MARTIANS GO HOME. 1990. Randy Quaid, Margaret Colin, Anita Morris, John Philbin, Ronnie Cox. Based on the novel by Fredric Brown. Director: David Odell.

   There may not be any underlying significance in what happens in this science fiction movie — it’s about an invasion of obnoxious green Martians who know everybody’s secrets, to their great rollicking delight — but there’s certainly thirty minutes worth of good laughs in their antics.

   As far as how they get here, the composer of theme music for TV shows accidentally sends a message into space inviting then to cane visit our planet, and so they come — by the millions! (Truth in advertising. We see only about a dozen of them at different times on the screen — this is not a big budget movie.)

   Bedrooms are not safe, the president’s office can’t keep them out, they’re all over the world; and they’re here to stay until our hero can find out a way to get rid of them. “Invaders can be dealt with. These guys are tourists!”


   I think the book may have been clearer on one point, though — sorry, it’s been 30 or 40 years since I read the book – that human society exists only by maintaining secrecy and privacy and (therefore) complete dishonesty in all our affairs.

   It’s a cynical point, and even though I enjoyed the movie, I think it’s one the people involved in making it let slip right through their fingers.

— Reprinted from Mystery*File 33, September 1991 (slightly revised).

[UPDATE] 10-17-11.    While I was researching the credits for this movie on IMDB, I discovered that I must be one of the elite. There are perhaps only four or five people in the world who have liked this movie, and I am one of them.

   It has been released as a Region Two DVD in the UK, but I’ve found a copy on VHS, and it’s on its way to me now. With Margaret Colin in it, really how bad could it be? (That’s assuming I was wrong about it the first time, which I am not conceding.)