by an alien.
Lieutenant General Casey: Paul Winfield! This guy seems a bit smarter than most of the idiots in this film and is a bit cautious about the whole alien thing. He is the first person incinerated by the aliens.
Secret Service Agent Mitch: He is supposed to protect the president from harm, but apparently two young boys are a bit better than him. He is incinerated during an alien attack.
Cedric and Neville Williams: Ray J and Brandon Hammond! They are the two sons of Louise and Byron Williams. They are actually better then the secret service at protecting the president from aliens.
Dr. Zeigler: Jerzy Skolimowski! He created a machine that is able to talk to the Martians. The machine could use some work, but since he’s dead, I guess it’ll never be fixed.
Tom Jones: Himself! He is performing at Art’s casino during the invasion of Las Vegas. I never knew he could fly a plane.
Martians: Small large-brain aliens from Mars. They use Nerf/super soaker looking ray guns and sound like ducks. They easily overpower the idiots in charge of America and they nearly win their conquest of Earth, until their brains explode from listening to country music!
+ Martians sound kind of like ducks.
+ Making a circle in the air with your finger is apparently the international sign of the donut.
+ Aliens are perverts.
+ Despite the fact that every part of a human being and clothing can be incinerated by a ray gun, sometimes a human hand remains in perfect condition.
+ Martians are purse snatchers!
+ Alien ray guns turn people into green and red skeletons!
+ Sometimes aliens settle things in fist fights.
+ Alien brain matter looks like the green slime from Nickelodeon.
+ Some guns can be incinerated and some cannot.
STUFF TO WATCH FOR
1 min – My God! Cows with poorly animated flames on them! The humanity!
5 min – Really? Every science fiction movie would disagree with you on that.
17 min – Don’t you have a boyfriend?
21 min – You and your crackpot theories!
22 min – He took words right out of my mouth.
30 min – Was that last scene important?
40 min – Well that kind of contradicts what that machine just said.
42 min – Hold the phone! How is she holding the severed hand of her boyfriend when his skeleton still has both hands attached?!
54 min 15 sec – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST THE US CONGRESS!
54 min 31 sec – I thought the ray guns turned people in green skeletons, why I am now seeing red skeletons?
60 min – Come on aliens! The disguise too obvious! Only an idiot would… never mind, here comes one right now.
65 min – Watch out! The thing has a water pistol!
70 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A CHANDELIER!
75 min – Hey! There’s that translator machine again! I see it still doesn’t work.
81 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST TWO TRAILERS!
84 min – He should have worn his seatbelt.
85 min – I always knew this kind of music could kill people.
86 min – What do you know? A snow globe!
92 min – You don’t see this everyday.
President Dale: I want the people to know that they still have 2 out of 3 branches of the government working for them, and that ain't bad.
Martian Translator Device: All green of skin... 800 centuries ago, their bodily fluids include the birth of half-breeds. For the fundamental truth self-determination of the cosmos, for dark is the suede that mows like a harvest.
General Decker: What the hell does that mean?
Grandma Florence Norris: They blew up Congress! Ha ha ha ha!
Wow… that’s pretty much what I can say about this film. Directed by Tim Burton, he presents this interesting ride of a film that is bizarre and crazy from beginning to end. This film takes a lot of original sci-fi traditions and cliches, and then combines them together. The cheesy effects, the silly looking aliens, the surprising amount of well known celebrities of the time, and the b-movie plot are all present here. With all of this, does the movie turn out to be a decent parody and or tribute to these types of films or does it fail?
The story opens up in Lockjaw, Kentucky with two guys talking to each other. Soon, a stampede of cows on fire runs by the two of the men. The cause of this? Aliens of course! After the lone ship has set the cows on fire, it returns to Mars and brings to Earth reinforcements that surround the planet. Mars sure can hold a lot of spaceships.
From there we head to the White House and meet President James Dale and his cast of quirky morons which include army generals, his bodyguard, his press secretary, and James Bond… I mean Professor Donald Kessler. They all discuss the situation and determine that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of space ships floating around the Earth means that aliens come in peace. They obviously have never seen any science fiction movie before.
We have a couple of cut shots to a bunch of people in different locations. We see Byron Williams, a former heavyweight champion, calling his ex-wife, Louise Williams, who talks about their kids who skipped school; we see Art Land and his wife, Barbara, talking to each other; in New York City we meet Natalie Lake, a ditsy TV personality, and her TV report boyfriend, Jason Stone, whose shows are interrupted by the president’s speech about the aliens; we see Richie Norris, his family, and Jack Black (He plays Riche’s brother who has name, but I’m just going to call him Jack Black); and we see Press Secretary Jerry Ross picking up prostitutes. That should cover about all the main and supporting characters. I know, there are far too many.
Regarding the situation about the Martians, Lake interviews Kessler about his professional opinion of the situation. During the interview, the Martians make contact with the people of Earth by interrupting all TV broadcasts. Dr. Kessler calls for a meeting with all the Washington officials, where he tells them, from observing the alien footage that the aliens are carbon base life forms (We could have figured that out for ourselves!), possibly have telekinetic powers, and are very technically advance, which he declares make them peaceful. I stand by my statement that he should watch more sci-fi movies. Dr. Zeigler, another scientist, then shows the generals and others in the room a machine he has been working on for a long time, despite the fact the Martians just recently appeared, that will translate the alien language into English. The results of the translation gave me a headache, literally.
