Going in, the
only things I knew about this film was that comedian George Gobel was
in it, but it wasn't a comedy, and it was directed by Harry
Thomasson, who's probably best known for being part of the
“travelgate” scandal that cast aspersions (none of them
landed) on the early days of the Clinton administration. I'm sure if
you do a Google search you can find some more details.
Anyway, what we start out with is some remarkably murky cinematography. I'm not sure if this is “intentional” (not sure why anyone would do this, other than David Fincher I mean) or the result of the fact of this tape being a bit bashed around (I picked it up in a place that has scads of old tapes all over the place). We see a guy with a lot of drinking glasses and a bottle of JD and he's getting his gun. We hear lots of stuff on the radio to let us know that this is taking place in the 50s. We also hear about how former mobster Lou Jacobi (isn't that the name of a comedic actor as well?) has been released from prison and given a new identity, because he helped prosecutors find a bunch of other gangsters. There are some bits about “vice-president Nixon” and “popular singer Elvis Presley” just so we're all clued in.
One mobster-type (hasn't been spelled out, but it's pretty obvious) is listening to the radio in his car, and another pokes his head in the window and tells him to “wake up.” Just then, another car drives by. It's a taxi, and some guy gets out. I think it's Jacobi, and sure enough, the mobsters snarl at him and say “Hello, Lou” before shooting him. They drag him to the car. While driving, they discuss throwing Lou's body in the lake, putting chains on him and such (not as a fetish thing or anything, but so he'll sink and stay at the bottom).
They get to the lake (I'm guessing, the cinematography ain't helping—and there's a very clear view of a wrought-iron fence which makes it look like someone's private pond or something) and throw the body into the water. We see it sink underwater, and a rockin' 50's style song starts and we get the opening credits. Wink Roberts and Roger Manning are the leads...who in hell names their kid “Wink”? That's just asking for trouble, isn't it? Anyway, the song is pretty good. And the credits tell us the names of the characters that the actors are playing, which is a nice touch I don't think I've seen before (in opening credits, in closing credits sure). Now, we don't have to see somebody appear on screen and wonder who the actor is. If that's important to you, this is a real breakthrough. You don't have to keep all those old issues of Entertainment Weakly now. Of course, I wasn't really paying attention when the character names were being shown, so it's the usual guesswork for me.
Lots of 50's style photos of campus cut-ups and such, and what look like stills from later in the film...okay, whatever. I suppose that's post-modern or something, might help get you some reviews in those high-falutin' Parisian Review magazines or something. Rita Wilson is in this, she's Tom Hank's wife. I know that because she was instrumental in getting “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” to the screen, and despite the fact that it's suffering a critical downswing, I like that film. And I like Nia Vardalos. But that's for another time.
So, the credits are done, and we cut to our two heroes. They're dressed in their skivvies and one of them is trying to rouse the other out of bed. The other wants to sleep more, but the first reminds him that this is Friday, and on Friday the breakfast in the campus cafeteria or foodhaus or whatever is...waffles.
Other Guy finally says he'll get out of bed. “I'd just hate myself if I were to miss those precious waffles,” he says mincingly.
First Guy counters, also mincingly, “Why is she so upset this morning?”
A digression, here. (Oh, stop. Not like I don't do this a hundred times.) I'm not sure how to mention this without seeming dreadfully Un-Politically Correct, but these guys are acting, well, pretty gay. I'm wondering if they're not, well, you know, lovers and all. Which, when you think about it, is amazingly advanced for 1979 (when this film was made).
Of course, it's possible these two are just, well, making fun of gay accents and such, which is less admirable (not admirable at all, in fact) but I guess everyone was doing this stuff in 1979. Me, I was trying to pass exams and such, plus at the movies we had Alien and Dawn of the Dead and Apocolypse Now. So I wasn't doing a lot of mocking back then, but of course, back then, I thought I had a future. Silly me!
Back to our film, and we cut to the guys eating those precious waffles. They discuss UFO sightings, and how one of them (Precious Waffles, I think) says he'd spill ANY information if aliens abducted him (he'd tell his sister's bra size, for one). He does mention The War of the Worlds, which is one of my favorite films, so I won't blast him with a heat ray just yet, but he's not doing a good job of staying off my nerves.
