Aliens land in the mythical town of "Speelburgh, U.S.A" searching for the source of rock & roll. What they find is a gang of teenagers, led by Dee Dee and Frankie, along with Frankie's posse/rock band, the Pack. The leader of the aliens takes a shine to Dee Dee and all sorts of trouble breaks out.
Directed by: James Fargo
. Starring: Pia Zadora
, Craig Sheffer
, Tom Nolan
, Ruth Gordon
, Michael Berryman
, Alison La Placa
, Gregory Bond
, Craig Quiter
, Patrick Byrnes
, Marc Jackson
, Jeffrey Casey
, Jimmy Haddox
, Marshall Rohner
. Music by: Jack White
I sometimes imagine an alternate reality for Pia Zadora, one in which her billionaire first husband Meshulam Riklis, instead of underwriting her movies and albums, merely financed some demo recordings, promotional photos and coaching for his young bride and then stepped back to let Pia try to forge her own path to stardom. I have no doubt she'd achieve some success as a singer if she stuck to adult contemporary fare. If she pursued acting she'd probably land parts like "Girl by the Pool" or "Teen-age Hooker #2," before graduating to supporting roles in straight-to-video sex comedies and maybe an erotic thriller or two. If she were lucky, she would land a role on a mediocre sit-com. She wouldn't make as big a splash, but at least she'd be spared the humiliating belly flops.
Then again, we would be deprived movies like "Voyage of the Rock Aliens." A last-ditch effort to establish Pia as a movie star, the barely released "Voyage" isn't the worst movie in Pia's filmography. It is, however, the worst in many of her co-stars': Alison La Placa, Michael Berryman, the band Rhema (who?). Even Craig Sheffer, whose credits include such gems as "Killer Virus" and "Merlin: The Return," probably winces when reminded of his lead role as Pia's bubble-butted boyfriend. At least poor Ruth Gordon, as the clueless sheriff, died shortly after making this movie, sparing her having to live with the embarrassment.
"Voyage" is the story of a rock n' roll obsessed aliens who, after a screening of the video for Pia's duet with Jermaine Jackson, "When the Rain Begins to Fall," beam down from their guitar-shaped spaceship to the town of Speelburgh. (Speelburgh! Ha ha! Kill us all, now.) Speelburgh is known for its toxic beaches, horrible fashion and camera-mugging. Also, there's some sort of beast with rubber-tentacles living in its waters that no one seems to notice. Pia plays Dee Dee, a cherubic high school hottie dating Frankie (Sheffer). Frankie is a leader of the rockabilly band The Pack, though he never once performs with it. And he doesn't want Dee Dee to perform with the band, either. The aliens, dressed like they hail from the planet Chess King, have a hard time fitting in until they introduce the teens of Speelburgh to their synth-heavy, New Wave-ish sound and before you know it they're being invited to play at the Heidi High cotillion. Then the aliens' blond commander ABCD (pronounced "Absid") gets one look at Dee Dee and literally explodes with desire. Once re-assembled, he decides the quickest way to win Dee Dee's heart is to allow her to perform with the aliens.
Also: Michael Berryman escapes from the local Hospital for the Criminally Insane, going on a chainsaw murdering rampage because why not?
Though "Voyage" is a comedy, it's seldom funny (only La Placa gets any genuine laughs). There is some fun to be had at Craig Sheffer's expense as he lip-syncs "Nature of the Beast" while slinking around the woods and jabbing his cheekbones at the camera, and Pia's otherworldly fashions (complete with an unflattering side ponytail held in place with a spool) will inspire some embarrassed titters. Still, "Voyage" will produce more groans than guffaws. And then there's the music. To be fair, there are a few listenable tunes. I liked Rhema's (the titular rock aliens) song "21st Century" well enough, and Pia does all right with "When the Rain Begins to Fall" and "Little Bit of Heaven" (both songs hits in Europe), but otherwise the music ranges from forgettable to out-and-out terrible. Pia went on to prove she can belt out pop standards -- backed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, no less -- yet she's often warbling her way through her numbers in "Voyage" until back-up singers come in to rescue her (and listeners) in the chorus, suggesting that maybe Frankie had valid reasons for keeping Dee Dee off the stage. As for the dancing, well, it's energetic!
"Voyage" is an odd movie in an odd movie career, a movie that's just a mountain of cocaine away from showcasing all the excesses of the 1980s. It's bad, sure, but, like Pia Zadora herself, fascinating for its mere existence.
Review by John Nail from the Internet Movie Database.