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A little boy named Tommy who has an extensive array of pets he likes to call "specimens" finds an alien egg to hatch, somewhat like Horton. When it hatches, Tommy names the creature--who manages to use his snout to suck up peanuts and warp time and space with his fingers--Trumpy. Unfortunately, Trumpy's mom is found by poachers and goes on a killing spree in response. To add to the terror, a group of unappealing young people takes a break from recording nightmarish "pop" music to travel by RV up to the scene of the alien foothold. When one of their members is killed by the alien, they are drawn into the hunt for the culprit.
The film is as much of a mess behind the scenes as it is on-screen. Los Nuevos Extraterrestres began its life as a low-budget horror film. Then, after the initial script had been written, the producers demanded the addition of the subplot about the little kid adopting the alien, in a blatant attempt to cash in on the success of ET the Extraterrestrial. It was filmed in Spanish and French. For the US release is was (badly) dubbed into English and retitled The Unearthling. Then, when the copyright expired, the distributor Film Ventures International purchased the film, slapped the credits from completely different films onto the beginning and end, and changed the name to PodPeople.
Pod People Contains Examples of:
- A Boy and His X: Tommy and Trumpy
- Big Eater: Trumpy
- Bait and Switch Credits: With Galaxy Invader, featuring a monster that looks worse than the one from here.
- The Brainless Beauty: Laura
- But Now I Must Go
- Cross-Dressing Voices: Tommy's dubbed voice.
- Dies Wide Open
- The Ditz: Laura
- The Eighties: Complete with a picture of Ronald Reagan in one scene. One of the rock girls has a very eighties headband.
- Executive Meddling / Follow the Leader: According to Mental Floss:
The Pod People was originally conceived as a straight-up alien invasion horror film. But while Los Nuevos Extraterrestres (the Spanish production’s original title) was still being filmed, Steven Spielberg released a little film called E.T. that became a blockbuster hit. The money people behind Pod People demanded several script changes at the last minute (“add a cute kid and make the alien more adorable!”) in order to make the movie more E.T.-ish, which partially accounts for the disjointed feel of this film.
- Fake Band
- Fake-Out Opening: It doesn't get much more misleading than using footage from another movie entirely.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom / Power Glows: Trumpy eyes' glow when he uses his powers.
- Hollywood Night
- Hong Kong Dub: The English dub were recorded by at most two actors and two actresses.
- Housewife: Tommy's mom
- Hyperlink Story
- Jerkass: Rick (the leader of the band) and Bill (Tommy's uncle).
- Kill'Em All: This movie manages a very respectable body count. It's even lampshaded in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation.
- The Lost Woods: Cinder Woods
- Informed Attractiveness: "Especially when she has boobs like that!" Boobs like WHAT?
- Megaton Punch: Trumpy's mom kills two or three of the cast by punching them in the face.
- Many of them she appears to kill by simply pushing them over.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Trumpy
- Mondegreen: The reason "The Engines Roar" is so susceptible to mondegreens is that the Spanish composer is singing the song, dubbing Ian Sera, and trying to hide a thick Spanish accent.
- Mood Whiplash: The movie can't decide if it's trying to be a cutesy E.T.-like movie or a monster movie, so it settles on being both.
- Non-Human Sidekick: Trumpy
- Non-Indicative Name: Yep.
- Ominous Fog: "The Fog didn't have this much fog!"
- Paper-Thin Disguise: Trumpy
- People in Rubber Suits: Trumpy, looking like a mutant offspring of Ro-Man and an elephant.
- Reality Warper: Trumpy wastes his awesome time-and-space-warping powers doing stupid tricks for Tommy.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Trumpy's parent goes on this, justifiably. First, all but one of the eggs on its ship are senselessly smashed by a poacher, then, when it approaches two more poachers by a campfire, they lure it closer, then shoot and wound it without provocation. After that, you'd understand why it kills everyone it sees; it thinks all Humans Are Bastards.
- Scenery Porn
- Shoo the Dog: Provides the page quote.
- The Speechless: Trumpy
- Too Dumb to Live
- The Unintelligible: Rick's "singing."
- Word Salad Title: Despite what the title implies, the aliens of the title don't come in pods and don't look like people.
- Worst Aid: When Laura falls off the cliff landing on her back, the other campers find her and carry her stupidly. Also, Tommy's mother seems to think the cure for a crushed spine is a good night's rest.