Amanda and the Alien (1995) — It’s cute to date a serial body snatcher

“I always thought that when I fell in love, it would be with a musician or an artist or someone really politically active, not an alien that lives on human flesh.”

Justin’s rating: Three bottles of half-eaten paprika

Justin’s review: Having grown up feasting on Star Trek: The Next Generation, it’s absolutely mind-breaking to see Michael Dorn playing any other character than Worf. For the first few minutes of Amanda and the Alien, I kept shouting at the screen, “Where’s your latex? Where’s your honor? Where’s your captain constantly dismissing your valid security concerns?”

Dorn is part of a government team that’s trying to track down an escaped alien slug. Said slug has the ability to take over human bodies with the power of extremely bad CGI, although it appears that it can only stay in a body for a little while before consuming it entirely. You’d think that the government would want to keep the secret of alien life and an escaped hostile E.T. a secret, but no, they blab it to the news and everyone knows.

However, this is firmly in Gen X’s era, so nobody really cares that much. At the bottom of the caring ladder is Amanda (Nicole Eggert), an extremely grumpy clothing store clerk who can barely walk due to the enormous chip on her shoulder. She’s also a misunderstood artist who lives with her parents, because of course she is.

One day at her bohemian coffee shop — please never forget that this was the ’90s — Amanda instantly identifies the escaped alien in human clothing. Does she scream? Call 911? Club the alien over the head with the cello that beatnik is playing? Nope. She offers to help the body-snatching, human-killing alien pass as a more believable member of the species. Why? Because Amanda has to be as contrarian as possible, as that is her only character trait.

And what’s more contrarian than encouraging the alien to take over a really cute guy’s body? Then Amanda can start dating the alien who — I must remind you — is wearing the living corpse of the person it just murdered. But hey, romance! It’s a good reason to betray your species! Even when the alien has to keep hopping into different bodies, Amanda stays the course for her paprika-eating alien boyfriend.

Intergalactic love is not a new movie concept, even for a romcom, but Amanda and the Alien absolutely fumbles the premise by making both the alien and Amanda impossible to root for as a couple due to all of the, you know, serial killing. Yet the movie (and Amanda) doesn’t seem that concerned with any of the people who died, because googly eyes and smoochy faces take priority.

It’s not every day that you’re going to see a movie about an alien getting high on paprika and being taught the ways of Gen X love to a Jane Wiedlin soundtrack, so I suppose if you ever get to that specific point of your life, you have a place to rest your befuddled head.

Didja notice?

  • I don’t think my psyche can take Michael Dorn and Stacy Keach in the same room
  • Passive-aggressive smoking
  • Aliens see in tilt-o-vision
  • Amanda has the most annoying alarm clock ever, but I dig the opening song “Hey Girl” by Jane Wiedlin
  • “Trend Mill” as a fashion store
  • “Definitely due for attitude check!”
  • Poetry slam with Tony! I’m in!
  • Ahh the illustrative split-screen phone call
  • This movie is a great crash-course in mid-90s fashion
  • Those chess pieces are so incredibly high
  • A poetry coffee bar. Starbucks, this ain’t.
  • She burns off her fingertips?
  • All of the Star Trek references
  • Michael Dorn eating a leftover cheese sandwich
  • Aliens don’t know how to put on bras
  • The most unnecessary shower scene in the history of film that was clearly written by a guy
  • Aliens LOOOOOVE paprika
  • “Commie Coffee” would be a good name for a store, I guess
  • The alien dancing
  • Michael Dorn smashing the guitar
  • People who give lifts to strangers tend to get DECAPITATED. Or so I heard.
  • The most cowboy hotel ever
  • “One can of caviar. I had to go to the store for that. I hope you appreciate it.”
  • This movie is 23% room service
  • The crazy 360-degree pan of the diner
  • Don’t threaten Thelma

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