From the DVD case: Something is definitely amiss with the menfolk in this classic 1950s sci-fi thriller. A distraught Marge Farrell (Gloria Talbott, We’re No Angels) is growing increasingly alarmed over the changes in her new husband, Bill (Tom Tryon, The Cardinal), who’s been acting strangely ever since their wedding night. And for good reason: Bill – and most of the other men in their small town – have been taken over by sinister aliens who have arrived on planet Earth to marry human women with the hope of reviving their dying race. Marge has stumbled onto their terrifying plan, and must now convince someone – anyone – to believe her before the aliens completely inhabit the bodies of the entire male population. (1958, b&w)
Mark says: This movie gets a few points just for it’s great campy title. I have to admit, though, that it took awhile for this film to warm on me. At first it seemed like a rip-off of such 50s greats as It Came from Outer Space, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Invaders from Mars. But what this movie lacks in originality, it makes up for with an intriguing story and a 1950’s suburban charm.
This picture is certainly not fast-paced, but I found that it did hold my attention. There is plenty of corny dialog and cheap effects to keep you amused, but there is also a slight hint of something more substantial. Perhaps the film quality itself is a tad above par compared with other movies of the time and genre, or maybe it is because the momentum of the film presses on slowly without ever coming to a complete halt. By the film’s climax you feel satisfied by a story well-told.
Unfortunately, the men in the film, a marriage-hating, alcohol-swilling lot, are a very unlikable bunch. In fact, the alien husband is probably the most admirable man in the movie, and he’s an insurance salesman who kill puppies and cats. Certainly not a flattering portrayal of 1950’s manhood.
This is a must-see for fans of the genre, and not a bad little picture even for those who have a slight interest in 50s camp and sci-fi.
Directed and produced by Gene Fowler, Jr., who also directed I Was A Teenage Werewolf.
Scene to watch for: Tom Tryon (Bill) considers killing a puppy with a hammer, but then decides it’s a job better done with his bare hands.
Line to listen for: “They’ve improved the methane reservoirs in these bodies. You’re due to report to the ship tonight.”
Trivia: Thomas Tryon, after appearing in this role, became a horror novelist. He is probably best known for The Other (1972).
Mark’s Rating: ! ! ! ½ out of 5.