Cut to George Gobel, he's talking about Jupiter, mentioning it's moons and radio emissions, and he says there's life somewhere in this system, but it's more primitive than what we've got here on Earth. First Guy asks about extraterrestrial life, is it possible there might be Martians here? Prof says (I'm abridging) maybe, but he's like to see more evidence. Class dismissed. We see a lot of the class leaving. Hey, film is expensive, use it or lose it.
Cut to our two heroines, and our two heroes meet cute with them. This is kind of unfair to me, guys, the two men look pretty much the same, except they part their hair on different sides. The women, well one is a blonde, and Rita is a brunette. The two guys' names were mumbled earlier, so there's not a lot to differentiate them.
So, the gals will be Blonde and Rita, and the guys will be Waffles and Horndog, as I'm pretty sure the one who's desperately trying to impress the women even as I type, is not the guy who wanted Waffles. And if I'm wrong, well, I suppose that's just tough.
Anyway, the gals aren't impressed with Horndog, but damn if his testosterone doesn't win them over. I mean, this is the 50's, after all. We're told.
Anyway, coffee, donuts, Horndog talks about how too much studying is bad for you, blah blah, they are going to go to The Lake (where I assume Lou is moldering) for relaxation away from studing, and we cut to The Detective, who is dressing down some other police officers for not finding Lou's body. He tells them he wants them to look harder, and not just cruise around looking at “chicks.” All the while, his Ned Beatty Looking assistant is sitting there waiting for his Comedy Relief duties to kick in. I mean, if I looked like Ned Beatty (and I'm not saying I don't) that's what I'd do.
And those two cops immediately jump into action and sit at their desks, looking stern. Well, to be fair, only one of them does this. But while Random Cop #2 disappears, Detective tells Ned Beatty Guy that, A: he (Ned Beatty Guy) hasn't made any progress, and B: he (Ned Beatty Guy) makes lousy coffee. I'm not positive, but I think that was supposed to be humorous. Just in case you didn't find it so.
And we cut to Blonde and Rita. To sultry sax music (sounds like “The Great Pretender”) Blonde brushes Rita's hair. Now, I know what you're thinking, but I'll remind you that this is 50's music, not rhythm guitar and funk bass, so it's not going to become a lesbian scene.
They talk about how they like the two guys, and we cut to the two guys completing the gal's sentances, as they talk about how they like the two gals. Waffles is looking through binoculars, suddenly Horndog thinks he's watching women undress, but it turns out Waffles is looking for UFOs. He admits he hasn't found any, though. Horndog says they (UFOs) won't come down with horns honking, etc. They agree to go to bed, and as the lights go out, we hold on this a long, increasingly uncomfortable time, until we cut to space and see a really, really chintzy orange light/meteor shoot out of space and into the lake, where it explodes and makes the water churn. And fog appears. And Lou, looking pretty damn bad (kind of rotten and such), emerges from the lake, and clambers onto the shore.
And uptempo jazz music, and we cut to some low-lifes playing poker. Back to Lou struggling out of the lake. Back to low-lifes and their jazz. Back to Lou. I think I get it, guys, let's cut to the attack, huh? Back to low-lifes (and jazz), and Lou approaching a house. Back to low-lifes (and jazz). (They look like the guys who killed Lou originally...I mean, as much as the cinematography tells me.) The phone rings. One thug answers and says, yeah, the second thug is there too. But the phone call comes to nothing, it's inconsequential. Except that the jazzy music stops and Lou approaches more, and the low-lifes continue their game, more. They stay stuff, but the music is too loud to hear them. More Lou, more Lowlifes, more Lou, even the music gets into this very repetitive riff. But eventually, Lou breaks through the wall and attacks the low-lifes and kills them--their guns are useless, useless I tell you! Now that we can see Lou, he has a kind of skull face. Now we see the dead low-lifes, the flies have ALREADY started to gather (flies have good networking and take advantage of it). Lou returns to the lake.
Sometime later, the Detective has shown up at this house of slaughter and his crew are taking pictures. He orders a subordinate to get the info on the two killed folks. I already said they were low-lifes but maybe my screams echo in a vacuum. It would explain a lot.
