Tuesday, October 27, 2009

31 Days of Halloween - Day 27 - Movie 1

A flying saucer lands in a remote area. The aliens that emerge all look like human teenage males in flight suits, except the expedition leader who appears as a middle aged adult human male. After disintegrating a small dog, the group tests the atmosphere to find out if the earth is suitable for growing large herds of gargons, their major food staple, a dangerous creature that looks like an ordinary lobster but which can grow to be a million times larger in a single day. One of the teens, Derek (David Love) protests when he finds a dog tag on the killed dog's skeleton. Only a civilized people could have engraved that tag. He's seized for being rebellious, but escapes. Thor (Bryan Grant) the alien teen with some hostility and anti-social issues is sent to retrieve him as well as to kill any earth people Derek comes into contact with. Derek returns the dog tag to the dead dog's owner, and takes a room in their house, trying to be come an earth teenage boy. Thor pursues him, disintegrating almost everyone he meets along the way. As Derek and Betty (Dawn Anderson), the teenage girl with bangs who owned the now dead dog, keep trying to escape Thor, another problem emerges which must be overcome. The gargon left by the aliens has grown to gigantic superimposed proportions.

Ed Wood's got nothing on "Teenagers From Outer Space" (1959). The "acting", especially at the beginning, before you get used to it, is so stilted and odd that I was convinced that this movie was the biggest inspiration on the acting in "The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra," particularly the characters of Krobar and Lattis ("Lost Skeleton" director Larry Blamire, told me otherwise). It's a really odd movie. The script is amateurishly written, but the movie is a pretty ambitious undertaking. The disintegrations are really cool, and a bit horrid (especially that dog) and the screw-like forcefield beneath the saucer as it lands is a nice effect, but the giant lobster--I mean gargon is ridiculously transparent -- not just that it's a lobster, but because you can see through the superimposition of it on any scene it is in. The prop flying saucer is also not much bigger than a jacuzzi, but fits 5-6 people inside it, plus all their equipment. There are scenes which run far longer than they need to, unintentionally funny characters (and dialogue) and Derek must be one of the most earnest characters ever set to film. In fact, the entire movie is very earnest, which elevates its enjoyability above the train wreck "so bad it's good" type of movie it almost is. This is the third time I've watched this movie. I would definitely call this one a guilty pleasure, though I'm not so sure that pleasure is the right word. I'd love to see this on the big screen with a packed audience. I'm really looking forward to "The Boy From Out of This World" (2009) a documentary about the making of this camp classic.

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