|Extra Terrestrial Visitors|
|Spanish||Los nuevos extraterrestres|
|Literally||The New Extraterrestials|
|Directed by||Juan Piquer Simón|
|Edited by||Antonio Gimeno|
Spectacular Trading Company
|Distributed by||Almena Films|
Extra Terrestrial Visitors (Spanish: Los nuevos extraterrestres, lit. The New Extraterrestrials) is a 1983 science fiction film directed by Juan Piquer Simón. The film's original draft was meant to be a straightforward horror film about an evil alien on a murderous rampage, but the producers demanded script alterations in order to cash in on the success of Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial by featuring a child and a cute, lovable alien.
A co-production between France and Spain, it was first theatrically released in the former country. In the United States, it was sometimes known by the alternate title The Unearthling, and was aired on television bearing this name.
The film was largely forgotten until 1991, when it was lampooned by B movie-mocking cult TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000, which used a print by Film Ventures International in which the film was re-titled Pod People.
Three poachers go into the woods to hunt. One of them sees what he thinks is a meteor land and goes to investigate. He finds a red glowing cave with a stash of large eggs. He decides to smash them, but is killed by an unseen entity before he can finish, which leaves one egg left intact. The mysterious being takes revenge for the destruction, first killing the other hunters and then going after members of a rock band led by Rick, who are on a weekend camping trip. This band is accompanied by Laura, a girl who Rick met and told about the weekend's plans, not expecting her to want to come along. Sharon, a member of the band, is jealous of Laura, as she (Sharon) is Rick's girlfriend. Cathy and Tracy are also band members.
Tommy is a young boy living in a secluded house with his mother Molly and his short-tempered uncle Bill. He also finds the cave, and brings the remaining egg home where it hatches. The creature from the egg grows rapidly overnight until it is as large as Tommy. Tommy nicknames it "Trumpy" because he has a short, trumpet-like trunk. Tommy and Trumpy quickly become playmates. At one point, Tommy asks Trumpy where he is from. Trumpy indicates a star map, which for some reason features the Big Dipper prominently. It also becomes clear that Trumpy has developed telekinetic powers around this time, as it flings various objects around Tommy's room. While the mother alien continues to look for her missing offspring, the rock band stops at Tommy's house for medical care after Laura encounters the alien mother and falls off of a cliff, later dying in the house. A strange dot formation (similar to the Big Dipper) is later seen on her forehead.
Rick's friend Brian and uncle Bill go to a nearby ranger station to use the radio. There they stumble on the alien mother, as well as the body of a second poacher, which also bears the dot pattern. The alien kills Brian while Bill flees to the cabin. The alien beats him home, however, and kills band-member Tracy in the band's camper. Tommy witnesses the attack through his telescope. The survivors decide to hole up in the cabin until the next day.
Trumpy's mother sneaks into the house and kills Cathy while she is taking a shower. The survivors attempt too late to come to her rescue when they hear Cathy screaming, and Bill manages to wound the alien with a wild shot. Bill and Rick want to catch Trumpy's mother before she can escape, so Rick takes a rifle and they go in pursuit.
Immediately after they leave, Trumpy appears, scaring Molly and Sharon. Molly grabs a rifle and aims to shoot Trumpy, but Tommy protects his alien friend and hustles Trumpy into the woods. Molly and Sharon give chase, searching for Tommy, Rick, and Bill in the gloom.
Eventually Trumpy and his mother reunite briefly before Rick and Bill find them. The alien mother attacks Bill, who shoots her once before being killed, then she is gunned down by Rick. Trumpy and Tommy disappear in the woods and say their goodbyes before Tommy reunites with his mother, Sharon, and Rick. The movie ends with Trumpy moving deeper into the woods and Tommy, Rick, Molly, and Sharon heading back to the cabin.
- Ian Serra as Rick (as Ian Sera)
- Nina Ferrer as Sharon
- Susana Bequer as Lara Stapleton (as Susan Blake)
- Sara Palmer as Kathy
- Óscar Martín as Tommy Stevens
- Maria Albert as Tracy
- Emilio Linder as Brian (as Emil Linder)
- Concha Cuetos as Molly Stevens (as Connie Cheston)
- Manuel Pereiro as Bill Stevens
- Frank Braña as Burt
Extra Terrestrial Visitors was a co-production between France and Spain, with filming taking place in Madrid. The cast were largely Spanish actors, though the film was shot in both Spanish and French language and dubbed in post-production.
Reception and legacy
Chris Morgan, reviewing the Pod People version of the film, deemed it "one of the worst movies I have ever seen, but fortunately it is bad in a way that is funny."
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Extra Terrestrial Visitors gained some popularity in 1991 after it was lampooned by the B movie series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K), which aired a print sourced from Film Ventures International in which the film was re-titled Pod People. The episode aired in the summer of 1991.
In common with Cave Dwellers, another Film Ventures release spoofed by MST3K, the opening and ending credits for Pod People are superimposed over blurred footage from an entirely unrelated movie, in this case The Galaxy Invader (1985). The latter film would later be spoofed by Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy for RiffTrax in 2011. Pod People was selected by fans to be in the MST3K 2016 and 2020 Turkey Day Marathon.
The film features the fictional pop band's performance of "Burning Rubber Tires," which was lampooned in a sketch on Mystery Science Theater 3000 for its unintelligible lyrics, specifically the chorus, "hear the engines roar now" which was interpreted by the MST3K cast as "hideous control now," "idiot control now," and other variations. The lead singer's after-song gesture of making the OK sign, smiling, and saying, "It stinks" became a recurring in-joke on MST3K.
In 1985, the film was released on VHS in the Canada, licensed by Cinema Shares International, under the title The Unearthling. In the United Kingdom, a VHS was released under the title E. T.: The Second Coming.
The Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of the film was released by Rhino Home Video as part of the Collection, Volume 2 DVD set which was re-released by Shout Factory in a multi-film set on 24 May 2016. The film itself has been released on DVD in 2005 by Substance. It was re-released on Blu-ray by Severin Films on June 27, 2023.
- Montoro is credited as producer of the U.S.-released version only.
- Demer's score is used in the 1990 re-release version only.
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- Hughes 2014, p. 140.
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- Morgan 2015, p. 44.
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- Morgan 2015, p. 51.
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- Hughes, Howard (2014). Outer Limits: The Filmgoers' Guide to the Great Science-Fiction Films. New York City, New York: Bloomsbury USA. ISBN 978-0-857-72393-2.
- Morgan, Chris (2015). The Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000: Twelve Classic Episodes and the Movies They Lampoon. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-1-476-61883-8.
- Sipos, Thomas M. (2014). Horror Film Aesthetics: Creating the Visual Language of Fear. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 978-0-786-45834-9.