Anyway, Ned Beatty Guy pops up and asks, “What does this look like, to you?”
“Well, it's hard to say,” says the Detective. “Everything adds up.”
Anyway, Detective points out a bit of slime left behind, and the music turns ominous. The cops seem to notice the music, but then the music fades out.
And back to our teen heroes, enjoying the day at the lake. Blonde and Horndog rush into the water, while Waffles and Rita take a more mature stance...they comment on the others lack of maturity, then dash off into the water themselves. Blonde notes that she lost a shoe...yes, readers, she dashed into the lake wearing her shoes. But I'm sure we've all done the same, right? Ran into a lake wearing shoes? How many?
...the silence...it's eerie!
Anyway, we have a lot of lake frolics. With talking...turns out the girls weren't fooled about this “too much study is harmful” tomfoolery. But they're not mad, they like the guys. Waffles and Rita kiss. More stuff.
Cut to Lou underwater, looking like an aquarium thing. You know, like one of those pirate treasures that blows bubbles and is supposed to aerate the aquarium. One gal swims over him, and he makes a futile grab. Sorry, Lou, you're all dead and all and modern as these gals are, they don't dig that. Besides, you missed! Horndog finds a bit of strange stone, and calls to the others to come see. There's a bit of ominous music that happens whenever anyone looks at the stone. They agree to take the stone to the Professor.
And we cut to the Prof, for a long, long time, before anyone knocks on the door. Waffles and Horndog bring a sample of the rock to the Prof.
“It looks a little like turquoise, doesn't it?” says Prof.
“Yes sir, but if you look closer, you'll see it's quite different.”
“I know that!” says Prof a bit peevishly. “Besides, you know, turquoise is not found in this region.” Well, I'm convinced. Thanks!
Prof asks if the guys can lead him to the spot where they found this rock, tomorrow afternoon? Sure they say, and as they leave, Horndog mentions to Waffles that they now have “an A for sure” as Waffles drinks from a fountain. Waffles begs Horndog, “Get out of my life!” I guess this is another example of comedy. But it's just a guess.
Back to Blonde and Rita. Giggling and stuff. They talk about how fun the outing was, then Blonde gets a phone call from someone reminding them about some sorority thing...they have to spend a night in a haunted house. Um, let's not get too ambitious, movie. What do you think this is, a trilogy or something? More giggling and stuff.
The next day, we see our heroes driving Prof to the lake. Lots of footage of them walking around. Zombie Lou gets his own bassoon theme, and we hear that now.
Heroes lead Prof to the very shore where the rock was found. They find more fragments, and Prof takes off his coat (a treat for the ladies? You decide.) Anyway, Prof was going to wade out and find the rest of the rock, but the Heroes say they'll do it, and he can direct them. Eats up running time, and we hear Lou's theme again. The Heroes step right over Lou, who doesn't seem to care, but Lou is right next to the actual meteor, which is larger than a basketball. The guys lift the meteor our of the water, “What in the world?”
“No, not of this world,” the Professor states. “I think we've found your UFO.”
Lou seems pretty peeved about this, but he doesn't do much other than thrash a bit, blow bubbles, and, um, not do anything else. I'm guessing this meteor is pretty important to him, what with bringing him back to life so he can extract his undead vengeance and all (which, uh, I think he already did. Lou? You can rest your eternal rest now.), so I'm kind-of-but-not-really surprised that he didn't leap out of the water, scream something awesome, and strangle the three interlopers with their own intestines. Because that would make a pretty short movie. And we, oh my God, we're not even 40 minutes in.
But about Lou being underwater with his meteor. He's only a few feet from the shore, and popular as this lake is, you think he's going to get stepped on pretty soon and often. Unless the lake-goers are constantly looking to make sure they don't step on some undead guy getting his forty winks. I'm pretty sure no one except me does that, though.
