Invasion of the Star Creatures (1963)

Article 2255 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-19-2007
Posting Date: 10-15-2007
Directed by Bruno VeSota
Featuring Robert Ball, Frankie Ray, Gloria Victor

Two idiots in the army are sent on a mission to investigate a cave. There they find plantlike space aliens and beautiful women who have a plot to take over the world.

I would really like to like this movie; it’s trying so hard to be a laugh riot and ends up failing dismally at almost every turn. Part of the problem is that the comic leads (Bob Ball and Frankie Ray) simply aren’t appealing enough to keep us amused with their second-rate Leo Gorcey/Huntz Hall shtick. Part of the problem is that the clunky direction plays up every gag as a major laugh riot when some of them will only work if they are thrown away (which is to say, allowed to happen on the side while the main action continues). Another part of the problem is that on top of the fact that many of the gags should be thrown away, some of them should be thrown out altogether; that running gag about crisscrossing paths in the cave isn’t funny the first time, but is repeated ad infinitum. Still, I do manage to dredge up a certain affection for the movie due to a running gag that, cleverly handled, could make for a movie on its own, and that is the fact that many of the characters belong to a fan society for Space Commander Connors, and this society has its own inner hierarchy which can override the hierarchy in the military. This running gag is far and away the best thing in this otherwise dreary bottom-of-the-barrel comedy. Incidentally, the script was written by Corman regular Jonathan Haze.


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