72 - Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1984)
Voyage of the Rock Aliens was supposed to be a hit. It was billed as "Space Grease", the kids were going to love it, the songs would become classic, and its memory would permeate in pop culture for decades. Problem is, none of that ever happened.
Pia Zadora - the only actress to win a Golden Globe and Razzie for the same role - was being pushed for big things. With an all-star agent behind her and a wealthy husband, there was no way she wasn't going to be a star. Talent? Who needs talent when you got money and connections?
The plan should have worked; it might have worked today. You might or might not know that most of the famous people you see - from song and screen - are from incredibly wealthy families. Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, Jake Gyllenhaal, Edward Norton, the list goes on and on with actors and entertainers who are from incredibly wealthy or powerful families. They simply buy their way into the entertainment industry.
Pia Zadora is an example of plutocracy not working. She married one of the wealthiest men in America and set out to become a famous singer, model, and actress - the old "triple threat". She had some success in all three but Voyage of the Rock Aliens is an example of where reality came crashing down.
This is a movie that should have worked. You had a competent director (James Fargo - who had worked a number of times with Clint Eastwood), the Cinematographer from Star Wars (Gilbert Taylor - in one of his last feature credits), and even Grindbin All-Star and Oscar Winner Ruth Gordon (who we know all too well around this website). So what could go wrong?
Voyage of the Rock Aliens is living proof that you simply can't make a movie out of nothing. The producers were given an opportunity to make a movie for Pia Zadora (to showcase her "talents"). They quickly purchased a script that had almost nothing to do with the final product we see today and completely re-write it on-set and at their hotel room to become a musical. "Space Grease" was born.
The movie was filmed cheaply in Atlanta, they convinced Jermaine Jackson to record a hit single with Pia (and even put the music video in the movie), and the film was ready to be released onto the unsuspecting American public. Only it never did.
In one of the more bizarre instances of creative control, Pia Zadora had personal approval over the final cut and distribution in America. After millions of dollars were spent and countless hours of work were finished, she decided she didn't want the movie released in the US. Relegated to foreign cable networks and bootleg VHS tapes, Voyage of the Rock Aliens would never become that "Space Grease" hit they all envisioned.
You're probably wondering how we know all this. Well, Pia is not the only one who received a strange transmission from space. Check out our full interview with the Rock Aliens themselves below: