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I Married a Monster from Outer Space
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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Lacks the punch of other cold war paranoia films

Author: McQualude from North Carolina
8 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I wasn't overly thrilled with this paranoia thriller. The slow paced meandering storyline really never goes far and takes the whole movie to get there. Aliens, who cannot breath our atmosphere decide to take over small town America so they can find a way to breed our women. Unfortunately a whole three-quarters of the movie concerns Gloria Talbot learning that her husband, played by Tom Tryon, is an alien.

The pace was too slow with too much time spent on the wife discovering that her husband is not the man she married. (in movie time it takes her over a year to discover the truth) By slow pace I don't mean a lack of action scenes, I mean that for one, the actors move unnaturally slow on screen. There are times when an actor will start a scene normally and abruptly slow in midstep as if reminded off camera to slow down. I also mean that the things that do happen lack substance for the most part, scenes of the alien demonstrating his superior strength by crushing a can or glass. The music is thankfully sparse since when they do play music it often contradicts the mood on screen... light upbeat music during tense, suspenseful moments confuses the mood. The motivation behind the invasion is kept from the audience for most of the movie, I think it was meant to be a shocking reveal and it probably was in the 50's but audiences now will be too jaded. The ending picks up a bit but it's rather late in the movie, by which point Tom Tryon's wooden acting, pouting facial expression, slow movements and slow dialog had worn me out.

With no tension, no drama and little suspense I recommend skipping I Married a Monster from Outer Space and watching or rewatching any one of the better sci-fi films of the fifties.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Mother of all sci-fi movies, & half the Star Trek plots

Author: dragonfly77 from Los Angeles
10 September 2003

Made in 1959, this is a cult classic which, as the Leonard Maltin film guide notes, is cursed with the worst movie title in history!

Made not long after WWII, the Roswell incident, and the McCarthy era, it's a metaphor of the unease felt by people who were just becoming aware that the world is large -- and they were definitely not in Kansas anymore.

It's interesting not only as the seed of countless sci-fi creations to come, but also as a time capsule of the many plot clichés which are now gone forever because of technology. (like cellphones and the internet)

Tom Tryon is great as the mysterious, brooding alien, and Gloria Talbot is hilariously deadpan as the only woman who's on to him and who can save the world! The special effects are early, primitive, cheap, and quite marvelous. (the things you can do with jell-O... really)

It's funny, it's fascinating, and unconsciously mirrors - - and spoofs - - American life in the 50s: gender stereotypes, sexual politics, and the naiveté of an America which had yet to become jaded by television.

Music, special effects, plot devices, all mark this as the mother of the B-grade sci-fi movies of the 50s. No film collection is complete without it.

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Derivative, but fun.

Author: Scott LeBrun (Hey_Sweden) from Canada
20 November 2016

"Invasion of the Body Snatchers" gets a pleasant enough rehash in this entertaining schlock picture. It stars actor turned author Tom Tryon ("The Cardinal") as Bill Farrell, a newlywed insurance agent who's the first of many small town citizens to have their bodies taken over by aliens. His wife Marge (Gloria Talbott, "The Cyclops") notices that he and other locals have begun to act strangely. Marge soon wonders if there is anybody in the town that she can trust.

The aliens are treated with a fairly even hand. They're never portrayed as out and out monsters (invasion doesn't really seem to be their goal), but they still have no compunction about killing. The movie, produced & directed by low budget genre specialist Gene Fowler, Jr. ("I Was a Teenage Werewolf") is certainly not without substance, exploring some of the same themes - like paranoia, and the appearance / imitation of humanity - as "Body Snatchers" did so well two years previously. It's also not without its cheesy charms, as could be expected. The special effects may look awfully crude to some modern viewers, but they're damn entertaining to watch, and the monsters in their natural guise thankfully don't look quite like anything else that this viewer has seen in this genre.

The supporting cast features a couple of familiar faces, like Ty Hardin ('Bronco'), Ken Lynch ("Anatomy of a Murder"), John Eldredge ("High Sierra"), James Anderson ("To Kill a Mockingbird"), and boxer turned actor Maxie Rosenbloom ("The Boogie Man Will Get You"). The actors all do a decent enough job, with the very pretty and appealing Talbott making for a compelling heroine. You can't help but feel bad for her, and you do root for her.

The idea of "what it means to be human" is common enough in this sort of entertainment, and that also comes into play. The movie has a reasonably fun action climax and an effective forward pace.

