A teenage couple making out in the woods accidentally runs over an alien creature with their car. The creature's hand falls off, but it comes alive, and, with an eye growing out of it, ... See full summary »
Edward L. Cahn
One night, young David McLean sees a spaceship crash into a nearby sandpit. His father goes to investigate, but comes back changed. Where once he was cheerful and affectionate, he's now sullen and snarlingly rude. Others fall into the sandpit and begin acting like him: cold, ill-tempered and conspiratorial. David knows that aliens are taking over the bodies of humans, but he'll soon discover there have been far more of these terrible thefts than he could have imagined. The young doom-monger finds some serious help in a lady doctor and a brilliant astronomer. Soon they meet the aliens: green creatures with insect-like eyes. These beings prove to be slaves to their leader: a large, silent head with ceaselessly shifting eyes and two tentacles on either side, each of which branches off into three smaller tentacles. It's up to the redoubtable earth trio to stop its evil plans. Written by
According to script supervisor Mary Yerke, director and production designer William Cameron Menzies filled 12 notebooks with charcoal sketches depicting every scene he planned to shoot. Just days before principal photography, all of these storyboard sketches disappeared from the production office. See more »
The artillery barrage, originally started as a diversion to distract from blasting the second entrance, goes on far longer than makes any sense for that purpose. Many of the stock footage explosions clearly show target vehicles being destroyed, which seems a poor choice considering they are supposed to be shelling empty land. See more »
The heavens. Once an object of superstition, awe, and fear. Now a vast region for growing knowledge. The distance of Venus, the atmosphere of Mars, the size of Jupiter, and the speed of Mercury. All this and more we know. But their greatest mystery the heavens have kept a secret. What sort of life, if any, inhabits these other planets? Human life, like ours? Or life extremely lower in the scale? Or dangerously higher? Seeking the answer to this timeless question, forever seeking, ...
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I was seven years old when I was taken to see this movie by my sixty-year old Lithuanian grandmother (to whom it must have made no sense at all). The images in the movie - the big green guys, the melting rock that looked like an explosion in a bubble gum factory, the people falling into the sand pit, the dreaded implant approaching the pretty neck of Dr. Blake, the little silver octopus-like guy in the fishbowl - all replayed themselves in my mind over many nights. I saw it again recently on AMC and can see many of the things that are dated, but can also understand why the movie made such an impact at the time. The concept, especially, of one's parents being taken under the control of evil forces is particularly disturbing to a young child. The music and sound effects, too, are particularly eerie. The almost abstract quality of the set in the police station scene lends it a foreboding quality. I'm ambivalent on how to rate it. It very much shows its age (and they could have shortened the stock army footage of tanks rolling) but has much that gives it a weird sort of drawing power even today. A curiously compelling movie.
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