Wednesday, December 4, 2019

jefferson starshit.

Still trawling thru' my quality SciFi collection to prepare myself for The Rise of Skywalker but mixing it up a wee bit today with a slice of hard hitting truth teasing space-based shocks.

Plus this was released the same year as the original Star Wars so there's a kinda symmetry.


Starship Invasions (AKA Alien Encounter, Project Genocide, and War of the Aliens. 1977).
Dir: Ed Hunt.
Cast:  Robert Vaughn, Christopher Lee, Daniel Pilon, Tiiu Leek, Helen Shaver, Henry Ramer, Victoria Johnson, Doreen Lipson, Kate Parr, Sherri Ross, Linda Rennhofer, Richard Fitzpatrick, Ted Turner, Sean McCann, Bob Warner and Kurt Schiegl.

Precariously perched atop his toy town tractor like a giant, plaid blancmange made flesh, the multi-chinned and five bellied farmer Rudy (Schiegl from Quest for Fire and the local cake shop) seems oblivious to the large inflatable flying saucer landing in his potato field.

Remarkably for a man of his stature he remains totally unfazed (and frighteningly non sweaty) as two black leotard clad male dancers mince from the craft and shuffle him aboard.

Is he dead?

Or just drunk?

I wish I were.

Sitting patiently like some stoned walrus, Rudy is prodded and probe by his captors only really getting interested when a curved hipped, Vegas style showgirl slowly strips in front of him before beginning what can only be a complex Martian seduction dance.


Ronnie Corbett gingerly ran thru' the giants fingers.

The next day Rudy can't wait to tell the locals about his escapades both inside a genuine UFO as well as inside a genuine space whore but unfortunately everyone reckons he's a drunken, inbred freak.

Which if I'm honest he is.

One person who does believe him tho' is sexily slick haired UFO specialist Professor Allan Duncan (Vaughn whose alimony must have been crippling that month) who makes a trip to visit our portly pal.

Examining both the landing site and Rudy's ample arse, Duncan reveals that both have recently been dowsed with radiation (tho' only one has been dowsed with Martian muck) and that incredibly aliens have been visiting the Earth for years.

My word!

Vaughn: skint.

Meanwhile, aboard the UFO, the evil plant pot wearing alien commander Ted Rameses (a seriously fucking unhappy Christopher Lee) and his motley band of space dancers are busy planning their next diabolical kidnap caper.

Lee: no shame.

It transpires that poor Rudy was not the first to be abducted (tho' he was by far the largest breasted) nor will he be the last for no sooner has Rameses explained the plot that the crew go searching for an Earth female to fiddle with too.

An preferably one in ill fitting flesh coloured pants just like your mums.

But for the love of God why? I hear you cry.

Well, it seems that Rameses and his racy chums are not, in fact, an intergalatic dance troupe but an invasion party from the distant planet Alpha.

A distant planet that's sun is about to go supernova.

So understandably our Alphanian chums are looking for a new planet (albeit one with a burgeoning spandex business) to colonise.

Simple when you think about it.

If you think she looks uncomfortable now just wait till the Martian mooth shite-in starts.

Unluckily for us it appears that Earth fits the bill nicely giving Rameses an excuse to unleash his massive weapon in order to kill all humanity before signalling the Alpha colony ships that are currently in hiding behind the dark side of the moon.

Tho' how an entire invasion fleet can keep itself hidden behind a Pink Floyd album is never explained.

I'm assuming that it's the vinyl version seeing as it would be considerably bigger than trying to conceal yourself behind a cassette or CD.

But I digress.

Humanity has one last line of defence tho', as the justice (and lard by the size of their waistlines) loving intergalactic council, the fantastically - and not at all cliché named  The League of Races have a secret base on Earth; a giant pyramid cunningly hidden under what seems to be the directors duck pond.

Christopher Lee, up the casino, Anchorhead, 1977....Yesch!

Knowing that he must destroy the base if his plan is to succeed, Rameses lands at the base and pretends that he needs the toilet.

The League, being either really nice or really dim send a giant silver sex toy named Deirdre to escort the rotten Rameses to the little boys room, giving his crew ample time to sabotage the cloaking device of a League UFO that's been busy taking photos of popular tourist attractions.

When the aforementioned flying saucer suddenly becomes visible to the local populace whilst hovering over the local Aldi the army have no choice but to blow it up.

The swines!

With all the good guys running about trying to figure out what caused the force field failure (try typing that when you're drunk, tho' thinking about it, it mustn't be too difficult as the writer managed to) Rameses and his crew have time to put bizarre laser firing matchbox and string contraptions on their fingers and take over the pyramid, murdering a room of space whores and seriously injuring Deirdre in the process.

Behold the future of pleasure! the android Jade Goody sex doll with hyper speed tit wanking action!

It's now time for our hideously hatted intergalactic bastard to contact his fellow Alphans and order them to aim their patented mentalist beam at Earth, turning hitherto normal folk into crazed murderers.

