By John Lichman | April 28, 2010

Kitsch science fiction will forever be associated with clunky ray guns and spandex suits to fascinate all children (ok, mainly boys) to dream of the future (ok, mainly alien sex symbols and firing ray guns.) “Zonad” has more to do with “The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra” and “Alien Tresspass” in terms of setting, but relates with “Amazon Women On The Moon” when it wants to express the giddy joy of drinking, knocking boots and winking at innuendo—except without the T&A.

On the night of a passing comet, the Cassidys are enjoying a town picnic before heading back home. Before you can say “fat man in a spandex suit,” they come home to find their living room in shambles and a man passed out before them! Enter Zonad (Simon Delaney), a mysterious visitor from another world who entrances and seduces the small village of Ballymoran with his thirst for knowledge, stashed liquor and hunger for the finer things in life (knowledge, food and the aforementioned “young schoolgirls.”) Zonad, of course, is Liam, one of two escapees from an alcohol recovery institute that took off during his group’s introductory costume party. After a while, Zonad’s “superior office” Bonad appears, thanks mainly to a 70s pantsuit and some tape. From there it’s up to Zonad, the town doctor, the Cassidys’ daughter’s boyfriend and his faithful manservant to save the town from Bonad and give a few winks and nods when it comes to a man’s appreciation of another man’s body.

Subtle? Sure–just as subtle as a drunken constable pissing on a man tied up to a tree, which happens twice in “Zonad.” John and Kieran Carney aren’t exactly trying to float innuendo past us, as much as they ensure that we’re expecting lowbrow sci-fi and getting that in droves. One of the more sly jokes comes from Guy Hindrickson (Rory Keenan), the upper-crust boyfriend of Jenny Cassidy, who speaks in an All-American accent, wears a vintage letter jacket and has a butler named Benson (David Murray) from America. 

It’s a shame then that “Zonad” belongs, body and soul to Keenan and Delaney, and plods along once we’re given an “Us vs. Them” finale that culminates with a boxing match fueled by gin and cocaine. Random chimpanzee screams in an Irish forest are far funnier than a tiny dick joke, especially when someone responds to the same scream like a chimp without missing a beat. “Zonad” has a place if you’re a fan of sci-fi b-films and sneaking a few pints of black beer into a theater with you. But don’t bother trying to convert anyone to your kitsch clause with this, because they’ll just come for the beer and piss on the screen within a half hour.

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