PURPLE PEOPLE EATER (1988)

Its guest blog time – and our friends at First World Failure came back with this…


The year was 1988. I wasn’t old enough to watch PG-13 movies. Neil Patrick Harris wasn’t the household name “Dougie Howser M.D.” Dustin Diamond wasn’t Screech in “Saved By the Bell.” Throw in a post-Deliverance, pre-HomicideNed Beatty, Little Richard, and an oversized muppet that will give you nightmares, and what do you get? The movie inspired by the 1958 novelty song, “Purple People Eater.”
Purple People Eater is billed as sci-fi, comedy, family film and was written and directed by Linda Shayne. You may know Linda better from such roles as “band member” in Munchie and “Bootsie Goodhead” in Screwballs (which she also wrote). What I’m saying is, when studio execs wondered who they could trust with such a radical idea, they got the best.
This is Billy. He collects stray animals, which is important to remember because when he sees a huge space alien his first thought isn’t “BURN IT WITH FIRE!” it’s “yeah, you should come live in my garage.”

Billy is being taken care of by his Grandfather this summer, and Grandpa isn’t what we call “competent.” Veiled in the guise of seizing the day, Grandpa dupes Billy into helping him paint his apartment. 

What Grandpa doesn’t have in children supervising skills or money, he makes up for in old records. One night, Billy plays Sheb Wooley’s only hit, and the Purple People Eater appears from outer space
Instead of running for help, Billy’s all “move in to my garage. My parents are gone for the summer.” 

When Gramps finds out, he’s not the least bit alarmed. He’s all, “You should start a band with the space alien. Don’t worry about being EATEN.” 
Is anyone else noticing the HUGE plot holes in this movie? Over Billy’s right shoulder? That’s Screech.
Also, perhaps the Purple People Eater is an allegory for how we exploit immigrant workers in this country. Yes, Linda Shayne was way ahead of her time. 
 


Billy, unaware that he’s letting aliens take all the good jobs from American band members, plays with his new band all over town. It should be noted that their first gig is a wedding and nobody is put out that an alien who plays music through his horn is taking center stage. Then again, Chubby Checker was there…


Really? Nobody is worried that young Thora Birch is going to be murdered by a Purple People Eater? Oh, the main antagonist is a landlord named Mr. Noodle? Sure, sounds plausible. 

Gramps has a bee in his bonnet because Mr. Noodle is selling his apartment building and all the old people will need to find a new home! Could someone introduce him to the computer and show him what Craigslist is? Problem solved. There’s about 50 minutes you can cut from this movie. 
 
 

Guess it’s easy to get the laws changed and save Grandpa’s apartment when Little Richard is the mayor. Way to fight against GREED Billy!
 

And the townspeople still refuse to treat the monster from outer space as the threat he is because he can play music and hasn’t eating anyone yet. A likely story.
  
This movie has a 63% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which can only mean that 63% of people are idiots. 

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FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION – The Stuff (1985)

 

In celebration of Hollywood’s love of making us fearful of anything seemingly normal (who of us hasn’t done our own version of The Purge on a quiet Saturday afternoon?) , so I confronted my biggest fear, which is the pain of lactose intolerance. Thankfully, there’s a horror film for that. And its called The Stuff.

The film poses a more serious question of if we truly are what we eat. (The answer is yes and if you have to ask, maybe you too need a cutesy kitchen magnet to remind you). Its a societal fable of what happens when we as a people choose to eat gloopy white stuff in a purple tub and allow it to become a lifestyle. And when the FDA can’t save you, the Army will.

Let’s begin.

We open our story  with an old man who will eat anything…

If I’ve learned anything from this low budget movies, its you should never touch anything on the ground.

Here, a mannish woman tries to seduce me with Stuff. I am both frightened and intrigued.

Several white men stand on a boat and talk about ice cream, cementing exactly what I thought CEOs do in their free time.

This guy looks like he has a incredibly dumb name that he has a incredibly dumb joke to go with.

“Mo Rutherford. My name’s Mo. Because when people give me money, I always want Mo.”

Someone please feed this guy Stuff.

“Low in calories, good tasting and not a spot. Why doesn’t my son like it?”

My guess is kids don’t like being forced into things by adults with low hanging robes. Child Protective Services will back me up on this one.

 

 

YES! Down with the Dairy Council!

In this movie universe, Danny Aiello is the head of the Food and Drug Administration

In this movie universe, he is owned by a dog.

A dog who can amazingly unplug the phone when there’s an emergency. A sort of reverse Lassie.

This scene began with the guy from 2 Broke Girls jumping Mo and ended with the line, “You’re Chocolate Chip Charlie!”  That’s just quality screenwriting.

For a town that’s only eating The Stuff which has no calories, everyone here seems suspiciously doughy.

Excuse me while I throw out all those old containers of Cool Whip…

Based on this commercial alone, I could have told you The Stuff was dangerous. Bad ensembles, bad lighting, model grimacing…take it off the shelves for the love of God!

Invasion of the Stuff – your family will get even whiter than humanly possible.

Nope, even whiter.

Here’s how I know The Stuff is embroiled in controversy – Abe Vigoda is involved…

Dear God – they got Clara Peller! (why yes, I’m old. Why do you ask?)

Really not sure how The Stuff can attack you if you don’t eat it, but its definitely going to get mentioned in this motel’s Yelp review.

“Three stars for the Crystal Campground Motel even though the mattress turned into sweet soft serve then ate my brother….”

Now I’m hungry for a sundae and some Herb Alpert….

21st century America can be amazing – food is cheap and plentiful and will literally chase you down a dark alley until you eat it.

When someone makes a face like this, the last thing I want to do is hold them by the shoulders and keep my face at mouth level.

Chocolate Chip Charlie truly was what he ate.

What this movie didn’t touch on was The Stuff had no artificial preserves and was as natural as you can get.

I’ll say this for salad – it has never made the effort to rise up and be my friend. So points for The Stuff.

I would have rested much easier in 1985 had I know Paul Sorvino was in charge of the entire Army and hated desserts.

In conclusion, this is how my stomach now feels when faced with dairy…

Thanks, The Stuff!

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