Teenagers from Outer Space (1959)

Article #384 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 4-3-2002
Posting date: 8-27-2002

Invaders from another world plan to use the earth as a grazing ground for their food supply, but one of their members turns against them and tries to save the earth.

This movie has a legendarily bad reputation, and for the most part, it deserves it. From the boneheaded dialogue to the poor-to-awful acting, from the terrible special effects to the ludicrous fake beards, there is a lot here to inspire derision and laughter. Yet, somehow, I never quite find myself laughing, despite the frequent times this movie fumbles the ball. Maybe it’s because I feel it has a pretty solid story underneath. Also, there are moments where the direction feels unusually solid for a movie this cheap; compare it with the works of Larry Buchanan, and this amateur movie shows a great deal of professional skill. In other words, I’ve seen movies that are hopelessly bad; this one is bad, but not hopelessly. Rewrite the dialogue, get some better actors, throw a little more money into it (okay, throw a lot more money into it), and I think you might have come up with some fairly solid SF thriller entertainment; not great, mind you, but enjoyable.

People seem to think I’m a little crazy to defend this movie, and maybe I am. Still, if I were given the task to take one of the legendarily bad science fiction movies that have been made and remake it in an effort to redeem it with the only rule that I had to leave the basic story intact, this would be the one I would pick.


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