Pia Zadora and Ruth Gordon In The Same Movie?

Categories: Film

Voyage of the Rock Aliens 34 Pia Zadora.jpg

How did I miss Voyage of the Rock Aliens when it came out in 1984?

In one of her last films, Ruth Gordon plays the sheriff of a town called Speelburgh, seeking out the alien invaders who've wreaked havoc at Heidi High in their quest for the roots of rock and roll.

There, they find pint-sized dynamo Pia Zadora, who wears poodle skirts, sings kitschy tunes, and cheats on boyfriend Craig Sheffer with the head alien (bleached blonde Tom Nolan), while her man-hungry pal Alison La Placa finds love with the scary bald guy from The Hills Have Eyes.

It's all too bizarrely wonderful, especially since the nonstop music is kind of catchy, and they've interjected a weird Pia Zadora/Jermaine Jackson music video into the "plot" in a way that makes no sense even to aliens!

Even more stunningly, Pia and Craig sing the very same song at the end of the movie. In fact, it's the very same version, with Craig weirdly lip-synching to Jermaine's voice!

This thing is a real curio worth digging up from a hole in the ground, though my one tragic regret is that Pia and Ruthie didn't share a single scene together.

Quel fromage!


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RHEMA (a rock group) and Tom Nolan (center) as the rock aliens


Voyage of the Rock Aliens - Allison LaPlaca Michael Berryman.jpg
Alison La Placa, Michael Berryman find love.


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Pert little pixie Ruth Gordon. I can't find a still of her from Voyage. She must have burned them.

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18 comments
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Vodkastinger
Vodkastinger

I am so into this!  You'd have to be a communist not to be, or a republican.  (rushes to phone, opens amazon app, and is crushed to see its only available in non USA formatted DVD).

Musto
Musto

My friend got it on VHS.

Cannuck
Cannuck

Alison La Placa's hair reminds me of the line: "Her hair was not so much teased, as tormented."

Thombeau
Thombeau

I have no recollection of this movie being released, and can only assume I was high.

Muscato
Muscato

Part of the confusion, I think, is the incredible length of time that this... remarkable film sat on the shelf.  Gordon was two years in the grave before it saw the limited light of day that it managed to achieve, before disappearing again - along with Zadora's career.  Alison La Placa's pretty good, though, and it's a shame she never really landed beyond her extended guest shot on Friends. 

Once upon a time I wrote a little piece on one of the picture's lesser numbers, if any one's interested.

Musto
Musto

The correcting gang is out in full force. One person says it was her last film, not her next to last film. Another says it was her fourth from last film, not her last film. The whole time, I supplied the link to imdb (though that only tells you when a film was released, not when it was filmed). So I've changed it to "one of her last films."

Fredsawy
Fredsawy

It wasn't Ruth Gordon's next to last film. After she did this movie she also did Delta-Pi, Maxie and then her last movie The Trouble with Spies that came out after she died. Also she did 2 eps of Newhart after this Voyage of Rock Alien

rolph
rolph

Congrats. You clicked on the link that Musto supplied above.

Jack E. Jett
Jack E. Jett

Musto ...you make the best...I mean THE best suggestions for classic films.  You have such an eye for all that is tasteless. 

Musto
Musto

Thanks to Kenyon Phillips for getting this move to show me--on command!!

mookindahouse
mookindahouse

and there's a battle of the bands sequence that's clearly a ripoff of the "Dancin' '' number from Xanadu (no wonder Pia is dressed like Olivia Newton-John...)

mookindahouse
mookindahouse

this actually was Ruth Gordon's last movie :(

funny tidbit: Jermaine Jackson is just credited as 'Rain' in the final credit crawl 

Werque
Werque

IMDB says she was in "Maxie" and "The Trouble with Spies" after this one.

Gcndc
Gcndc

I hate to admit it but I had a doulbe-wrap belt just like that in the 80s.

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