Killers from Space


Year 1954

Peter Graves as  Dr. Doug Paul Martin  
Steve Pendleton   as FBI Agent Briggs
John Frederick as Deneb Tala
Barbara Bestar as Ellen Martin
Frank Gerstle as  Dr. Curt Kruger
James Seay   as Colonel Banks
 
Director - W. Lee Wilder
Screenwriter - William Raynor
Story   - Myles Wilder  

You'd think that a movie named Killers from Space would have some killing in it. You'd be wrong. Oh, you hear about a death or two, even stories about deaths of planets full of beings. But, nobody from space kills anybody in the movie. So, there's no gore or tension because somebody is about to die.

The plot is basic. There are aliens invading the Earth and planning on wiping out humanity before they take over. They've got to be stopped!

As for the details, this movie is so chaotic that it's hard to explain them. So, let's talk about the structure of the movie instead. It's about a half dozen, poorly acted scenes, that seem to go on and on just to fill up time.

There's one scene where Dr. Martin waits to, to do, to do something. He's waiting. He's waiting. He's waiting for Dr. Kruger to leave his office across the hall. You know that because a little while after Dr. Kruger leaves, Dr. Martin goes in. Five minutes later Dr. Martin breaks into a safe and writes down something.

Then there's a flashback with Dr. Martin. He remembers his time with the invading aliens. They let him attempt to escape. He visits a "menagerie" of oversized "carnivorous animals" like geckos and cockroaches. You get to see a gecko, then a cockroach, then some other lizard, then the gecko again, then... You get the point. Five to ten minutes of revisiting the same blue screen close-ups.

What's the point of this other than to show off the special effects? Well, giant cockroaches, etc. are how the aliens are going to wipe out humanity. A plague of locust (there's one giant grasshopper) so to speak. Then, once the giant animals wipe out mankind, the aliens will wipe out the giant animals with a heat ray. Doesn't sound too likely based on how hard it is to wipe out cockroaches anyway.

Now about the aliens. They look like humans if they were chimney sweeps with huge, unblinking, hard-boiled egg eyes. Maybe they're "extras" from Godzilla. You know, "Helpless people on subway trains stare bug-eyed as he looks in on them. Godzilla!"

I do NOT have a unibrow!

What about the acting? Sometimes it's actually alright. Peter Graves does nearly as good a job in this one as his older brother James Arness did in the 1951 version of The Thing from Another World. Although I have to admit, the question, "Do you like movies about gladiators? " kept coming out of my mouth whenever Graves was on the screen.

Why Barbara Bestar was in the movie beats me. She's not exactly a conversation halting beauty. Neither is she a good actress. She must've been related to somebody or worked for peanuts.

I guess it says something when the best part of a movie is the stock footage. And this is pretty good...compared to the rest of the movie. It shows a radar dish, a flying jet, troops, and an explosion they may or may not have been atomic.

Sometimes the scientific babble makes sense and sometimes it's off the wall. The aliens are stopped by halting power to a resistor. This makes no sense. No power to a resistor means no power to a resistor. That's all. It doesn't result in some sort of explosion.

No nudity. Maybe one or two lines of blasphemy, I can't remember. In general, I'd advise a miss on this one.


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