I Married a Monster from Outer Space

Tagged: Film

Film (1958). Paramount. Directed by Gene Fowler Jr. Written by Louis Vittes, from a story by Fowler and Vittes. Cast includes Ken Lynch, Gloria Talbot and Tom Tryon. 78 minutes. Black and white.

Another manifestation of the rampant Paranoia of the 1950s, I Married a Monster from Outer Space might be called an sf version of I Married a Communist. In this enjoyably tasteless Monster Movie, a young woman's fiancé, on the way to his wedding, is captured and replaced by a Shapeshifting Alien, one of a group whose mission on Earth is to breed with human women in an attempt to replenish their own declining population. The sexual subtext of some other sf B-movies is here brought out into the open, notably in the famous wedding-night scene where a flash of lightning reveals to the audience (but not the wife) the alien lineaments beneath the nervous cigarette-smoking husband's face. But the woman, who grows suspicious of her "spouse" over the next year, convinces a "real" man of what is happening and he organizes a rescue party. The aliens, impervious to bullets, are destroyed when dogs are set on them, and dissolve into writhing, bubbling alien knots. At various points, surprisingly, some sympathy for the aliens is deliberately roused, and in this respect I Married a Monster from Outer Space is more interesting than the otherwise deservedly more celebrated Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), whose story, in part, it imitates. Gene Fowler, a former editor for Fritz Lang, directed well. [PN/JB]

see also: Invasion; Sex.

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