Space Invasion of Lapland

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Space Invasion of Lapland
Invasionoftheanimalpeople.jpg
Directed by Virgil W. Vogel
Produced by Bertil Jernberg
Gustaf Unger
Written by Arthur C. Pierce (screenplay and story)
Starring See below
Music by Harry Arnold
Allan Johansson
Cinematography Hilding Bladh
Edited by Shirley Citron
Tom Rolf
Release date
  • 19 August 1959 (1959-08-19) (Sweden)

1962 in U.S.
Running time
73 minutes (Sweden)
55 minutes (USA)
81 minutes (U.S. TV)
Country United States
Sweden
Language English
Swedish

Space Invasion of Lapland (Rymdinvasion i Lappland in Sweden) is a 1959 Swedish-American black-and-white science fiction-monster film released to Swedish cinemas on 19 August of that year.[1] The film was produced by Bertil Jernberg and Gustaf Unger, directed by American Virgil W. Vogel,[2] and stars Barbara Wilson, Robert Burton, and Stan Gester. The film, partly presented in English, was written by Arthur C. Pierce.

For its U.S. theatrical release, Space Invasion of Lapland was shortened by distributor Jerry Warren to 55 minutes from its original 73 minutes. New footage of an on-screen narrator (John Carradine) was added, opening and closing the film, bookending the revised storyline. Using a replacement actor, new "Diane Wilson" main character footage was shot detailing a strange UFO incident that happened before the character goes to Sweden. After reediting other plot details, the film was distributed in America under the title Invasion of the Animal People on a double bill with Warren's Terror of the Bloodhunters.

When Invasion of the Animal People went into U.S. television syndication, additional footage increased its running to 81 minutes.

Plot (Invasion of the Animal People)[edit]

While asleep, a young woman experiences an extraterrestrial visit, awakening to a horrible, ear-splitting sound that only she can hear. Overcome by confusion, panic, and pain, she runs outside in her nightgown and sees weird lights in the sky. By the time paramedics take her to the hospital, she is catatonic and no longer able to explain what she has experienced. Doctors cannot explain her mysterious seizure. Could it possibly have something to do with the UFO sightings that were reported the same night as her attack? Before it can be determined, she suddenly recovers completely from her coma and decides to follow her dream of becoming a figure skater.

Olympic figure skating champion Diane Wilson (Barbara Wilson) travels to Sweden where she meets up with her uncle, famous geologist Dr. Vance Wilson (Robert Burton), who has traveled there to help investigate a recent meteor landing. Diane is courted by her uncle's associate, Dr. Erik Engstrom (Sten Gester), though she aggressively plays hard-to-get at first. Their romance develops and eventually their journey is interrupted by the discovery of a herd of mutilated reindeer. The two scientists immediately fly to the site of the meteor crash, far north in the Arctic mountains of Lapland. Much to the irritation of the men, Diane stows away aboard their plane. When they arrive, it is determined that the meteor is actually a round alien spacecraft, and she suddenly realizes just how dangerous a decision she has made.

An enormously tall, hairy biped creature, with powerful jaws, tusks, and large round feet, under the control of three humanoid aliens in the spaceship, comes out of nowhere and begins menacing the scientists and the native Lapland villagers. The tall beast destroys the scientists' aircraft, the soldier guarding it, and begins tearing apart Laplander houses with its bare hands. As Dr. Engstrom and Diane are trying to ski away to safety, the hairy monster attacks again and is able to capture Diane. She screams and faints.

Meanwhile, a search party has been formed, now carrying fire torches as night begins to fall. They hear Diane's screams and go toward the sound. Dr. Engstrom arrives and watches as the hairy monster carries her off. He hurries toward the torch-carrying Laplanders and tries to alert Dr. Wilson, who is with them, that the creature now has Diane. Carrying her to the snow-buried alien spaceship, the extraterrestrial monster suddenly begins displaying tenderness toward his captive, a result of mind control exerted over the creature by the humanoid aliens. She runs into an adjoining ice cave and screams and faints again when the aliens come near. The aliens leave the cave and see the the mass of lighted torches coming their way. The hairy monster picks up Diane and heads away from the buried spaceship.

The Laplanders give chase and are finally able to confront the huge creature, who is now standing with its back to the edge of a snow cliff. Angry villagers begin throwing their fire torches, and the tall monster carefully places Diane on the ground, where she is able to roll several few feet away. More torches are thrown and the hairy creature quickly catches on fire. It falls backward over the cliff to a fiery death, starting an avalanche as it tumbles down into the steep chasm. The aliens, seeing this on their viewscreen, reverse course, launching their round spacecraft into space.

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

The Swedish film's original end-title ballad, "Midnight Sun Lament", is based on an old Swedish melody (music and Swedish lyrics by Gustaf Unger, English lyrics by Frederick Herbert).

Home video[edit]

A Special Edition DVD of the original Swedish theatrical film, under the new title Terror in the Midnight Sun, was released by Something Weird Video on July 10, 2001. It includes the reedited U.S. theatrical release from 1962, Invasion of the Animal People.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rymdinvasion i Lappland" (in Swedish). Swedish Film Database. 19 August 1959. Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Elin Fjellman Jaderup (22 April 2005). "Superobskyrt" (in Swedish). Sydsvenskan. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Warren, Bill. Keep Watching the Skies: American Science Fiction Films 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.

External links[edit]