So, is Lou a thinking creature now? Or has the meteor brought him back to life just as a side effect of it's radioactivity (or whatever)? Cos, I mean, Lou's got his vengeance, he just seems to be resting now before his inevitable rampage (sorry, hope I didn't ruin the movie for you). Now that his original desire for vengeance has been sated, I would imagine he'd like to go on to his eternal reward, but that's if he's capable of thought. Otherwise, he's just a monster, who just...happened to kill his own murderers. Hm. Something to think about, anyway, I guess, maybe.
Back at the lab, late at night, the Prof is examining the meteor. The music is a bit tense, and there's practically no light at all. Just on the surface, folks, this Doesn't Look Good. I'm sure we can all add Two and Two. But Prof turns off the light and leaves. Yes, we get to see every detail of this, in extended takes.
And after he leavs, the meteor pulses orange!
Back to our Heroes, one of them is being irritating with a basketball, and the other asks where he's been. Horndog says he's been working on some jewelry, “specially commissioned”, and I start to think about a better movie than this, Breeders. No, not the one made by Tim “Robot Holocaust” Kincaid, the other one made by Paul Matthews and his family and friends. In that film, a meteor landed and this guy made jewelry out of the fragments, which he gave to the campus women. But it turned out the meteor fragments were controlled by a bad alien guy! What happened? Well, and you won't believe this--
--what? Oh, right. The Day It Came to Earth. Sorry! As for the other Breeders (Matthews, not Kincaid) I recommend it, and hope to review it soon.
So, where were we? Horndog is saying he's making jewelry. And yes, it's made from the meteor, and he's going to give it his gal. Talking, talking.
And Lou goes in search of the meteor, and a comical drunk (the only black guy we've seen so far, if you're keeping score) says, yes, he promised the Lord he'd quit drinking, but he's not quite ready now. And we cut to some police guy watching some late night movie about some dame being pardoned by some cop (we only hear about this) and I'm guessing we're supposed to think, um, uh, we're supposed to think that, uh...another beer would be really good right now.
Anyway, Lou rips open the door to the lab and he goes to get the meteor. But the cop in the last scene turns out to be the campus security guard, and he notices the ominous music (I'm guessing) and when Lou grabs the meteor, the guard shows up and shoots Lou, and a fire starts in the lab, and Lou falls out the window, and the guard puts out the fire, and Lou is nowhere to be seen (the meteor, too). The guard phones in the problem, and Lou goes to the lake to the tune of his bassoon.
Prof is brought in, and mentions to the Leutenant that the meteor was missing. Pay attention now, George Gobel is the most animated I've seen in this movie so far. He says he was trying to determine “the exact species” of this meteorite. Leutentant asks, “What exactly is a meteorite, Professor?” Oh thanks, we were just being glad about no extraneous exposition, Leutenant, anything else you'd like to break while you're here?
Anyway, Prof seems to improvise his way through his explanation and goes way, way beyond what's required, into realms of conjecture and science fiction that really have no impact on the story being told here. I think Mr. Thomasson said, “George, just talk, and I'll keep shooting,” because that's what seems to happen. Leutenant rubs his head like he has a headache. I can sure sympathize. Leutenant asks Prof, why would someone want a fifty-pound meteorite?
“Maybe someone wanted it for a paperweight!” offers Ned Beatty Guy, and, honestly, George Gobel says “Oh, my God” in the exact same way you would expect someone to say when another actor had totally blown his lines and the scene. I.e., it's not Prof talking, it's George Gobel thinking the director has just said “Cut!”
It's either that, or the character of Prof saying, in essence, “That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard, and my faith in humanity as a thinking species has been totally shattered, beyond repair.”
And maybe that sounds a little harsh. But that's how it sounds, ultimately, to this pair of wizened ears. Wizened ears that have been subjected to this, uh, movie we've got today. Luckily the murky cinematography keeps my eyes peel-worthy.
Anyway, Lou is out in a field burying the meteor so it's nice and safe and all, and we cut back to the lab and Leutenant is saying “...which leads us to this,” and he means the slime trail Lou got all over the desk. Prof shouts about how isn't this the same stuff that was found in that warehouse where those two guys were killed? Leutenant says it is, but his lab boys can't identify it, nonetheless there's a “direct correlation” between the two crimes.
