Greetings, Earthlings. Take me to your leader. I come in peace.
If you couldn't tell, this week's Thursday Movie Picks is all about alien invasions of our wonderful planet. Sure, I've seen that one. And that one. That one, too. So, as per my usual, I'm trying to go against the grain a bit. In this case, I'm also violating the rules just a bit. Well, that's pretty normal, too. Anyhoo, the rules put forth by our wonderful host Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves state that the movies chosen should be ones that you consider great, terrible, or hidden gems. I'm going with a trio of films that I consider to be all three. Or, to use the vernacular familiar to readers of this blog, these movies are so bad they're awesome! And, like any true alien invasion, they all come "from Outer Space."
I Married a Monster from Outer Space
(1958)Marge (Talbott) marries her sweetheart Bill (Tryon) and notices he's acting really strange. She soon discovers that the man she married is...wait for it...wait for it...a monster from outer space. Well, actually his body has been taken over by a monster...from outer space. One by one, this starts happening to all the men in town as Marge frantically tries to find help in stopping them. Yup, this is 50s B-movieism at its finest...or worst depending on your point of view. The aliens use screwy logic but hilariously enough, they're better husbands than the humans they've taken over. The human men, married or not, are all heavy drinkers who spend every night at the local pub. When we get to the "exciting conclusion" it's because a) people suddenly know things they shouldn't, but don't know things they should and b) ...well, there's a lot of stupid stuff. Think Invasion of the Body Snatchers mixed with the next movie we'll talk about and a dash of Signs thrown in. The unintentional humor is high, the special fx are shoddy, even for the 50s, and one particular fact about our alien friends renders the whole thing impossible. In other words, I had a lot of hearty laughs while watching this one.
Plan 9 from Outer Space
(1959)I really shouldn't have to say too much about this one. Even if you haven't seen it, you've probably heard about it. Plan 9 is director Ed Wood's magnum opus of awfulness. It's so terrible, the movie named after the director chronicles the making of it. Many consider it the worst movie of all time. That makes it a perfect fit for this post. We get the title because the invading aliens actually failed on their first eight attempts at invasion. Plan 9 involves resurrecting the dead. so yeah, it's also a zombie movie. By the way, they don't actually want to take over our planet or kill us. They're trying to stop us from killing them. This is generally the same idea as the legitimately good original The Day the Earth Stood Still. Luckily for me, the execution of said idea is much worse. At times, the movie feels randomly put together with old footage of Wood's friend Bela Lugosi shoved in. Lugosi died after filming very little and basically had no idea what type of movie he was contributing to. Like other productions where a key player passes away before completing it, a stand in is used. Of course, this guy looks nothing like Lugosi. Aside from that, there is so much unintentional humor it's hard to believe Wood didn't set out to make a comedy. Some of my faves include the way the police mishandle their guns by just haphazardly waving them around and, yes, the flying saucers we see very early on. Take another look at the gif above. That's an actual screenshot from the movie. Yup, that really is a string coming from the top of the spaceship. Gawd, I love this crap!
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
(1988)Um...killer klowns...klowns with a k...from outer space. One night, a meteor slices through the sky of some small town and voila...killer klowns...with a k...from outer space. They literally just start killing people left and right. Are they trying to take over the entire planet? Nope. Are they trying to destroy us all? Not all of us. Then what? They need some tasty snacks to take back to their planet. You see, they don't always kill folks. Sometimes, they disintegrate them until they are a mound of orange powder. Okay, fine. Essentially, it plays like a slasher flick...featuring killer klowns...with a k...from outer space. Some of our highlights include one of our invaders making a balloon dog that springs to life and helps him and his buddies track down a couple of humans that are trying to get away from them and a klown...with a k...making a T-rex shadow puppet with his hands. If that's not impressive enough, it actually eats people. Yup. I mean, what do you expect from a movie about killer klowns...with a k...from outer space.
Check these other Thursday Movie Picks