Monday, August 3, 2015
Radiation Theater - Invisible Invaders!
Invisible Invaders from 1959 is a hilariously wild and funny science fiction flick which blends radiation with zombies and alien invaders to create a heady brew. It pretends to be a moralistic tale about the desperate nature of nuclear weapons but what it really is, is a booster film for war yahoos everywhere.
A respected scientist named Professor Noymann (John Carradine) is blown up by a beaker of atomic stuff and at his funeral his colleague Dr.Penner (Paul Tonge) has doubts about the use of nuclear energy for defense. His daughter Phyllis (Jean Byron) is by his side as well as his protege Dr. Lamont (Robert Hutton). When the reanimated corpse of Noymann shows up at Penner's door to tell him the Earth is doomed, he sends Lamont to Washington to pass the word and he is immediately ridiculed.
Then the Invaders start killing people in stock footage accidents and using the reanimated corpses to pass along additional warnings at hockey games (believe it or not) and sports stadiums. Eventually the world believes thee is a threat as stock footage fires break out all across the world. The three folks we've already met are shuttled to an undisclosed location by Major Bruce Jay (John Agar) to help develop a defense against the Invaders who are invisible when not animating the dead.
They putter about with Jay and Lamont getting into sundry pissing contests with Lamont coming across usually as a cowardly wimp. That leaves he-man Jay to win the evident affections of the largely useless Phyllis. Eventually of course they figure a counter to the threat, but not before they do a ton of stupid things in a myriad of stupid ways.
This is a stupid movie, made for a song but it is reasonably well cast. It is directed by Edward Cahn but it doesn't feel that far away really from the notorious Plan 9 From Outer Space by the exotic Edward Wood. In fact if both of them weren't from the same year, I'd suspect Wood had seen this one. This one has better acting and stronger set design, but the limited way they constrain the action to a few interior sets and some unconvincing countryside makes for a very static looking movie.
Agar plays his generally annoyed character while Hutton always looks like he's trying to think of his next line. I think he's going for pensive, but it doesn't always work. There's countless oddities in this movie, but I'll let you discover those for yourself. This one should be seen by anyone who likes an entertaining bad movie.