Extraterrestrial Visitors (Pod People) (Los nuevos extraterrestres) (1983) 2 out of 10: Is Extraterrestrial Visitors a pathetic ET ripoff in the vein of Mac and Me? Is it a tiresome eighties slasher flick where surprisingly clothed coeds are killed off one by one in unimaginative ways? It’s both stitched together awkwardly by a lot of fog. Oh, so much fog on this film.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Review
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Episode #303 Pod People (1983): 8 out of 10. There are a few episodes of MST3k and some movies in general (I am looking your way Dollars trilogy) where something about the first 10 minutes of the movie simply puts me to sleep.
I must have tried to watch The Pod People half a dozen times, never making it past the studio singing scene before falling asleep
Yet Pod People is one of the most beloved MST3K episodes. Certainly there is something I am missing? And there was. After the first ten minutes of fog and somewhat lackluster riffing, the movie picks up considerably. (Well, the riffing does at least the fog in the movie continues throughout.)
I can see why this is a fan favorite. It seems like a breakout episode in season three and the enthusiasm is contagious.
The host segments have a good energy and the riffing builds upon itself considerable.
It Gets Better
While the MST3k episode gets better as the movie goes along. The movie itself gets worse and worse. Keep in mind that the movie starts with a bunch of yokels poaching bird eggs and a Eurovision reject pop group in a recording studio. You would think that Pod People would have nowhere to go but up. Oh, my sweet summer child. By the time the rock group (and one unwanted groupie) are in the RV for a weekend trip to dreary fog woods and the ET rip off character shows up, off the rails doesn’t even begin to cover it.
This is not the good off the rails, by the way. This is the distinctly non-entertaining kind. A love triangle between three unlikable people? A dwarf in a school play costume talking to an ignored boy on the spectrum? Sure, sign me up for more. By the time our surprisingly hardcore egg poachers start killing off folks (No one can find the secret location of the nightingale nest) you are hoping for a reduction of the cast to zero and maybe kill the guy running the dry ice machine.
Out of Focus
Pod People is another Mitchell situation where the standalone movie quality on the Amazon stream is somehow even worse than the print MST3k uses. Neither are ideal.
The use of fog and out-of-focus shots in endemic through the film. Seriously, is there a forest fire or did a John Carpenter movie break out nearby?
Final verdict on Extraterrestrial Visitors? It Stinks. Final verdict on the MST3k episode? While I do not rate it as beloved as some, it is a very solid entry.