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Zone Troopers (1984)

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Nazis vs. UFO aliens and American Gis. No, it’s not the 2-hour Wonder Woman episode “Judgement From Outer Space” (in which the aliens decide in 1942 whether Earth is a danger to other planets).

In this one, five U.S. soldiers in WW2 Italy stumble on a crash-landed alien spacecraft and decide to enlist the advanced extraterrestial’s help in defeating the Nazis. It stars Tim Thomerson, Timothy Van Patten, Art LaFleur, Biff Manard.
Directed and written by Paul DeMeo and Danny Bilson of Future Cop (1976), Trancers (1984), The Eliminators (1986), The Wrong Guys (1988), Arena (1989 version, later remade in Russia by Roger Corman as The Arena), and The Rocketeer (1991, based on the comic book but with Doc Savage replaced by Howard Hughes).
“Zone Troopers” was seen on MonsterVision on 4-11-98
86 minutes, rated PG

Joe Bob Briggs promo for MonsterVision
(click to play clip)

Now here’s Joe Bob Briggs:
Zone Troopers starring Tim Thomerson, the B-movie veteran who was on here a few weeks back in Metalstorm. Remember that turkey? Let’s not dwell on that. Now, this is the story of some World War 2 soldiers who go searching for Nazis behind enemy lines, but they end up encountering these really weird aliens from outer space. And I don’t want to give it away because this is a real one of a kind story. Let’s hope it’s one of a kind anyhow. Sort of a satirical, sci-fi, war-comedy with cheesy special effects, and a great performance by Timothy Van Patten, better known as the forgotten Van Patten. Those Van Pattens, they should do an infomercial on birth control, don’t you think?
Ok, let’s take a look at those drive-in totals. We have:

80 dead bodies
3 machine-gun battles
1 exploding alien spaceship
1 brutal beating
1 motor vehicle chase
Exploding Nazis
Gratuitous Hitler
3 stars. And I’ll be hanging around a little longer to bring you insight into the cinematic art.

Host segment transcript of 4-11-98 broadcast
©1998 Turner Network Television. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved

Previous MonsterVision host segments:
Weekly World MonsterVision ... Week of June 23, 1997


Did you know that the real reason America won World War II is because we got some extraterrestial help during the Italy campaign? At least, that's the story according to Zone Troopers, last week's feature on Joe Bob's Last Call. And here's the world's foremost authority on trash cinema with the lowdown on this B-movie masterpiece from exploitation king, Charles Band:

"Zone Troopers" Intro:
And so the giant pig in "Razorback" is MINCED by an elephant-meat grinder. And Gregory Harrison gets the girl-the NEW girl. His wife just died, but, hey, he's single. Warner Brothers released that movie in America in 1984 and really expected it to be a big hit. The cinematographer was Dean Selmer, who also shot The Road Warrior and Mad Max, and it was during that time when everybody was crazy for anything from Australia, but it just didn't take off. More people have discovered it in the last ten years than originally saw it-and the reviews were kinda negative. But what's "Monster Vision" for, if not to revive deserving horror classics, and to cook pig meat?

All right, next week, back by popular demand, we have The Exorcist, followed by "The Exorcist II," which, I realize, is a re-run, but it was so dang popular the last time we did it that we're doing it again. One of the greatest horror movies ever made, followed by one of the worst horror movies ever made, and they happen to have the same name. That's next week.
Okay. "Zone Troopers." Starring Tim Thomerson, the B movie veteran who was on here last summer in "Metalstorm," remember THAT turkey? Let's not. Anyhow, this is the story of some World War II soldiers who go searching for Nazis behind enemy lines, but they end up encountering some really weird aliens from outer space instead, and I don't wanna give it away, because this story is a one-of-a-kind deal-let's hope it is anyhow-sort of a satirical sci-fi war-comedy with cheesy special effects and a great performance by Timothy Van Patten, better known as the "forgotten" Van Patten. Those Van Pattens-they should do an infomercial on birth control, you know? Okay, let's take a look at those drive-in totals. Eighty dead bodies. Three machine-gun battles. One exploding alien spaceship. One brutal beating. One motor vehicle chase. Exploding Nazi. Gratuitous Hitler. Three stars. And I'll be hanging around here during the movie, bringing you insights into the cinematic art.

[fading] Did the Mail Girl leave? I think she has an allergic reaction to pigs.

MAIL GIRL [Off Camera]: Exactly!

"Zone Troopers" Commercial Break #1:
You know, you can tell this is a Charlie Band picture right from the beginning. If you ever see Empire Entertainment or Full Moon Entertainment on a picture, then you know it's produced by Charlie Band and you know it'll have this goofy comic-book feel to it. It doesn't matter WHAT the picture is about, they all feel this way. And a lot of em star Tim Thomerson, like "Scanners," "Dollman"-he must be Charlie Band's favorite actor. We gotta have Tim on the show sometime. He's a standup comic, or he used to be, he doesn't do it anymore, and he's made, like, nine THOUSAND movies. He's the guy playing "Iron Sarge" in this picture. Okay, the compass is going crazy, they've retreated into the woods, the Nazis are after em-roll it. Let's see what happens next.

[fading] I sound like Robert Osborne, don't I? I'm the low-budget Robert Osborne, talking about the eminent producers of this movie. Just cause the movieis cheesy doesn't mean they don't wanna know who made it. Can you have a little faith in the TNT programming department here? Maybe? Perhaps?

