Thu 2 Sep 2010
INVISIBLE INVADERS. United Artists, 1959. John Agar, Jean Byron, Philip Tonge, Robert Hutton, John Carradine. Director: Edward L. Cahn.
As bad as second-rate sci-fi movies are today, in 1959 they were even worse. Even so, while this one is as ineptly written as they come, the solid earnestness of the cast makes it bearable to watch. It also doesn’t manage to turn you off with an excess of stomach-wrenching special effects, as opposed to what just about every other space-invasion monster-movie supplies us with, whether we wish so or not.
Maybe that’s because the invaders from the moon, the self-proclaimed “masters of the universe”, are invisible. What is not really explained very well is why (1) they have been content to stay on the moon until now, and (2) why they need to possess the bodies of corpses while they’re on Earth.
Add number (3): while they are in possession of the bodies of corpses, why must they walk in such a vacant-eyed, lurching fashion, and speak with the cavernous voice of John Carradine, the first dead man whose body they took over?
And, well, while I’m at it, how about question (4): why do they bother “warning” Earth in the first place? If they’re so anxious to take over the place, now that mankind is on the verge of space travel and reaching the stars ourselves, why not just come in and wipe us out, without our even knowing?
Put the answers to these questions down to the fact that there are certain things that Mankind is doomed to never know. (Nor, I am inclined to believe, are we meant to.)
[UPDATE] 09-02-10. I don’t remember this one at all. It’s available on DVD from Midnight Movies double-billed with another SF film called Journey to the Seventh Planet, which maybe I ought to buy, unless you can talk me out of it. (Some reviewers on IMDB call Invisible Invaders a minor classic, but I’d rather hear from people I trust.)