An alien civilization, unable to produce enough coffee to feed their planet’s caffeine addiction, is on the verge of collapse.
Unfortunately for Earth, an old Folger’s coffee television commercial has arrived at the alien solar system. The kindly Mrs. Olsen, smilingly describing the rich flavor of Folger’s coffee, has caused a political upheaval. The ruling class is unable to contain the chaos, so an upstart army officer with a terrible caffeine addiction organizes a coup d’état. Now in complete control of the planet, he calls himself, “General Valdez”. He calls his faction, “The Folgerites”.
Imagining unlimited supplies of coffee yet to be harvested on Earth, General Valdez leads a fleet of alien war ships to take over the Earth. Our planet is to be turned into a giant coffee plantation. The conquest is taking place in five phases, or waves.
The first four waves of deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated.
The first wave was an EMP, or electromagnetic pulse that crippled Earth’s machinery and communications.
The second wave saw the construction of massive labor camps in future coffee growing regions.
The third wave was the modification of Earth’s climate, turning all land masses into lush, tropical eco-systems, perfect for coffee growing.
The fourth wave was the conscription of the world’s burros and equipping them with rattan baskets to hold the precious harvest.
The fifth and most devastating wave was yet to come: cloning the original actor who portrayed Juan Valdez in the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Columbia television commercial from 1989, so endless copies of him can hand pick the treasured bean for General Valdez and the Folgerites.
One of a handful of survivors of the first four waves is John Ballard, an American expat living in the Philippines, on the run with his two friends, Pete the Cat (short for Petronius the Cat) and his loud-mouthed green parrot, Pete the Parrot (short for Pete the Loudmouth Parrot). Ballard, an unemployed pet psychic, can communicate with his animal companions using only his mind, but neither the parrot nor the cat, having the same name, ever know which one is being contacted, which leads to frequent squabbles.
The monstrous Folgerites have decimated the Earth for what they most highly prize: fresh ground Folgers. Pete the Parrot also craves Folgers, and can detect it with his acute senses hundreds of miles away.
The squawking fowl, having disappeared for a week in search of coffee, has returned with news that there is a supply of Folgers at the Pitaya Institute, an agricultural research facility dedicated to the study of dragon fruit near Batangas. Unable to grind beans or plug in a coffee maker, Pete the Parrot mentally begs Ballard to come to the Institute. To sweeten the pot, says the parrot, locked inside the burned out Pitaya Institute building is Professor Grund, an enigmatic scientist who claims he knows how to destroy the Folgerites.
As the invaders prepare for the devastating fifth wave, Ballard, Pete the Parrot and Pete the Cat set off across an apocalyptic landscape. After days of dodging alien death squads, the trio encounters a crashed spacecraft. All the aliens are dead, but their prisoner is not – a beautiful Filipina spitfire named Rosa, who Ballard releases from her smoldering prison. There is an immediate attraction between Ballard and Rosa, but with an uncertain future for all of them, romance will have to wait.
Our brave band of adventurers, Ballard, Rosa, Pete and Pete find shelter in an abandoned, rusting white 1973 Ford Plymouth station wagon with collapsed suspension, bald tires and an AM radio that somehow pulls in a fire and brimstone Christian station on continuous loop from Anchorage, Alaska. Overcome by Rosa’s beauty, Ballard tries to steal a kiss, but Pete and Pete start a fight and spoil the romantic moment – but it doesn’t matter – they have to press on to find the Professor!
Driving all night, dodging aliens, our rag tag band locates the Pitaya Institute early the next morning. Only Professor Grund knows the secret that can destroy the invaders. But is he still alive? They must enter the damaged building and release him, as he is humanity’s only chance to save the planet.
Pete and Pete enter the building, and except for Pete the Parrot’s constant squawking, Ballard reads their minds to monitor their progress. Once again Ballard is distracted by Rosa’s beauty and is about to kiss her, when he is jolted with a psychic squawk from the garrulous parrot, who has located the locked room that imprisons the Professor.