Seven out of 10.

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Much better than the cheesy title would have you believe

Author: lemon_magic from Wavy Wheat, Nebraska
14 December 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Filled with odd, quirky performances and lines of dialog by the supporting cast and some nicely understated performances by Talbott and Tryon, this movie turned out much much better than I expected. You can tell the director and crew are making every last bit of their obviously tiny budget count and finding setups and shots that pump the energy into what could have been just another rip off of "Body Snatchers".

Talbott is an especially good choice for the part of the unlucky bride - I've seen her in other movies (like "Leech Woman") and her screen persona is always pretty tightly wound; she brings wide-eyed anxiety and fretfulness to the part without having to overplay it - you always believe this character is full of doubts, fears, and regrets without the screenplay having to turn her into a shrill hag.

The movie also distinguishes itself from the run of the mill "secret invasion" science fiction movie by helping the audience understand the alien's reasons for being on Earth, and making them more human (or influenced by their human shells) as the movie progresses. Tryon's character's last few moments before his end are well done and wistful - he's never been more "human" and has become human just in time to realize what he's lost. That's pretty chewy stuff for a cheap sci fi B movie.

By no means a classic, but still well done and worth seeing for fans of the genre.

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Great little 1950s sci-fi paranoia

Author: udar55 from Williamsburg, VA
21 October 2011

On the eve of his wedding, Bill (Tom Tryon) is abducted by aliens and an alien living in a facsimile of his human body returns to marry Marge (Gloria Talbott). She notices his change right away ("he's not the man I fell in love with" she writes in a letter) and, after a year of fruitless marriage, begins uncovering this secret alien invasion. This sci-fi flick has some really good moody scenes in it and, while not at the level of something like THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, it still delivers a strong allegory. Director Gene Fowler Jr. (I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF) has a nice way of revealing the aliens and their abduction attacks are really well done. The alien design is also pretty cool too. It only runs 78-minutes, so don't expect anything epic during the final showdown, but it is worth a watch.

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A really remarkable decent B horror movie.

Author: Sean Morrow from Canada
31 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The tight, intriguing story makes it easy to ignore the not very special effects and the cheesy title (actually, I'm very fond of the title). This is another one of those movies I saw a kid and have been wanting to see again for years. I'm very pleased to say it holds up well. Gene Fowler is the director and handles the assignment with a firm hand. The film stays remarkable on point with the one person knows the truth kind of paranoia parable popular at the time -- see "Invasion of the Body Snatchers". It's no wonder Fowler does such a fine job telling the story, he was the editor for couple of Samuel Fuller's westerns "Forty Guns" and "Run of the Arrow" in 1957 (which I co-incidentally watched the same week as this picture). Fowler's ability to convey the mounting tension of the situation show his editor's training. There's no coy is she or isn't she paranoid here; we know right off the bat she's married to a monster from outer space, but it's great fun to see her come to the same conclusion. One thing that really impressed me was the tremendous amount of boozing going on it the movie -- it was like a horror version of Mad Men. In fact, a key tip off that a person is really a monster that walks like a man is that he gives up the booze (aliens can't tolerate the stuff). This doesn't stop the cadre of monster conspirators from holding their little get together in a bar (and what a great bar it is, alcoholic bar tender, hot jazz, sleazy men and louse women). When the exciting conclusion comes, all is explained in a much more satisfactory manner than most shows provide and I for one felt a certain sympathy with the gruesome grooms.

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"You celebrating be kind to humans week?"

Author: classicsoncall from Florida, New York
25 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's always cool to run across a picture as absurdly titled as "I Married a Monster From Outer Space", and even better when the picture turns out to be a whole lot better than the expectation it created. This wouldn't necessarily be everyone's cup of tea, but for schlock sci-fi movie fans of the era, this one has a nice balance of primitive alien horror effects and a story that that provides food for thought even after it's over.

One of the things I noticed though as the picture progressed, there wasn't any thought of continuity in the way the aliens took over their human hosts. When Bill Farrell (Tom Tryon) is confronted by the alien early in the picture, the black cloud (nice touch) that envelops him leaves him collapsed up against his car. Later, when Bill's drinking buddy Sam is attacked, the black cloud makes the human disappear but leaves his clothes. Finally, when the beat cop becomes victim number three, he disappears altogether! I don't know about you, but I like to see my monster continuity maintained.

