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Blu-Ray : Highly Recommended
Ranking:
Sale Price: $25.02 Last Price: $ Buy now! 3rd Party 19.78 In Stock
Release Date: June 27th, 2023 Movie Release Year: 1983

Extra Terrestrial Visitors (AKA Pod People)

Overview -

You may know it from MST3k, you may know it as Pod People, but you’ve never truly seen Extra Terrestrial Visitors! Half a light-hearted kid film, half a creepy horror show, the film’s tone is all over the map with director Juan Piquer Simon’s wildly entertaining and bananas film. Now newly restored from Severin, the film looks and sounds terrific with a trove of excellent bonus features. Highly Recommended

From Juan Piquer Simón – the infamous writer/director of PIECES and SLUGS – comes The Restored Director’s Cut of the French/Spanish co-production that remains the most singularly screwy E.T.-influenced film in EuroCult history: When snorkel-nosed furry aliens arrive on Earth, they’ll encounter a foggy wilderness filled with sociopathic poachers, Simón’s twisted vision of what an ‘80s American rock band looks/sounds like, bizarre bursts of violence and pathos, and the boy who befriends a blue-eyed extraterrestrial he names ‘Trumpy’. Discover the movie beyond MST3K, “a very, very weird film” (Through The Shattered Lens) – also known in various versions as RETURN OF E.T., THE UNEARTHLING and POD PEOPLE – now featuring a 4K scan from the 35mm negative with Special Features that include a feature-length documentary on the director.

Special Features:

  • THE SIMON'S JIGSAW – A JOURNEY INTO THE UNIVERSE OF JUAN PIQUER SIMÓN (101 mins)
  • A Weekend In Hell – Interview With Actor Emilio Linder
  • Composing The Cosmos – Interview With Soundtrack Composer Librado Pastor
  • A Private Concert From Librado Pastor
  • Alternate POD PEOPLE Opening Credits
  • BONUS: CD Soundtrack Single
  • Reversible Wrap

Disc Specs:

  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Audio: English Mono / Spanish Mono
  • Closed Captions / English Subtitles
  • Region Free
  • Run time: 84 mins

OVERALL:
Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
STORY
VIDEO
AUDIO
SPECIAL FEATURES
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Blu-ray Disc
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p AVC/MPEG-4
Length:
84
Aspect Ratio(s):
1.85:1
Subtitles/Captions:
English SDH
Release Date:
June 27th, 2023

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

Ranking:

“He’s really good!”
“Good? He’s the best!”

Some movies are legendary because they’re classics right out of the gate. Others become legendary because they’re far from being classics in the first place. With the help of Mystery Science Theater 3000, the jumbled-up cash-in on the success of E.T., Extra Terrestrial Visitors is a sci-fi/horror/kid’s movie classic! It’s weird, wild, and tonally all over the map, but Juan Piquer Simon’s little opus pays maximum entertainment dividends - especially if you're entertaining a crowd!

Little Tommy (Oscar Martin) loves to collect pets of all kinds, but he’s about to meet his new best friend Trumpy! Fuzzy furry long-nosed Trumpy is part of an alien race that has crashed on Earth. While Trumpy has magical powers and befriends the child, not all of his kin are as friendly. A killer fuzzy furry long-nosed Identical relative of Trumpy stalks the wooded mountains brutally murdering a band of camping recording artists and a team of animal poachers. 

Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 know full well how weird Extra Terrestrial Visitors is. A Joel-era classic episode, for Pod People (as it was known in certain markets even though there aren't any pods and the existence of "people" is questionable) the laughs hit a mile a minute. One zinger after another, Joel and the Bots attempt to digest Juan Piquer Simon’s film as the bizarre plot and tone shifts unfold. And amazingly enough, the MST3k crew didn’t cut a whole lot out for time. I’ve only seen Extra Terrestrial Visitors unriffed a handful of times, and it’s amazing how easily the film lends itself to some gags and friendly lobs from the audience. We laugh at it with love, not hate.

To be fair to Simon and his creation, it didn’t start out to be this weird mishmash of genres and kid-friendly fun with heavy alien invasion horror. We actually have Steven Spielberg and the massive success of E.T. to thank for that. Originally, Juan Piquer Simon set out to make a straight horror/sci-fi flick with an alien stalking and killing a bunch of campers in the woods. But when Spielberg's flick became a summertime Box Office sensation, the producers demanded more kid-friendly material. And so we get a movie that Simon wasn't ultimately happy with but is nonetheless incredibly entertaining.

