Invasion of the Saucer Men

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Invasion of the Saucer Men
Invasion of the Saucer Men.jpg
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.
Al Martin
Based on short story "The Cosmic Frame" by Paul W. Fairman
Starring Steven Terrell
Gloria Castillo
Frank Gorshin
Raymond Hatton
Lyn Osborn
Music by Ronald Stein
Cinematography Frederick E. West
Edited by Charles Gross
Ronald Sinclair
Production
company
Malibu Productions
Distributed by American International Pictures
Release date
  • June 1957 (1957-06)
Running time
69 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Invasion of the Saucer Men (a.k.a. Invasion of the Hell Creatures, with the working title Spacemen Saturday Night), is a 1957 black-and-white comic science fiction horror film produced by James H. Nicholson for release by his American International Pictures. The film was directed by Edward L. Cahn and stars 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. Invasion of the Saucer Men was released as a double feature with I Was a Teenage Werewolf.[1]

Plot[edit]

A flying saucer lands in the woods. A teenage couple, Johnny Carter (Terrell) and Joan Hayden (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 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's. The police then decide to charge both teenagers with vehicular manslaughter.

Meanwhile, the dead alien's hand detaches itself from its host and 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.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was made by Malibu Productions[2] Film rights to Fairman's short story were purchased through Forrest J Ackerman's Ackerman Science Fiction Agency.[3] 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.[4] The entire film takes place during the period of one night, with 98% of it filmed on a studio sound stage.[5]

Invasion of the Saucer Men was released by AIP as part of a double feature with I Was a Teenage Werewolf.

Legacy[edit]

In 1965, self-professed "schlockmeister" Larry Buchanan cheaply remade Invasion of the Saucer Men in color as The Eye Creatures, a made-for-television feature for AIP-TV.[6]

The Lillingtons featured a song called "Invasion of the Saucermen" on their 1999 album Death by Television.[7]

Reception[edit]

On his website Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings, Dave Sindelar gave the film a mixed review, saying, "Though it maintains a light atmosphere, it is very lacking in the basic element of a comedy, and that's good jokes. Nonetheless, it's directed with a certain energy, features some truly memorable aliens courtesy of Paul Blaisdell, juggles its three storylines with ease, and in its own way, it may be THE quintessential aliens vs. teenagers movie".[8] Hans J. Wollstein from AllMovie gave the film a negative review, calling it "claustrophobic at best", and stating that the film "simply isn't funny but is clearly meant to be".[9]

Cultural references[edit]

The film was featured in "Place of Dreams", a short story by writer John Roman Baker in his book Brighton Darkness.[10]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Sanders, Don and Susan (1997). The American Drive-In Movie Theatre. Motorbooks International. p. 96. ISBN 0-7603-0425-4. 
  2. ^ 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 March 1957: 37
  3. ^ MOVIELAND EVENTS: Film Will Show New Route to Everest. Los Angeles Times (1923-current file) [Los Angeles, Calif] 29 Jan. 1957: 20
  4. ^ Palmer 2009, p. 139.
  5. ^ Palmer 2009, p. 148.
  6. ^ Paul Blaisdell, Monster Maker: A Biography of the B Movie Makeup and Special Effects Artist by Randy Palmer, 1997
  7. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Lillingtons-Death-By-Television/release/2101456
  8. ^ Sindelar, Dave. "Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957)". FantasticMoviemusings.com. Dave Sindelar. Retrieved 23 May 2018. 
  9. ^ Wollstein, Hans. "Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957) - Edward L. Cahn". Allmovie.com. Hans J. Wollstein. Retrieved 23 May 2018. 
  10. ^ Wilkinson House;

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]