Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1984)

Thirty-nine years ago today, the film Voyage of the Rock Aliens premiered. This movie is absurd and confusing with a gigantic soundtrack. Pia Zadora, Ruth Gordan, and Germaine Jackson?

Title: Voyage of the Rock Aliens
Directed by: James Fargo, Bob Giraldi
Written by: Edward Gold, James Guidotti
Starring: Pia Zadora, Craig Sheffer, Tom Nolan, Ruth Gordon, Michael Berryman, Alison La Placa, Jermaine Jackson
Music by: Jack White
Cinematography: Gilbert Taylor
Edited by: Malcolm Campbell
Production Company: KGA/Interplanetary-Curb Communications,, Inter Planetary
Distributed by: Fox Lorber
Release date: March 9, 1984
Running time: 97 min.
Country: United States
Language: English

A guitar-shaped spaceship and Robot 1359 (voiced by Peter Cullen), search the universe for the source of rock and roll music. He finds it on Earth, in the form of a dance/musical performance of “When the Rain Begins to Fall”, featuring Pia Zadora and Jermaine Jackson portraying members of rival gangs who fall in love, ala Romeo and Juliet.

1359 wakes the crew to visit the planet. A rocket telephone booth lands in the town of Speelburgh and ABCD (pronounced “Absid”) (Tom Nolan) with his group of aliens exit. The humanoid aliens force robot 1359 to take the form of a fire hydrant. Only the Sheriff (Ruth Gordon) witnesses their landing, and she becomes obsessed with alien invaders.

Dee Dee (Pia Zadora) is a singer in high school who is in love with Frankie (Craig Sheffer), the leader of Speelburgh’s local high school rock band, The Pack (Jimmy and the Mustangs). She sings of her heart’s desire to best friend Diane (Alison La Placa). Dee Dee’s dream is to sing with the band; Frankie loves her but does not want her to sing with them. Meanwhile, a giant creature with tentacles lives in nearby Lake Eerie, a product of environmental pollution, and it periodically extends its arms throughout the town.

As the aliens, played by the rock band Rhema, search the area, they encounter Dee Dee, Frankie and The Pack at the local maltshop. Absid literally loses his head over Dee Dee (i.e. he explodes and needs to be put back together by his crew) and decides to win her heart. Meanwhile, his cohorts search for specimens such as flowers, leaves and cow chips. STUVWXYZ (pronounced “Stovitz”) (Patrick Byrnes) stumbles across the path of two crazed mass murderers, Chainsaw (Michael Berryman) and The Breather (Wallace Merck), who recently escaped from The Speelburgh Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

Feeling dejected by Frankie’s refusal to let her sing, Dee Dee succumbs to the charms of Absid, who asks her to be the singer of his band at the Heidi High Cotillion Dance and Battle of the Bands. Frankie and The Pack arrive at the school to keep the aliens out… but they cannot stop them because of the aliens’ powers: they teleport into the bathroom through the toilets. Dee Dee finally gets her chance to sing at a battle of the bands between the aliens and The Pack, with the very jealous Frankie furious that Dee Dee has switched sides.

Absid and Dee Dee sneak off to the lake. While the tentacled creature searches the banks, Absid tries to convince Dee Dee to fly back to his planet. Hesitating, she agrees to visit the ship, but discovers once there that she will have to give up all human emotion to live on the alien’s planet.

Meanwhile, Diane encounters Chainsaw at the high school. The crazed killer intends to make her his next victim, but his rusty chainsaw breaks down. Love blooms as Diane helps Chainsaw fix his chainsaw.

Bolting back to her true love, Frankie, Dee Dee finds him cornered in a school hallway by the Breather. Frankie manages to fend off his rival, only to be attacked by the monster from the lake, which has gotten loose and surrounded the school with its tentacles. With his chainsaw now repaired, Chainsaw rescues everyone.

In the end, the aliens board their ship and Absid decides to leave the humans “a little alien persuasion”. He fiddles with the buttons in the booth and clears away all of the town’s pollution. He also turns the brutal Pack into a group of boy scouts. The creature leaves town, the skies clear, flowers bloom and Frankie and Dee Dee sing and dance into a smogless sunset.

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