“Trumpy, you can do stupid things!”
Everyone knows about Trumpy, the snorkel-nosed alien with telekinetic powers who befriend a lonely boy and a really bad band while his mother killed people in the forest. He was one of the stars of Pod People, which was famously lampooned by Mystery Science Theater 3000 in 1991. It became one of MST 3K’s most beloved episodes. Audiences loved the the attempts to by Joel and the Bots the decipher the song that the band is first seen performing. Was it Idiot Control Now or Tires Are Ready To Roll Now? They also loved Trumpy showing off his cool but ultimately useless powers. But why was Trumpy so good but Trumpy’s mom was so evil?
The reason is because Trumpy wasn’t originally supposed to be in the movie. Originally, the movie was just going to be about Trumpy’s mom killing poachers and stalking the band when their van broke down in the woods. But then a little movie called E.T. became a worldwide hit and the film’s backers decided that the movie needed a cute alien. Director Juan Piquer Simon, best known for the relentless gore fest that was Pieces, created Trumpy and had him befriend a child. The film became the only killer alien film made for a family audience. Families came for the cuteness of Trumpy and stayed for the scenes of Trumpy’s mom stalking a woman while she took a shower.
Weird, weird film. Have you ever tried to watch Pod People without Joel and the Bots to help you make you way through it? It’s not recommended but it can be done. A non-MST 3K version has been released on DVD under the film’s original title (Extra Terrestrial Visitor) but the movie is really boring without anyone making jokes. You can make your own jokes, I guess. You probably will.
No, Pod People is a film to watch with the Satellite of Love crew. With them, it’s a classic.