"Zone Troopers" Commercial Break #2:
So the Nazis have a secret weapon from outer space. There's a hairy animal-face monster loose in the woods. And Timothy Van Patten is the only person we can trust. I think that about sums it up, don't you? Timothy Van Patten, in the role of Joey Verona, is the center of the moral universe of this movie. I rest my case. Thank you.

"Zone Troopers" Commercial Break #3:
"Krauts! Lousy stinkin Krauts!" In the immortal words of Tim Thomerson. And, of course, we have Timothy Van Patten's exhortation to "Think like a Martian." You know, there's a fine line between goofily charming, and STUPID. I'm not saying we've crossed that line. I think there's hope here. But, you know, it's third-and-two. Your know what I'm saying? I thought so. Roll it.
[fading] Third-and-two on our own ten yard line.

"Zone Troopers" Commercial Break #4:
That's the great Art La Fleur, as Mittens, taking his brutal beating from the Krauts. They wanna know about that weird egg in the cage? Well, forget it, pal. These are AMERICANS. You think they give outer-space UFO information to Nazis? Have you ever noticed how the Nazis will never execute a principal cast member? They'll kill everybody else. Blam! Dead extra. Dead Extra. Dead extra. Dead stuntman. Supporting actor comes into view-they missed him! Just an observation. Okay, roll it.
[fading] I think it's a rule in the Screen Actors Guild. You can't kill em before the final two reels.

"Zone Troopers" Commercial Break #5:
You know what? I'm starting to actually LIKE this movie. There's something about the guy in the alien bear suit-"Mack"--he just walks along with em, and they all act like they don't notice than an alien creature with giant black bug-eyes has become their friend. And only Timothy Van Patten understands the monster's TRUE EMOTIONS. This is good. I like this.
[fading] I'm not being sarcastic.

"Zone Troopers" Commercial Break #6:
Do you know what's going on? I don't know what's going on. The monster has some kind of Rubik's cube laser device that creates beautiful women, and then five of his friends show up, and they have a different kind of rocket ship than the one we saw before, and they can vaporize tanks, and "Write about this, Dolan, so the guys at home will know, Joey Verona met the man from space." You know what I say? Write about this NOW, Dolan, so that we'll understand WHAT'S GOING ON. that was a great dying scene, though. I'm making fun, but I like Timothy Van Patten in this movie. So SHOOT ME.

Now, for the even more improbable conclusion of "Zone Troopers." Also known as "Dead Nazi Jubilee." Roll it.

"Zone Troopers" Outro:
So there we go- "Zone Troopers." They told Charlie Band that he was crazy when he said, "I wanna combine science fiction with World War II comedy." And, of course, we now know, he WAS crazy. Anyhow, that's it for "Monster Vision" tonight. Next week we've got the big Roman Catholic twin bill, The Exorcist followed by "The Exorcist II: The Heretic." The one where Richard Burton goes in search of Isuzu, or Kokumu, or Fizuzu. Anyway, he goes stumbling around over in Africa, communicating with Linda Blair by ESP while they try to get wired into the soul of a locust god. Why am I explaining this? It's late. I'm annoying people with this.

Joe Bob Briggs Okay. So. Did you guys hear the one about the tired businessman. He's wrapping up a long business trip, gets on the airplane, plops into his seat, and he breathes a sigh of relief cause he has all three seats to himself. Closes his eyes when, at the last minute, somebody plops down beside himself. He thinks "Great!"
But then he opened his eyes and saw the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen in his life. He noticed she had a name tag on, so he said, "Hi, Masra, are you travelling alone?" She laughs and says, "Oh, that's not my name. I was the keynote speaker at a convention today and forgot to take the silly thing off. It stands for Massachusetts American Sexual Response Association."

He says, "That sounds fascinating. What did you speak on? She says, "Well, I'm a licensed sex therapist and have been doing research on the ability of the American male to please women. I've discovered that the American male, contrary to many people's uninformed opinions, is actually quite a good lover. However, there are three groups of Americans that really stand out as the best of all. One group are the Jewish men, because they seem to be able to really communicate with women. Another is the Native American, basically because as a group they are physically fit. And the third group is men from the South, because of their stamina. And by the way, my name's Wanda. What's yours?"
He says, "Hi, Wanda. I'm Tonto Weisenberg, but all my friends back home call me Bubba."

Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in will never die.

[fading] You know the difference between a woman with PMS and an Iranian terrorist?
You can negotiate with an Iranian terrorist.
Last seen on TMC / The Movie Channel

©1997 Turner Network Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This link now maintained by AOL, so it probably doesn't work

“Zone Troopers” is available on video and on DVD from

A popular story during WW2 tells of a guy who runs across a girl he hadn't seen since high school. When he asked where she'd been, she replied that she'd just gotten out of the army.
"Oh, I see," said the fellow, "you were in the WAACs" (Women's Auxiliary Army Corps)
"No," she replied. "Just the regular army."
"You mean you were in the regular men's army?"
"Yep," she says with a smile.
"But how's that possible? You'd have to eat with those guys— you'd have to sleep in the same barracks with them— you'd even have to be taking showers with them. Somebody's bound to notice!"
"Sure," she replied, "but who's gonna tell?"

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Fun fact:
According to Ripley's Believe It Or Not, German submarine U-1206 was attacked and sunk by British planes when it surfaced in 1945 due to a malfunctioning toilet. Hey, when you gotta go you gotta go!