"Oversexed Rugsuckers From Mars" isn't what you're expecting no matter what you're expecting.
The short version is that Martians come to Earth ten million years ago to invent new life forms. They come back in Los Angeles in the late 1980's to find the human experiment is a complete failure. Pondering their options they elect to make a hybrid human-vacuum cleaner being who will better be able to clean up after itself. The results of this experiment go horribly awry during the remainder of the film, and lead to some of the most jaw-dropping concepts in film history.
After getting through the myriad of horrible previews that you can't fast forward through (a personal pet peeve of mine) the credits emerge and are promptly vacuumed offscreen. The interstellar aspiradora action begins in earnest when vulgar claymation Martians land on Earth next to a homeless hobo, Vernon (music producer Dick Monda). They promptly spike his booze in a nasty little scene while "Also Sprach Zarathustra" plays in the background mocking "2001." This contaminated alcohol awakens Vernon to his lust for household appliances, and he quickly finds Dusty, a old upright vacuum cleaner to first make out and later mate with. Subsequently there is lots of sexy vacuuming action with both uprights and canister vacuums, although the notable absence of wet-dry vacs was a surprising gaffe considering the obvious jokes that could have been made.
Although the sound quality is terrible (it's sometimes difficult to understand the dialogue) the annoying music manages to distract at key moments like when Vernon gets Dusty a bouquet and affixes it to the vacuum's bag. The film then cuts to a psychiatrist at the "Department of Indigence" who is begging to keep his job by proving he can rehabilitate any homeless person into an upright member of society. He picks Vernon for his grand experiment, as he's the only one with pigeon excrement on his head. Vernon begins his therapy by explaining how he fell into homelessness: he lost his kids in a boating accident, his wife ran off with a Fuller Brush Man, etc.
While Vernon is spilling his heart to the shrink, a street hood finds Dusty and sells it to a guy, Tom Oxlitener, who is having marital problems, as their canister vacuum is kaput. The wife is quite unhappy when Dusty is brought home as it is a quite old appliance, but Tom convinces her that it formerly belonged to the Queen of England and had been chiefly responsible for cleaning Buckingham Palace. What follows next is an extraordinarily disturbing scene involving whipped cream, suntan lotion, voyeurism, halitosis, and aphrodisiac tea vacuumed up by Dusty. This tea drives Dusty into a frenzy and it kills Beverly Oxlitener while Tom is in the shower, scavenging all her blood with its special schnozzle attachment. When the detectives arrive they have doubts about Tom's story, though one concedes "If this was the result of a faulty vacuum cleaner, I sure hope it came with a warrantee!" While all this is going on Vernon is despondent and is running through the streets crying out ("Dusty!") for his cherished aspiradora.
Tom quickly gets over his wife's death, and is interested in Rena, the singer in a local rock band. The music in the film really takes it up a notch from this point on, with lyrics about cleaning the dirt out of your bathroom rug, etc. My favorite line from any of the songs is without doubt "Have you ever tried to love so hard it gave your heart a hernia?" Tom likes Rena because she has nice legs and makes the best brown rice ever. Of course Tom is also confused by his toaster oven. Rena is dating Charlie, a loopy loser into all varieties of Eastern mysticism; he wants Rena to "lower her energy down to her base root chakra, then raise her energy you to the third eye." Rena is a real rock and roller, and a screamfest about base root chakras ensues. While that piece of drama is going on, next door Dusty lassoes Tom and ties him up with its cord while it performs unnatural acts with the hapless dimwit. The cops are called, and arrest Tom, who predictably yells "The vacuum cleaner did it!" The cops, who don't believe him, leave Dusty to open the oven and eat Tom's still hot TV dinner: Dusty signifies his satisfaction with a contented belch. Fortunately for Tom, Rena likes him, too. She even gets him a lawyer.
