Invisible Invaders

Year of Release: 1959
Running Time: 67 Minutes
DVD Released By: MGM Home Entertainment
Directed By: Edward L. Kahn
Writing Credits: Samuel Newman
Filming Locations: Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park - 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California, USA

Starring: John Agar (Maj. Bruce Jay), Jean Byron (Phyllis Penner), Philip Tonge (Dr. Adam Penner), Robert Hutton (Dr. John Lamont), John Carradine (Dr. Karol Noymann), Hal Torey (The Farmer)

Tagline 1: An unearthly enemy defying modern science in a war to the death!

Tagline 2: How can you stop what you can't see?

Tagline 3: EARTH GIVEN 24 HOURS TO SURRENDER! - An unearthly enemy defying science... In a war to-the-death of all civilization!

Alternate Titles:
I was unable to locate any alternate titles for this film.

Interesting Bits of Trivia:
Jean Byron only appeared in a few of these sci-fi b-movie type films. Aside from this film, she also appeared in Jungle Moon Men in 1955 and The Magnetic Monster in 1953. She began her career in 1952 playing opposite Johnny Weismuller in Voodoo Tiger, one of a series of Jungle Jim adventure programs. Sadly, Jean passed away in February of 2006 at the age of 80 from an infection she developed after a hip replacement surgery.




Cast of Characters

Phyllis Penner: Oh man, this girl is cool. She helps out, she doesn't complain much, she listens to reason, and she can make a guy shrivel at fifty yards if they get on her nerves. On top of all that, she's not hard on the eyes either. What more could you ask for? She's the daughter of Dr. Adam Penner, but other than that I don't really have anything all that interesting or noteworthy to tell about her. She's a good little trooper, and naturally she has to get a thing going with Bruce, but other than that, there really isn't all that much else to say.

Dr. Adam Penner: This guy was the head of atomic research for the government, but after his best friend and fellow researcher Karol Noymann was killed in a lab explosion, he totally turned against his research and vowed to only do research from now on that would help humanity...not destroy it. Unfortunately, the little peacenik soap box he was on got him selected by the aliens to deliver their message of surrender or die. Some days you just can't win, huh? Anyway, he talks his friend and fellow scientist Dr. John Lamont into delivering the message to Washington for him. They pretty much thought John was a nut, and all the papers picked up on it and called them both nuts. I wonder what the papers were saying a few days later when a huge chunk of humanity had been wiped out and complete devastation was happening all around the world? I'm sure there was at least one skeptic out there who still thought it was all a hoax and the devastation was just a coincidence. You know how those arrogant reporters are.

Dr. John Lamont: This guy is a total wuss. He helps out to a point, but when things get tense and it looks like they'll never be able to find a way to stop the aliens, he snaps and starts whining about how they should surrender to them and what not. At one point he actually flipped, started putting the beatdown on Bruce and tried to release the alien they had captured. Fortunately, his little temper tantrum led to them discovering how to kill the aliens, at which point he actually calmed down again and started helping out. I bet when it was all over though, Bruce still kicked his butt nine ways from Sunday. I mean, let's face it, the putz had it comin'.

Major Bruce Jay: Bruce is a straight up military guy. He's brave, tough and takes care of business like nobody's business. Naturally he gets the girl too. I was a little saddened to see him getting his butt kicked by John when John freaked out and tried to free the alien, but to be fair, John caught him off guard and Bruce did get some good shots in. Anyway, he's their protector and the guy who's always first to go out into the dangerous situations. Kind of a crappy job, but hey, someone's gotta do it.

Just as a side note, I gotta say that John Agar just rocked in these kinds of movies. He was like William Shatner and Bruce Willis all rolled into one. He was the man back in his day, and I just love seeing him kickin' some butt in these great old classic films.

Dr. Karol Noymann: This guy is someone you may recognize too. It's John Carradine! He didn't have much of a role in this film, but me sure to check out my review of The Unearthly. He was great in that one. Anyway, as stated above, he was Dr. Penner's best friend and a fellow atomic researcher. He dies in a horrible lab explosion, and then later on his dead body is possessed by one of the invisible aliens and used to make contact with Dr. Penner. After that, we don't see him anymore. It was really a small part, and I'm surprised that someone of his stature wasn't given a bigger role in the film.

