Martians Go Home!

  • 1990
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Comedy, Science Fiction

Mark Devereaux (Randy Quaid) is living the good life, Los Angeles-style. A musician waiting for his big break, he's making good money composing music for television programs; pals around with his shallow but amiable buddy Stan Garrett (Gerrit Graham), a game show producer; and lives in domestic bliss with his pretty girl friend, Sara Brody (Margaret Colin)....read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Rating:

Mark Devereaux (Randy Quaid) is living the good life, Los Angeles-style. A musician waiting for his big break, he's making good money composing music for television programs; pals around with his shallow but amiable buddy Stan Garrett (Gerrit Graham), a game show producer; and lives in

domestic bliss with his pretty girl friend, Sara Brody (Margaret Colin). Sara paints large pictures of sushi and works as an on-air producer for honey-voiced therapist Dr. Jane Buchanan (Anita Morris), who dispenses sexual advice to radio listeners. Meanwhile, Mark's future looks brighter than

ever when he is offered the chance to compose the score of a science-fiction feature by the hottest movie director in town. All he has to do is prove himself to the wunderkind by writing an acceptable symphonic greeting for the benign aliens who arrive (as in Spielberg's CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE

THIRD KIND) at the film's conclusion. Sequestered in his isolated cabin, Mark comes up with the tune he thinks will do the trick and calls Sara at work to play the melody to her on the phone. Unfortunately, fate intervenes in the form of a psychotic fan who arrives at the station demanding to

speak to the radio Love Doctor. In the ensuing confusion, Mark's composition goes out over the airwaves and its message of welcome is heard on Mars. Next stop: Hell. The Martian invasion isn't what you'd expect--there are no death rays, no sinister experiments, no bug-eyed monsters. The men from

Mars (there don't seem to be many women, which may be why they're so eager to travel) are green, it's true, and their taste in clothes (green again) is pretty poor, but they have no plans to subjugate the Earthlings. Far from it, in fact; they just want to have fun. Problem is, their idea of fun

involves playing the accordion, appearing and disappearing without warning at all hours of the day and night, reciting execrable jokes, and, worst of all, blurting out people's most embarrassing secrets in public. And they just won't leave. Instead, they invade the airwaves, turning the news into

an incomprehensible muddle of snide remarks. They horse around on the floor of the stock exchange, paralyzing markets all over the world. They invade couples' bedrooms and set up bleachers, calling out advice and encouragement. Exhibitionists like Dr. Buchanan adapt pretty well to life with these

intrusive aliens, but Mark decides something must be done. With Sara's assistance, he designs a satellite link and broadcasts a reversed version of his composition, driving the not-so-little green men back where they came from.

Adapted from a novel by the versatile Frederic Brown (The Screaming Mimi), MARTIANS GO HOME is a broad, good-natured comedy whose one-joke welcome quickly wears thin. Yes, the Martians in their green Hawaiian shirts, lurex jackets, and warm-up suits are the ultimate loathsome tourists. And yes,

the idea of abrasive Borscht Belt comedians from space is enough to trigger an involuntary smile. But it doesn't seem to be a notion well-suited to the feature-length movie format, either because there's nowhere for it to go or because first-time director David Odell and screenwriter Charles Haas

weren't the guys to take it anywhere. The joke doesn't get better with repetition. It only gets tired.

MARTIANS GO HOME plays less like a movie than an attenuated television skit, an impression supported by the (perhaps deliberately) cheesy photography and production design. The movie seems to have some pretensions to social satire, but they're supremely unconvincing. Admittedly, Garrett's idea for

a game show in which newlyweds have to crawl through pools of mud and slime is stupefyingly venal, and the hot director's inflated vision of his dumb science-fiction movie as an important statement about universal brotherhood is breathtakingly trivial. But Quaid's new composition, supposedly the

best thing he's ever written, is equally banal--and if your protagonist is no better than the shallow jerks who surround him, where's the difference by which all meaning is produced? MARTIANS GO HOME is a gag in search of a movie, destined to jockey for shelf space with other science-fiction

parodies like EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY; SPACED INVADERS; and MORONS FROM SPACE. (Sexual situations.)

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1990
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Mark Devereaux (Randy Quaid) is living the good life, Los Angeles-style. A musician waiting for his big break, he's making good money composing music for television programs; pals around with his shallow but amiable buddy Stan Garrett (Gerrit Graham), a ga… (more)

Show More »

Trending TonightSee all »