Invaders from Mars (1953 film)

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Still from Invaders from Mars (1953 film), depicting a Martian leader...

Invaders from Mars (1953)

Summary

Mutant from Invaders from Mars (1953 film)...

A curious adolescent boy confronts aliens who have set up base in his backyard, using mind-control on the local townsfolk. Determined to stop the invaders, who have already co-opted his father, the boy attempts to warn others, but when local law officers also succumb, he teams up with an astronomer and a doctor, and the trio must fight together to repel the insidious intruders.

Details

Tobe Hooper filmed a 1986 remake updated to the 1980s, which otherwise follows much the same plot.

  • Release Date: 1953
  • Country/Language: US, English
  • Genres/Technical: Science Fiction, Horror, Fantasy
  • Runtime: 1 hr 18 min
  • Starring: Helena Carter, Arthur Franz, Jimmy Hunt, Leif Erickson
  • Director: William Cameron Menzies
  • Writer: Richard Blake (screenplay)
  • Producer/Production Co:
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • IMDb: (link)
  • Essay on the film by Glenn Erickson at DVD Savant: (link)

Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: PG (mild Violence)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

Not particularly Lovecraftian, but an ancient evil from space, buried in a farmer's field where it drags curious victims down into the Earth to alter their brains, could likely find their way into a scenario for a campaign set in the 1950s or any other suitably paranoid time and place. The film also (intentionally) runs on some beautiful dream logic and nightmare imagery, and might make suggest a fun option for a Delta Green version of the Dreamlands.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • Nigel Honeybone at HorrorNews dotnet, (link) - "...The eerie atmosphere was chiefly created by the sets, all of which were subtly distorted, suggesting menace in every angle and shadow.... Invaders From Mars can hardly be described as a great science fiction film, but enough originality went into its making to lift it out of the category of simple schlock...."
  • Richard Scheib at The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Review (3.5/5 Stars) (link) - " Invaders from Mars is a film about the alienation of the familiar as the other entries in the body snatchers cycle were but the child’s eye perspective grants this a good deal more impact – it is about the alienation of parental figures, about a small child caught powerless in the force of suddenly sinister authority. The sense of alienation is suggested through sudden closeups on the faces of David’s parents, faces that are abruptly shown to be blank, sweaty or sinisterly smiling."
  • Jannie Wass at Scifistdotcom (6/10 Stars) (link)

Synopsis

 Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)

A curious adolescent boy confronts aliens who have set up base in his backyard, using mind-control on the local townsfolk. Determined to stop the invaders, who have already co-opted his father, the boy attempts to warn others, but when local law officers also succumb, he teams up with an astronomer and a doctor, and the trio must fight together to repel the insidious intruders.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • There was a 1986 remake of the film with the same name by Tobe Hooper, which follows the same basic plot.


Associated Mythos Elements


Keeper Notes