Invasion of the Saucer Men
|Invasion of the Saucer Men|
Theatrical release poster
by Albert Kallis
|Directed by||Edward L. Cahn|
|Produced by||Robert J. Gurney Jr.
James H. Nicholson
|Written by||Robert J. Gurney Jr.
|Based on||short story "The Cosmic Frame" by Paul W. Fairman|
|Music by||Ronald Stein|
|Cinematography||Frederick E. West|
|Edited by||Charles Gross
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
Invasion of the Saucer Men (aka Invasion of the Hell Creatures, with the working title Spacemen Saturday Night), is a 1957 science fiction/horror/comedy film, personally produced by James H. Nicholson for release by his American International Pictures. The film was directed by Edward L. Cahn and starred Steven Terrell and Gloria Castillo. The screenplay by Robert J. Gurney Jr. and Al Martin was based on the 1955 short story "The Cosmic Frame" by Paul W. Fairman.
A flying saucer lands in the woods. A teenage couple, Johnny Carter (Terrell) and Joan Haydon (Castillo), while driving to their local lover's lane without the headlights on, accidentally run down one of the saucer's large-headed occupants.
Joe Gruen (Frank Gorshin), a drunken opportunist, stumbles across the alien's corpse after the teenagers have left to report the incident. Imagining future riches and fame, he plans to keep the body, storing it for now in his refrigerator. After failing to convince his buddy Artie Burns (Lyn Osborn) to help him retrieve the alien body, Joe decides to head for home. Other aliens soon arrive, however, and quickly inject alcohol into his veins via their retractable hypodermic needle fingernails. Joe, already intoxicated, soon dies from alcohol poisoning.
Having reported the accident and the deceased alien to the police, Johnny and Joan return with the sheriff, only to find Joe's dead body instead of the alien. The police then decide to charge both teenagers with vehicular manslaughter.
Meanwhile, the dead alien's hand detaches itself from its host, grows an eye and then runs amok, causing trouble. The military, following up an earlier UFO report, soon get involved, eventually surrounding the alien's saucer. In the end, it is the teenagers, not the military, who defeat the aliens when they discover that the saucer's occupants cannot stand the glare from their car's bright headlights.
|This section requires expansion. (June 2015)|
The film was made by Malibu Productions Film rights to Fairman's short story were purchased through Forrest J Ackerman's Ackerman Science Fiction Agency. Special effects technician Paul Blaisdell, who provided the alien make-up and flying saucer, recalled that Invasion of the Saucer Men was originally intended as a serious film but gradually developed into a comedy. The entire film takes place during the period of one night, with 98% of it filmed on a studio sound stage.
At the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has no score, though it has 2 negative and positive reviews each. Dennis Schwartz described it as "A film that can never go out of style because it is so bad that it never was in style." It currently has a 5.5 score on the IMDB.
The film features in "Place of Dreams", a short story by writer John Roman Baker in his book "Brighton Darkness". Two adolescent boys, Nick and Gregg, attend a screening at the Astoria Theatre, Brighton in 1958. Since 2010, the theatre has been scheduled for demolition. An epilog at the end of the story, laments the theatre's dereliction and anticipates the arrival of the real 'Hell Creatures': the property developers who will demolish the 'Place of Dreams'.
- LANCASTER ASKED TO CO-STAR IN FILM: Actor May Play Principal in Wald's 'Peyton Place'-- Production Unit Formed By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 26 Mar 1957: 37
- MOVIELAND EVENTS: Film Will Show New Route to Everest Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Jan 1957: 20
- Palmer 2009, p. 139.
- Palmer 2009, p. 148.
- Internet Movie Database Trivia
- Sanders, Don and Susan (1997). The American Drive-In Movie Theatre. Motorbooks International. p. 96. ISBN 0-7603-0425-4.
- Wilkinson House;
- Palmer, Randy; Olen Ray, Fred; Burns, Bob (March 30, 2009). Paul Blaisdel, Monster Maker: A Biography of the B Movie Makeup and Special Effects Artist (illustrated ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina, USA: McFarland & Company. p. 139. ISBN 9780786440993. OCLC 226166735. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
- Joslin, Lyndon W. (2006). "Cosmic Frames and Cover-ups: Invasion of the Saucer Men and the UFO Conspiracy of Silence". In Hogan, David J. Science Fiction America: Essays on SF Cinema (reprint, illustrated ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina, USA: McFarland & Company. pp. 138–150. ISBN 0786421495. OCLC 57731021. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
- A review of Invasion of the Saucer Men
- Invasion of the Saucer Men at the Internet Movie Database
- Invasion of the Saucer Men at AllMovie