Home > Adventure, Comedy, Family, Sci Fi > Mom and Dad Save the World (1992)

Mom and Dad Save the World (1992)

Some kids believe their parents can do anything. Dick and Marge’s children have outgrown that stage, but little does anyone know that this middle-aged couple are about to save planet Earth…

Mom and Dad Save the World is a sci fi adventure film, loosely parodying Flash Gordon and similar space opera serials, directed by Greg Beeman. It stars Jon Lovitz, Jeffrey Jones, Teri Garr, and Eric Idle.

Emperor Tod Spengo has been the leader of the planet Spengo since he overthrew the previous king, It is a planet of idiots, but that’s okay because Tod is an idiot as well. However, he has a clever plan – blow up the Earth so that Spengo will be the greatest planet in the galaxy through sheer lack of competition (I did say he was an idiot). However, when he looks to see where exactly his Death Ray will impact on that stupid blue planet, he sees a middle-aged housewife exercising in the backyard, and is instantly smitten. Planet Earth’s imminent destruction can wait, he decides, until after he has captured his alluring Earth woman and made her his bride. Marge Nelson (said alluring Earth woman) and her husband Dick are about to leave on a trip to Santa Barbara to celebrate their 20th anniversary, little suspecting that some madman wishes to reduce their home planet to atoms. They find out in a hurry, though, when Tod uses his Magnobeam to abduct them, station wagon, luggage, and all, and bring them to Spengo. Now these middle-aged parents are forced to fight for their lives, their freedom, and the continued existence of planet Earth against the forces of unfathomable evil idiotic petulance and atrocious fashion sense in order to escape the clutches of Emperor Tod Spengo and get home safely. Naturally, hilarity will ensue.

This is a pretty silly movie, in the same category as Spaceballs. Tod Spengo is basically Emperor Ming as an overweight, insecure loser, which makes his antics laughable when they would be frightening on a serious villain. In fact, all the denizens of Spengo have a deadpan goofiness about them that makes it hard to take the story seriously. They follow Emperor Tod because he’s the emperor and they’re all idiots. The rebels see rocks as astonishingly advanced technology (perhaps in a shoutout to the Ewoks’ victory over the more advanced storm troopers in Return of the Jedi), and they believe stealth can be found in disguising themselves as birds of a scale that aren’t native to the planet. By far the most dangerous creature on the planet is the Lubb-Lubb, an adorable little mushroom-like creature capable of biting off your arm. You will be laughing and facepalming at everything that happens on Spengo. And that’s the whole point – this movie takes a theoretically serious story, adds a strange twist, and lets the thing spiral off into chaos. It puts a suburban middle-aged couple in the role of unlikely heroes, Spengo et al in the role of unlikely villains, and White Bird’s forces in the role of unlikely rebel reinforcements.

That said, this was a very well-done parody. The special effects were suitably campy, including the creature effects on the bulldog-men and fish-ladies (implied to be the male and female counterparts of the same species), the sets were gleefully complex to the point of absurdity, and the costumes were divided into two categories: state-mandated atrocious fashion, and loincloths. The acting was spot-on and sufficiently overdone for the genre, and the actors seemed to be having a great time poking fun at space opera conventions even as their characters took the whole thing seriously. Except for Eric Idle. He’s like that all the time.

If you’re looking for a goofy little send-up of the space opera genre and you’ve already watched Spaceballs more times than is entirely beneficial to your mental health, hunt down this little gem. It’s goofy and fun and more than a little insane, and that’s just the way I like my parodies.

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