Film (1957; vt Invasion of the Hell Creatures). Malibu Productions/American International Pictures. Produced by James H Nicholson. Directed by Edward L Cahn. Written by Robert L Gurney, Jr and Al Martin, based on "The Cosmic Frame" (May 1955 Amazing) by Paul W Fairman. Cast includes Gloria Castillo, Frank Gorshin, Raymond Hatton, Lyn Osborn and Steven Terrell (as Steve Terrell). Special effects by Paul Blaisdell. 69 minutes. Black and white.
Teenagers Johnny Carter (Terrell) and Joan Haydon (Castillo) have made their way to the local Lover's Kane near a small midwestern US town on property owned by Farmer Larkin (Hatton). Driving without lights to avoid attracting Larkin's attention, their car runs down what proves to be a bulbous-headed and bulging-eyed Alien, one of a group which has landed nearby in their flying saucer UFOs. The alien's hand detaches itself and causes problems after growing its own eye, slashing one of the car tyres so the teens must walk back to report the incident to local police. Before the authorities arrive, the other aliens discover Joe Gruen (Gorshin) – one of two con-artists passing through the town – trying to make off with the body. They kill him with an overdose of alcohol from their needle-like fingernails, and leave his body in the road for the police to find. Johnny and Joan are thought to have killed Joe and are arrested for manslaughter, but shortly escape; they destroy the hand in their automobile, discovering the aliens cannot stand strong light. Having gathered several friends, the teenagers confront the aliens in company with Joe's partner Artie (Osborne). Meanwhile, the US military, investigating reports of strange lights in the area, has discovered the landed UFO and accidentally destroys it while attempting to gain entrance. At roughly the same time, the remaining aliens are vaporized by the headlight beams of the teenagers' automobiles. The manslaughter charge is dropped when it is found that Joe died from alcohol poisoning; all ends well.
A relatively minor entry in the 1950s teenage sf subgenre, Invasion of the Saucer Men is chiefly remembered mostly for the aliens designed by Blaisdell. Its poster, dominated by alien figures, is one of the best-known of that era's sf Cinema. A made-for-television remake is Attack of the Eye Creatures (1965) directed by Larry Buchanan. [GSt]
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