Every weekend we're watching movies together...whether you're in Pennsylvania USA, or Sydney Australia. It's a throwback! Back to the days when you had the anticipation for waiting till the weekend to see the classic horror or science fiction film that was listed in the TV Guide. The plan is to watch a movie at 7:30PM on Saturday night in your own time zone. Or, if you can't Saturday night...anytime during the weekend. Then, we'll all get together and e-mail our thoughts on the film...a few paragraphs...or simply a sentence if you'd like. They after-viewing reviews appear on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.

Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Cartaret, New Jeresey.

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Creepy Classics Spotlight Movie Last Weekend - INVADERS FROM MARS (1953)

Every week, readers here are selecting a movie to view...then we all try to watch it together utilizing our DVD/video library. This past Saturday night, many of us watched INVADERS FROM MARS (1953). This was suggested by Bob Swaney, Manalapan, NJ. Details about movie nights to come are HERE. Please include your name and location after your comments, so we can see how we're all joining together from diffeent locals around the globe! Let's all Synch-Up Saturday nights at 7:30PM, or catch this week's movie sometime over the weekend!

Hey Bash Synchers,

Welcome to my commentary on this classic. I think this is only my third viewing of Invaders From Mars. I don't think I saw it as a kid, it was later in life when I got a chance to see it, but I always remember the aliens from FM, and it was one of the Holy Grails I always wanted to see.

The DVD I have says "Alternate British Version", I am going to try that one out today.

Assistant Director Ben Chapman - The Creature??? (Editor's Nore: This was another "Ben Chapman" who worked in photography and direction on various films including this one and THE GIANT GILA MONSTER!)

The opening intro narration was very good. I love the pause, and the last line...
"Scientist of all ages."
Gee Whiz! Cool effects of the arrival.
That creepy sand, weird music. formula for scary coolness!
My husband is a designer, engineer, not a comic book professor
The silent disappearance of the policeman...spooky!
Oh gosh...Don't cuss this morning! Oh for the days we didn't have to hear real cussing in the movies!
Spooky entrance of "dad"
Them martians sure make irritable slaves.
I love the choral music.
A little girl martian slave...gee Whiz! And an arson!
June Cleaver!!! I saw a noir film not long ago where she did the same thing, answered a phone.
That police office, great design.
They locked a lost boy in jail! Gee Whiz!
What a doctor, I want to make an appointment!
Martian Slave Mom!
The slave parents in black, doctor in white, I love the stylized design of this movie.
He has been reading them trashy science fiction magazines! A monster kid like us.
A space ship...from where?...Outer Space...Duh!
The Lubbock lights...looks like a flying wing to me.
Its amazing...disks, saucers.
Kind of dragging with all the UFO talk...
Some uninspired stock footage of military...yawn.
Kathy's Dead! For a kid flick, it doesn't pull any punches.
Not very responsible taking a kid up on the roof!
Renaldi...always sticking his neck out.
Martians, tanks and trains, what every American boy dreams about...whoops, gave away the ending! But with this military line up, it is like counting sheep!
Were they killed? No they died the same way as the little girl...wasn't she "killed" by the exploding neck controller? I tell you it was murder...and someone is responsible.
Suffering cats!
Tanks, in any normal war they are beautiful sight by your side.
What a cool lab. The doors must be 12 feet tall!
The movie is 3/4 the way done and we haven't seen a mutant. Did the brits censor them out?
Finally Mu Tants!!!!
The Martian! One of the coolest original aliens in cinema history.
The dr.s uniform is strategically ripped...another typical boyhood dream!
What in the name of time is that...???
Set up some demolition charges...enough to blow them back to Mars.
How much longer...3 minutes...start digging!
David...Martian weapons expert! Trashy Science Fiction mags are good for something.
Strange editing at the end.
Gee thanks!

What!!!! The british version didn't have it was all a dream ending? What the hey? That is nuts!!!! Was that the only difference?
Great movie, kind of drags in the middle, talky, but saved by great concept, design, music and cool aliens. The kid was good, and the doctor cute, what else can we ask for?

