Invasion of the Space Preachers

It’s Bad Taste without the gore or the talent.

Much like Peter Jackson’s wonderfully outrageous and hilarious Bad Taste, we have aliens coming down trying to screw with humanity, this time in the form of Evangelist Preachers, with bullwhips and shoddy laser guns that look like they were taken from an old Flash Gordon serial. That being said, is that necessarily a bad thing? Kind of iffy, if you ask me, since it emerged a few years after Bad Taste was released (if it had come before, then I could probably be more lenient on its merits).

The heroes of this piece are the usual ‘down in the ground’ guys, one an accountant, the other a dentist. It’s a weekend getaway from their pathetic lives which we get a glimpse of, so they can try to fake ‘roughing’ it. There is an assortment of ‘off’ characters for the heroes to interact with, get in a little trouble along the way before finally coming across… AN ALIEN SHIP! You can imagine the shock on two poorly acted ‘dweebs’ of this sort, down to attempted camp value. Behold, by the ship, what next do they come across? An alien, yes, true, for which they have a ‘moment’ to decide what to do with it since it seems to be ‘dying’.

What plays out is a mixed journey, a tale of slightly enthused humour, some camp value, and attempted over the topness that Troma is so famous for, yet it never manages to come full circle, but instead for me remains in the shadow of a greater film. This is what happens when you take a basic concept, of Space Aliens coming down and trying to mess with humanity starting from a small town or place, and the difference of what a truly talented filmmaker like Peter Jackson can do with it as opposed to someone lacking the vision and style, like Daniel Boyd, here, who wrote and directed this.

I just wanted to make a comment on the ending. It literally ends like an episode of the Simpsons, a truck pulls in with a band on it and everybody starts dancing to the music. It has quite a few of those moments that make you go, oooohh that was bad (and good?) at the same time, and may be what saves it from being a total waste. It does manage to deliver a few bits of humour, but it runs kind of long for the amount of actual plot there is in it.

Of course, the acting is bad (but acceptable for a low budget film of this sort), the plot barely thought up, and laughable special effects (the first time I saw a flying space ship it cracked me up). My mom found this film at the local vhs resale shop for 99 cents, so the question on my mind next was… is it worth 99 cents? I’d have to say yes, for all its flaws, and even for that moment at the end that looks like it came directly from Bad Taste, it still managed to be somewhat entertaining for a one timer, and not a total eyesore as some low budget films of this type have become (like, Troll 2, the abomination, one of the worst films I ever sat through, right behind Natural Born Killers which has some of the most annoying acting I’ve witnessed before or since).

If you see this film, your best viewing experience would probably be a MST3000 atmosphere, a few friends over, and just shred this movie to pieces. Perfect fodder for just that. I’d give it a D- for effort and for not being a total waste. Don’t expect much and you might find something worthwhile in it.

 

Official Score