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Unlike most 1950s teenage date flicks, INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN is
still mildly entertaining today--and this, when combined with modern
reaction to the film's typically "Golly Gee" mentality, makes the movie
amusing. The story is basic: two all-American teenagers on lover's lane
accidentally run over a little green man from outer space and are then
threatened by his friends--but will any of the grown-ups believe them?
Of course not, they're just crazy kids!
The movie bills itself as a deliberate mixture of comedy and horror; although very mild, the comedy is genuine--but unless you have a fear of children dressed up in big-headed space alien costumes you're unlikely to be even slightly startled, much less horrified. Even the teenagers under attack seldom seem greatly concerned, and our leading lady is more worried about having to hike in heels ("My feet are killing me!") than about little green men from outer space.
All in all, INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN lacks the true camp appeal of, say, an Ed Woods movie--but even so it has its points: special effects so tame that even the actors can't get worked up about them, mildly absurd performances (watch for Frank Gorshin), and an odd-ball script. The film is out of print, but if you are really determined you can probably find an old copy for sale... or catch it yourself on the late-late show.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
This is one of those sci-fi movies of the 50s that obviously did not take itself too seriously. Sure, the typical invasion from outer space was the theme of the film, but the bug-eyed aliens are so gosh-darn cute and the costumes so cool you can't help but smile instead of becoming afraid. And, the script also takes a less than serious look at the invasion. Sure, it is a dopey martian invasion movie but it makes no attempt to be otherwise and that is why I liked the movie so much--for what it was, it was sure fun. So, if you do watch the film, view it more as comedy and don't be too hard on this old film! If you do, you'll find it's a delightful little time passer.
Invasion of the Saucer Men is just typical of the movies AIP came out
with during the 1950's, aliens vs teenagers.
In this one, a young couple accidentally run over an alien but its hand comes alive and terrorises people. The local farmer doesn't like the teenagers using his land for snogging in their cars. More aliens then appear and kill one of the teens with an overdose of alcohol as revenge for their mate being killed. A flying saucer then blows up with the military in attendance and the aliens are done away with at the end by light, their weakness. With a drunken bull.
The best thing about the movie are those alien creatures, with their hideous looking bulbous heads.
The cast is lead by Steven Terrell and is joined by some familiar faces from sci-fi B movies: Gloria Castillo (Teenage Monster), Raymond Hatton (The Day the World Ended), Russ Bender (It Conquered the World) and Ed Nelson (Attack Of the Crab Monsters). With Frank Gorshen (The Ridler from Batman).
Invasion of the Saucer Men is essential viewing for all sci-fi fans, even just for those creatures. Great fun.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
Okay, I could go over a lot of old terrain by telling you about the hokey script, the generally poor acting, and the sophmoric humour laced throughout this picture, and then I could tell you how bad the film was because of said qualities. I could( and did) but will not. Invasion of the Saucer Man is a silly picture that is too silly for its own good. Nonetheless it has some things going for it. The saucer men are incredible creatures. They have huge bulbous eyes on these giant vein-covered egg-shaped heads. Their hands, also covered with veins and the like, can make needles appear readily. Apparently they kill by flooding their victims with alcohol - but only those that have had a drink before die? If that is the case why does Gorshin's character die so early and the bull doesn't at all? Oh well! I digress. The costumes are plainly and simply exquisite and have had a major effect on our cultural visual definition of what "Little, green men" look like. Tim Burton uses them as a model for his silly film Mars Attacks. The film also touches on the way governments hide things from the public. This was a small aspect of the film, yet it was very interesting as a Colonel bulldozes evidence of aliens in the middle of the night to hide information from the public - the same public being terrorized all the while by the aliens he is trying to hide. At one point the colonel address his Lt. and says how wonderful it is being one of only two men that know what is going on. The street savvy Lt. then suggests that there are other such task forces cleaning up other things and possibly even after men such as the colonel. An interesting discussion. Discussions of this nature and great costumes; however, cannot save this picture from its teen against the establishment persona. Lover's Lane is full every night, teens drink heavily, and anyone over their thirties just doesn't understand anything. If I had been a teen when this film came out I would have felt I was being played down too with all its hokey, choking elements. So - my review is a middle of the road one. It's an interesting film for some reasons. One good performance comes from movie veteran Raymond Hatton as a crusty old farmer. He does a fine job with the material he is given.
A silly yet likeable alien invasion film where only the town's teens are aware of the alien threat and the adults are complete incompetents. Neat to finally see some of Paul Blaisdell's finest creations in all their hideous glory. The story is laughable but the Saucer Men looked awesome..Favorite scene: a saucer man meets a bull!
After reading some of the other comments, I must be one of the few who actually liked this movie. Invasion of the Saucer Men can be either enjoyed as a serious movie or a comedy. I like the old style special effects where they have to make a model flying saucer instead of computer generated graphics. Also, this movie may have been the first to depict Air Force coverup of UFOs.
