Mom and Dad Save the World

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Mom and Dad Save the World
DVD cover for the movie
Directed by Greg Beeman
Produced by J. Max Kirishima
Michael Phillips
Written by Chris Matheson
Ed Solomon
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Jacques Haitkin
Edited by W.O. Garrett
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date
  • July 24, 1992 (1992-07-24)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $14 million
Box office $2,034,470

Mom and Dad Save the World is a 1992 sci-fi adventure family romantic comedy film. Jon Lovitz plays Emperor Tod Spengo, who is the cruel, silly and over-dramatic emperor of the planet named Spengo. Teri Garr plays Marge Nelson and Jeffrey Jones plays Dick Nelson, her husband. The film also stars Eric Idle and Thalmus Rasulala. Rasulala died shortly after completing his scenes, and the film is dedicated to his memory. The original music score was composed by Jerry Goldsmith.


Emperor Tod Spengo (Jon Lovitz), with General Afir (Thalmus Rasulala) at his side, takes over a small planet at the edge of the galaxy populated entirely by idiots, and renames it after himself. He orders that all the resources of the planet should be engaged to create his "Super Death Ray Laser"; the laser's purpose is to destroy Earth, thus making Spengo the greatest planet in the Universe. When Spengo looks at exactly where his laser would strike, he sees Marge Nelson (Teri Garr) exercising — and falls in love. Using his Magnobeam (a giant magnet), he kidnaps Marge and her husband, Dick (Jeffrey Jones), as they are on their way to a 20th-anniversary weekend, hoping to make Marge his wife before he blows up the Earth. Dick and Marge get separated on Spengo: Marge is sent to the lap of luxury, waited on by small people with fish or dog heads, while Dick is thrown into a dungeon. In the dungeon, however, Dick meets the rightful king of Spengo, Raff (Eric Idle), who has plans hidden in his pants for his son, called the White Bird, out in the desert.

Spengo quickly finds that his advances towards Marge are failing, so he tries to read Dick's mind in order to discover the secret to her heart. Following Dick's mind-probing, one of the Destroyers, Sibor (Wallace Shawn), has a change of heart when asked to execute the Earthman. Encouraging Dick to not lose his woman and their love, the diminutive Destroyer frees Dick and helps him break out of the chamber. Despite the stupidity of his captors, Dick is soon discovered and forced down a garbage chute to the sewers. While in the dark, inundated tunnel, he is approached by a cute-looking mushroom-like creature, a Lub-Lub. Dick attempts to pet the creature, but it immediately reveals its true carnivorous nature, forcing him to run for his life.

Dick manages to escape the sewers and steal an escape pod, and winds up crashing miles away in the desert, where he meets the rightful king's son, Sirk (Dwier Brown), and daughter, Semage (Kathy Ireland), as well as their followers. All of them are dressed as 6-foot-tall birds, although such creatures are not naturally found on Spengo, and the only weapons they have to fight the Emperor and the Destroyers are rocks, their "intelligence" and a number of stolen weapons, including Light Grenades, which completely disintegrate anyone who picks one up. At first, the rebels don't trust Dick and begin to torture him. When Dick reveals that he shared a cell with Raff and that he is on their side, their attitude quickly changes, and Dick rises to the rank of war leader. Using what little resources he can scrounge up, he devises a plan to sneak back into Spengo's palace and save Marge. He even inspires Raff's followers with a rousing speech, during which he says, "Just because you're stupid, that doesn't mean you can't rule a planet. Hey! Come to Earth sometime."

In the meantime, General Afir, who appears to be the only intelligent person among Spengo's forces, believes that Dick and Marge are the key to ending Spengo's rule, so he hatches a plan to stop the megalomaniac. He switches the love serum meant for Marge with water and informs her of his intentions to search for Dick, but Spengo overhears Afir's plan and has him placed in the barrel of the laser, to die when Earth is destroyed.

During the wedding ceremony, a detachment of Spengo's soldiers go into the desert to finish the rebels, but find their camp deserted, and one by one they fall victim to one of the Light Grenades which has been left on Dick's pallet. In the meantime, Dick approaches Spengo's fortress with a large wooden bust of Spengo, reading "In Tod We Trust". At first Spengo says it is an obvious trick, but in the end, he tells the guards to bring it in. In the midst of the wedding ceremony, Dick and the others emerge from the Trojan bust and the final battle begins.

As fighting rages in the castle, Tod retreats to his lab with Marge and prepares to fire the laser at Earth. Dick and Tod clash with swords, but neither gains the upper hand, as both are clumsy fighters. Marge manages to use Dick's sword to cut her bonds and helps Dick defeat Tod and knock him into the garbage chute. As the two of them kiss and exchange "I love you"'s, the bound and gagged Afir gives them a muffled reminder about the Death Ray, and they manage to shut it off as the countdown makes it half-way to zero. Meanwhile, Tod crash lands in the sewers where he is eaten alive (offscreen) by the Lub-Lubs.

With Tod deceased, the rightful king is reinstated and he reverses the polarity on the Magnobeam to send Dick and Marge back home to Southern California. They arrive home with some slight damage to the station wagon (which stuns their kids), and then proceed to show their son, daughter, and her boyfriend slides (including an image of Dick in front of Saturn) from what they claim is "Santa Barbara". Their daughter Stephanie (Suzanne Ventulett) and her boyfriend Carl (Michael Stoyanov) find the images weird, but their son Alan (Danny Cooksey) enjoys them. To end their anniversary, Dick and Marge share drinks on the roof, watching the stars.



Mom and Dad Save the World was panned by critics and holds a 9% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 22 reviews.

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