Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Invasion of the Saucer Men


Fred Blosser said...

It's been a long time since I saw this one, but I do remember that... was credited to a story by Paul W. Fairman.

...Frank Gorshin had a lead role, although I didn't spot him in the trailer.

Doc Quatermass said...

Despite it’s plodding plot which makes minimal sense (hey it was an AIP cheapy designed to make some money by drawing teen-agers into the drive-in - it was double-billed with “I Was A Teen-Age Werewolf), and being slow and talky its one of my faves. Bill Warren (Keep Watching The Skies) rightly describes it as a “meandering, misfired comedy.” According to Warren, it’s director, Edward L. Cahn never showed any real talent in any of the films he directed. I like it primarily for the creatures designed by Paul Blaisdell (and built with an assist by his wife, friend Bob Burns* and his wife, Kathy) and having future Riddler, Frank Gorshin in it, and Lyn Osborn, who played Gorshen’s buddy and had played cadet Happy on the 50’s Sci Fi TV series, plays his role as a “Leo Gorcey with brains” (Warren). Plus it's the only film of the classic sci fi era (1950 to 1964 with little green men in it).
Part of it’s plot had a “Blob like element in that the two teenage protagonists, Johnny and Joan have to deal with the fifties teen movie oppressiveness of their parents and the cops when they are disbelieved when they try to report that they ran over an alien creature and killed it and had it’s severed arm with an eyeball in the hand (at least that was something the severed arm of the astronaut in “The Crawling Hand” didn’t have to guide it) menace them in their car.

I have several copies of posters from it. I remember seeing it at a buddies house (we use to play G.I. Joe's together - he was an only child and had the both helicopter and jeep with the recoilless rifle mounted behind the front seats and a trailer with search light) on the 4 o'clock afternoon movie. I could never remember the title, only the, I thought, pretty cool creatures. I had basically nothing to go on to track down the film. Then in 1993 we were at Disney World waiting to eat at the cool Sci-Fi Diner (Disney-MGM) in the lobby area and standing against the wall I turned and gazed up at the poster of the movie I had for years wanted to remember.

It was tons better than the remake in the early to mid-60s, The Eye Creatures.

I have the Paul W. Fairman short story in two books ("They Came from Outer Space: 12 Classic Science Fiction Tales That Became Major Motion Pictures", edited by Jim Wynorski w/ an intro by Ray Bradbury and "Ackermanthology: 65 Astonishing, Rediscovered Sci-Fi Shorts", edited by Forrest J. Ackerman, with an intro by John Landis). The story is just a kernel of the plot of the movie.

*Bob Burns, like Forry Ackerman are two of the true gentleman in sci fi/horror film fandom. They are also two of the nicest men I've ever met, in addition to Keven McCarthy (who signed gratis this poor boy's copy of a book Kevin edited on "Invasion of the Body Snatchers as well as a first edition paperback of Body Snatchers and an early to mid-60s reprint with just as cool cover art, and shared one of his cookies with me) and Richard Sheffield (one of the young men Bela befriended).

Unknown said...

Great comment, Doc. You should have your own blog.

Doc Quatermass said...

Thanks for the kind words, Bill. You're a gentleman and a scholar (and the check is in the mail). I have considered it. I've spent time on lengthy and, at times, in my opinion, somewhat erudite posts on message boards in the past that could have been better spent writing a blog, though I think wifey would prefer me to get cracking on the essays, short stories and novels I've tinkered with in my mind the last thirty-some years to help defray costs of the books and mags and other collectibles I crave.) But I can be very unmotivated, undisciplined, lazy and a great procrastinator. Curse this ADHD! My web site has languished untouched far too long.

Some days it seems it's all I can do to keep up with your blog which is enjoyable reading.

Suffering a brain cramp (two nights of trouble falling asleep and kicking my butt with cardio and weights yesterday, I seem mentally sluggish - now I have to go out and cut a foot off cutting grass) I picked up the wrong Forry book. Fairman's "The Cosmic Frame" is in Ackerman's "Science-Fiction Classics: The Stories That Morphed Into Movies."

Unknown said...

After you finish off your your grass, you can come do mine.

Doc Quatermass said...

I got the small bank cut and was working on the tall, thick grass of the steeper bank (doing it in small sections due to the mostly inactive post op recovery, neck still fusing, right side still week, bad lower back and knees)Only had a small section of bank left and rack'em frack'em mower won't start after starting half a dozen times. Off to therapy pool. Try again later.

You have grass in Texas? Thought them thar durn sheepherders took care of that? I'd get me a goat.

Have a Rondo Hatton ordered and might consider the Saucer Men figures.

Unknown said...

In this part of Texas we have grass, and I hate to cut it.

stargazer1954 said...

I have this film on DVD, I swear it's been edited. I remember seeing the film years ago on TV. I distinctly remember dialogue about the creatures eating someone's car.
None of that is in the DVD version. I also remember Frank Gorshin being confronted by the aliens and it showing him being injected with alcohol by one of their hands. Again, none of that in the DVD. Can anyone confirm these edits?

Unknown said...

Not me, but it's certainly possible.