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Rated PG
Copyright 1991 Cinema Plus LP
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 24 July 2005

The Characters:  

  • Dick - Jeffrey Jones! He may be a putz with a bad back, but he does love his wife enough to risk his life for her. Which continues to qualify him as a putz.
  • Marge - Teri Garr! Not the usual sort of woman that intergalactic wars are fought over.
  • King Raff - Eric Idle! The deposed and absent-minded monarch.
  • Sirk and Semage - Kathy Ireland and, er, some dude. These two are Raff's misguided children.
  • Sibor - Not so much a torturer as a tortured soul.
  • Blaaattt and Bwaaa - One is a bulldog palace guard, the other a goldfish lady in waiting (this, might take some explaining).
  • General Afir - Overall, this guy seems pretty competent. You know, compared to everyone else.
  • Lord Tod - Jon Lovitz! He suffers from a severe case of "little planet syndrome."

Buy It!

The Plot: 

"Mom and Dad Save the World" is one of those silly movies that a number of us have seen, but forget until it surfaces somehow. It is also the movie that Super Mario Bros. wanted to be. I have been pondering why this works, while the video game movie does not. Part of it is a lack of enthusiastic overacting. Many of the parts, even minor ones, are addressed with seriousness by serviceable actors.

Spengo is a planet of idiots, albeit idiots with highly advanced technology. Unfortunately, a military coup has placed Lord Tod in control of the world. The dictator has used the industrial base to develop a massive death ray. With the weapon he intends to destroy the Earth, thus establishing Spengo as the greatest planet in the universe. There is just one little snag. While gloating over the soon to be cosmic dust, Lord Tod spots Marge. She is mousy, she is mundane, and she is the most desirable woman he has ever seen.

Now, Dick and Marge are just embarking on a trip to celebrate twenty years of lifeless marriage when a Spengo device pulls the station wagon off the planet and across interstellar space. They take the change with astonishing aplomb; Marge snaps a picture of Dick with Saturn as a background. The pair even keep their cool after landing on Spengo. The welcoming committee is made up of little bulldog men with spears, fish girls wearing frilly dresses, and a few inept soldiers. It is rather funny that neither of the humans was worried, even when they are separated. Marge has a lovely time chatting up the fish women. Dick finds himself tossed into a filthy dungeon, where the deposed king has hidden plans to help overthrow Lord Tod. Quite unfortunately, the paper is in his underwear. Even more unfortunately, the king is chained to the wall and cannot properly relieve himself when nature calls. All together - ewwwwwwww.

Yes, I know that the station wagon traveling through outer space is absurd. The Spengo folk should have found a real mess inside the car when it arrived, especially once the very dead couple started to defrost. This is a family movie. Did you really expect to watch Dick and Marge struggle in silent agony as they died from asphyxiation, then turn into corpsicles?

A strange feature of Spengo is revealed when Marge talks to one of the fish women. It turns out that the pelagic lady in waiting is married to a bulldog man! Yes, it could be a problem when Bwaaa deposits her mass of eggs in the deep end of the spawning pool, but Blaaattt is too tired to doggie paddle out there and spread his milt over them. Again, not explored by the film, because this is a family movie. Agonizing death by vacuum and explicit rishathra might give the kiddies nightmares.

It does not take long for Lord Tod to make his move on Marge. After setting the atmosphere by packing the throne room with sycophants, he proposes to the little lady. Now, despite what numerous websites would have you think about housewives, Marge is aghast at the idea of cheating on her husband. Lord Tod is angered by her refusal and decides to milk Dick's brain (had to be careful with the wording there - wow, could that be unfortunate) for the secret of Marge's love.

Providence shines on the suffering husband, after his brain is examined (he has several daydreams about punching Tod in the mouth). The guy who runs the thought monitor understands the pain of losing the one you love. He strips off his uniform and gives it to Dick, thus providing him with an opportunity to escape. The poor guy might have made it too, if he was on a planet full of imbeciles (instead of just idiots). Dick spends some time being chased around the fortress by guards shooting squiggly lasers. Yes, "squiggly." These people are so stupid that their lasers do not obey the laws of physics! Anyway, he finally hops into a flying vehicle and escapes the palace. Unfortunately, the Spengo Defense Force has ways of dealing with reckless drivers. In this case they pick solution #17: fire heat-seeking adult novelties at the offending vehicle.

Well, they look like adult novelties. I was going to say "studded pet chew toys," but that does not make sense. Who ever heard of a flying car shot down by a chew toy?

If you are still arguing with me it is obvious that you have never watched Flesh Gordon 2.

