Dir: Mike Hodges, 1985
With the first of their only two cinema outings, Not The 9 O’Clock News stars Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones prove that neither of the pair had that, what you could call, “star quality” for film.
A simple and immature story, Morons From Outer Space is the tale of four aliens who crash land on earth, causing the powers that be to go into overdrive.
Written by Smith and Jones, the film isn’t sophisticated, nor is it clever. Much of the humour is juvenile, with an emphasis on Smith and his childlike demeanour. This is where much of the problem is. Nobody can work out whether it’s a family film or an adult one. Smith sneezing while wearing his space helmet and leaving a splatter of mucus in the visor, is something that is more at home in a gross out kids movie. The home planet of the aliens is called Blob. You can clearly see the lack of imagination in the writing. But, there is a tame (yet boundary pushing) sex scene that is a little out of place in a ‘PG’. It’s also worth noting that over six minutes of footage was trimmed by the studio and the British censors to accommodate the low certificate. Among the excised footage was scenes of characters snorting cocaine.
It’s not exactly stuff that you would want to be watching with your eight year old. With that in mind, it brings us back to the question, who was it made for?
However, it’s not all bad. There is some fairly good comical moments that will make you smile and give you the odd guffaw. Jimmy Nail has the best of the lines as the rough around the edges, common as muck Desmond. The rest of the cast sleepwalk their way through the film.
A strange endeavour by the director of Get Carter, possibly helped along by his experience with Flash Gordon, but a fun one nonetheless.