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Invasion Iowa (2005)

William Shatner , Brendon J. Carter  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: William Shatner
  • Directors: Brendon J. Carter
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009
  • Run Time: 230 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001UIY5HA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,760 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Invasion Iowa" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

From the producers of The Joe Schmo Show comes Invasion Iowa! When William Shatner and his wacky entourage roll into Riverside, Iowa (pop. 928) to supposedly film a big-budget sci-fi flick, a prank of mass proportions unravels as the locals fall victim to their bizarre demands and hilarious schemes. And when Shatner fesses up at the "premiere," it's a reveal Riverside will never forget.
Featuring 10 episodes!
Special Feature(s): Commentary Track for Episodes 7, 8 & 9 featuring William Shatner

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freaking Hilarious May 19, 2009
I first saw this when it aired on Spike TV several years ago and kept it on my TIVO for TWO YEARS until I had to switch to DirecTV and sorrowfully lost it.

Why do I love this reality TV sendup so much? (1) William Shatner is a sweetheart. I thought he'd be snarky but instead he (like all of us viewers) falls hard for the people of Riverside, Iowa. (2) Yes, the show manipulates situations for shock value but there's no cruelty or exploitation of the locals who are taken in by the premise (3) William Shatner is the first to laugh at himself and the comedy of his life as Kirk... which gives us license to do so, too and (4) The show is FREAKING HILARIOUS. I live in a multi-story home. My husband works in an office three stories above the TV room. While I watched this show, he had to come down and ask me why in hell I was laughing so hard.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shatner will SMITE you...with laughter July 21, 2009
Riverside, Iowa is purported to be the town where in the future, James T. Kirk will be born. It seemed inevitable that William Shatner would show up there sooner or later. But only Shatner could have pulled off this stunt. Pretending to be making a sci-fi film using locals, Shatner and his eccentric entourage (improvisational actors playing his dim-witted nephew, buxom ditzy costar, and new age guru) descend on Riverside and commence the wackiest production imaginable.


Most of the townsfolk seem only too happy to work on the production and indulge Shatner's eccentricities, which include eating off other people's plates, plugging his own brand of berets, and covering for another star's kleptomania. A younger local suspects very early on that this is a Reality TV gimmick, and he promptly disappears from the production.

Shatner is game throughout, bonding with the people of Riverside and displaying none of the aloofness that some of his Trek costars have accused him of. He befriends an older man named Don at the local diner (even consenting to having his forehead "blessed" by Don's good luck charm which is made from a raccoon's...anatomy). When they go to visit Don's wife's grave, Shatner, a widower himself, seems genuinely moved. During the course of his visit, the entourage gets the local townsfolk to open up and discuss their hopes and dreams. And when the hoax is revealed, most of the locals are relieved that it's a Reality TV stunt, because the "movie" they're working on is obviously horrible. Shatner nearly breaks down in tears as he presents gifts to his new friends, especially the local cue-card holder who is trying to adopt her grandchild.

There are parts midway through the series that drag a bit. On the whole, however, it's worth sticking with Invasion Iowa for the payoff. The final episode shows the finished movie, which is so incredibly bad it's hilarious.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny! September 18, 2009
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I found this to be extremely funny, especially being from Iowa. It is a little on the cheesy side, but for the most part, just good fun. It was even emotionally touching at times. It really exposes the kind hearts and hospitality of Iowans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm from Iowa October 24, 2010
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This DVD is the TV version in that every 45 minutes you have a recap of the previous 45 minutes; they just cut out the TV ads.
Would have been better if it was the movie version like they had on the sci-fi channel.

5 people watched this tape and all 5 were really interested and pleased with it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A FUN Invasion For a Change January 23, 2012
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As with most other reviewers here, I think that INVASION IOWA is fun to watch, and is often warm and touching too. The 2 DVDs contain 10 episodes, each 30 minutes long. I first watched this with a group of people, and we agreed that the show went where none of us had gone before on TV, with me the one exception since I had seen The Joe Schmo Show - Season One Uncensored that was similar in setting up a fake film production. As you've probably read already, INVASION IOWA involves William Shatner and his cohorts from Hollywood "invading" the small town of Riverside, Iowa, supposedly to film a science fiction movie, yet the movie is actually fake and the whole purpose is to film a reality TV show ABOUT the townspeople thinking they are making a movie. It's interesting to see how the people of Riverside react to the situation, and most of them are very warm, welcoming, and excited to be the setting for a movie. Also, several people from the town are cast in the "movie." Shatner clearly drives the proceedings with his humor and his ability to bond with the townspeople.

There's a good deal of comedy in this, but as William Shatner pointed out in the commentary (which he does with 2 producers on 2 episodes) and in his book Up Till Now: The Autobiography, the original plan was to derive most of the humor from making the townspeople look foolish. But Shatner and others making the show decided that was too mean-spirited, so they decided instead to make THEMSELVES look foolish and thus make the show a spoof on Hollywood.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious! July 21, 2011
William Shatner is one of the great actors of the past half century and has worked for me on numerous occassion's with the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Kirk Douglas, Michael Caine, John Hurt,etc. When he does something, he does it brilliantly. This DVD will endear him to you. The show is a rare gem in an age when television has gone straight to hell. I highly recommend this for everyone, not merely Bill's millions of fans.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Shat at his best!
This rating is only relevant for either Trekkies (that's me) or Bill Shatner fans (he has some from Boston Legal apparently). Read more
Published 8 months ago by Susan Sutherland
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a bit entertaining,
This is probably the worst film Shatner ever made, Watching it is like watching paint dry. I live just a few miles from Riverside Iowa and even though I know quite a few people in... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Harry Richard Lewis III
5.0 out of 5 stars great story
william shatner comes to riverside iowa to make a fake film but the relationship they have with the people turns into love as they give the stars in the movie money for their... Read more
Published 10 months ago by edward mcleod
5.0 out of 5 stars Invasion Iowa
I love watching everything that William Shatner does. It was very funny and it is great how he pokes fun at himself.
Published 10 months ago by C. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars a side of shatner you'll be glad you saw
If you're a Shatner/Star Trek fan you will really love this. This is not belly laughs but plenty of fun and Shatner's humanity shines through nicely. Read more
Published 11 months ago by William Keller
4.0 out of 5 stars Shatner aka Kirk comes home to the cornfields
Interesting feature which ties Shatner & Kirk to Iowa, the conical birthplace of James T. Kirk. However,
Roswell has the main focus of ET invasions.
Published 17 months ago by Michael E. Clark
4.0 out of 5 stars In the vein of Joe Schmo.
The product shipped quickly and was good quality.

Had The Joe Schmo Show 1 not existed, this would have easily earned 5 stars. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Y_Knot
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good but you have to like Shat
This is for people who love Shatner. It's reality television so you've seen all these types of tricks and people before but it is fun to watch him preen and poke fun at himself. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Joan C. Cullinane
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Not what I expected- more of a documentary of tricking the town than showing making a movie & then showing the blow off that it was fake. Still viewing the last disc. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Kim Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars What "Reality TV" should be
The show is essentially like Joe Schmo and Joe Schmo 2, but on a much larger scale, with excellent results. Read more
Published on January 18, 2012 by killermist
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