- Ghosts of Empire Prairie (2013) Review

Invasion of the Space Preachers

Also known as:
Strangest Dreams: Invasion of the Space Preachers (Full title)

Year: 1990

Genre: Comedy / Sci-fi

Language: English

Runtime: 100 min

Director: Daniel Boyd

Writer: Daniel Boyd


What is happening in a small town in West Virginia when people seem completely braindead? Why it's an invasion of preachers from outer space, of course. Two friends happen to stumble upon one of the aliens and gets it on their side, but is that enough to end the horrific intergalactic evils that have fallen upon Earth?

Our thoughts:
Daniel Boyd, the director, has made a movie called "Chillers" which I have wanted to see for ages. When I got this new release by Troma which featured not only "Invasion of the Space Preachers" but also "Chillers", I was excited. My plan was to watch this one first, as I believed it was the earlier film of the two. Because I am retarded, I didn't look it up at all and just believed Troma would put the earliest film first, which wasn't the case. It doesn't change my opinion in any way and won't affect this review BUT, that means I postponed my "Chillers" watching for no reason but my own stupidity! If only I flipped the DVD case and read the production years. If only...

"Invasion of the Space Preachers" is a serious movie very similar to "2001: A Space Odyssey". Okay, nevermind, that was stupid too. Yes, I knew I was getting into something cheesy with this one, but I was actually happy to find out that this was very much a comedy (parody-like at times). There's a difference between intentional and unintentional comedy, of course, and this seemed like the perfect time to watch one that I thought would be unintentionally stupid but which ended up being very intentional.

There is one major flaw in this movie... The plot. It's simply about two numbnuts who stumble upon an alien. That very alien ends up taking the form of a beautiful woman. Earth woman, I should add. They end up chilling with her (literally) before anything remotely like an "invasion" takes place. The actual aliens, attacks and "space preachers" come second to all the silly jokes. Which is... fine.

"Invasion of the Space Preachers" isn't hilarious, the jokes are dumb. At times it comes off as an "Encino Man" meets "Bad Taste".. and, you know, made earlier than "Encino Man". And it has the advantage of not having Pauly Shore in it, but the disadvantage of not having Peter Jackson directing. It certainly has its charm though, because it manages to be entertaining for the most part. The fact that it's not at all sci-fi cheese horror but really a comedy with a sci-fi premise was a nice surprise for me. That the jokes aren't very clever or that funny sort of worked with the overall cheese in a way, though I'd prefer an actually funny movie. Characters like the gun nut gives the movie that wonderful sense that it was really fun to make, and there are actually times when that matters.

You shouldn't expect much from the effects, but again it all works within the movie. It's shoddy suits and there aren't many scenes with them. I was disappointed to find out that the movie was as slow as it is, and once shit finally happens... it barely does. For violence and other fun '80s/early '90s trashiness you have to look elsewhere, this isn't gory in the least.

I'm not sure my review of "Invasion of the Space Preachers" is showing it a good or bad light. My opinion is actually somewhere in the middle - it's fun but is it fun enough? The jokes aren't very clever. I certainly look forward to "Chillers" though, and if you want to pick up some cheesiness and a recent Troma release then this is not that bad. It's two movies for the price of one!

Positive things:
- It's pure comedy, which was a nice surprise.
- Cheesiness helps!
- Charming and looked like it was fun to make.

Negative things:
- Crappy effects, but that's not the problem - we don't get to see them enough!
- The jokes themselves aren't really the fun part.

Gore: 0.5/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 2/5
Effects: 1/5
Comedy: 3/5

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