Next week, one of my favs, the horrifying Invasion of the Body Snatchers...You're next!!!!
Ken Blose
San Luis Mexico

What impressed me on this viewing is that this is a very early "sci-fi," "flying saucer" movie. It was right on the heels of all the UFO talk from Roswell and with sightings across the nation in full bloom. It was EXTREMELY topical. Hard to grasp this now, we've been so inundated with sciece fictions films, UFO talk, etc. But, this was one of the earliest mass media presentations of visiting aliens from other worlds. Prior to this you had THE THING, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THE MAN FROM PLANET X and WAR OF THE WORLDS the same year.

I loved this movie. So relateable when you're a kid AND scary! Heck, your parents are the enemy, the police are the enemy, even some of our national security army guys....Besides the flying saucer aspect, this also pre-dates INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS with taking over people. People are not what they seem. Alien control. Frightening stuff.

Jimmy Hunt is so believable, and likeable, as a real All-Amercan kid. He was a pleasure to meet at Monster Bash for the summer 2010 show. Great, great guy.

The octo-leader is the stuff of nightmares.

-Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA

A great film that takes me back to a much simpler and better time in movies.

Jimmy Hunt stars as a young boy who sees an alien saucer land and bury itself in the ground and nobody will believe him except a lovely female doctor played by Helena Carter and a scientist played by Arthur Franz.

I can say nothing bad about this film, it is perfect in every way and one of the best American movies ever made. Thank God Morris Ankrum is the general who knows how to deal with invaders.

Kevin Coon
Twin Falls, Idaho

What a fun film for a Saturday night and in blazing color too! It was a
blast to watch this one as a kid, having another kid - Bash alumni Jimmy
Hunt in a lead role.

Watching it these days I notice the various themes
of 50 sci-fi films. This one joins Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers, Invasion
of the Body Snatchers and a few others with the aliens brainwashing humans
to do their bidding as they attempt to take over the planet. It's always
fun to see our favorite military man Morris Ankrum make an appearance, I
wonder if he was able to draw a pension from the army when he retired, he
played enough generals in his day.

I loved the strange music (sounding a
lot like Stockhausen, a 20th century classic avant garde composer)
whenever the martians sucked someone down into the sand. I've wondered if
the composers who did the music for some of these sci-fi films got a bit
more leeway with what they came up with like you could justify any really
way out music you wanted to try.

We got to see the endless rolling tanks
and military equipment as usual which prompted my eight year old son to
say "Do you think they really need ALL those tanks?" It's often a little
pointless to discuss the finer points of filmmaking with many of these
pictures, but I liked the fact that they kept the aliens off screen until
almost the end. The characters who had been taken over by the martians
were downright chilling and when the dad slugged Jimmy Hunt that was
pretty shocking.

The alien guy in the fish bowl - very far out! He's got
to be the nastiest guy to do nothing but shift his eyes back and forth.
Which brings me to the ending of the film. It's not enough to ruin the
film for me, I still had great time watching it, but the whole sequence
where he's running from the space ship and having the long, long flashback
really puts the breaks on the film. The plot really gets rolling when
they encounter the aliens under ground and then the countdown to the
explosion, and it all slows down with the endless shots of Jimmy Hunt's
worried face filling the screen.

The whole was it a dream thing doesn't
work for me. It rarely does in my opinion although I've seen it done
better in some places. I would have ended it with the exploding ship and
the parents coming back from the hospital. But that's probably not really
important. After the film ended, my son seeing it for the first time was
so into it that after we went out to play catch in the yard for a while he
said "Can we go in and watch The Day The Earth Stood Still?" If the movie
inspires kids (of all ages) to keep watching the skies and the screens
then it's doing it's job.

-Kevin Slick, Colorado

Hi Ron:

I first saw "Invaders From Mars" on Channel 5 in New York City when I was either 10 or 11. It scared
the living daylights out of me. I looked at the back of my parents heads for a week!!

While the film has lost a great deal of its impact over the years, I can still see the impact the film had.
The idea of the people you love and cherish totally changing into emotionless, cruel people would be frightening to a young boy. It frighten me when I was young.

As long time "Monster Kid", I can enjoy the subtleties of the film. The long corridors in both the police station
and the scientist office highlight the unnaturalness of the surroundings. The film is totally studio bound. The sky is just a blue backdrop. All the sets have an eerie feel about them.

