Saturday, 5 December 2009

Invaders From Mars...

Invaders from Mars is a 1953 science fiction film based on a story treatment by John Tucker Battle and directed by William Cameron Menzies. The story follows a small boy who sees a flying saucer land near his home. His scientist father goes to investigate, but when he returns, there is an unusual mark on the back of his neck and he behaves in a different, cold and hostile manner. Gradually, the boy realises there is a conspiracy in which the people of the town are one by one becoming cold and inhuman. With the help of a local astronomer and physician, he learns that the flying saucer has buried itself in a sandpit just behind his home and is the vanguard of an invasion from Mars. As the story unfolds, the army gets involved in an attempt to penetrae he underground hideout established by the martians. The film begins to get quite silly from here, with people dressed in green suits for the martians and the leader is a head with tentacles in a 'fish bowl'. Ths was probably the result of the production team running out of budget towards the end. After the hideout is blown up, the scene shifts and boy s back in his bed. Everthing seems as though it were a nightmare as the boy goes to his parents' room and they reassure him to go back to sleep. But thunder wakes the boy up again to the sight of the same UFO landing at the sandpit near his house. Although, in the British release there was an alternate ending eliminating the dream concept and the boy's parents seem to be replaced by the 'Lady in white' and astronomer.

After watching his film for the first time, i came back thinking this was possibly one of the worst films i've ever seen. But after thinking about it, I found that i enjoyed the first half of this film, except some of the dodgy acting, because the storyline was quite similar to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It also had that intensity as you wonder whether anyone will believe what the boy is saying. particularly found the little girl to be quite freaky and a lot of the scenes created that tense and eerie feeling of loneliness. But, the rest of the film seemed to let down what was, for me, a great start to a film. I would like to see if the remakes done it better because i think it had a lot of potential. The story after a while, becomes laughable and totally unserious, which is what ruins the film. I found the scenes where the characters got sucked underground were ridiculous and the costume designer should have been shot after those 'martians' ie people in green suits waddling. i felt the storyline was there, but the execution of it was lacklustre which may have been a result of budgeting issues. If i'm honest, i wouldn't want to see this version again, but i would definitely consider watching the other versions.

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