An Irish K-Pax anyone? After a comet flies over the small village of Ballymoran the Cassidy family make a strange discovery: a man passed out on the carpet in their living room. Dressed in a red latex suite and sporting a visor on his helmet, they naturally assume their uninvited guest is a visitor from another planet. And sure enough, here on Earth to carry out an utterly non-specific mission, it’s Zonad!
In K-Pax you may remember that the drama was born out the possibility that Kevin Spacey’s mental patient might in fact be an alien. Here the comedy (and be warned, it’s about as broad as it gets) is derived from the absolute certainty that Zonad is not an alien, but a drunken escapee from a local rehab facility intent on shagging the Cassidys’ teenage daughter. If this strikes you as flat-out hilarious, then Zonad might well be the movie for you. If, however, this stand-alone joke doesn’t sound like enough to sustain its 75 minute running time, then you might find this about as welcome as a dose of the clap. As for me, I’m strangely divided on the matter.
The cast certainly give it their all, although there are moments where, understandably enough, they have trouble connecting with the material. There’s a couple of good gags involving Zonad exploiting his new found fame for either sex or free beer in the village pub, and a laugh out loud moment involving a statue erected in his honour.Things are rounded of nicely when Zonad’s nemesis Bonad turns up (don’t ask) and a plan is hatched to thwart him.
The main problem is that the jokes are a bit heavy-handed for a mainstream audience and perhaps not weird enough for the cult crowd. Those seeking a more sophisticated slice of low-budget sci-fi comedy should check out Nick Whitfield’s recent Skeletons . This, however, is a deliberately low-brow affair, but it’s all done with enough gusto that the cast just about carry it off. In fact, without the energy and verve of everyone involved I get the distinct impression this would have been unbearable. As it is, it’s an amiable bit of nonsense. It also finishes on a song. And you can’t say fairer than that, can you?