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Latest Member: sambablidoyouwantawar Forum  |  Information Exchange  |  Movie Reviews  |  Invisible Invaders (1959) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Invisible Invaders (1959)  (Read 7098 times)
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We're all just victims of circumstance

« on: January 01, 2007, 07:00:35 PM »

Invisible Invaders (1959)


Dr. Karol Noyman (John Carradine) - Nukes himself right after the opening credits. Later becomes host to one of the Invaders

Dr. Adam Penner (Philip Tonge)  - Friend and colleage of Dr. Noyman . Tasked with finding a way to fight the Invaders

Phyllis Penner (Jean Byron) - Dr. Penner's daughter and later love interest of Major Jay. (Hey it's the 50's got have someone to make the coffee)

Dr. John Lamont (Robert Hutton) - Friend of the Penner's and whiny-ass coward

Major Bruce Jay - played by B-movie stalwart John Agar. The hero guy of the piece of course.


Up front I have to says this is one of those movies that likes to keep you irritated by the narrator telling you what is happening right as it is happening.

 We first see John Carradine standing in a lab with a test tube and sorta stupid look on his face, then boom he's gone. He accidently nuked his lab during an experiment, which makes the next few scenes real head scratchers..

Cut to the general's office where Dr. Penner is explaining that he doesn't want to be part of any more experiments with atomic power and goes to great ends to tell the general how bad the accident with Dr. Noyman was. The area around Noyman's  lab will not  be habitable for years to come. Penner then resigns.

Penner, his daughter Phyllis, and Dr.Lamont attend Noyman's funeral (there was something left to bury?). After the funeral they go back to Penners and have a discussion about Penner's resignation. Phyllis and Lamont leave Penner alone for the evening.

Next we see bushes at the cemetary parting and the dirt moving as if someone is shuffling their feet, they stop at Noyman's grave. Next we see the ressurected Noyman shuffling along. He looks a bit pale and stiff, but mighty damned good for a guy who bought it point blank from a nuclear explosion.

Noyman knocks on Penner's door and Penner is naturally shocked to see his old friend up and around. Noyman explains that the body is now just a puppet inhabited by an invisible alien from the moon. Seems they've been around for 20,000 years and had annihilated the folks living on the moon at the time. Over the centuries they've become invisible and all their ships are invisible too. So now they are going to invade the earth by inhabiting the recent dead. He leaves Penner with an ominous warning, " the dead will kill the living".

Well, the invasion starts and we are treated to a lot of stock footage of building imploding, bridges being blown up, and thing crashing everywhere. Penner is then asked to help find a way to stop the aliens and the brass sends Maj. Jay to whisk the Penners and Dr. Lamont to a secret government bunker in the mountains to work on a plan.

On the way to the bunker a farmer with a shotgun stops the jeep they're riding in and demands that everyone get out because he taking the jeep to escape the marauding zombies. When they get out of the jeep, Maj. Jay shoots the guy dead. Phylllis is horrified (he could've just asked the guy to come along). Jay just blows it off, after all they have no time to be fooling around.

They reach the bunker which is complete with vehicles and lots of equipment.The whole place is covered by cct cameras, so they can see everything outside and I mean everything apparently for miles around. They see  a troop of the best dressed zombies you'll ever see in a movie, and most are middle aged guys in business suits. Oh and by the way you get to see this same bunch over and over again.

The radio starts getting jammed, so they figure that the alien's ship is near. Penner really needs an alien to experiment on (he thinks sound may be the answer), so they hatch a plan to capture one. The two doc's cook up a bucket of liquid acrylic and Maj.Jay modifies a fire extinguisher to shoot the acrylic. The plan is to spray one of the zombies with the acrylic, sealing the alien inside the body.

The plan fails because the spray won't cover the body fast enough. The alien gets out  and tries to strangle the Major, lucky for him the alien is a little freaked himself and jumps back in the body and escapes.

Jay thinks up plan B, he and Lamont will go out in the truck dig a hole and fill it with the acrylic and Jay will act as bait to lure the zombie into the trap. Oh yeah, at this point the narrator tells up that they have to place loop of rope in the acrylic because when the zombie falls in the trap the acrylic will add to the body's weight and they will have to pull it out with the truck.

The trap works, in fact they catch the farmer that Jay plugged earlier. When they get back to the lab they put the body into a pressure chamber, figuring that high pressure will crack the acrylic letting the alien out where they can try their experiment.

Penner makes a couple of prototype sound weapons and they try one on the alien in the pressure chamber. It works!! The alien appears as a white shadowy figure and then turns into a small white mass.

Now Phyllis, Jay,and Lamont take the radio truck out to try and find where the alien ship is broadcasting the jamming signal. After a couple of close calls they finally destroy the alien ship.


This is a pretty much run of the mill 50's cheapie. I don't know what happened to John Agar's once promising movie career, he pretty much sleep walks through this film.

The funniest parts of the movie are the shuffling feet dirt effects and John Carradine's body having survived a nuclear blast completely in tact. Someone should have also told the director not to show closeups of the props. When they show the sound gun it is all painted silver but when a closeup of the stock is shown, the wood grain is clearly visible through the paint.

Overall, this one rates as bleu on the cheese-o-meter.


And you thought Trek isn't cool.
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Primoris Malum

« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2007, 08:07:34 PM »

That announcer drove me nuts!!!!

I actually sat down and counted this out - do you know that mister announcer has more words of dialog that John Carradine?

What I found hilarious is that all the scenes of global devastation on the part of the aliens is portrayed through the use of stock footage from old newsreels, featuring floods, burning buildings and collapsing structures. That planetwide invasion seemed more like some colossal public works project.

Or how about how the aliens announce their plans for worldwide a hockey game?  BounceGiggle

This film is cheesy as hell, but I love it.

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We're all just victims of circumstance

« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2007, 08:22:08 PM »

Yeah, I let the hockey game thing slip by in the review. When I saw that I couldn't believe it.

I hated iswhen the narrator is giving you the play by play of the  action, while you're watching it on the screen.

Most of the time the narration is at the beginning in these things because it saves a lot on the budget not to have to film expositional scenes, but this dude blathers on through the whole thing.

You've got to admit that the acrylic stuff was a cool idea given the nature of the alien.  Also someone mentioned on IMDB that when the aliens became visible they looked an awful lot like the monster from "It! The Terror from Beyond Space".  Same director did both.

And you thought Trek isn't cool.
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2007, 08:43:56 PM »

Ah, this is an old, but good one.

I remember thinking that the invisible creatures dragging their feet through the sand was a good effect, but it should have been shot from a distance and probably had the film speed adjusted.  Watching them move, you get the idea that slowly walking away from the invaders would be sufficient to avoid them.

All of the disasters hitting and destroying civilization was also goofy.  What if they had stuck to one type of natural disaster.  Say, if the invaders could cause earthquakes?  They would have had fewer pieces of stock footage to work with, but a more believable idea in my mind.  I could even deal with them being able to generate hurricanes.  Can you imagine the destructive power of being able to create and then target hurricanes against certain areas?

Andrew Borntreger
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2007, 09:34:13 AM »

The narrator's voice and the backround music in this movie were driving me nuts, I knew I'd heard both before but couldn't remember where. I finally realized that the narrator and the music were also in The Atomic Submarine, another cheese fest that I like.

Reach for the heavens in hope for the future for all that we can be, not what we are. Henry John Deutschendorf Jr.
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