Culture

Sgathaich: Killers From Space

Returning to old B movies. I so enjoy them, even the bad ones as they can be laughed at, yet still often showing far greater creativity and imagination than many of the films out now (and I’m not talking about comic book ones).

Killers From Space from 1954 is definitely low budget. When the action of the film starts in around the middle of it, it’s still very cheaply done. Costumes of the aliens are basic and the main bit that shows they are aliens is also rather laughable. But that’s skipping ahead.

We open up on some atomic tests when a plane crashes supposedly killing the two inside. Later one of the two, Dr. Douglas Martin played by B movie star Peter Graves, turns up alive to the amazement and suspicion of his colleagues and military officials.

Now you think a major point of this would be his wife (or girlfriend can’t recall too much which she really wasn’t that important) dealing with all this but she’s relatively a minor role. Instead we see Martin get frustrated as he feels left out of the loop about future tests, demanding to know when the next one is. This culminates in him eventually stealing the information but strangely putting the papers under a rock in the desert, something he doesn’t understand why he did it… or why he’s seeing big googly eyes floating about.

Captured by the military he’s drugged and reveals that he was taken by aliens with big googly eyes (best way to describe them trust me) who revived him from death and told them their entire plan for world domination using giant animals to kill everything on the planet then hit a kill switch and become the fertilizer for the aliens civilization. Dr Martin realizes that the aliens are afraid of a power surge at this vital section of their plans and since Martin refuses to work with them willingly, hypnotize him to hand them the information while forgetting everything he saw.

With the interesting part of the movie done then it’s just people not believing him despite doctors saying the drug removes imagination from the equation so should all be real. So Martin goes at gun point to flick a switch inconveniencing a few people but causing a massive explosion outside the window that was the aliens base (that given how big it was and most likely nuclear killed everyone in the film if this was reality) and so aliens are defeated by… flicking a switch.

While the film isn’t anything special to write about, many people cite the scene where Martin is being operated on by the aliens as a key influence on what people claim happens to them during alien abductions, even down to the big eyes.

At 71 minutes the film isn’t all that long, but you really are just waiting for the middle section with the goofy eyed aliens, despite the fact that probably the more interesting part is the lead up to that with Dr Martin’s strange behaviour. But once the aliens are gone the film just feels empty.

rating: spear spear spear

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