The Farmer: This guy stopped our four main characters on the road while they were traveling to the underground bunker where they would eventually discover a way to defeat the aliens. He was totally unreasonable and demanded that they give him their jeep so he could get out of there. Now normally when a guy with a shotgun tells you to give him your jeep, you just get out and start walkin'. Fortunately for them, Bruce was made of sterner stuff. He waited till the guy was distracted, pulled out his gun and gave the guy a new ventilation hole in his forehead. That wasn't the last we saw of this guy though. After they left, one of the aliens possessed his body and he got up and started creepin' around again as one of the alien possessed zombies. Talk about havin' a bad day. All he wanted was a ride, and he ends up getting shot in the head, possessed by aliens and brought back as a zombie, who still has to walk everywhere. Some days it just don't pay to get out of bed. Oh well, serves him right. He was a jerk face anyway.




Screen Shots

You know what the sad part is? It's not bad enough the guy died in an explosion, but now people are going to be lining their bird cages with his obituary and birds will be poopin' on his face. This poor schmuck just can't win.

 

 

Nothing all that funny here, but I did want you all to see this. Dr. Noymann was blown up in an explosion while working on developing new weapons in an atomic research lab. He was buried, and then an invisible alien came along and possessed his body, pulled him out of the ground and used him to talk to Dr. Penner. The reason I put this here is...doesn't he look awful good for a guy who was blown up in an explosion? I mean he's still got all his parts, no visible burns, none of his hair is singed off, still got his eyebrows, etc... They could have at least messed him up and made him look all burned or something. Sheesh!

 

 

"Snatch the wadded up lump of aluminum foil from my hand grasshopper..."

Actually, this was the alien showing Dr. Penner the material their ships are made out of. If their ships are made out of aluminum foil, then I wouldn't think we'd have a hell of a lot to be afraid of. Actually, the material is invisible unless you hit it with certain frequencies of sound, so at least they got that going for them. I wonder what it would look like if you played some Devo at it?

Nobody likes a smart ass.

This is something else I wanted you all to see. This plane was supposedly downed by the aliens, but if you'll look at the ground, you can see a target marker there that the plane flies directly into. It's actually stock footage of an intentional plane crash where the plane was supposed to crash into the ground target. I'm happy to report, the plane was right on target, but unhappy to report that the pilot died and his body was possessed by an invisible alien, which then used it to basically tell the people of Earth they were screwed. The crappy part for the pilot is, the alien only used him to give one message and then dumped his body like an old, moldy tangerine. Not cool man.

"Buuuuuurrrppppp!"

"Ok, there's only four of us in this bunker and someone's playin' bombs over Tokyo. I know it wasn't me, and it couldn't be Phyllis because girls don't fart. That just leaves the two of you, and when I find out which one of you is makin' the air thick in here, I'm gonna pull your colon out through your mouth and tie it in a freakin' square knot."

"Now wait a minute. I've been thinking about this problem scientifically, and I think I've come up with an answer. He who smelt it, dealt it."

"Look, I don't know who's doing it, but whoever it is I wish you'd stop. You're making me gag!"

"Now let me see, how am I going to throw Bruce off the scent...so to speak. Wait, I got it. All I have to do is sneak over and drop one of my patented sloppy joe bombs right behind John. Then I'll make a big deal out of it and blame it all on him. God I rule! They don't call me The Silent Swisher for nothing!"

"Awww dude! Weak!!!"

"Damn it, they caught me. Wait a minute. I'll blame it on the alien. Yeah that's it. I'll just say he's been dropping some invisible invaders in here. Then Bruce can take it all out on him and I'll be free to float as many fragrant fluffers as I want. God I'm smart. Oh, wait a minute. Why is Phyllis looking at me like that? Did I just say all that out loud? Awww crap..."




Best Quotes

Dr. John Lamont: "Now we've got one of those things in here, and a mob of those dead men right outside. If you hadn't have gone out in that truck they couldn't have followed us back to the bunker."

Phyllis: "Oh John shut up!"

- John bitching at Bruce about their current situation, and Phyllis' reaction to him. - (Reviewer's Note: John was being a little bitch, and she sounded totally pissed off when she snapped at him. I was watching the movie with my wife, and the first thing out of her mouth when Phyllis said that was, "PWNED!" Then we laughed about it for a good ten minutes and re-watched the scene several times because it was so hilarious. The more we watched it, the funnier it got.)



