Thursday, July 17, 2008

Invaders from Mars (1953)

Here is a movie that terrified my Dad as a little boy. I wish I had known that before I called him up afterwards and said something along the lines of, "That was one of the funniest movies I've ever seen! What was with the aliens with the zip-up fur?"

At the beginning of the movie, our young hero David sees something land in the hills behind his house. When his dad returns from investigating, it is clear to David that something is wrong. His dad has become grumpy! One by one, adults in the film go up the hill, get sucked into the ground by the aliens that have landed there, and return grumpy, brainwashed, and controlled, ready to do the aliens' bidding. There is also one poor little girl who gets used by the aliens, with a tragic twist. After burning down her own house, her little brain explodes. Apparently when the aliens no longer need you, they pop your brain. David, no longer able to trust his parents, must find new, un-brainwashed adults who believe his story and can help him to fight against the alien invaders, who are of course here to take over the Earth.

One of my favorite moments in the movie was watching the zipped up teletubby-like aliens lumber through underground caves after our heroes. Was I supposed to be worried? Oh, and the head alien...

How could you not love an evil, rubber, many-legged head suspended in a glass globe? Especially if this creature can control its teletubby minions with only the power of its mind?

Sorry Dad, one star, but this movie is definitely worth seeing. And I can definitely make myself see how this could have been a scary movie to a seven-year old in the fifties.

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