So, on one hand, you have this E.T. knock-off where a kid befriends an alien after hatching a found egg in his own bed (yuck!), and then on the other hand, you have this identical alien that kills everything it gently slaps with its arm and leaves weird constellation lights on their foreheads. Why? Beats me. but it's spooky. It’s basically two movies in one. Both stories work on their own but they never really work together. That’s where the unintentional fun begins! There are other aspects of the film that don’t work and lead to some bizarre unintentional hilarity, but it’s the tonal mishmash that really sells it. Now with the original Spanish language track, the film plays a little better, I’d never seen it like that before, but it’s the amazing English dubbing where average folks will have the most fun. Grab some friends, food, and a lot of drinks, and get yourselves ready for Extra Terrestrial Visitors!



Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray

Extra Terrestrial Visitors makes its worldwide Blu-ray debut with a two-disc Blu-ray + Soundtrack CD set. The film is pressed on a Region-Free BD-50 disc. The discs are housed in a standard black two-disc case with reversible insert artwork. The disc loads to an animated main menu with standard navigation options. If you were fast enough, you could have ordered a bundle set exclusive to Severin with Trumpy plush figure and T-shirt!

Video Review

Ranking:

As I continue my efforts to secure unriffed uncut versions of my favorite MST3k episodes, I’m once again blown away by the effort some of these films get on disc. This time, Severin steps up to the plate to deliver an excellent 1.85:1 transfer of Extra Terrestrial Visitors sourced from a new 4K scan of the 35mm negative. Details are impressive from the get-go with clean fine lines and textures for all forms of furry alien lifeforms. A lot of the film purposefully has a hazy look to it when the action moves to the mountains or for night shoots, but fine details survive with a natural cinematic film grain structure. Colors are generally pleasing with bright bold primaries and healthy human skin tones. Black levels can be a little dodgy in places because of the haziness, but image depth is appreciable. The last time I saw this unriffed was many years ago on DVD, but needless to say, this transfer easily outpaces that disc as well as the tape used for S:4 E:03 of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Audio Review

Ranking:

This round of Extra Terrestrial Visitors drops by with Spanish DTS-HD MA 2.0 and English DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio tracks. I recommend the English - simply because it’s how I’ve always seen the film and some of the dubbing can be entertaining. With that, the voices for the Spanish track sound a lot more natural without feeling canned. Scoring and sound effects for both tracks are solid - the music for this film has always been memorable with an ominous synth quality. Plus, you get an incredible rock song recording scene that sounds better than ever! The soundtrack CD also has this tune and it’s so damn weird to hear it outside of the film or on MST3K. You too can feel the wind in your eyes!

Special Features

Ranking:

On the bonus features front you get a lot of great material to dig into. The first and most interesting for fans of this sort of cinema will be the extensive feature-length The Simon’s Jigsaw documentary that looks into the work of Juan Piquer Simon (in Spanish with English subtitles). After that is a fun quick interview with Emilio Linder who played “Brian” the band manager. He’s got some great anecdotes about working with Piquer for six films but also other actors like Peter O’Toole and Donald Sutherland. After that is an interview with composer Librado Pastor as well as a concert with the artist. For fans of the domestic release, Severin has also included the “Pod People” opening credits which bizarrely featured footage from the film The Galaxy Invader

  • The Simon’s Jigsaw: A Journey into the Universe of Juan Piquer Simon (HD 1:41:22)
  • A Weekend in Hell - Interview with Emilio Linder (HD 14:23)
  • Composing the Cosmos - Interview with Librado Pastor (HD 19:02)
  • A Private Concert from Librado Pastor (HD 8:41)
  • Alternate Pod People Opening Credits (SD 2:17)
  • CD Soundtrack Single (4-Tracks)

A film doesn’t have to be high art to be entertaining. Sometimes it just has to be a confluence of a solid idea and a pivot to capitalize on someone else’s success. Such is the case with Extra Terrestrial Visitors. Juan Piquor Simon set out to make a creepy sci-fi horror film and instead was forced to make a kid-friendly alien visitor adventure film… that’s also a creepy sci-fi horror film. Trumpy may be the least scary alien ever to invade Earth, but the film is a raucous good time for anyone aiming to have a great time with plenty of food, friends, and a lot of drinks! Now on Blu-ray for the first time from Severin, Extra Terrestrial Visitors (AKA Pod People) looks and sounds better than ever. To top off the great A/V presentation, the disc scores some interesting bonus features and if you were fast enough on the order button some pretty slick swag too! For MST3k fans and lovers of unintentionally hilariously entertaining cinema - Highly Recommended