Random Film of the Week: Invasion of the Saucermen

Despite its super low budget, eager cast of hokey actors and rather brief running time, this 1957 mix of sci-fi and comedy manages to work quite well thanks to a solid sense of humor and effectively scary use of special effects in one memorable sequence. That the film purports to be “A true story of a flying saucer” right at the beginning is the first in a long string of eyeball-rolling chuckles it hits you with. After a teen couple out on a late night make-out session run over an alien, they’re soon caught up as murder suspects once the remaining big-headed, bug-eyed and short of stature creatures replace the body of their comrade with a human they’ve eliminated. Given that the aliens kill with finger needles that inject pure alcohol into their victims (ouch, *hic!*), it’s initially easy to see the couple’s alibi easily shot down by the cops.

Of course, a mere hour and nine minutes means this flick has to get to the point and fast, so there’s a nice bit of a twist as the two lovebirds and their pack of initially skeptical friends set off to take on the aliens and wipe them out before things get too invasion-y in their tiny town. I liked that the solution is a super low-tech and dirt simple one that’s underused in movies today because it seems that a ton of CGI effects are a “better” solution than a few great practical ones. Anyway, the aliens (played by little people) are comical and creepy at the same time thanks to Paul Blaisdell’s excellent costumes, particularly those heads and pointy, freaky fingers dripping with over-proofed booze. I guess if you had to go thanks to an alien invasion, dying drunk of your ass is a better fate than an anal probe. Er… unless you get stabbed in the ass because you’re running away from an alien that’s about three feet tall.

Anyway, this isn’t on DVD legally as far as I know, but feel free to poke around the Internet and see what you can find. To me, It’s simply amazing that someone in Hollywood with a big sci-fi background (and a LOT of money) isn’t paying for the restoration and re-releasing of some of these gems as Blu-Ray collections. Hell, if it weren’t for many of these flicks, there would probably be no Star Wars, E.T. or Alien films!

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