I have been waiting for V to come along ever since I started this alphabet series because Voyage of the Rock Aliens is my favorite awful movie. I’m not sure why I love this movie as much as I do. Maybe it’s the musical numbers, the non sequitur storylines, the giant squid, or maybe it’s because the film opens with a music video from Jermaine Jackson and Pia Zadora (of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians fame).
Keep in mind, this music video has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the movie except for that fact they both feature Pia Zadora when they probably shouldn’t have.
A friend of mine once nicknamed this movie “Meanwhile” because the storylines and scene changes are so abrupt that he kept expecting an announcer to say “meanwhile” as a segue. But there is no segue.
Once the music video is out of the way, the actual movie begins on an electric guitar-shaped spaceship carrying aliens who are searching for the source of rock and roll music, so you know that this movie is already set up to be terrible. The aliens land in the town of Speelburgh which I assume was the writers’ attempt to attach Steven Spielberg‘s name to the movie and give it some sort of credibility. In actuality, Spielberg was busy making Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and clearly had much better things to do than associate himself with this 1984 trainwreck.
Anyway, the aliens land in Speelburgh with their robot overlord/master/friend and for some reason take on names based on the alphabet like “ABCD” which, sadly, is now a real baby name.
When the spaceship lands, the only person who witnesses the event is the local sheriff (played by Ruth Gordon).
Dee Dee (Pia Zadora) is a high school student who loves to sing and is in a relationship with Frankie (Craig Sheffer, also known as Keith Scott from One Tree Hill), the local asshole and leader of a popular local band, The Pack. Dee Dee tells her best friend, Diane (Alison LaPlaca), that her deepest desire is to sing with The Pack but Frankie refuses because he’s a domineering asshole and apparently Dee Dee doesn’t realize that your boyfriend shouldn’t be allowed to control your life. Dee Dee and Diane head to the local soda shop and, while in the ladies’ room, Diane asks Dee Dee why she puts up with Frankie’s shit. This is her reply:
Speelburgh is really polluted and there’s a giant squid or something living in the lake. It periodically reaches out its tentacles and attempts to murder local residents.
ABCD meets Dee Dee and literally loses his head over her when his head explodes although he puts it back together like he’s a robot which makes no sense but whatever. As ABCD hits on the beautiful earthling, the rest of his alien friends wander around earth collecting samples because clearly, flowers and leaves are going to lead them to the source of rock and roll. While the aliens are wandering around, they meet two mass murderers who recently escaped from The Speelburgh Asylum for the Criminally Insane.
ABCD tells Dee Dee that he’s in a band so she decides to take advantage of the opportunity (and ABCD’s obvious alien boner for her) and asks if she can sing with his band at the high school’s Battle of the Bands contest. Of course, ABCD says yes. Frankie gets jealous because he doesn’t like anyone talking to his property so he and The Pack attempt to lock the aliens out of the school. However, the aliens just teleport in through the bathroom because they’re goddamn aliens.
Dee Dee sings with the aliens and they win the Battle of the Bands. I think it was Dee Dee’s dance moves that really set them apart from the other entrants:
Frankie is sad that Dee Dee has chosen to be with someone who doesn’t treat her like shit, so he dances around with a mountain lion in the desert for some fucking reason.
Was this a thing in the 80s? Did everyone store large, predatory cats in their lockers that were the size of most college dorm rooms?
ABCD and Dee Dee sneak off to the lake and he convinces her to go back to his home planet with him. She’s not 100% on making a lifelong commitment with an alien she just met but she agrees to visit the spaceship anyway.
The murderous convicts are rampaging around the high school. The one with the chainsaw (named Chainsaw) starts chasing Diane but then his chainsaw stops working. Rather than call the goddamn sheriff (who, by the way, is still stalking the aliens), Diane stops and helps Chainsaw fix his murder weapon. Love blooms because Diane doesn’t want to let Dee Dee be the only one who makes shitty decisions.
There is a recurring joke that the aliens’ robot turned himself into a fire hydrant and keeps getting peed on by dogs.
Up on the spaceship, ABCD sings a duet with Dee Dee which is enough to convince her to go back to his home planet with him:
However, he tells her that in order to do so, she’ll never again be able to experience human emotions. Bereft at the thought of losing love, she leaves the spaceship and goes off in search of Frankie because it’s apparently better to be emotionally abused than have no emotions at all.
The giant squid thing is attacking the school.
Also, Frankie is about to be murdered by the non-Chainsaw inmate. Just in the nick of time, Diane’s new boyfriend rescues everyone with his newly-repaired chainsaw.
ABCD prepares to leave Earth with his fellow aliens but before he does, he decides to leave the town of Speelburgh “a little alien persuasion” which apparently means, clearing the pollution, removing the giant squid thing, and turning The Pack into boy scouts:
The movie closes with Frankie and Dee Dee singing “When the Rain Begins to Fall” in a sad attempt to make the opening music video relevant. It doesn’t really work.
For those of you who haven’t watched this movie (or haven’t been forced by me to endure it against your will), I’m sure that this synopsis makes little to no sense. However, that’s pretty much the movie in a nutshell, so take that as you will. But I still love it it and sometimes, it’s fun to watch something completely ridiculous. It’s like fluffernutter for your brain.
Happy Throwback Thursday!