The decidedly miscast Paul LeMat here plays Charles Bigelow, a Columbia University entomology professor who tracks his odd-duck ex-wife Margaret (Diana Scarwid) to her old hometown, which is typical Smalltown, U.S.A. (She'd left their daughter (Lulu Sylbert) with him and then disappeared.) Not only does he find it to be a strange environment (it seems to be stuck in the 50s), but the locals aren't exactly welcoming. A couple of WTF experiences later and he realizes that, in fact, the aliens have landed, and have kept this town in this state for a quarter century. He teams up with a tabloid journalist, Betty Walker (ever lovely and appealing Nancy Allen), and a supposed nut case (the excellent Michael Lerner) to take on the "strange invaders".
This film was fashioned by director Michael Laughlin ("Dead Kids") and his co-writer, Bill Condon (a future director, himself) as both a loving tribute to and parody of vintage science-fiction. In that respect, it gets its look and feel just right. It's often amusing, has its heart in the right place, and in this viewers' humble opinion, actually has a fairly decent pace. The script isn't perfect; it does have some holes, but overall Laughlin and Condon did a nice job here. Having partly shot their film in Canada, it does have a delightful scenic quality, which is only enhanced by the widescreen photography. It also features some wonderfully icky and gross makeup and creature effects that are certain to have some more squeamish viewers going, "Ewww." Best of all is the score by John Addison, which does a fine job of truly evoking the era.
As part of their presentation, Laughlin and Condon cast the film with some supporting roles and cameo appearances for performers from old time sci-fi: June Lockhart and Mark Goddard from 'Lost in Space', Kenneth Tobey ("The Thing from Another World", etc.). Cinemas' original grumpy old man, Charles Lane, co-stars along with Louise Fletcher (playing a not-quite-on-the-level government agent), Fiona Lewis, a too briefly seen Wallace Shawn, character actor Jack Kehler (in his film debut), singer Bobby "Boris" Pickett, and Dan Shor & Dey Young, the young stars of "Dead Kids". LeMat is a rather bland hero, but Allen is luminous, and Lerner pretty much delivers the best performance in the thing. Condon has an uncredited cameo as a guy listening in a doorway.
Perhaps the most value lies in trivia revealed by Laughlin on his audio commentary: at the time, he was young Sylberts' stepdad; her real dad was the legendary Hollywood production designer Richard Sylbert, and her mom is Susanna Moore, the production & costume designer on this film; Laughlin was involved with Moore when this film was made.
Pay close attention during an early scene to hear what may have been the first use of an R.E.M.
Review by Hey_Sweden from the Internet Movie Database.