Out There

  • 1996
  • 1 HR 38 MIN
  • NR
  • Comedy, Science Fiction

This goofy comedy might have been a MELVIN AND HOWARD for the alien abductee set. Instead, it settles for patronizing the ET fan clubbers, while constantly refocusing its energy on heroic skirmishes against the busybodies from beyond. OUT THERE throws in a redemptive romance for good measure. Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Mosley (Bill Campbell) purchases...read more

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This goofy comedy might have been a MELVIN AND HOWARD for the alien abductee set. Instead, it settles for patronizing the ET fan clubbers, while constantly refocusing its energy on heroic skirmishes against the busybodies from beyond. OUT THERE throws in a redemptive romance for good

measure.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Mosley (Bill Campbell) purchases a 25-year-old camera, containing an undeveloped film roll, at a house sale. When he develops the film, he sees that it documents a welcome party for interplanetary visitors. The photos are dismissed by the Pentagon but snapped up

by tabloid publisher Polson (David Rasche), who claims to be an editor for Omni magazine.

Mosley finds himself lumped together with tabloid wackos like former alien pick-up Joleen (Julie Brown), and so he hesitates to help Paige Davis (Wendy Schaal), whose missing father, Emmett (Paul Dooley), is immortalized in the alien visitor photos. Researching the vanishing act of Emmett and his

hunting partner, Mosley and Paige stumble upon a cover-up concerning a grade Z alien movie hoax. Beneath the convenient theory that the aliens were only acting in a space flick lies the truth: The Earth is being conquered through global marketing, masterminded by slick extraterrestrials on Madison

Avenue.

Mankind's bad taste enables otherworldly merchandising geniuses to hoodwink humanity until Mosley, Paige, and Joleen escape from an underground brainwashing facility. They link up with Emmett, who has been undermining the conspiracy for decades. Playing dreaded accordion music which obliterates

the aliens, the heroes free the human race from full-scale invasion and lowered standards of consumerism.

Savoring its zestier moments, the audience wants to like OUT THERE in all its loopy splendor. But its inspired flights of fancy (mainly provided by the divine Julie Brown) are undercut by draggy direction and editing of an episodically tailored screenplay. Even more of a fun-retardant is the

film's dogged charting of Mosley's self-actualization. Treated as serious uplift material, the shutterbug's spiritual rebirth through his embrace of the anti-alien crusaders takes too long to develop.

But despite its pokiness and fuzzy focus, OUT THERE bubbles with fitful inventiveness as Hollywood veterans have a high time camping it up. Such delights include Rasche's portrayal of a Carl Sagan-ish figure, June Lockhart crying a river in a demonstration of Earth-like bereavement, and a chipper

Jill St. John misrepresenting facts like a Home Shopping Network representative from Venus. (Violence, extreme profanity.)

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  • Released: 1996
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This goofy comedy might have been a MELVIN AND HOWARD for the alien abductee set. Instead, it settles for patronizing the ET fan clubbers, while constantly refocusing its energy on heroic skirmishes against the busybodies from beyond. OUT THERE throws in a… (more)

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