Aliens were all over theaters in the 90s with films such Independence Day, Men in Black, and Species leading the list of the more popular titles. Not all were great though. While there were plenty of straight-to-video releases, here’s a list of 90s Alien Movies released in theaters that crashed and burned.
DIRECTOR: Steve Barron STARS: Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin
Bringing the beloved Saturday Night Live sketch about aliens for the planet Remulak who make living on Earth didn’t pan out so well as this big-budget special-effects driven movie failed at the box office and was critically despised. Dan Akyroyd plays Beldar Clorhone, and along with his life-mate Prymaat (Jane Curtin) and teenaged daughter Connie (Michelle Burke), try to adjust to life in the suburbs despite having well, cone heads. A few scattered laughs from the star-studded supporting cast couldn’t save this from flopping in theaters and while the skits on TV were always funny, they weren’t enough to sustain an 87-minute film.
My Favorite Martian (1999)
DIRECTOR: Donald Petrie STARS: Jeff Daniels, Christopher Lloyd
A film adaptation of the classic 1960s cult favorite television show, it follows the adventures of a Martian (Christopher Lloyd) who crash lands on Earth, witnessed only by TV new producer Tim O’Hara (Jeff Daniels). The two eventually become friends as the Martian, pretending to be Uncle Martin, needs help in fixing his ship. Keeping him a secret isn’t easy though as SETI (Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence) members close in reporter Brace Channing (Elizabeth Hurley) make some unusual discovers. Meanwhile, Tim has relationship issues with Lizzie (Daryl Hannah), who gets pulled into the fray. An epic bomb, it lost gobs of money at the theater and was skewered by most critics who felt it was just too silly. Have they seen the TV show?
The Astronaut’s Wife (1999)
DIRECTOR: Rand Ravich STARS: Johnny Depp, Charlize Theron
Talk about a great idea gone bad, this sci-fi story follows two astronauts who lose contact with mission control for a few minutes and refuse to speak about what happened after then have come home. Turns out they have become hosts to alien beings who now occupy their bodies. They then try to impregnate the men’s wives for a nefarious secret mission. Praised for its clever plot and performances, the film was ultimately heavily panned for its interminably slow pace and meandering script, failing at the box office by a huge margin. A crushing disappointing considering the talent behind it, this is almost impossible to sit through.
The Puppet Masters (1994)
DIRECTOR: Stuart Orme STARS: Donald Sutherland, Julie Warner
Based on the acclaimed early Cold-War novel of the same name, the plot follows the United States government’s attempts to stop alien parasitic invaders of Earth. Led by “The Old Man” of a secret division of the CIA (Donald Sutherland), they discover that a UFO has landed in the midwest and whatever was inside has begun to take control of the minds of a rural small town with plans to dominate the world. Its plot is very similar to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a film also based on a book about the Cold War. Hampered by a low budget and a number of rewrites that tried to make the film more mainstream, it flopped big and ended up on late night cable.
Mom and Dad Save The World (1992)
DIRECTOR: Greg Beeman STARS: Teri Garr, Jeffery Jones
An evil space villain named Spengo (Jon Lovitz) conquers a small planet of less-than-intelligent beings and sets about creating his Mighty Death Ray Laser. With this weapon, he can destroy Earth and claim himself the ruler of the galaxy. Problem is, when he aims his laser on our unsuspecting world, he sees the lovely Marge Nelson (Teri Garr) and falls in love. Using his Magnobeam, he kidnaps her and her husband (Jeffery Jones), pampering her while imprisoning him. Now, his hope is to have her as his bride. As the planet’s inhabitants band together, they believe the Earth couple are their only hope to overthrow Spengo. Can mom and dad save the world? Another good idea (for a comedy), this one is crushed by a dull script and lifeless direction. While some of the performances are fun, it loses all its momentum quickly and probably would have worked better as a sketch rather than a feature film. It was a huge box office flop and eviscerated by critics.