Rena wants action, and while Charlie is meditating about chakras and going "Ommmmmmm" endlessly, Rena watches "Lebanon Vice" on the TV ("You should have your eyes examined!"..."I will as soon as I wipe this guy's pancreas off my face!") After getting all riled up by the television, Rena goes out to perform with her band, "Ray Zone Day," where the drummer promptly sets his drum kit on fire. This band provides the music for Dusty to make its own music video, during which it gets back into the "Weeping Wanger Tea" and gets so excited that it tracks Rena to her apartment, chases her, roars, and consummates their relationship.
Rena bravely goes to the police, one of which actually gets to say "I want an APB put out on a vacuum cleaner. Medium height, brown bag." The police are now beginning to suspect Dusty, as the coroner's report mentions dust particles in the victims. While Dusty now wandering the streets Vernon is consoled by the shrink who says "It's not normal to carry on mature relations with a household appliance." Vernon doesn't care about societal values: he is in love. Although the police stage a lineup of vacuum cleaners, Rena can't pick out Dusty. This is one of the greatest scenes in movie history.
Despondent, Vernon is preparing to end it all when Dusty rolls down the street and leaps into his arms. They go on a romantic date in the park and even go for a paddleboat ride (!) all of which leads up to Dusty wearing a veil at their wedding.
Charlie and Rena are having relationship difficulties when it's revealed that Rena is pregnant: "How could you be pregnant?!"..."The vacuum cleaner, Charlie. It has to be." This proves to be the last straw for their relationship.
The movie abruptly returns to Mars where the leader is mad. The underling who contaminated Vernon's drink is sentenced to twenty lashes with a wet spinach noodle. The Martians revisit Vernon, who goes at it with one of them while Dusty gets jealous. Due to his continued issues, the shrink threatens Vernon with a lobotomy, but he has to catch him first. The cops find Vernon and Dusty sleeping by a railroad track ("Put the vacuum cleaner in the car, I'll get the indigent!") Dusty immediately outwits the police and escapes. While one policeman has a life or death struggle with the vacuum cleaner, another chases Vernon in a shopping cart race (the cops have a siren and flashing blue light on their shopping cart.) Dusty knocks one cop out and puts him in front of a speeding train, while the shopping carts are involved in a wreck.
The day arrives for Tom's trial, and the defense is spirited ("Objection! The prosecution is attempting stand up comedy!") In the worst courtroom scene of all time, pregnant Rena testifies, goes into labor, and delivers her offspring: a half Dustbuster-half Cabbage Patch Kid. This must be seen to be fully appreciated. Vernon kidnaps the Dustbuster and shoots Charlie for some reason. During the exciting police chase that follows the song about vacuums and special attachments is a perfect complement to the onscreen action. Vernon, Dusty, and the Dustbuster barricade themselves in a house and the cops plead with them to do the sensible thing: "We've got you and the vacuum cleaner surrounded! Come out with your hands and hoses up!" Dusty bravely hurls himself out of the window into a hail of bullets before dying in Vernon's arms. The Martians return to take the Dustbuster, which is now called the "Vacusapien" while "Also Sprach Zarathustra" and the camera work once again ape "2001." The cops allow Vernon and Dusty one last walk on the beach before Dusty is placed on the railroad tracks.
The DVD has several extras including the original cut of "Vac-U-Sapien," the precursor movie and some behind the scenes stuff. The additional "Lebanon Vice" material is extremely poor, especially the footage of a piece of aluminum foil. (Watch it and you'll see what I mean.) By far the best extra is the director's commentary track which reveals a few stunning things about the film, including the amazing fact that the entire film was shot for $1,100, including film (not video!), processing, and the cost of the camera! That even beats J. R. Bookwalter at his thriftiest! The commentary is actually insightful about low budget filmmaking, and especially about Super 8 editing. There is also a very interesting discussion on humanizing the vacuum cleaner so it would be a sympathetic character, a point I had never considered before.
Overall the film is an amazing and stunning piece of work: it is absolutely original and enormously entertaining if you can get past the seedier undertones of an outlaw gender-confused vacuum cleaner. This is low budget cheese at its finest.