The music that is heard when the sand dune opens to suck down someone creates a real feeling of terror. It reflects the paranoia of that period. The characters in the film are either totally evil or totally nice and sincere. Jimmy Hunt's parents are picture perfect until they are taken over by the Martians. The scientists and the soldiers are the picture or heroism and understanding. They do not doubt for an instance the bizarre claim that his parents are not his parents.

Unfortunately, the picture falls down then the soldiers go down into the Martian's lair. While the scenes
with the Martians are done quite well, they are repeated endlessly throughout the climax. The scenes with
the Martians running through the caverns, which incidentally is covered with condoms painted pink, then repeated at least 6 times. This dilutes the overall effectiveness of the film.

For those who like to find mistakes in movies-here's one. When Arthur Franz is dragging Helena Carter to the ladder to escape, her dress is ripped on the right size. When he lifts her up to the ladder, her dress is ripped on the left. The negative was reversed but was no caught before the movie was released.

"Invaders From Mars" benefits from the strong performances from all the leads. Jimmy Hunt, one of my favorite Monster Bash guests, holds the movie together with his his believable performance. You can feel his confusion and terror as he realizes that his loving parents have been taken over by the Martians. Leif Erickson and Hillary Brooke are chilling are his parents. Arthur Franz and Helena Carter provide the perfect balance of good vs. evil.

Incidentally, the DVD box claims that the picture is a "brand new transfer". The print is full of lines, blips, white dots and jumps. It a shame that a better print couldn't have been found.

"Invaders From Mars" is one of the true classic science fiction films of the 1950's. It's a film that never grows old and becomes more enjoyable with every viewing. It's one of my all time favorite science fiction films.

Bruce Tinkel
Edison, NJ

One of my all time favorites... actually anything with Morris Ankrum makes that list. Jimmy Hunt, Hillary Brooke and Leif Erickson .. great , great great!

All the elements are there, believable story, good special effects ( dissolving sand and mellting rock walls), plausible looking aliens with cool technology. The leader-medusa thing in the jar always creeped me out .

I think I remember first seeing this on WPIX-11 in NYC, what were they? Creature Features? (Editor's note: Les if it was CREATURE FEATURE, that was WNEW Channel 5, Channel 11 had CHILLER THEATRE in NYC). Second time could have been due to a Yankee rainout.

Great choice. I hadn't taken it off my shelf for awhile.

Les Zuckerman
Cherry Hill,NJ

Hi Ron And All Fellow Sci-Fi Space Cadets Out There In The Far Reaches Of The Outer Rings Of The Milky Way Galaxy, I too watched this under-rated film this past SUNDAY, not once, but TWICE! ----and by doing so- it brought back a "boat-load" of more child-hood memories for me!

I remember first watching this one at my one grandmother`s house in Cleveland, Ohio back in 1976 when I was 9 years old! -- All I can say is that upon reflecting on this film when I first viewed it with an innocent childhood mentality and through a children`s eyes back when the world was more simple and kind- Is that this film distinctly retains a sense of aural magic, visual wonder and thematic consciousness that not many science-fiction films of the 1950`s can top!

When discussing the attributes of this film one must first and foremost mention the genius of the director and designer of this project- William Cameron Menzies! Much credit must go to him and his art director Boris Leven and Cinematographer John Seitz for developing the surrealistic sets and wonderful, drastic and dream-like color schemes which inhabit this production.(Examples include the high, blank walls and tall, thin doors of the Police Station and Dr. Wilson`s laboratory as well as the Martian tunnels underground and the sets of the interior of the Martian spacecraft itself.) The use of color is VERY IMPORTANT in this film in my opinion in that it reflects the theme of innocence/goodness (David`s parents before their possession wear lighter colors/white and after they are taken over by the alien invaders they are seen in stark BLACK) vs. adulthood/evil. This makes for one such terrifying sequence in the film, such as when David is greeted and hugged by his possessed mother (played chillingly by Hilary Brooke)and then sees his possessed father (well-played by Leif Erickson) enter the police station to "corrall" his misbehaving kid- only to be stopped in their tracks by the compassionate, educated and open-minded Dr. Patricia Blake (wonderfully played by Helena Carter) The Good Doctor is wearing WHITE with tinges of RED (including her shoes!) in direct contrast to the "DARK" colors of the antagonists of the film. (THESE INCLUDE THE DARK GREENS OF THE "MUTANTS" AND OF THE MARTIAN LEADER)

