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Spaced Invaders - Blu-ray Review


3 beers…in which we meet Invader ZIM’s inspiration.

While perfectly harmless, Spaced Invaders is a kid’s movie that had the potential to be something a little bit more than a silly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles knockoff. Halloween night. A War of the Worlds rebroadcast. Except, this time, the humans know it isn’t real. It’s the Martians that don’t. The idea is a nice flipping of history and, with throwback practical effects, it seemed that this production from Touchstone Pictures was destined to be something special.

Except it wasn’t.  The movie was skewered by critics at the time of its release and ignored by audiences.

Crippled with a throwback vibe many were not expecting, the madcap flick was disappeared from theaters as quickly as it had arrived. Mill Creek Entertainment brings home the Martian-themed mayhem with their release of this forgotten movie on blu-ray this week. Now, B-movie-goers and Science Fiction enthusiasts get to weigh in on its subgenre legacy.

Starring Douglas Barr, Royal Dano and Ariana Richards, Spaced Invaders brings an intergalactic battle of space-aged wits to the small rural town of Big Bean, Illinois. The Martians ARE coming! The Martians ARE coming! After intercepting a rebroadcast of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds, a motely group of Martians set their sights on earth and, upon crashing in a barn, prepare to join their alien brothers in battle. They quickly discover that their invasion was one huge mistake.

The aliens, with one impersonating Jack Nicholson throughout the nutty events, are beyond silly. Maybe too goofy for their own good. While they invite ridicule and laughter, they never get out from under the weight of their big green heads. Falling in line with Kathy, dressed as an alien, and Brian, dressed as a stuttering duck, the aliens use their “stunning good looks” to mingle with the enemy on Halloween night and figure out how the hell to get back home.

Written and directed by Patrick Read Johnson (Dragonheart), perhaps Richards’ own dialogue to Barr (best known as The Fall Guy’s Howie Munson) works best when describing the events of the movie because the aliens “aren’t really bad. They’re just really stupid.” You’ll agree with her assessment when a silo of corn becomes a giant popcorn popper and all their conniving gets them nowhere quick. Like I said, the film isn’t planning its own takeover; it’s enjoyable in that dumb fun kind of way that, I’m sure, still excites the wee ones out there.

Hollyweird doesn’t make cheesy movies like this one anymore. I miss that. Everything has to be injected with cynicism and petty appeals to the adults who, apparently, have to suffer through the experience rather than enjoying it.  While it’s never grand, Spaced Invaders is still somehow an unforgettable trek aboard a bungled flying saucer.


[tab title="Film Details"]

Spaced Invaders - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG
100 mins
: Patrick Read Johnson
Patrick Read Johnson, Scott Lawrence Alexander
Douglas Barr, Royal Dano, Ariana Richards
: Comedy | Sci-Fi
For years, science has speculated on the existence of intelligent life in space... Now there is living proof there is no such thing.
Memorable Movie Quote: "But, Dad, they're not really bad, they're just... stupid."
Buena Vista Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 27, 1990
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 15, 2015
Synopsis: Dimwitted Martians drop into a little Illinois town on the day that the local radio station happens to rebroadcast Orson Welles 1938 "War Of The Worlds".


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

Spaced Invaders - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - September 15, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: None
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 (256 kbps)
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Released by Mill Creek Entertainment, Spaced Invaders arrives courtesy of a detailed 1080p transfer. It hasn’t been remastered or retooled in any way but, obviously, is still an upgrade from the previous DVD releases. Grain is heavy. Colors are well-saturated. Black levels are strong. The contrast is high. The release is offered in a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track.



  • None

Special Features:

Sadly, there are none.


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