I was up too early and watched four films Sunday morning. It was an all morning long alien invasion kind of day. I didn't feel like doing anything, my last two weekends were filled with LEGO and I was getting behind in my movie watching. I started with a classic. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, with Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter, is a 1956 film directed by Don Siegel. The movie opens with an excited Kevin telling some other men about his recent experience. Aliens are invading, taking over our bodies, we must stop them! They think he's crazy loco. In his flashback Kevin's returned home from a business trip to find some of his patients acting rather strange. At first he doesn't think much of them claiming that their relatives are imposters. The imposters look the same. What could be wrong with his patients? His psychaitrist pal says it's mass hysteria but the story gets weirder and weirder. Kevin's friend King Donovan finds a dead guy and drags it into the house. Who wouldn't. The dead guy is kind of weird looking, ill defined somehow. That's the first big clue to the puzzle. Soon they find a pod and figure out the whole plot. Aliens are taking over, one human at a time, soon it'll be you. The whole town is done for and Kevin and Dana are on the run and barely able to stay awake. That's when the pods get you, when you sleep. Dana snoozes and it's just Kevin left to save the world. The ending has a positive note that wasn't in the original shoot. There wasn't any Kevin in the hospital at the beginning or the end of the film. He comes home, discovers the plot and winds up screaming a warning on the freeway. It's an iconic scene, that one on the freeway, that's helped put this movie at the top of many best science fiction lists. Shot quickly, in 23 days for under $400,000, the movie turned out to be popular right from the start. It made a million in the first month and nearly 3 worldwide for the first year. That low budget didn't hinder this movie much. The effects budget was only $15,000, the seed pods are paper, the fake humans are rubber and their transformation effected with soap bubbles, but the effects work well. The creepy story overshadows everything. It's a universal horror, some hideous thing taking over your body or soul while you sleep, that's shared by many people in many countries. I've seen this movie many times and still enjoy it.
Invasion of the Neptune Men is a 1961 Japanese film with Sonny Chiba as a costumed super hero in a flying car spaceship. It's the shorter US version of Uchū Kaisoku-sen (Space Hypership) with less World War 2 bombing footage. According to the Wikipedia the destruction from the spaceships attacking in the last half of the movie comes from real footage of Toyko being bombed by the Allies. Thus the Hitler building. Something nice for the kiddies, huh. Some of you might have seen the movie on Mystery Science Theater 3000. The boys ripped on it pretty hard but truth be told it nearly broke the guys on the Satellite of Love, they were whinny sobbing babies at one point. I am made of much stronger stuff than those bots. I mearly laughed at the bad editing, poor dubbing and stupid story. Pathetic pan and scan. I'm immune! I feed from the Internet Archive. Willingly! Some kids are camping in the country when they are attacked by pointy helmeted guys. A small space ship flies through the air, lands, and rolls on wheels to where the boys are cowering. It's so obviously a tricked out car it's sad. Out pops Sonny. He knocks the aliens about with some poor chops and kicks. They wonder off. The kids escape and the invasion continues. You can read more about the story line at Monster Crap. It's a site that inducts poor science fiction and monster movies into it's dubious hall of fame. It is a crappy movie, that is for sure, it does belong there. The movie gets a well deserved 1.7 on the IMDb. I'm thinking that the original version might not be much better than the cut up version because what's left is not much good. There's a bit of a laugh factor here but there isn't much else going for the movie. Japanese science fiction movies are a pretty mixed bag, some are pretty entertaining and some are pretty darn bad. Here's one of the bad ones that people should give a pass on, except for the MST3K version. I enjoy your pain boys, really I do. Almost as much as I like the headpiece on the costume on the Neptune men. That's some pointy headed goodness, right there.
The aliens aren't pointy headed in the Invasion Of The Saucermen. They have round heads and sharp fingernails that inject alcohol into their victims. It's a 1957 science fiction comedy starring Steven Terrell, Gloria Costillo and Frank Gorshin. Steven and Gloria are driving on some back country lane when some aliens show up. They hit one and leave the body when they go report to the police. Frank shows up, discovers the alien body, and gets injected for his trouble. He's dead, from alcohol poisoning, when the kids return with the police. Of course the alien body is gone and the boys in blue think the obvious and arrest the teens. How are they going to get themselves out of this mess. Soon enough the aliens start showing up more and the chase is on. The kids eventually figure out a way to kill the aliens and the day it saved. It's a fairly entertaining B-Movie but not a great one.
So, an accountant and dentist go on a camping trip. One of them has sex with an alien and one of them has sex with her space ship. Which one do you guess did which? You can't tell from the title. Invasion Of The Space Preachers is a 1990 Troma Release directed by Daniel Boyd. I think Boyd called his movie Strangest Dreams and Troma probably added the rest to hype it up when they bought it. I think I can recognize the artful hand of top Tromaman Lloyd Kaufman. I have a dvdr copy I made from the old Rhino laserdisc I got on clearance for a couple of bucks. It's a low budget comedy film made by a college professor who puts the alien invasion smack into the hills of West Virginia and puts the aliens up against some well armed rednecks. Our heroes, the dentist and the accountant, find an alien lying next to a spaceship. The alien is hurt and needs a place to rest and heal. They move it to the barn near where they are camping. In the middle of the night the alien survival suit pops open and a naked blonde woman pops out. There's a bit of bare backside for those that like that sort of thing. Next day the guys meet up with the blonde alien chick and after a while figure out she's the alien. They meet up with a bunch of locals and go to a bar. Alien chick tells them her sad story. She's on a mission of vengence. Some crappy alien guy killed her brother and fled to this planet. Turns out he's hiding right near here as a radio preacher. He's got a hypnotic message in his broadcast and dreams of world domination. Don't we all. He almost pulls it off when he gets a satellite uplink from a more powerful broadcaster. His plans are foiled by our heroes, the alien girl and those gun tottin' rednecks. Nothing puts those alien sons-o-bitches in their places like a hail of hot lead. The dentist decides to leave with the alien girl. The accountant is sad, he's loosing his best friend and the best sex he ever had. That was a hot space ship for that guy. A fun film. I don't think I need to upgrade to the Troma dvd, which you can buy from Troma but not Amazon, at least not today.