Having directed, among other comedies, the big hit Ghostbusters and its sequel Ghostbusters II, director Ivan Reitman returned to the scary comedy genre in 2001 with this amusing and light take on an alien bug invasion.
When trainee fireman Wayne Green (Seann William Scott) witnesses a fireball hitting a remote part of the desert, Dr Ira Kane (David Duchovny), Prof Harry Phineas Block (Orlando Jones) and Dr Allison Reed (Julianne Moore) form a team investigating the phenomenon without needing to let the government in on their little secret.
What they discover is that the projectile contained alien life which continually mutates, dies but is re-generated one step up the evolutionary scale. From single cells, they're soon facing raptor-like creatures that are beginning to be able to breath the atmosphere and unless they can destroy the "mother" in the core, it'll be just weeks before humanity is extinct.
Highlights include the foursome chasing a flying monster in a shopping mall, the rectal removal of an alien from Block (hence his desperate cry, "There's always time for lubricant") and the finale which sees Block... um ... inserted into the mother alien's rectum to ensure its demise, thanks to a well-known anti-dandruff shampoo (don't ask).
The four stars each bring their own brand of comedy - Duchovny is deadpan but sly; Jones - as the man who wonders if the Nobel Prize is a one-off payment or in instalments - has some of the best lines; Scott plays the dumb innocent caught up in events bigger than him, while Moore proves she can do fall-over comedy as well as straight drama.
With nods to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The X Files, Jurassic Park and even The Blob, it was never likely to get an Oscar, but stood head and shoulders above 2001's also-ran comedies.