Strange Invaders

Tagged: Film

Film (1983). EMI Films/Orion/A Michael Laughlin Production. Directed by Michael Laughlin. Written by William Condon, Laughlin. Cast includes Nancy Allen, Paul Le Mat, Michael Lerner, Fiona Lewis, Diana Scarwid and Wallace Shawn. 93 minutes. Colour.

A very agreeable pastiche of movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) (see Paranoia). The prologue shows a flying saucer (see UFOs) landing in a small town in 1958. The rest of this charming Satire is set in 1983, when entomologist Charlie (Bigelow) comes to learn that Centerville (the town) is now occupied by Aliens in human form, that his wife (Scarwid) is an alien – he had previously regarded her blank manner as normal – that his (half-breed) daughter is to be taken with the aliens when they leave, and that New York is being infiltrated. The alien anthropological survey team have adopted the appearance and manner of small-town Americans of the Eisenhower years, and naturally appear grossly out of place in modern New York. (Meet the Applegates [1990] adopts a similar premise.) Director Laughlin has his cake and eats it too by injecting genuine suspense into a story that is also deeply funny. This is the second of a projected but unfinished Strange trilogy from Laughlin, the first being Dead Kids (1981; vt Strange Behavior). [PN]

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