Oversexed Rugsuckers From Mars

I can't start talking about this movie without divulging some family lore first. Years and years ago my father found this movie somehow and made a bootleg copy for himself on VHS. It was a go-to reference when my mom wanted to make fun of my dad's weird / eclectic taste because she a) couldn't believe it existed and b) was married to someone who wanted to own it. As a kid I never watched it because it sounded unappealingly pornographic, but I was definitely aware that it was around.

After my father died I moved to Portland and when my mom came to visit me for the first time I took her to Movie Madness. It's a go-to on my tour of the city because it's got a bunch of cool stuff to see (including props from Psycho and Citizen Kane), but also because the store exemplifies the spirit of Portland. (They split their martial arts movies into two sections "kung fu" and "poseur kung fu". Steven Seagal is in poseur kung fu.) Anyway, they advertise that they have pretty much every obscure movie of all time there, and her go to test to see if Movie Madness was up to snuff was to see if they owned Oversexed Rugsuckers from Mars. They had it on DVD and VHS.

When Christmas rolled around that year I had to think about what to get her. Now, sending your mom a movie with a title like Oversexed Rugsuckers From Mars might sound perverse but a) keep in mind that I had grown up around this movie, so it wasn't like I was going to get flack for bringing it into her home and b) it's the sort of gift that only someone who knew you really, really well would think to get for you. I figured that it would mean something symbolic to get her a copy of the movie so I ordered a DVD of it online and had it shipped to her house.

What actually showed up was - and I am not making this up - disc three of the second season of Dog The Bounty Hunter's reality tv show. I have abso-fucking-lutely no idea how you receive an order for "Oversexed Rugsuckers From Mars" and end up saying "one disc from the middle of a random season of a show that is not about sex, oversex or rugs is good enough for government work" but that's what happened. They refunded me, but by the time it all got sorted out Christmas had passed and I didn't see the point in ordering another copy. In this case the thought of it was as good as the real thing because I doubt my mom would actually have watched it had it showed up, but she was sufficiently amused at the idea.

Fast forward to the next Christmas, where I find out that my mom has bought me a copy of it on DVD. That was probably six or seven years ago, and I never actually bothered to watch it. It just seemed like all that I needed to know about it was right there in the title; putting my butt in front of a tv screen seemed superfluous. But I finally decided that I was going to knock this off my to-do list today.

So is everything you need to know right there in the title? Well, yes and no, Yes, there are romantically invasive cleaning devices in this movie; in the first five minutes claymation aliens make a homeless man fornicate with a vacuum cleaner in the hopes that their offspring will be a form of humans that knows how to "clean up after itself." (Later it turns out that their plans failed because both Dusty and the Hobo were males.) (Also, Dusty and the Hobo is a great name for a romantic pairing.)

And yes, true to the legends I had heard growing up, at one point a woman gives birth to a dustbuster because of a nighttime liaison she had against her will with an insistent rugusucker. (No one had warned me that she does so on the witness stand in court, and that the baby is a cabbage patch doll shoved into the bottom part of a dustbuster.) I'm not against seeing that stuff, but watching it with my own eyes was not that much more evocative than hearing about it and imagining it.

But there was a lot more to this movie than mechanical succubi. In fact, the Martians are probably in less than five minutes of footage, the rugsuckers maybe 20, and the oversexed parts... I dunno, the math is hurting my head right now. The point is that a huge percentage of the movie is actually made up of "skits" parodying tropes about Los Angeles in the 80s. There's a health nut who won't eat anything except bean curds and brown rice; a detective who talks like he thinks he's Humphrey Bogart; a legal secretary who wants to front a hair metal band; a hobo who has to go to therapy every week. The stock nature of these skits is kind of shocking in contrast to the total nuttiness of the extraterrestrial parts. Not completely shocking, because it's all done with the same level of amateurness, but still, kind of shocking.

At the end of the day was the movie worth watching? To be honest with you I don't know. I'm glad that the movie exists; the same way that Voltaire thought that if God didn't exist we would have to invent him I feel like movies like Oversexed Rugsuckers From Mars kind of have to be invented from time to time. And for this movie to exist it needs to be seen by somebody. But even I'm not delusional enough to think that it is good enough to deserve to be seen by a lot of somebodies...

I guess my gut feeling is that it's probably enough that I, and my father before me, watched this and spread the word. We are the wizards that summoned this great and terrible beast into your world to impress you but then banished it from your sight before you had to fight it. You can thank us for our grand illusion later.

Winner: ...Me?

Oversexed Rugsuckers From Mars on IMDB