Invaders from Mars (1953)

Last Watch Date - August 12, 2023
Total Times Watched - Once


I like history almost as much as horror. Not in a movie exactly, but real world history. In this case, I suppose it's a bit of horror history. This movie, by today's standards, is NOT horror at all. It's more of a goofy sci-fi story with a bad "twist" at the end. But since we're talking about 1953, we have to adapt a bit to the time it was put out.

From what I read about this movie after watching it, it was thrown together very quickly to compete with War of the Worlds (also in 1953). They knew there was a movie with aliens and they wanted to get to market quicker. Neither of them are really big names in most people's eyes at this point, but this movie made enough of an impact to be remade by Tobe Hooper in 1986. Maybe I should've watched that version since I'm sure the acting and sets are better. 

I don't mind old movies like this, though. The acting is melodramatic and odd, the score is always a bit over-the-top, and the stories are rarely good. The pacing, though, is usually a bit tighter. Many of these older movies, particularly horror or sci-fi, are much shorter than modern movies of the same genre. Like, WAY shorter. This movie clocks in at a whopping 77 minutes. It could probably use some trimming to make it a bit shorter.

I'm not going to spoil this movie, but the ending is stupid and has become a trope over the years. Know going in that it's stupid and maybe you'll feel better about it. Going in blind, it just annoyed me. I read that the British version (released in 1954) changed things because of how stupid it was. I guess if you're rushing to market, you don't care that much. The budget was small even by today's standards (with inflation). You kind of get what you pay for.

The costumes and sets are laughable. It's a low-budget 50s sci-fi, so think of it in those terms and you understand what you're getting. The Martians are little green men. Wait, no? They're gigantic green slaves that are some sort of "synthetic human" (according to the script). I'm not sure if they're meant to be made of moss or what, but they look like they're wearing green velour. They probably are actually wearing green velour in real life. The attention to detail in the costumes is miserable. I'm not sure what's up with their faces, either. For some reason the "mind" Martian looks more or less like a person with some strange accessories. None of it makes sense. But given the ending, maybe it's not supposed to.

It also has very weird sequences of tanks and military things with super cheesy patriotic music playing behind it. We get it, we were on the winning side of WW2. It's really bad and serves only as padding to get this to 77 minutes. Were they on some sort of time budget? Did drive-ins have to be a certain length? There's also an entire recap "highlight reel" near the end with the kid's face up close while he runs in this double exposure. Did I mention this movie makes no sense? 

Gee whiz!


No. It's not overly long but it sure is boring.

3 Mew-Tants out of 10