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A 1990 comedy film in which the idiotic crew of a small Martian spaceship overhear a Halloween re-broadcast of Orson Welles' seminal War of the Worlds radio-play, leading them to "invade" the small Midwestern town of Big Bean. All very cheesy, but still Better Than It Sounds, if only just barely.
Contains examples of:
- Aliens Steal Cable
- Back From the Brink
- Badass Automaton: The Enforcer Drone aboard the Martians' ship. Vern also qualifies after he gets turned into a robotic slave by Captain Bipto.
- Badass Normal: Plural for Kathy, Brian (the kid in the duck costume), and Old Man Wrenchmuller.
- Chekhov's Gun: Wrenchmuller's box of TNT.
- Corrupt Bureaucrat: Steve W. Klembecker, for trying to throw folks off their farms BEFORE the crops and farm loans are due, including Old Man Wrenchmuller.
- Curb Stomp Battle: The rest of the invasion fleet ends up in the right system, then promptly gets their asses handed to them.
- Expy: Blaznee is an Expy of Jack Nicholson while Giggywig is one of John Cleese.
- For Halloween I Am Going as Myself
- Gadgeteer Genius: Under the influence of Captain Bipto's mind control device, Vern the gas station attendant turns a bunch of old tractor parts and windmills into a Humongous Mecha.
- Grumpy Old Man/Cool Old Guy: Old man Wrencmuller, who's also quite Genre Savvy.
- I Got a Rock
- Killer Robot: The Enforcer Drone.
- Jerkass: Klembecker for drinking, driving, womanizing, handing out cigarettes to kids on Halloween when they wanted candy (last year it was dead rats), stealing Vern's Zorro hat by rolling up the window and trapping it, and not paying for gasoline after intentionally parking on the wrong side of the pump with Vern having to pull the gas nozzle to the other side of the truck!
- Land Poor: Woe unto Old Man Wrenchmuller. He gets better, though.
- Little Green Men: Lampshaded.
- Look Both Ways: "If only Captain Bipto had known!"
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Old Man Wrenchmuller is played by veteran character actor Royal Dano, perhaps most famous for playing Elijah the Prophet in the 1950s adaptation of Moby Dick, and the Old Pioneer in House II.
- Meanwhile Back At The
- Never Trust a Trailer: One of the more blatant examples. The tone and plot were conveyed accurately enough in commercials, but the Martians were redubbed with different voices and entirely new dialog throughout.
- Possession Implies Mastery
- Puny Earthlings
- Prepare to Die: Used ad nauseum by Lieutenant Giggywig.
- Shout-Out: Several to War of the Worlds, and a particular subtle one to an old videogame.
- Too Dumb to Live: Discussed between Doctor Ziplock and Corporal Pez:
Doctor Ziplock: Perhaps if we ride in this transport, we can find their secret resistance headquarters.
Corporal Pez: Come on! Let's shoot our way out of this! It'll be fun!
Doctor Ziplock: Shhh! They don't know we're Martians!
Corporal Pez: How can they NOT know we're Martians?! We're little green men with antennas!
Doctor Ziplock: They think we're wearing costumes.
Corporal Pez: What a bunch of MORONS! Let's flame these bozos! They're too stupid to live!
- For all the enforcer drones' menacinq qualities, they're about as competent as a bag of bricks with the intelligence to match. One drone is defeated when Wrenchmuller poses as the ambassador of Earth and convinces the drone that it has won an award for being generally awesome and he presents it with a lit stick of dynamite.
Enforcer Drone: I don't know what to say!
Wrenchmuller: You can just say your prayers...
- Once the Enforcer Drones are introduced to handle command of the Martian fleet, they prove as incompetent as their Martian masters and command the entire battle fleet to its doom.
- Torches and Pitchforks: Except that the locals use shotguns instead.
- You Have Failed Me: Right off the bat from the Enforcer Drone when it performs a "disciplinary review" upon a Mook who complains about having an Enforcer Drone giving the orders, and plays it straight with the pilot, Blaznee.