There were a couple of other things that fascinated me as well - like how did alien Bill know where to drive for his honeymoon destination? - wife Marge (Gloria Talbott) was asleep for half the trip! Speaking of Marge, what do you think might have possessed her to walk up to Bill right after seeing him emit the black cloud and have the exchange with the alien and the space ship? I don't think I would have been that curious to investigate if I had just seen something like that.

But here's some really curious points to ponder. When the aliens took over the human bodies, they developed an aversion to alcohol; now there's an interesting subtext. Also, when the police aliens confronted the man from the bar stalking Marge, they rejected taking his body because he was a 'criminal type'! That has to say something about how discriminating they were, don't you think?

Coming as it did during the Cold War era, "I Married a Monster From Outer Space" has been offered as another example of anti-Communist propaganda. I don't know, I think it's a real stretch to go for that analysis, even with the us vs. them, human vs. alien plot elements. You can decide later on that score, but first enjoy the movie.

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Satisfying suburban sci-fi...

Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
25 April 2009

On the eve of his wedding, insurance salesman Tom Tryon is abducted by an alien being on a forest road; the hideous-looking creature neatly duplicates Tryon's human form and goes through with the nuptials the following morning! Interesting twist on "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" from 1956 has many of the small town males quickly and insidiously overtaken by the outer space ghouls, whose ultimate purpose is to mate with Earth women and give their race a fresh start. Despite claims the film's narrative is symbolic for Communist infiltration, the low-budget picture isn't especially provocative nor intelligent; however, Gene Fowler, Jr.'s direction is smooth and highly confident. The detail and design is also impressive, with imaginative effects and decent monsters, a nice sense of place and astute cinematography by Haskell Boggs. Very entertaining thriller, and one without that then-fashionable sense of foreboding at the finish. Fowler lets his cast (and his audience) off the hook happily. **1/2 from ****

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Cheesy Sci-Fi is worth a look.

Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
30 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Directed by Gene Fowler Jr. and B flick in every way. A vintage thriller with mediocre special effects and familiar stars from Saturday Matinée movies. Marge(Gloria Talbott)has so looked forward to her wedding day. Her sweetheart Bill(Tom Tryon)seems to be a total stranger on the honeymoon; and after a year of marriage she is bewildered with the coolness of her husband and concerned enough to see her doctor wondering why she hasn't become pregnant yet. Marge you see has married a monster-like alien from outer space, who is part of a group trying to conquer earth.

Predictable, but a whole lot better than some other Sci-Fi releases of the same period. No magnetism between Talbott and Tryon, but then again the script doesn't really require such. Other familiar faces in the cast: Robert Ivers, Ken Lynch, Ty Hardin, John Eldridge and Alan Dexter.

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It's Matrimony, Jim, But Not As We Know It.

Author: screenman from United Kingdom
24 September 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With a title like that, its a wonder anybody took this movie seriously. It sounds like the ultimate science-fiction parody, the headlines of a tabloid newspaper.

When, in fact, it is quite a serious and spooky effort.

It's a 'body-snatchers' theme. The aliens are kidnapping people and hooking them up to some sort of machine. It allows each to be completely replicated in their physical appearance and personalities, enabling lookalike aliens to go abroad as human replacements. How intimately humans are replicated is never made quite so clear as the title of the movie would suggest.

However, the best laid plans of monsters and men come apart. The goodies find the abductees and start unplugging them from the machine. When they do, each alien replicant instead of changing back to its monstrous self, collapses into a big pile of what looks like rice-pudding. The unchanged aliens who are guarding their installation get shot or beaten or just bitten by the trusty dog.

The movie contains some sly little social comedies as the title would suggest. We see a group of aliens in the bar, sneering to each other about the fragility of human bodies, like so many rednecks. But this certainly isn't a comedy in itself. Filmed in black & white; it's dark, creepy and at times very atmospheric, with a strong thread of who-is-really-who paranoia running through it. There is one particular scene in which an un-modified alien has gone walkies in human clothing at night in the otherwise deserted town. He is unwittingly propositioned by a local hooker who becomes a little too pressing in her advances. He has his collar turned-up to conceal his face, but she won't be dissuaded.

At sight of him she screams and runs and he draws a ray-gun and shoots. She is incinerated so quickly that she vanishes before the last echo of her scream has died away. The blatant murder of a woman in a 1950's movie is a surprisingly rare event.

Hardly seen nowadays, but if you're equal to watching 'Dr Who' or 'Star Trek' then you've no business turning your nose up at this.

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