In a couple of random scenes, Riche sees his brother off who will be on Martian duty for the meeting with them, Ross talks to a crowd of reporters including Jason Stone, and Byron and Art talk a bit. Finally, we move onto better and more important scenes with the aliens sending the coordinates to the people of Earth of where to meet them. The President sends General Casey to supervise the meeting with a few platoons of soldiers and Dr. Zeigler with his machine to translate what the aliens are going to be telling them.
So, everybody gathers in the desert, which is always the prime area for aliens to first land in when coming to Earth, and await the Martians. Jason and Natalie are there as reporters for their TV stations and shows; General Casey, Jack Black, Dr. Zeigler, and a couple tons of soldiers are there representing the army, and Baraba is watching everything from a couple miles away on her car’s hood. Every other character is watching the whole thing on TV during Jason’s coverage.
The aliens show up and speak in their mumbo jumbo, which Zeigler translates it. The machine translation comes up as that they come in peace. Yeah right. The moment a hippie in the crowd releases a dove, they incinerated it and cause mayhem. How many people didn’t see this coming? Really! Science fiction movies have told us that most aliens, which are way more advance than us and are really ugly (Like Predator for example), have come to kill us! Anyhow, the aliens kill Ziegler, Casey, Jack Black, Jason Stone, and a large amount of army soldiers and idiot bystanders. They also kidnap Natalie and her dog, which they perform experiments on later, but switching their heads around. A person’s head on a dog’s body? Does this remind you of something?
Despite how obvious this attack was and that aliens are not here for peace, Kessler convinces the president that everything that happened is all just a misunderstanding and that they should just talk things out. Misunderstanding? How was all of that murder and chaos a misunderstanding? They then contact the aliens this time and summon them down to Washington D.C. to talk things out. Great! Now they now where you live! So, how does this go? Simple! The aliens incinerate all of Congress and kidnaps Kessler. Thank God! On their ship, they remove his head instead of implanting it on something else like before.
Now, back on Earth, the president confirms immediate action against these aliens and tells America that he will handle this problem. Later that night, an alien disguised as a female with a large beehive hairdo, is brought into the White House by the idiot Ross mistaking her for a prostitute. When he tries making out with her, she bites his finger off and he discovers that she is an alien in disguise. He is either killed or knocked out by the alien using a statue, but it’s never clear. The alien then tries to kill the president, but only ends up killing his dog and canary before getting shot to death.
Due to this failed assassination, the aliens then suit up, take their… nerf looking ray guns, and proceed to attack Washington D.C. They knock down the Washington Monument on a bunch of Boy scouts, destroy an airplane, and attack the White House. During the chaos, First Lady Marsha is killed and the president is saved by Cedric and Neville Williams, the sons of Bryon and Louise, who are on a school field trip to the White House.
Now we go to Las Vegas where the aliens begin attacking. They kill Art Land and his investors during a meeting for one of his real estate projects. The aliens then attack the casino where Byron is working and Tom Jones is singing. During the concert, the aliens attack the audience and Tom’s musicians, causing Tom to flee for his life. He runs into Byron, Barbara, Cindy who was the waitress that Art was formally hitting on, and a rude gambler. They all flee together to a plane Barbara previously was going to escape in, until her husband, who could pilot it, died, so now Tom Jones will fly them out of there. Are you all still keeping up?
During the attacks, Riche narrowly escapes getting killed when the shop he works at is destroyed. He returns home and tries to convince his parents that they need to save his grandma, but they refuse, instead try to protect their trailer. So he takes off on a mission to save her. Meanwhile, the army tries to fire a nuclear missile at the mothership, but the Martians just destroy it by… ah… I have no clue.
Back in Vegas, the group continues their way to the airplane, losing the gambler to an alien. We cut again back to Riche as he arrives at the retirement home where his grandma is and discovers through an odd accident, that the aliens cannot stand country music she listens to and that it makes their heads explode. We cut again to Washington D.C. where the aliens discover the president, Mitch (He’s the president bodyguard), and General Decker’s location. They kill all three of them and believe their victory is insured.
In Las Vegas, Byron makes a distraction, allowing Tom, Barbara, and Cindy to escape from the aliens in the plane, while Byron boxes with a couple of them. Strange? Very strange. Riche also reaches a radio station and gets the music started, sending the alien head exploding signal throughout the area. Soon, the army and the rest of the world use the music to kill the rest of the aliens, saving the human race. Riche and his grandma receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for their heroism from Taffy Dale, who offers to be Riche’s girlfriend. Byron, who survives his battle with the Martians, arrives in Washington D.C. to meet up with his family who are cleaning up the wreckage from the alien attack.
Well… this movie was so cheesy that it laughably funny and entertaining. This is the weirdest, cheesiest, most insane movie I ever seen before and it has quite a large cast of recognizable stars as well. I wonder how they all got roped into this film. This is a definitely a B-movie by all means and should be one that any fan should look into. It’s hard to follow at some points with so many cuts and character to follow, but this one of the best parody movies of all time.