Cut to Rita at the library. Cut to Blonde running across the campus square. Then back to Rita. Blonde enters the library and meets up with Rita. They chat about campus life and the upcoming sorority things. Blonde shows Rita the jewelry Horndog made from Lou's meteor and the whoo-whoo-whoo synthesizer music shows up and repeats itself a lot. Did I mention this noise before? It's always around when the meteor is. Anyway, Blonde says that Rita can borrow the jewelry any time.
Military music and we see some guys playing football on the lawn and the music turns to football type music. Anway, Horndog mentions that the gals are going to be spending the night in the haunted house this weekend, and he thinks getting up to mischief is a great idea. He gets Waffles to agree. Horndog relates the story about the haunted house, which I'll spare you. Driving in the car, Waffles thinks they should go to the haunted house and make sure the structure is sound so the gals won't get hurt. What a nice guy! Anyway, they're in the house and looking around, admiring it, they like the clock and the other furnishings. I have to admit the place looks pretty good for a shunned, abandoned house.
Now, it's night and we're back at the lake. A car drives up and 50's romantic ballad music starts playing, then Lou rises out of the waters. We cut to the neckers in the car. Is this Blonde? Looks like her. She's awfully sexually aggressive...but the guy (yes, it's Horndog) is all scared by her, and says he's gotta go whiz (not his words). See, he's like a horndog, but she scares him with her demands, so it's supposed to be funny. Ahem. Well, she's alone in the car, fingering the jewel (guess it is Blonde) and Lou shows up, and she screams her damn head off. Horndog's flashlight is caught in the bushes (no, no, guys, it's a flashlight for real) so he can't run to rescue her, when he shows up she's still bellowing to beat the band, then I guess either faints or dies. Horndog looks non-plussed, and then he sees Lou off in the bushes. Well, he starts yelling hysterically (hard to get what he's saying, but he seems to be blaming Blonde for their predicament) and tries to start the car, which is being troublesome, and Lou's all growling like the Gorn from that Star Trek episode (no hissing, though). We get a pretty good look at Lou's skull-like face. Not bad.
Well, they manage to get out of there, roaring dirt all over and when they pull into the police station, they seem to be in a different car. The one they left in was a dark color, this one is red. Horndog is all hysterical and whiny. He and Blonde run in and demand the marines, big mean dogs and such. They try to describe Lou to the cops through their hysteria. The desk cop asks for Mike (who is the Leutenant). “Suppose we corner the monster,” asks the cop, “do we still have to read him his rights? Who speaks 'monster' around here?” Well, it kind of made me smirk when he said that. He leads them back to Lt Mike. They knock over paper in their clumsy comedy stuff.
Did I mention Horndog's pants were falling down when he got out of the car at the police station? I think it's more comedy. You know, if you're going to do a “horror-comedy” you have to time this stuff correctly. After a big scare, you abandon the comedy for a while, unless you just don't care. If you're in the midst of a comic scene, only use a big scare to stop the comedy. This movie is from 1979, so Return of the Living Dead hadn't been made yet, but that's a horror-comedy par excellance.
Anyway, back to the film. Lt. Mike is very sympathetic to the kids' story. He admits it's hard to believe, but he doesn't toss the kids out on their collective ears. This may be the first movie since the original Blob in which the cops actually believe the kids.
Lt. Mike notices the jewelry, and asks about it. Horndog admits he made it. Mike questions him about the meteor. He promises he'll follow up on this whole monster-meteor thing. He escorts the kids out, and tells the desk sargeant that if the monster is cornered, “Read him his rights.” See, it's like a follow-up joke.
Horndog is way back up in his hysteria levels as he bursts into the dorm room and leaps onto Waffles. Horndog screams that “they've landed” and Waffles is like, “Russia? China? Mexico???”
Horndog whine-yells that it's “Martians!” and he lies like crazy telling of the night's adventure. Not a lot to really tell you about this, but the next morning the headline on the campus paper says “Are we being INVADED?” and we go to the Dean's office, he's all complaining about this stuff. (Note: I think this is actually the Mayor.)
Cut to Horndog and Waffles and the gang getting their horror props all ready for the haunted house thing. Man, Horndog gets over (and gets back) his hysteria like a light switch.
