Movies Worth Checking Out: Morons from Outer Space
The British Know How To Bring The Funny
Morons from Outer Space is a 1985 British science-fiction comedy. It was written by Griff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith, a comedy team whose comedy variety show, Alas, Smith & Jones ran for several seasons on the BBC. Mike Hodges directed.
Smith and Jones led the ensemble cast in a story about a band of space aliens who crash land on earth and upon careful scrutiny are determined to be-pause for effect-morons.
The government thinks their moron status is a cover. Despite having no special skills or abilities, the morons become huge celebrities, filling stadiums with curious onlookers. They even do TV talk shows and commercial endorsements.
The tension in the story comes from Bernard, who gets separated from the group and crash lands on earth in a different incident. Bernard is the smartest of the group, though that’s not saying much. While his knuckleheaded cohorts have it rather easy, Bernard is jailed, committed to a mental hospital and turned out to the streets, homeless.
The plotline is quite flimsy and there is no deep message or even subtext. Morons from Outer Space was set up as a joke machine, with most scenes a set up for a punch line.
Critics savaged the movie and, to be fair, they weren’t far off the mark. Many felt that comedy should not infiltrate the typical high drama fare that is science fiction. Some of the scenes did not work as well as others. As a result, it was uneven in places.
That’s not what Morons from Outer Space was about. It was a bunch of jokes piled on in lieu of a story.
But it’s not about the story. It’s about the funny stuff, and when it comes to funny, the British do things as good as anyone.
I consider myself a fan of the movie. I watch it periodically to revisit the jokes, which still hold up.
If you take me up on my suggestion to watch this movie, you won’t find it the best movie ever; you won’t become enlightened or learn anything from it. What you will do is laugh, and that in this day and age, a laugh break is definitely worth it.
Morons from Outer Space runs 85 minutes. It is available from a number of streaming sites, including Hulu and Netflix instant.