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The Alien Factor (1978)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 12 May 1978 (USA)
A spaceship containing specimens for an intergalactic zoo crashes on Earth near a small back woods town. The specimens escape, and soon town folk are turning up mutilated. Very low budget ... See full summary »


(as Donald M. Dohler)


(as Donald M. Dohler)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Zachary
Tom Griffith ...
Richard Dyszel ...
Mayor Wicker
Mary Mertens ...
Edie Martin
Richard Geiwitz ...
George Stover ...
Eleanor Herman ...
Mary Jane Carter
Anne Frith ...
Dr. Ruth Sherman
Christopher Gummer ...
Don Dohler ...
Dave Ellis ...
Dave Geatty ...
Man in Bar
Margie Van Tassell ...
Tony Malanowski ...
Ed Miller
Debbie Pietron ...
Couple in Woods


A spaceship containing specimens for an intergalactic zoo crashes on Earth near a small back woods town. The specimens escape, and soon town folk are turning up mutilated. Very low budget feature was the first for Baltimore filmmaker Don Dohler. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They brought terror from beyond our galaxy!


Horror | Sci-Fi


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 May 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alien Factor  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was the third featured movie in the 2009 live show tour of "Cinematic Titanic", featuring "riffing" by alumni of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988). See more »


Ben Zachary: So when I knelt over the creature, my mind went momentarily blank, and then I was aware of a bright blue light, then thoughts began to enter my mind...
See more »


Featured in Cinematic Titanic: The Alien Factor (2010) See more »


Jump Back Crackerjack
Written by Lon Talbot
Performed by Atlantis
© 1976 Mekon Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Don Dohler's master-work
20 March 2016 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) – See all my reviews

Man, you've gotta love Don Dohler. He was the man responsible The Galaxy Invader (1985), an alien film which transcended its low budget restrictions and was a laugh-a-minute, extremely entertaining bit of sci-fi hokum. I thought that Dohler couldn't surely top that one and subsequently found his earlier horror film Fiend (1980) to be nowhere near as psychotronically entertaining. However, having seen his debut firm The Alien Factor I figure I must now have surely seen Dohler's true masterpiece. This one is pretty similar in plot-line to Galaxy Invader, except where that latter movie had a sympathetic E.T. influenced alien, The Alien Factor sports a trio of vicious nasty old-school monsters and so this sci-fi effort has one foot firmly in the horror genre too.

The story starts directly after an alien spaceship crash lands in Maryland resulting in three deadly aliens being released to terrorize the local population.

Like all of Dohler's films this one was independently made and low budget. But also, like his films in general, some actual care has been taken to make the film as good as it can be. Sure, there's lots of dodgy acting and ropey dialogue (which add a lot of fun value it has to be said) but some effort has also been taken in other areas. For instance, we have five different aliens in total, and all are rather interestingly designed. There is some stop motion work used for one of the creatures - a giant invisible lizard, we also have a giant insectoid, there is a hairy enormously tall yeti-like creature, a white haired space pilot and a shape-shifting being with a monstrous face. It's all very commendably done, with lots of imagination involved in the design work. Accompanying all of this is one of the most insistent synthesizer scores you will ever hear, it's a soundtrack that takes every given opportunity to sound 'futuristic' - in 1978, this was the sound of the future. On the other hand, space is also found for more traditional music, via a performance of a song from a rock band called Padding...I mean Atlantis. Again, details like this, merely add to this film's overall charm.

I would have to say that this one is a great example of an independent, low-budget b-movie. The film-makers never forget to keep things interesting. It's one of those films whose very shortcomings actually seem mostly like positives too and that is quite a rarity. The film eventually wraps up on a pleasingly ironic and downbeat fashion, which seemed a perfect way to end this particular story.

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