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Un popolo extraterrestre si e' stabilito sulla faccia nascosta della Luna e un giorno avverte lo scienziato Adam Penner che se i terrestri non ne riconosceranno la supremazia verranno annientati. Nessuno crede alle parole di Penner e lui insieme con la moglie e pochi altri si rifugia in un laboratorio per progettare una possibile difesa. Il laboratorio viene assalito dagli alieni che, altrimenti invisibili, utilizzano i cadaveri di uomini che hanno ucciso e nei quali si sono trasferiti: alla guida dell'esercito di zombies e' Karol Noymann, illustre scienziato, morto, appunto, da poco. L'invasione della Terra sembra inevitabile, ma il bravo Penner scopre casualmente un ultrasuono letale agli alieni. Colpiti dal suono, gli invasori diventano momentaneamente visibili abbandonando i corpi che possiedono e subito dopo si disintegrano.
Un popolo extraterrestre si è stabilito sulla faccia nascosta della Luna e un giorno avverte lo scienziato Adam Penner che se i terrestri non ne riconosceranno la supremazia verranno annientati. Nessuno crede alle parole di Penner e lui insieme con la moglie e pochi altri si rifugia in un laboratorio per progettare una possibile difesa. Il laboratorio viene assalito dagli alieni che, altrimenti invisibili, utilizzano i cadaveri di uomini che hanno ucciso e nei quali si sono trasferiti: alla guida dell'esercito di zombies è Karol Noymann, illustre scienziato, morto, appunto, da poco. L'invasione della Terra sembra inevitabile, ma il bravo Penner scopre casualmente un ultrasuono letale agli alieni. Colpiti dal suono, gli invasori diventano momentaneamente visibili abbandonando i corpi che possiedono e subito dopo si disintegrano.
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THE STORY (contains major spoilers): Threatened by our nuclear proliferation and newly developed rocket program, paranoid aliens decide to attack Earth before we can take the fight to them. They have the advantage because they're invisible, so do they slip in unseen and swiftly eradicate us? Of course not! They instead opt to inhabit fresh human corpses, maneuver the reanimated bodies into the announcement booths of local sporting events and make vague, non-specific threats. Pretty terrifying, huh? In the meantime, a couple of whitebread science types hidden away in a military bunker struggle to devise a method of stopping the invasion before all mankind is wiped out. The adrenaline-fueled climax features jumpin' John Agar in saggy radiation-proof pajamas, riding atop a radar dish-equipped International Harvester panel wagon that idles aimlessly around the Bronson Canyon area. When an army of Invaders show up, (a few middle-aged white guys in greasepaint wearing dusty three-piece suits who wander about, looking extremely bored), Agar fires the super science weapon developed by the two sequestered scientists: a sonic ray rifle/backpack thingamabob, obviously constructed from PVC pipe, wood and a handful of TV vacuum tubes. With it he stuns the deadly aliens, who promptly collapse and reveal their "true" forms, (the monster costume from "IT! The Terror From Beyond Space," optically distorted & blurred). The creatures curl up and dissolve into foaming piles of soapsuds. Sadly, the glowing mothership/saucer at the end of the film is literally a cheesy matte painting, with stock explosion footage superimposed over it.
THOUGHTS: One of the lesser ET invasion flicks from the golden age of sci-fi. The plot is routine, with plenty of head-scratching moments that make you wonder if the screenwriters for this sort of thing ever bothered to proofread their work before submitting it. The mostly set-bound film is jam-packed with wall-to-wall exposition, a poorly-staged fist fight or two, and plenty of stock footage. Thankfully it only assaults us for a little over an hour, though it often feels much longer. And yet there's just something about this film that I like. I picked up a rough-looking copy from PD supplier Sinister Cinema decades ago and, for whatever reason, it got under my skin. (Like a rash, I suppose?) The inclusion of two of low budget sci-fi's best Johns: Agar & Carradine, are likely the strongest reasons for my affinity for INVISIBLE INVADERS. The addition of Brit ex-pat Philp Tonge, (the Macy's manager from 1934's Miracle on 34th Street), gives the flick a touch of class with his sincere, angsty turn as Dr. Adam Penner. Genre thesps Jean Byron and Paul Langton are also on hand to up the B-level star power a touch. The few original F/X shots are kinda cool and the zombie make-ups are effective and surprisingly gruesome for the time period in which these were filmed. Most of the remaining "action" comes courtesy of reams of natural disaster stock footage. In all honesty, the best thing about INVISIBLE INVADERS is the flashy trailer for it which, like so many films of this type, promised far more excitement than it actually delivers. But hey, what do you honestly expect from a movie that was slapped together in less than a week?
THE BLU-RAY: One of their strongest efforts yet, the Kino Lorber release of INVISIBLE INVADERS looks stunning, quite frankly. The picture is clean, solid and almost entirely free of dirt & debris. No pixelation, artifacting or edge enhancement was detected. Focus is razor sharp without the crush (video noise) that often results when sharpness is dialed up on older films to maximize picture clarity. The techs at Kino Lorber are either getting really good at achieving a better balance with their remastering process or else they got their hands on a print of the film that was in pristine condition. Audio is clear & level and the soundmix is loud & proud! Bonus features include a full-length audio commentary with film historian Tom Weaver, the film's theatrical trailer and the preview for another recent Kino Lorber Blu-ray release, The Magnetic Monster.
Amazon Prime has a slew of old classic science fiction and monster movies and most of them are junk. I'm not trying to disparage anyone childhood memories here but let's be honest, just as it is today, a large portion of the movies made back then weren't very good. One could literally spend hours digging through the catalog searching for a decent movie to watch and come up short. Well today is your lucky day. I've conducted that dive and located a pretty good movie for you.
Invisible Invaders is an alien invasion movie. The concept is straightforward, mankind's development of atomic weapons signals to a super advanced race of invisible aliens that the Earth is now a threat. The aliens arrive, speak with one person who isn't terribly important or in a position of power, and demand worldwide surrender within 24 hours. The aliens are far superior in technology, using cloaking technology to hide themselves and their spacecraft. In order to communicate with humans they reanimate the corpses of the dead. When this fails they use the army of reanimated dead to destroy the Earth.
Watching older films within the genre can be painful or fascinating, or both. Invisible Invaders holds up very well for being fifty-six years old. The screenplay leans on narration to transition through time and location, which is common with older classics. A trite and silly romantic bond is written in for two of the main characters, another staple of classic genre. What's most fascinating is the use of zombies to take over the world. Sure they aren't the fleshing eating kind, and they are all white adult males wearing suits, but the idea is still pretty prophetic when you look at how fascinated media is with zombies today.
First, despite a budget that probably wouldn’t cover lunch for a modern film crew and a shooting schedule counted in days, the actors, director, and editor treat this like a big-budget film. The sincerity and conviction behind every element is top notch. Some of the dialog, mostly the narration, is corny, but it moves the already brisk story along. And the actors are professional and convincing.
Can't afford aliens? Make 'em invisible (though when they do appear, it's a cool, whitish blob); can't afford more than one radiation suit? Claim the stock pick-up truck can shield against radiation (keep those windows up). Can’t afford a lot of special effects? At least make a couple of great looking sound guns. And the money we saved by not showing the aliens? Let’s use it for make-up on the what was then unique: zombies (Plan 9 came out the same year, but the quality of that cherished cheese makes Invisible Invaders look like 2001).
Sure, a lot of stock footage is included from news reels and Saturday morning serials. Even Paul Dunlap’s action score has a stock feel to it, though it succeeds throughout.
So this is what you can do with no money, no time, but lots of talent. Impressive.