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
HBO Pictures
Cinema Plus
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
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 has all the resources of the planet engaged to create his "Super Death Ray Laser" to destroy Earth, thus making Spengo the greatest planet in the Universe. When Spengo peeks at the laser's planned point of impact (a Southern California suburb), he beholds housewife Marge Nelson (Teri Garr) and instantly falls in love. Using his Magnobeam (a giant magnet), he kidnaps Marge and her husband Dick (Jeffrey Jones) on their way to their 20th-anniversary weekend, hoping to make Marge his wife.

Dick and Marge get separated on Spengo: Marge is sent to the lap of luxury, waited on by servants with fish or dog heads, while Dick is thrown into a dungeon. In his cell, Dick meets the rightful king of Spengo, Raff (Eric Idle), who gives him plans for his son, called the White Bird, leader of a band of rebels out in the desert. In the meantime, Spengo 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 before having him executed. Upon witnessing Dick's devotion to Marge, Spengo's interrogator, Sibor (Wallace Shawn), has a change of heart and helps Dick escape. Despite the stupidity of his captors, Dick is soon discovered and forced down a garbage chute to the sewers, where he encounters a pack of carnivorous mushroom-like creatures called Lub-Lubs and is forced to run for his life.

Dick manages to escape the sewers and steal an escape pod, and winds up crashing in the desert, where he meets the rebels led by King Raff's son, Sirk (Dwier Brown), and daughter, Semage (Kathy Ireland), all of them dressed as 6-foot-tall birds, although such creatures are not naturally found on Spengo. At first, the rebels don't trust Dick; but 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. In the meantime, General Afir, the only intelligent person among Spengo's forces and resentful of his emperor's antics, believes that Dick and Marge are the key to ending Spengo's rule, so he switches the love serum meant for Marge with water and informs her of his intentions to recover Dick. However, Spengo overhears Afir's plan and has him placed in the barrel of the laser, to die when the weapon is fired at Earth.

While Spengo's wedding with Marge is prepared, 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 a Light Grenade (which desintegrates anyone touching it) left on Dick's pallet. Simultaneously, Dick and the rebels approach Spengo's fortress inside a large wooden bust of Spengo, which Spengo has brought into the chapel, and in the midst of the wedding ceremony the rebels emerge from the Trojan bust. As fighting rages in the castle, Spengo 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. Marge manages to free herself and help Dick throwing Spengo into the sewers, where he is eaten by the Lub-Lubs. At the last second, Dick and Marge manage to shut down the laser, saving Afir and the Earth.

With Tod deceased, Raff is reinstated as the rightful king, and he reverses the polarity on the Magnobeam to send Dick and Marge back to Earth. Upon arriving home, Dick and Marge proceed to show their son (Danny Cooksey), daughter (Suzanne Ventulett), and her boyfriend Carl (Michael Stoyanov) slides (including an image of their space journey to Planet Spengo) from what they claim is "Santa Barbara". To end their anniversary, they 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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