Invasion of the Star Creatures
This article is missing information about the film's theatrical/home media releases.(March 2018)
|Invasion of the Star Creatures|
|Directed by||Bruno VeSota|
Samuel Z. Arkoff|
|Written by||Jonathan Haze|
|Edited by||Lew Guinn|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
|May 3, 1962 (USA)|
|70 minutes (theatrical); 80 minutes (TV version)|
|Country||United States of America|
Invasion of the Star Creatures is an independently made 1962 black-and-white science fiction/comedy film, produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff and Berj Hagopian, directed by Bruno VeSota, that stars Bob Ball and Frankie Ray. The film was theatrically released by American International Pictures as a double feature with The Brain That Wouldn't Die.
The theatrical version (currently on DVD) runs 70 minutes. For television syndication, a 10-minute sequence was added, bringing the film's running time to 80 minutes.
The film opens with a parody credit of “R.I. Diculous Presents". Private Philbrick and Private Penn are stuck in monotonous assignments at Fort Nicholson, a U.S. Army base near the Nicholson Mesa. The privates are assigned to a scouting mission that requires the inspection of a newly discovered cavern that was located near the base. Philbrick and Penn are part of an expeditionary squad, but become separated from their fellow soldiers. The privates are attacked by seven-foot-tall vegetable-like creatures that take them into the cavern, which is actually an alien base commanded by two statuesque women from the planet Kalar. The alien women, Dr. Puna and Professor Tanga, reveal that they arrived on Earth with the goal of conquering the planet. Philbrick and Penn find that their fellow soldiers have been placed in suspended animation by the aliens. Philbrick eventually discovers that kissing Puna leaves her temporarily powerless, allowing him and Penn to escape from the cavern and its inhabitants. After an encounter with an American Indian band, the two soldiers race back to their base to rally a defense of the Earth against the Kalar aliens. They succeed in saving the Earth by prematurely launching the alien spaceship, but are captured by the aliens. However, Puna convinces Tanga not to kill them as they have no way of returning home now and they need to rely on the two soldiers. Tanga accepts this, kisses Penn and the sparks fly. At the end of the film, the soldiers receive medals for their actions and they drive away with the aliens, now their wives.
Invasion of the Star Creatures was written by Jonathan Haze, an actor best known for his starring role in the Roger Corman feature The Little Shop of Horrors (1960). Haze’s screenplay originally carried the title Monsters from Nicholson Mesa, which was intended as a inside joke reference to James H. Nicholson, the co-founder of American International Pictures. Haze was to star in the film, but he ultimately did not appear in the production.
The film opens with a parody credit of “R.I. Diculous Presents".
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Invasion of the Star Creatures has never been well reviewed by critics. When it first opened, the film trade magazine Box Office opined: “What a lot of baloney! Such a waste of time, film and effort. The title was good, but was it a spooky film? Nope! A comedy!! Closed the first night”. Film historian Bill Warren, in his 1996 book Keep Watching the Skies!, Vol. 2, called the film "astonishingly bad ... so helplessly bad that it's almost unwatchable".
In 1979, the film was cited by Harry and Michael Medved in their book The Golden Turkey Awards, a tribute to bad films. Invasion of the Star Creatures was nominated in the category for “The Worst Vegetable Movie of All Time”, with the authors noting the monsters controlled by the Kalar aliens were played by actors wearing carrot costumes. The Medveds also faulted an egregious comic line by Bob Ball – when given a back flip by one of the carrot monsters, Ball remarked: “Wow, that’s the first time a salad ever tossed me”!
- “An Impossible Picture: Truth and Lies about the Invasion of the Star Creatures” by Martin Kottmeyer, Talking Pictures
- “Invasion of the Star Creatures,” Turner Classic Movies
- Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p161
- “Biography for Bruno VeSota,” Turner Classic Movies
- Rothel, David (1991). Ambush of Ghosts: A Guide to Great Western Film Locations. Madison, Wisconsin: Empire Publishing. pp. 39, 150–5. ISBN 978-0-944-01910-8.
- Medved, Harry; Medved, Michael (1980). The Golden Turkey Awards. New York: Perigree Books. pp. 134–135. ISBN 978-0-399-50463-1.
- Warren, Bill. Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties (covers films released through 1962), 21st Century Edition. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2009 (First Edition 1982). ISBN 0-89950-032-3.