Frank Gorshen (TV's Riddler) and Lynn Oborne (from TV's Space Patrol)
are the "adult" leads in the film. As traveling salesmen they find the
saucermen and plan to make money by showing them around the country.
There is the "teenage" couple who also find the saucermen but are not believed by authorities. These are the two parallel story lines. This is one of the first movies to use the "teenagers save the world" theme that became popular during this period.
The saucermen makeup is well done by the makeup genius of that period, Paul Blaisdell. His balloon-headed, bug-eyed, mini-martians are still one of my favorites and their photos and other likeness still appear from time to time. Unfortunately, at the time of this review this movie is not available on Video or DVD. But we can hope!
I was 6 years old when I seen this film. It has to be one of the all time classic Science fiction flims. Low budget, campy,very very funny. A true fond memory of my past entertainment. It is worth seeing just because of the now, old cars in it !I wish more Science Fiction would stay like this.This is a must see for all you science fiction fans! BW flim fans!
The same plot with only the type of monster changed was
in the following years run-away hit, The Blob, which was
McQueen's first major role.
Here we have Paul Blaisdell's alien creature creations which are quite inventive. (Blaisdell did The She Creature, effects for Not of This Earth and much much more).
It's the old worn formula of the kids who tell the authorities about the creatures from outerspace who've landed and no one will believe them.
The creatures are able to detach their hands, which have eyeballs, and sharp hypo like fingernails which can punture tires or inject people with one heck of a high alcohol content.
It's great fun for 50's monster lovers.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
American-International Pictures found their niche in the film industry by
catering to the drive-in markets, where films slanted at teens (and actually
starring teenagers playing teens -- a radical concept at the time)and
exploitation markets proved popular. SAUCERMEN, aimed at mixing teens with
the then hot sci-fi genre, is such a film
SAUCERMEN has several things to recommend it. The Saucermen, themselves, are intriguingly designed, as is their distinctive saucer, which has the chopped stance of a hot rod and belches actual flames from twin exhausts. Both are the handiwork of Paul Blaisdell, a science fiction fan who provided monster suits for many of AIP's early genre hits.
Reportedly begun as a serious film, legend has it that the producers took one look at the pint-sized aliens and decided that the film would never be taken seriously. The script was altered and new title art (drawn by Blaisdell), which clearly indicated the film wasn't intended to be taken seriously, was added.
The story, based on the short story "The Cosmic Frame," is simple and direct.
Two drifters (Frank Gorshin and Lyn Osborn) arrive in the aptly named town of Hicksville, where there's literally no action. They make plans to pull out the following morning but Gorshin, now desperate for any distraction, takes their car for a late night cruise.
In the meantime, two teen lovers (Gloria Castillo and Steven Terrell) are at the local lover's lane, making plans to elope. They ease onto the back road leading away from town, lights off to avoid detection. At the same time, Gorshin is wheeling in from the opposite direction.
Things happen. Gorshin witnesses the Saucermen landing in the woods. The kids, startled by a flash of lighting and only a partial view of their surroundings, run over one of the little creatures, apparently killing it.
The creature's hand is alive and, removing itself from the mangled body (it has a convenient eye mounted of its own), it slashes the kids' tire so that they are marooned in the woods. They start walking for help. Meanwhile, Gorshin drives by, sees the deal alien, and sees the chance to make a fast buck.
He contacts a drowsy Osborn (who had previously pooh-poohed the idea of a flying saucer) and convinces him to empty their refrigerator. Unfortunately, the other aliens come looking for their missing pal and kill the already drunk drifter by injecting him with alcohol from needles conveniently contained in their fingertips. They then put HIS body under the car, so it will appear he'd been the victim.
Enter the Air Force, who find and manage to bumblingly destroy the saucer. While they erect a cover up story and busy the minimal wreckage, the Saucermen amble about, looking for trouble.
The lovers return, scorned by the police (who know think they killed Gorshin and are using a wild story to try to get away from formal charges) and bringing along Osborn. The idea is to get proof. Photos would be nice. People always believe photos.
As their car breaks down, the Saucermen attack. The kids accidentally discover that strong light will kill them -- causing them to explode. They rally the other teens at lover's lane, encircle the creatures with their headlights, and save the world. The clincher being that their only "adult" witness, Osborn, has also been jabbed by the Saucermen, and is now too drunk to recall a thing.
SAUCERMEN is a bit jarring for a first-time watch. The design work on the saucer and the aliens looks passable for a serious sci-fi film of the period. There's also a bit of violence, as a bull gouges out one of the creatures' eyes in close-up.
Overall, the comic tone mars the picture. It's a good "cult" film (and worlds above the color for-TV remake THE EYE CREATURES), but you have to wonder what it might have been like if they'd given it a serious treatment.
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