Article 4641 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Ian Shand
Featuring Leo Maguire, Teresa Codling, Adrian Hall
What it is: Children’s movie
The small village of Byway is in danger of having its landscape wiped out by a bypass that is going to be built through it. However, an alien from outer space shows up to fix things.
This is an example of what I’ve come to call the “Fix-It Stranger” story. These are stories in which certain characters have problems until a stranger shows up to fix them. It’s not necessarily a bad story foundation; if you think about it, some excellent movies such as SHANE and THE ROAD WARRIOR have that plot. When it’s done badly, however, you end up with movies like this one. Granted, that’s not the worst problem here; the movie isn’t really taking the plot that seriously to begin with. It is, however, not all that funny, at least partly because it takes that condescending “kids will laugh at anything” approach. The alien looks human except for an appendage at the top of his head; the title is derived from the noise the appendage makes when the alien takes off his hat, and that should give you an idea of the level of the humor. It’s another title from the Children’s Film Foundation, and it’s also another title I couldn’t find for years until it showed up on a British DVD. It’s silly and inconsequential.