a dark allegory about childhood abuse. A studio purchases the script, proceeds to rewrite it, and completely sucks out the soul. What ends up on theater screens is a dumb-ass, aggressively wacky family-comedy starring Dan Aykroyd and Kim Basinger. Selling out art for mass appeal bullshit is just what Hollywood does, right? I'm referring to the backstory behind “My Stepmother is an Alien,” a mostly forgotten motion picture from 1988. Despite these facts, for some reason, I own this movie.
The movie's plot is pretty much encapsulated in its title but I'll expound further anyway. Dr. Steven Mills, a widower with a thirteen year old daughter, is a scientist attempting to establish contact with extraterrestrial intelligence. During a freak lightning storm, he manages to broadcast a radio wave into another galaxy. This ends up disturbing the gravity on an alien world. Those aliens send Celeste, a female agent, to establish contact with Mills and undo the gravitational shift. Celeste looks humans but is grossly misinformed about Earth culture. Her robotic handbag provides her with other worldly powers. Celeste quickly seduces Mills, marrying him after one day, who then teaches her about being human. However, the alien agenda is not as peaceful as it seems.
a thousand dollar bill. You get the idea. Even though this is pretty much a kid's movie, the filmmakers decided to also depict Celeste learning about sex. So she gets a crash course in intercourse by watching a porno. We are then greeted to an extended scene of Kim Basinger writhing around in a barely there nightie. The raunchy stuff is just as corny as the rest of the film's humor but feels very out-of-place, considering the otherwise deeply childish tone.
If you aren't attracted to this movie by the sight of Kim Basinger in lingerie, you're probably here for the goofball sci-fi elements. These scenes provide this broad movie with their broadest moments. Celeste's handbag is a character onto itself, with a robotic eye emerging from it that talks and moves around. Bag, voiced by an extra bitchy Ann Prentiss, has the ability to do just about anything. She levitates the dog onto the roof. Any plot useful objects can be summoned from inside Bag. Naturally, a big conflict in the plot is from Jessie, Mills' daughter, uncovering Celeste is an alien. This climaxes with Celeste floating her onto the ceiling, revealing her alien agenda. Jessie then immediately changes her mind about Celeste after she saves her from a rogue car, phasing her through the vehicle using some subpar special effects. (You can see the crumbs of the screenwriter's original vision here and in these scenes alone.)
his real life interest in extraterrestrials. Aykroyd brings a little of his trademark nervous buzz to the part. He's likable and all smiles. However, there's little room in the material for Dan to express himself much. Basinger certainly tries to elevate the material. She's willing to play along with the big, silly gags. However, the part is so thin and underwritten, that Bassinger has no chance to make Celeste seem like a real person. In the bit parts, I couldn't help but notice Tony Jay as one of Celeste's bosses and Harry Shearer doing a pretty good Carl Sagan impersonation over the phone. Also, Jon Lovitz plays Aykroyd's brother, a sex starved nerd. Otherwise known as a Jon Lovitz part.
Stepmonster.” I don't exactly regret owning the movie. It's not very good but is mildly interesting as a curio for fans of “Buffy” and “Ghostbusters” and, I don't know, “L.A. Confidential.” The creature effects aren't too bad, I guess. It's the only sci-fi movie where Jimmy Durante is an important plot point. This one probably doesn't need to be in my DVD collection but I can't quite bring myself to get rid of it either. Blame my obsessive hoarding. [5/10]