Back to Rita and Blonde. Rita's going to wear the necklace. They're getting ready to go to the haunted house. Naturally, there's a big thunderstorm. All the pledges are in the house, being told they can't leave, etc.
Lou, back at the lake, senses his meteor fragment being worn as jewelry, I guess, cos he's like, well, gotta get to work.
The guys are sneaking around the house and they break into the basement.
Lt. Mike calls the Prof at home. We don't see or hear Prof during this phone exchange. Lt. Mike wonders if the meteor bits could be an energy source? Then he wonders if such energy could be insubstantial, or take on the form of a mass, or “being”? He notes that wherever the meteor, or bits of it have been, the “monster, that everyone makes light of” shows up. He calls to Larry, who's the Ned Beatty Guy.
“You know that goon that's been running around, scaring everybody?”
“That thing that stole the Professor's meteorite?” Ned Beatty Guy asks.
“'Thing' is right,” Lt Mike says. He erases the black board. “I don't think we're dealing with anything human.” He says he'll say more on the way to the campus, but for now, he says “we're dealing with a [writing] Geological...” He goes on to write Gaseous, and then Goon.
“It's a huge, noncategorized being, with basic human body [something]. In the event that there's a code word we need between us,” he says, then underlines GE GA and GOO. “GeGaGoo.”
Ned Beatty Guy laughs at this. “Sounds like baby-talk!”
“Well, I tried to put it into terms you'd understand,” Lt Mike says. “Let's go.” Wow, Ned Beatty Guy, did you get stung! You Ge Ga Goo, you!
Back at the haunted house, the guys are starting their horrorisms, and one of the girls fainted. “Oh God, I think I wet my pants,” another gal says with the calmness that bespeaks this is not an uncommon event with her.
Cut to Lou, advancing on the house.
The gals decide to explore the house, but get scared by one of the guys' horror props and are all whiney about it. Lou advances up the stairs. More of the guys' horrorism, but it's exposed as a dummy, and the guys all laugh and come in. They get their faces slapped for this (what the hell did they expect? Good thing these gals didn't bring any guns).
Horndog goes to get some wine. I think we next see Lou on a balcony? Turn on some lights, Mr. Cameraman!
Cut to the Lt Mike and Ned Beatty Guy in the car, Larry does a lot of humoring of Lt. Mike, but Lt Mike is kind of ticked off about this.
Back to the house. A guy and a gal go down into the basement.
And, back to the dorm. A gal there explains about the haunted house thing to Lt. Mike.
Back to the house. Lou's all growly again and, um, well, it's damned dark. He could be putting on a puppet show while singing folk songs and we'd never know. Anyway, Lou scares Horndog, he shifts into hysteria again and screams about how they all have to leave, but the gals think he's just trying to scare them. Down in the basement, Waffles and Rita are makin' out, and Rita says she'll always feel safe with his arms around her. Well, Lou knows a cue when he hears one, and yup, he breaks through the wall and grabs her. See, now HIS arms are around her, and she doesn't feel safe. I'm guessing, anyway.
Right then, Lt Mike and Ned Beatty Guy show up at the haunted house and dash to the door.
Lou goes into the main room, the screams become deafening, Lt. Mike pounds on the door while Ned Beatty Guy looks about as bored as possible. Huh, more ah dem dam' dames yellin' dere heads off, duh. All in a days work, huh, Ned Beatty Guy!
All the kids run out of the room that Lou just entered, last one out is Horndog, followed closely by Lou. All the kids run out the front door, totally hysterical as before, Lt Mike tries to question them. He finds out that Rita had the necklass, but she doesn't have it any more. (I'm betting Lou's got it.) Anyway, to a totally rockin' beat, Lt Mike gets out his gun and slowly, slowly, enters the house. He starts firing, then is thrown out the front door by Lou. Lt Mike is fine, but nothing is stopping ol' Lou from getting back to his lake. Lt. Mike asks for some more units. Horndog and Waffles offer to help (fat lot of good those hysterical guys'll be). Ned Beatty Guy starts firing wildly, Lt Mike wants to know what the hell? “I just thought I'd round him up for you,” says Ned Beatty Guy.