Anyway...Dick finds the button for the ejection seat just in time and escapes the explosion that destroys his conveyance. He is captured by a tribe of revolutionaries, the leaders of which are King Raff's son and daughter. In addition to wearing giant bird heads (thus appearing to be nothing more than large, flightless avians - at least to other idiots), the tribe has a rug made of what could be a Styracosaurus or Centrosaurus. Sirk begs Dick to help the young rebels in their quest to overthrow Tod; the Earthman agrees.

With the unexpected assistance of General Afir, Marge avoids drinking a love potion intended to transform her into Tod's willing slave. That is the good news. The bad news is that the dictator discovers Afir is a traitor and Tod's men descend on the rebel tribe's camp.

Here is, quite possibly, the most endearing part of the movie. As the platoon of imperial troops rolls into camp, Dick leaves a "light grenade" in his bedroll (conveniently marked with a prominent sign). The light grenade is a device that, once the pin is pulled, will vaporize anyone who touches it. This would not be terribly effective on Earth, but it passes for a doomsday device on Spengo. The darn thing has "pick me up" stamped on the side! The soldiers begin falling prey, one after another, to the deadly weapon. Pretty soon there are just two left; while one calls for reinforcements, the other stoops to pick up the grenade...

Funnier than my description, I assure you. Come on, the movie is based on the premise that a planet full of idiots could invent technology that looks to have been inspired by Dr. Seuss. How they survived having metal forks and electrical outlets at the same time should be a mystery. (Let alone steam power; that would be a prime example of stupidity being excruciatingly painful.)

Friends, by now we have the classic setup. A giant hall is filled with the audience for Lord Tod's wedding, the Earth will be destroyed at the end of the ceremony, Marge is stalling for time, and the hero is trying the old "Trojan Tod" gimmick to get inside the palace. What follows is a really bad battle, including Dick crossing swords with Lord Tod. Imagine Jeffrey Jones wearing a leather barbarian outfit, little wonder that Jon Lovitz is defeated. The deposed despot finds himself in the city's sewers, pursued by a pack of carnivorous mushrooms, while the earthlings return home with fresh life in their marriage. Personally, if I were looking to revitalize my marriage, I would try going to Vegas and finding a midget Elvis to renew my vows.

But that is just me.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Earth's Achilles' heel is California.
  • Ford station wagons are suitable for interstellar travel.
  • Sometimes our last shred of humanity is that little piece of granola stuck to a molar.
  • Never trust a cute fungus.
  • A twenty pound sauteed mushroom is a bit daunting.
  • Facial hair can be a matter of life or death.
  • Carnival rides are an offshoot technology of armored personnel carriers.
  • Swordfights result in few cuts and spurting arteries, but a surprising number of bruises.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 6 mins - At least he does not suffer from a spastic colon...
  • 22 mins - Jon Lovitz wearing a metal corset. Suddenly, the movie takes on a serious tone.
  • 26 mins - "The Nutcracker?"
  • 55 mins - This reminds me of the time an earthquake struck while I was visiting a watermelon farm.
  • 59 mins - One can assume that somebody is going to have to clean out the death ray afterwards.
  • 69 mins - Being pelted with rocks by a bunch of freaking idiots, now that sucks.
  • 70 mins - She is in love with him? Inconceivable!


  • Tod: "Prepare her for our wedding first thing tomorrow morning!"
    Guards: "Yes, sire."
    Tod: "If you will not marry me by choice, earthwoman, you will marry me by force. Take her away!"
    Marge: "Nooooo!"
  • Dick: "So, you're idiots - who cares? They're idiots too! Just cause you're stupid doesn't mean you can't rule a planet."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note momdad1.wav King Raff: "For many decades I was the king of this planet. Our people were happy and their lives were good, but also, alas, we were a planet of idiots."
Green Music Note momdad2.wav Tod: "I must have this woman!"
Afir: "But, sire, her planet is about to be destroyed."
Tod: "So, we'll wait a day. Bring me this woman. We'll destroy Earth tomorrow."
Green Music Note momdad3.wav Sirk: "We wear these masks to disguise ourselves as birds."
(The tribe starts clucking.)
Dick: "Ah, excuse me. Do you really have birds this size on your planet?"
Sirk: "No."
Green Music Note momdad4.wav Dick: "That's my wife you've got there, that's my planet you're blowing up, and that's...that's just some guy I met, but still I think this thing has gone a little too far!"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipmomdad1.mpg - 2.7m
Behold the awesome destructive power of the light grenade!

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