Rameses however hasn't realised that a small band of Leaguers, led by grand admiral Hilary Zoonie have managed to slip away in a UFO and are racing to contact the only humans who are gullible enough to help them in their fight.

Oh, and repair their space ship.

Yup that'll be Professor Duncan and his man-breasted computer expert brother Malcom (Ramer, from the TV movie Sodbusters and also your grannies bed).

Christopher Lee was startled by the space parrot that suddenly perched itself on his shoulder.

With Malcom's help (and his extra large underpants to cover a hole in the hull), Hilary can modify the UFO's communications system and send an S.O.S. to the main League headquarters - you'd think it'd be a wee bit more complicated than that wouldn't you? - but don't worry because whilst all this action-packed repair work is going on we can sit back and enjoy an arse numbing lecture on alien culture and technology as Duncan quizzes the crew about building the ancient pyramids and why the only woman on board has such wobbly thighs and a head so large that it has it's own gravitational field.

But saying that tho' she is the most attractive member of the cast.

Sorry Mr. Vaughn.

All I can say is how fucking stunning is this?

Finally, with humanity under attack by the aforementioned death ray and Duncan's wee girl slowly going mad and attacking tomatoes in the local Asda, the Alphan invasion fleet and the League saucers face-off in the inky blackness of outer space to start a war in the stars.

Obviously this would be way too expensive to show so it's back to Earth where rotten Rameses is using the superior calculators found aboard the League base to tip the scales in his favour, whilst Duncan's frighteningly plain (and bra-less) wife has picked up a kitchen knife and begun to slash at her wrists....

Will Hilary, Professor Duncan, that bald bird and Malcolm be able to defeat Rameses and stop the mad gun before Earth is destroyed?

Christopher Lee contemplates becoming the filling in a particularly crabs ridden sex sandwich.

Starting his career with the soft core porn classics Pleasure Palace and Diary Of A Sinner, it wasn't long before writer/director/producer and rhyming slang named UFO nut Ed Hunt - who by this point was obviously tired of exposed arses - decided instead to expose the truth behind UFO's, firstly with the little seen Nicky Fylan starrer Point of No Return and then with this universally acclaimed science factual epic.

Starship Invasions is quite possibly the greatest science fiction movie of that name ever to come out of Canada in 1977 and probably the only one to feature Christopher Lee painfully forced into a childs jumpsuit whilst wearing a pizza box on his head.

Blatantly ripped off by non-trick pony M Night Shyamalan in the hideous The Happening (tho' without the spaceships and the man from UNCLE obviously) Starship Invasions storyline was based in part on factual accounts of real UFO abductions with costumes and saucer designs taken from true life testimonies, in fact the terrifying 'probing of Rudy' scene was an exact duplicate of a situation the director found himself in as a teenager.

Imagine a Canadian Star Trek The Motion Picture, only shit(ter).

With a budget over almost £38 (the biggest amount ever invested in a Canadian film up to this point) Starship Invasions unfortunately sank into obscurity, beaten at the box office by a rival film that was hastily put into production to capitalise on the excitement caused by the announcement of Starship Invasions.

This immature imitator was Close Encounters of The Third Kind directed by Steven Spielberg (and whatever happened to him?) proving once and for all that when the audience has the choice between terrifying fact or whimsical fiction that they'll choose the latter every time.

Another reason for the films lack of financial success can possibly be attributed to the hyper real and almost documentary style in which it was shot.

Like all great auteurs Hunt litters his film with purposely mismatched military stock footage and endless, repeated shots of Rameses saucer in flight, imbuing the film with a nightmare quality associated with UFO encounters but wrongly attributed to cost cutting and incompetence by many ill educated 'critics' of the time.

But the directors greatest achievement in extra-terrestrial accuracy is in scenes featuring the aliens 'communicating'.

It's widely reported in the scientific world that many alien races communicate telepathically, a fact that many lesser research movies fail to adhere to due to the complex effects work that this would involve.

Hunt however embraced the challenge in both his sweaty, sausage like hands, hiring a massive team to actually teach the actors telepathy and mind controlling powers, his crew working alongside them to develop the worlds only pyschic camera to enable them to record the scenes.

Again naysayers and critics, their minds obviously blown by such a concept accused Hunt of cost cutting by filming many scenes without sound, recording and inserting the dialogue later.

This left Hunt a broken man and it was a long two years before he returned to directing.

And what a return it was, helming as he did probably the best episode of the epic teevee series Greatest Heroes of the Bible, the producers realising that only a genius of Hunt's talents would be worthy of re-imagining the classic tale of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar and brave enough to cast ex-Happy Days star Donnie (Ralph Malph) Most as Daniel.

(Pie) Tin Machine.

But by this time a new younger breed of directors had come forward, spurned on by the aforementioned Spielberg and Star Wars creator George Lucas' kid friendly and non threatening science fiction style leaving Hunt's hyper-realistic visions to wallow unloved in the cinematic backwaters of celluloid obscurity, unknown but to only a few film historians and those fans lucky (and clever) enough to truly appreciate his genius.

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