Betamax Double-Bill: Morons From Outer Space And Absolute Beginners

Morons From Outer Space (1985).

Is Morons From Outer Space, Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones’ much-scoffed-at mid-eighties box office disaster, really as bad as its reputation suggests? As you can imagine, I have a lot of not entirely straightforward opinions about that, which you can hear me discussing in much more detail on the eighties movie podcast Betamax Video Club. As well as standing up for the unfairly maligned movie – well, more of a not-that-bad overlong sketch that thinks it’s a full-length film script, but sometimes that’s exactly what you want from a comedy film frankly – and its compellingly awful Jimmy Nail-assisted theme song, you can also hear some contentious opinions on Shooting Stars and Red Dwarf, a thoughtful assessment of why television comedians so rarely manage to pull off a big screen success, suggestions for potential better titles than Morons From Outer Space, and some frankly inexcusable impressions of Griff.

You can listen to Betamax Video Club: Morons From Outer Space here,

Morons From Outer Space Betamax Video Club

Absolute Beginners (1986).

And if you’re in the mood for a double bill, you can head down to the eighties video rental megastore and lend an ear to another of my appearances on Betamax Video Club, this time talking about 1986’s widely-panned all-singing all-dancing Bowie-equipped adaptation of Absolute Beginners, as well as touching on Julien Temple and David Bowie’s other big screen collaborations including the genuinely brilliant Jazzin’ For Blue Jean and the little-seen Tin Machine launch film. Absolute Beginners has a reputation as something somewhere between a disaster and a mess and is routinely held up as the embodiment of everything that was wrong about Britain in the eighties, but how does that explain the excellent soundtrack, the spectacular song and dance sequences and David Bowie leaping around on a giant typewriter? As you can imagine, I have plenty to say about that…

You can listen to Betamax Video Club: Absolute Beginners here.

Absolute Beginners Betamax Video Club

Morons From Outer Space (1985).

Buy A Book!

If you’ve enjoyed listening to me on Betamax Video Club, there’s a lot more about eighties films that nobody else in their right mind would consider worthy of discussion in my book Can’t Help Thinking About Me, a collection of columns and features with a personal twist. Can’t Help Thinking About Me is available in paperback here or from the Kindle Store here.

Further Reading

That’s Motivation is a look back at the unfairly ignored Absolute Beginners soundtrack and its many forgotten standout contributions from major artists, including that David Bowie number; you can find it here.

The World Of David Bowie is a feature on the many ways Bowie influence my life beyond just the music, including some slightly ridiculous things alongside more of my thoughts on Absolute Beginners; you can find it here.

Further Listening

You can hear more about David Bowie’s other overlooked mid-eighties soundtrack contributions in The Real Bowie Says To The Imagined Bowie, a collection of highlights from Looks Unfamiliar, here.

© Tim Worthington.
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