---Not enough can be said of the wonderful, creepy evocative and haunting score by Raoul Krausbaar - It sure gave me nightmares when I was a kid!--- Love the acting in this movie!---Jimmy Hunt potrays a real life-like kid (and we really empathize with his awful plight!), Arthur Franz is always great, and Helena Carter is quite good in her role as the caring, compassionate mother-like figure to David (TOO BAD SHE DID NOT DO MORE OF THESE TYPE OF FILMS!!!) --Nice to see Morris Ankrum again and Hey!- Wasn`t that Lock Martin ("The Day The Earth Stood Still") playing one of our "MUTANTS" menacing David and his gang of Earthly heroes??!! ---Not to Mention Milburn Stone ("Doc" in the "Gunsmoke" TV series appearing in this pic as well!--Love the fact that this film is shown from a child`s point of view (WAY AHEAD OF IT`S TIME THERE!!!) --The only down side to this flick is the overuse of the obvious stock footage already mentioned by previous commentators above--so with that, my rating for this classic film is 4/5 stars---

Dan Brenneis-Strongsville, Ohio- Monster Bash Staff Member And LifeTime FilmFan Extroadinairre.

Hey everybody.

I just now getting around to writing my comments on the movie, but from what every body else has written it seems that we all enjoyed the movie immensely. This was one of the few movies that scared the you know what out of me as a kid. We'll come to that later. This is one of the first and probably the best (along with the Thing) of the early UFO movies that came out right after the scare started.This is a great film from beginning to end starting with David first seeing the spaceship land to the disappearance and sudden eerie change in his father and then mother. A matter of fact just about every person of authority seems to have been taken over by the Martians. And who can forget the look on little Kathy Wilson's face as her house burns down to the ground from the fire she started, The scenes in the police station with those long hallways reminded me of something from Dr. Seuss enhancing David's feeling of menace and horror.

The scenes in the sand pit ,where the spaceship is being hidden, still sends chills down my spine especially when that creepy Raoul Kraushaar's music is played any time someone gets suck down. The interior of the space ship has that avaunt guard look to it and the final battle between the army and the mutant martians is still exciting after all these years as they try to save Dr. Blake and David from becoming slaves of the martians. The dream sequence ending was great and then it starts all over again.

The cast is first rate, a who's who of fifties actors, with Jimmy Hunt , Helena Carter, Arthur Franz, Leif Erickson, Hillary Brooke, Morris Ankrum, and in a small role as Franz's secretary Barbara Billingsley (the Beaver's mom). The only things that bother me and they are small are the stock footage of the tanks being loaded onto the train with song 'the caissons go rolling along" being played in the background. Made it feel like it was a different movie. Also what was with the short overweight mutant. We see scenes of these tall mutants moving thru the caves and then comes this short fat one waddling along. Must of been someones cousin. Helena Carter was just too beautiful and sexy to be a social worker and Col. Fielding was just a little bit too upset when Sgt. Rinaldi was taken. Maybe they we're special friends. And did you hear him scream like a little girl when the mutant threw him in the spaceship. He's suppose to be a leader of men But overall a great movie that never gets old no matter how many times you see it. This was the movie that scared Steven Spielberg as a kid.

Speaking of being scared. we now come to the thing that scared me. The head in the jar. You know the thing that was the head martian "Man, Man to his Ultimate Intelligence". When I first saw this movie as a seven year old kid, and they brought out that thing in the jar with the tentacles sticking out of his head I ran from the room screaming. It would be years later when I was a teenager that I would see the movie again on Creature Feature WNEW-NY. And you know what it still scared me when they brought the head out. Now in my fifties after all these years and numerous viewings you know what that thing still gives me the creeps. But then again that's the sign of a great movie. Later this week we plan on watching the remake by horror master Tobe Hooper that was made in the eighties. Some how I don't think its going to hold up like the original. Talk to you all alter.

Bob Swaney
Manalapan, NJ


You can get the DVD of INVADERS FROM MARS (1953) in the Complete DVD Catalog in-line at Creepy Classics.



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