Saturday, November 5, 2011

THEY DON'T MAKE MARTIANS LIKE THEY USED TO

Today martians are often thought to be bulbous-headed, brain-busting critters with a sophistication and intelligence far superior to ours. This has not changed much since flying saucers were first spotted over the skies of Washington State by Kenneth Arnold on June 24, 1947 ("alien" ships had been seen prior to that, but this was the first time that a craft had media legs). The speculation of what the pilots of these aircraft looked liked and where they were from sparked a whole genre of stories, novels, and movies. Toss in a little H.G. Wells in the mix and you've got one spectacular space invasion movie.

INVADERS FROM MARS (1953) was one of these so-called "sci-fi" flicks. Unique for its point of view (a kid rather than an adult) and some imaginative sets and film shots, the "martians" (a,k.a. mu-tants), however, are bug-eyed and dressed in oversized jammies. Despite all the usual shortcomings in a film of this sort, INVADERS FROM MARS remains one of those cinematic curiosities of the aton age drive-in era that were scary back then, but have diluted into a nostalgic quaintness for those of us that care to remember these films.

The December, 2011 issues of SFX magazine features a retrospective of the original INVADERS FROM MARS, and includes information on the 1980's remake.





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