 

Video Clip
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Invisible Invaders
John gets totally PWNED by Phyllis when she gets sick of listening to him whining like a little bitch and tells him to shut the hell up. Yes, this is the scene from the quote, and it's a must see!


Summary and Conclusion

The age of the atomic bomb is upon us, and we're about to enter the space age. Unbeknownst to the people of the Earth, there have been invisible aliens living on the moon for thousands of years. Seems there used to be people living on the moon, but they destroyed them all and took over, leaving not a trace that anyone had ever been there. They left the people of the Earth alone for all these thousands of years, because they weren't a threat. But now, with the advent of the atomic bomb and rockets, and all the modern scientific advances, humans have become a threat. The invisible aliens send a representative down to Earth, who then possesses the body of a dead scientist and uses it to deliver a message to Dr. Penner. Tell the people of the Earth to surrender or die.

Naturally Dr. Penner thought he was going insane, but after the alien proved to him that they were invisible and that the Earth didn't stand a chance against them, he went along with it and got his fellow scientist, John Lamont to deliver the message to Washington. No one believed him of course, and they were both branded as nuts, but that all changed when the aliens started delivering their own messages, followed by a wave of destruction the world had never seen.

Once the alien attack is underway, Dr. Penner, his daughter Phyllis and Dr. Lamont are all whisked away to a fully equipped, secret bunker by Major Bruce Jay, where they start working on developing a defense against the aliens. In the mean time, the aliens are possessing the bodies of the dead and using them to do their dirty work. Will our intrepid little group find a way to defeat the aliens in time, or is the Earth doomed to destruction? You'll have to watch the movie and find out.

What I really liked about this movie is that it was well written, well acted and provided me with over an hour of great old classic entertainment. The anti-war, anti-atomic bomb message at the beginning of the film became overly preachy, once we get into the actual meat of the film, it's quickly lost and replaced with good old fashioned, b-movie style sci-fi action.

It was a treat to see John Agar in this film. I must admit that early on, when I first started seeing him in these classic movies, I really didn't take all that much notice of him. Over time however, seeing him in film after film, he's really grown on me and I've come to appreciate how cool he really was. Like I said above, he's like William Shatner and Bruce Willis all rolled into one. He always seems to play the tough, take charge and get things done type of a guy, which is a role that not only suits him, but the one that he seems to be the most comfortable playing.

In answer to the question, "What did I like about this film?" I would have to say, "Almost everything." Now I say almost because at this point, I need to mention why I knocked a half of a bee off the rating. I hated to have to do that, because I would have loved to give this movie five bees, but there was one thing in this film that didn't really work for me, and I just couldn't justify letting it slide just so I could give the film a perfect rating. And that one thing is...the aliens.

The aliens in this film were very hokey looking. They didn't even try to make them look cool, and when we finally do get to see one of their space ships, it's just cheap looking and totally lame. Not just the ship itself, but the overall look of the effect they used on it. As for the aliens, they weren't any better. They consisted of nothing more than a half exposed image of a guy in a really bad alien costume that was more or less just a featureless blob of material. My wife commented to me as we were seeing the aliens for the first time, that they reminded her of the Michelin tire man character. They kinda looked like that, only they looked like a really generic and bland version of it. They used a cheap effect for when the aliens died as well. They basically just turned into a blob of foam or something on the ground. Very lame, and not worthy of such an otherwise great film. I really wish they had spent more time on the aliens to make them look better. It's a shame that they didn't. Still, as I said already, this is otherwise a really great film, and well worth picking up if you're a fan of great old classic science fiction movies.This MGM released DVD is a double feature disc, with the second feature being Journey to the Seventh Planet. I've seen both of these films now, and while both are good, Invisible Invaders is a lot more fun than its companion feature. Both films have really nice transfers and are clean and pleasant to watch. The sound is excellent on both of them, and each one includes a trailer and subtitles. All in all it's a great package and one that I highly recommend that you add to your collection. I could say that about most of MGM's Midnite Movie releases though. They're almost all just phenomenal.

Again, I really wish I could have given this film five bees, and it really bothers me that I can't because it deserves it in so many ways, but realistically, the best I can possibly give it because of the cheap alien effects is...

 

B-Movie Central's Rating: 4½ Bees

 

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