How did I miss Voyage of the Rock Aliens when it came out in 1984?
In one of her last films, Ruth Gordon plays the sheriff of a town called Speelburgh, seeking out the alien invaders who’ve wreaked havoc at Heidi High in their quest for the roots of rock and roll.
There, they find pint-sized dynamo Pia Zadora, who wears poodle skirts, sings kitschy tunes, and cheats on boyfriend Craig Sheffer with the head alien (bleached blonde Tom Nolan), while her man-hungry pal Alison La Placa finds love with the scary bald guy from The Hills Have Eyes.
It’s all too bizarrely wonderful, especially since the nonstop music is kind of catchy, and they’ve interjected a weird Pia Zadora/Jermaine Jackson music video into the “plot” in a way that makes no sense even to aliens!
Even more stunningly, Pia and Craig sing the very same song at the end of the movie. In fact, it’s the very same version, with Craig weirdly lip-synching to Jermaine’s voice!
This thing is a real curio worth digging up from a hole in the ground, though my one tragic regret is that Pia and Ruthie didn’t share a single scene together.