Ballard mentally directs Pete the Cat to lead them to Pete the Parrot’s location. After negotiating live electrical wires, broken glass, collapsing walls and Pete the Cat’s obsession with rats, they arrive at their destination.
The Professor is behind a door three feet thick. Ballard and Rosa can’t hear what the Professor is telling them. There is a crack in the wall, but Pete the Cat is too fat to fit, so Pete the Parrot squeezes through.
Ballard asks Pete the Parrot to talk to the Professor, so they can get find a way to get him out. Pete starts squawking to the imprisoned scientist, “Open the door, open the door, squawk! Open the door, open the door…squawk! Tell me how, tell me how…squawk!”
The Professor tells the loud-mouthed bird where Ballard can find the key to the door. Soon, the Professor is free, and they set upon a plan to stop the invaders. It turns out that the Folgerites can be killed if their skin is broken by dragon fruit seeds, which is why the monsters targeted the Pitaya Institute.
“You must construct a dragon fruit machine gun,” says the Professor, “something that can shoot the miniscule seeds at the aliens, destroying them and foiling their evil plans to dominate Earth!”
Luckily, Rosa is a munitions expert for a clandestine government organization. She teaches secret agents how to create deadly devices out of everyday objects. Working through the night, they construct several dragon fruit guns, hoping they will be ready before the Fifth Wave, the dreaded army of smiling Juan Valdez clones descends upon them.
Minutes before first light, the weapons are ready…but will they work? Ballard asks Pete the Parrot to fly into the alien command center and lure them back to the Institute. At first the aliens ignore the bird, but Pete’s incessant squawking annoys the aliens so much they take off after him in hot pursuit. General Valdez lands with his soldiers at the Institute. He’s wary of a trap, but believes he’s destroyed all the humans there, so he proceeds into the building to put an end to the vituperous bird.
The alien squad follows the echoes of Pete the Parrot’s obnoxious squawking. Moving deeper into the bowels of the building, the general and his contingent are getting further away from reinforcements. Pete the Cat silently follows the monsters while simultaneously looking for lab rats and relaying their movements to Ballard.
The aliens follow the bird into a large auditorium. Reverberating parrot squawks make it impossible to locate Pete. The aliens are being set up in a cross fire. A few more squawks and the invaders are in position. Pete the Parrot makes one final squawk, and then BANG!
The monsters are pummeled by dragon fruit seeds, which quickly poison them. The soldiers die immediately, but the general lives on long enough to warn his fleet to escape immediately from Earth, as they have no defense against dragon fruit seeds!
Ballard, Rosa, the Professor, Pete the Cat and Pete the Parrot save the Earth. The Professor and Pete the Parrot go to look for a working coffee maker. Pete the Cat is busy stalking a giant rat squeaking under some debris.
Alone at last, Ballard and Rosa, longing to express their love, prepare to kiss. Before their lips meet, Rosa looks down at Ballard’s pants and says, “Is that a mouse in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?”
Puzzled, Ballard looks down, reaches into the folds of his pants and pulls out an enormous white lab rat. Pete the Cat, whiskers twitching at the sight of a gourmet meal, launches an immediate attack and lands straight on top of Ballard and Rosa, knocking them backwards onto some sacks and breaking them open. Perfectly roasted coffee beans spill out, and their aroma fills the room. In the lab, several Bunsen burners and large Pyrex beakers give Ballard an idea. He says, “Coffee everyone!”
Pete the Parrot reads Ballard’s mind and tells the Professor, “Squawk! They found some coffee, they found some coffee, squawk!”
Pete the Parrot and the Professor hurry back to the main lab, where they are greeted with one liter beakers of piping hot, freshly brewed coffee, a welcome reward for our humble heroes.
The Fifth Wave has failed. Ballard and Rosa are together. Pete and Pete are still squabbling, but deep down they care about each other. Millions of Juan Valdez clones, with their burros, form long lines at immigration offices, applying for political asylum in Colombia. The sun rises on a new day.