Wouldn’t it be cool if nice aliens came down to earth with tons of cool gadgets and advanced technologies to share with us? Wouldn’t it suck if they were big fat liars with lizard faces who wanted to enslave us and eat all our adorable pet hamsters alive? Such is the predicament in the 1983 miniseries V, a sci-fi action bonanza that fired the imaginations of the playground set and created much speculation and debate around junior high water fountains across the country. Writer/director KENNETH JOHNSON was wise enough to know that you don’t have to have a face like a Gila Monster to be a douche and liberally borrows from our planet’s own history to show how propaganda, fascism, oppression and ultimately resistance and rebellion operate. Why even as I write this now, I feel an urge to go and march against Lizards! Not only did these jerk’s ultimate plan include swiping all our beloved H20, it also turns out they were turning folks into frozen dinners to be chomped on like Hot Pockets on some future date! Two scenes from the original miniseries are particular crowd pleasing traumatizers, one involves the super bitch alien “Diana” doing something to a rodent that would make even RICHARD GERE feel faint, and the other involves BEASTMASTER MARK SINGER ripping off the human disguise of an alien guard to reveal his long slippery snake like tongue. Even those who had an inkling that there was something too good to be true about these visitors couldn’t help but be shocked by these scenes that were above and beyond what anyone was used to seeing on broadcast television. Putting aside some outdated dialogue, some giant ’80s style hairdos and some less than convincing, mostly matte painted special effects, V and its lizard people still carries quite a punch. Like JOHN CARPENTER‘s THEY LIVE, it may have you looking closer at the talking heads on your own T.V. set, waiting for their skin to peel off or a fleeting glimpse of a devilish serpentine tongue.
Note: These cool original T.V guide ads were swiped from HERE
UPDATE: Kindertrauma readers are never wrong. It seems the most traumatizing scene in the “V” universe occurs in “The Final Battle” when two little baby visitors are born to a human girl. (Thanks to reader Turnidoff for the reminder.) It really is a great scene that starts with a seemingly normal birth that turns out to be not so normal and a surprise second birth that’s even worse. This is all while sweet lullaby music box tunes play on the soundtrack!. Way to turn the screws”V”, and props on the expert use of a “To be continued…”