The Galaxy Invader has a rather unusual "claim to fame". It is featured at the beginning of another terrible 80's alien movie, a little film called Pod People. MST3K riffed on Pod People, and thus, a small segment of The Galaxy Invader, which was played during the opening credits of that film. Similarly, in the beginning of Cave Dwellers on MST they featured the Italian film Taur the Mighty. Which I would love to see, to complete this little marathon of somewhat riffed on features.
The Galaxy Invader is a tongue-in-cheek little ride, made with some humorous attempts and complete with stars that almost entirely consist of non actors and rednecks. It was filmed in Maryland, and it is actually a pretty cool outdoors looking location. I did find it funny that in the opening credits it features like 5 people who did "meteor effects" or "meteor sequences". The meteor effect lasts a total of like 1 minute in total and is a pretty bad effect, so maybe don't draw toooooo much attention to it.
I wondered as I was watching it what the first movie to feature rednecks as the main sympathetic heroes was. Of course, Texas Chainsaw Massacre had rednecks in it, but they were villains. I really wonder what the first movie with hero rednecks was.
Basically, redneck student David sees the meteor and calls up his high school teacher to tell him about it. What the fuck student would just randomly remember his teachers home phone number? And its not like he lived in the same town or anything either. They specifically say the teacher guy lived 6 hours away. Meanwhile, the Montague family patriarch Joe, an abusive alcoholic, runs through the woods in a ripped white t-shirt and discovers an alien that had come out of the meteor, which was supposed to be his spaceship. Then you have the alien wandering through the woods, pursued by men Joe Montague promised money to, and also pursued by David and teacher who want to capture it for science.
I liked the fact that this film did not ever say the alien was evil. It is put in a sympathetic light, always simply defending itself from the humans. It also once saves a man from death. It appears as if it's perfectly capable of being harmed, it's not supernatural or anything. It has this power ball that gives energy to a gun it uses, which the human have at different points, and that becomes quite a little subplot to itself.
This movie was fun to watch. It's pacing is quick, it's linear, doesn't dwell on any single plot-line for too long, and the alien looked good. Having rednecks as the characters was a good idea, it makes for a generally entertaining distraction from the usual drabness of these types of films. Another thing is that it features plenty of opportunities to riff on it. My wife and I riffed on it a bit while watching, this movie practically asks for it, which is great.
I love movies like this. It knows exactly what it wants to do, and does it. It just wants to be fluff, a popcorn flick for stoners and B movie fans, and that is precisely what it is. 4 very earned stars.