Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Invisible Invaders (1959)

Aliens from the moon decide to invade Earth. Humanity never saw them because they, their cities, and machines, are invisible. They demand that all humans immediately surrender. They issue this ultimatum to peacenik scientist Adam Penner (Philip Tonge) by way of dead scientist college Karol Noymann (John Carradine). Did I forget to mention they can raise the dead? Oh, yea. They can do that.

Anyhow, the completely unreasonable people of Earth don't buy Penner's story, so our invisible moon-men give us one final warning at a hockey game. Failing that, they give another final warning at a football game. Then they invade.

By invade, I mean they raise lots of corpses from the grave to sabotage power plants and whatnot. To save all Earth, the military whisks Dr. Penner, his hot daughter (Jean Byron), and her douchie man-friend (Robert Hutton) to an impenetrable underground laboratory. And by the military, I mean one guy. Major Bruce Jay (John Agar).

What I love about 50's sci-fi is the "What If" factor. For instance, what if you wanted to make an alien invasion movie, but didn't have the budget for space ships or alien costumes? I know, make them invisible! So, this movie actually follows the tried and true formula of alien graverobbers invented by the trailblazing film Plan 9 from Outer Space. Gosh, what a lineage!

Also similar to Plan 9 is the use of an overbearing narrator. Obviously this story is way to complex for us to understand by watching the action and listening to the dialog. We need the major plot points dictated at us. While there are a great many similarities between the movies, Invisible Invaders is a vastly less imcompetent effort. The dialog was not horrible, the acting above amature theatre level, and the sets, while sparse, didn't shout CHEAP.

Also, to be somewhat fair, you do get a glimpse of a space ship and an alien, although that does beg the question Why? But don't stop there. If the alien war machines are invisible, why raise the dead in the first place? Why not just shoot everything from the air? Then they could have saved all that money spent on cheap, crappy zombie makeup.

Not painful to watch, vaguely interesting, but unoriginal and culturally insignificant. AMRU 2.

What was Carradine thinking even appearing in this low budget stinker? He was in, by his own admission, a lot of crap. There are no interesting quotes from the film so I leave you with one of John's. A bit of advice he should have given his son:
"Never do anything you wouldn't want to be caught dead doing."

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