“Oh, you did, did you, just get those extra units out here.” There's been a request for tear gas and nets and such.
Every now and then, we see shots of Lou running along the streets, he seems pretty winded for a dead guy. Maybe he's been away from the meteor too long, like it's some kind of life-power from him. Kind of like how Aquaman can't be out of the water for too long (just to put this all in perspective).
And we get some more really dark photography. Are lights that expensive? I mean, this is Hollywood and all. Lou goes into some building, Lt Mike spots him and says it's an old theatre. Lt Mike quickly takes charge.
Suddenly, the Mayor's Aide shows up. “The Mayor would like to see you immediately for an in-depth report on the entire situation.” Lt Mike tells Ned Beatty Guy to get the Mayor's Aide out of here. He also tells Ned Beatty Guy to get rid of the press guy, who's not only being really annoying, he has the dumbest hat I've seen in a while. I mean, he's not really wearing it, it's kind of riding on his head.
Back to Lou, he's kind of standing there, and it's awfully dark, but the sounds would seem to indicate he's taking a shower. Well, good for him! It's nice to see zombies taking responsibility for cleanliness. You know, “undead” doesn't have to mean “unclean.” And we see...a wire attached to a wall, being tugged at. Um, kay. Good. I was just thinking the other day, you know, you can't see too many wires being tugged on in movies. Hey, suddenly we're in outer space! And another orange meteor is moving jerkily through the starry divide, accompanied by some weird synth noises. Man, is this going to be like “The Brain from Planet Arous”? Where we have a “bad” meteor who takes over a (dead) guy, and um, uses him to, uh, gain his own revenge, then a “good” meteor, who, um...hey, let's watch together!
Lt. Mike's talking with the guy complaining about the paper earlier. I guess it's the Mayor, Lt. Mike's pretty deferential to him. I'm sure Mike would send the Dean packing.
Lt. Mike tells him that this isn't an invasion from space, but this creature trapped in the theatre is “controlled by a higher intelligence” and is a kind of “robot, or slave.” He is, Lt. Mike points out, trapped, so the danger is pretty minimal and all. Needless to say, the Mayor isn't really pleased by all this, looking at the negative publicity.
Lt. Mike called him “Mayor” so I guess that's who it is. There's more talk but it doesn't really add to anything.
Two cops fire two shots into the old theatre, and it blows up, blows up good. Good use of atomic bullets, guys. Lou stands there in the fire, holding the jewelry with his meteor bits, and the other orange meteor flies through space some more, making synth noises and kind of blapping out some sparks, Lou looks kind of “No, no!” (much as a skull can) but there's more blapping.
Then we cut to Lt Mike, Horndog and Waffles talking about how the fire has destroyed the monster. (Apparently the cops ruptured a gas line, they throw that in there for the explosion.) We freeze-frame on the three of them, the image goes monochrome, and a voice says, “Ladies and gentlemen, one moment please. This bulletin has just been handed me from our news desk. The body of Lou Jacobi, the gangland informant in last year's Kefauver hearings, was found floating in Miller's Lake early today. Reports had identified Jacobi as the man shot and thrown into a car thirteen days ago, in front of the Jonquin hotel. Police said the body had been weighted down by chains and had apparently been in the water for some time. And now, back to music....” and we get another of the faux fifties hits over the closing credits.
The creature was played by Ed Love. Michael Varner was the director of photography. Let's pass the hat and buy this man some lights, okay?
So, overall, there were some decent things here. Lou made a pretty effective monster, though his motives were a bit unclear. Aside from Lt. Mike and the Two Gals (hey, great name for a band) the characters were intensely irritating. The 50's style songs were great, but the cinematography was way, way too dark. Maybe in a dark theatre this worked better, but surely even in 1979 people had an eye on the film's eventual life on video.
So, do I recommend this one? Hm. I'm really on the fence here. Maybe on DVD it's much easier to look at, which would go a long way toward a passing grade, but Horndog and Waffles are enough to set your teeth on edge.
I guess I'd say, see it if it presents itself to you, but don't go out of your way and don't spend any money over “free.”
Note: No one actually used the term "Ge ga goo" in the movie, except for that one scene where the term was invented.