THE DAY MARS INVADED EARTH (1962)
Article #864 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-27-2003
Posting Date: 12-24-2003
Directed by Maury Dexter
Featuring Kent Taylor, Marie Windsor, William Mims
The family of a scientist in charge of a Mars exploration project begin to find doppelgangers of themselves at the luxurious estate in which they’re staying.
Title check: I’m sorry, but I expect a lot more from a movie with a title like that than this one delivers; they should have called it THE DAY MARS ANNOYED SOME PEOPLE ON A LUXURIOUS ESTATE.
This movie has a good first two minutes and a good last two minutes. Unfortunately, it has a middle, and the middle drags the movie down. The problem is not the basic idea of the story; the doppelganger concept had been used successfully in science fiction at least twice during the fifties (INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE); there may be others. It’s just that the movie has to do more with the concept than have people wander about the estate and spot doppelgangers, which takes up most of the running time. In fact, so much time in the movie is spent with people silently wandering around the estate, that I wonder if the movie was actually a real estate film; it’s a beautiful place, and if I only had the money. . ., but a real estate sales pitch doesn’t build suspense, a commodity this movie needs badly. I do wonder if the Martians in this movie are related to the DEVIL GIRL FROM MARS, though; like that movie, this one involves people going all fuzzy on occasion. Incidentally, going all fuzzy isn’t scary, either.