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Strange Invaders


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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Le Mat, Nancy Allen, Diana Scarwid, Michael Lerner, Louise Fletcher
  • Directors: Michael Laughlin
  • Writers: Michael Laughlin, Bill Condon, Walter Halsey Davis
  • Producers: Joel Cohen, Richard Moore, Walter Coblenz
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: November 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O074
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,777 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Strange Invaders" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Sci-Fi DVD in widescreen format.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. Michael Click on December 8, 2001
Format: DVD
Both an entertaining sci-fi spoof and a satisfying example of the genre in and of itself. Searching for his missing ex-wife, hero Paul LeMat travels to her hometown of Centerville (aka "Anytown, USA"), where everyone seems a bit odd, and nothing seems to have changed much since 1958. Could the town have been taken over ... by aliens?! That laser-beaming finger might be a clue! Let the scary but good-natured fun begin. Genre fans will want to watch closely for the many homages to films and TV series from the 1950's through the early 1980's including "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "Lost in Space" (June Lockhart and Mark Goddard have small roles), "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", and dozens more. Other viewers may want to simply concentrate on the fine performances of LeMat, Louise Fletcher, Michael Lerner, Wallace Shawn, and especially leading lady Nancy Allen whose uniquely sassy charm serves the film well. The strangest performance is given by Diana Scarwid, who plays LeMat's ex-wife; she recites her lines in the same flat, sing-song voice that she used to play the adult Christina Crawford in "Mommie Dearest", and while her tone is distractingly obnoxious, she's impossible to dislike.
The widescreen DVD presentation, though not anamorphic, is completely acceptable and beautifully showcases the often gorgeous cinematography. The sound and video tranfers are fine, although the source print does seem a bit grainy near the beginning of the movie. Extras include a director's commentary and the Original Theatrical Trailer. Overall, a very nice edition of a film that deservedly enjoys a small - but loyal - cult following.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
The movie Strange Invaders has been a favorite since I saw it in the early 80's on HBO. The movie, re-released for purchase for the first time since its original release in 1984, heralds very special effects (amazing even by the standards of the new millenium).
This homage to the 1950's martian classics brings together a great cast: Nancy Allen brings a great deal of depth to her role as Betty Walker, the tabloid reporter hot on the trail of the clandestine "visitors". Other actresses may have faltered considereing the circumstances, but Allen takes the ball and runs with it. Her solid performance adds the extra initiative that the viewer needs to actually care what happens to the cast. Paul LeMat, although a usual favorite, plays his role as Charles Bigelow a bit too stiff but for the most gives an impressive performance. Oscar nominees Diana Scarwid (as Margaret, Charlie's alien ex-wife and mother of their child) and Michael Lerner (as Willie, the now-locked-up key to understanding why the aliens are here on earth) co-star with One Flew Over the Kookoo's Nest Oscar Winner Louise Flether, who seems disgusted that after winning an Academy Award, her agent allowed her to get fifth billing in Strange Invaders.
The great special effects, chillingly memorable score, tongue-in-cheek humor mixed with genuine thrills and the great performances (most notably the wonderful Nancy Allen who has been stuck in supporting roles in recent flicks like Steven Soderberg's Clooney-Lopez hit Out Of Sight and the Christopher Walken-Michael Rappaport mafia comedy Kiss Toledo Goodbye)
Yes, it IS Strange, but campy good fun, too. Now MGM just needs to release this on DVD and all will be good....strange, but good.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Hartley on January 10, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
A well-intentioned sci-fi romp that suffers a bit due to an indecisive director.He starts out with a campy, affectionate spoof of 50's sci-fi films (a la "Matinee"); but at midpoint does a 180 degree spin and gets "serious". In spite of this problem,the appealing performers hold your interest. Paul LeMat is an etymologist (who should have looked closer at his ex-wife's anatomy!)and Nancy Allen is the "Weekly World News"-type writer who joins him on an "X-Files" style investigation. There are some very funny bits, especially involving an Avon lady (who redefines the concept of "doing a face peel"). You'll have to look fast for a clever visual gag involving Steven Spielberg's photo. There's enough quirky charm here to even forgive the scene showing someone playing a video arcade game (in the 1950's?!).Note of irony: a subplot involving LeMat's daughter eerily pre-sages the Elian Gonzales situation (talk about an illegal alien!) Mostly harmless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Chris Wilson on March 5, 2010
Format: DVD
It's difficult to dislike "Strange Invaders," a jovial 1983 tribute to those wonderful science fiction classics of the 1950s. One of its greatest attributes is a stellar cast of actors, bouncing through the ridiculous proceedings with a slight smirk. But it's a clunky film, lacking the necessary zip of a truly competent work. I struggled with the poorly edited scenes and the overall low-budget quality, though much of this was intentional. I thought the film lacked the necessary atmosphere to be truly memorable. The bumbling scenes have an independent quality reminiscent of cult favorites Liquid Sky and Eating Raoul, though without their deviant wit.

If you're going to spoof such unforgettable classics as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, you better have a small town with personality. It also helps the play the game with a straight face, which "Strange Invaders" rarely does. Should we forgive the film's faults or is it a way to camouflage lazy filmmaking? Most of the action takes place in Centerville, USA, a rural town without a smidgen of character. It appears to have a diner and rooming house (no motel?). It can only be reached by a dirt road crossing a railroad track. After what appears to be a 1950's alien invasion during the prologue, with special effects only Ed Wood could love, it's now reduced to a modern day ghost town.
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