Well, tonight’s feature is called The Galaxy Invader,
which is when you think about it a pretty big job description.
Someone is apparently going to invade an entire galaxy, which is a very
large place for those of you who don’t happen to know that.
I should think it would be impossible for a single person…unless he had
very long arms. Ha ha ha ha. Lookout of the yard!
Of course, it could be a virus; that might be plausible, but still, it’s going to take a long time for this invasion to get to the “conquest completed” stage. Or it might be some guy invading a Ford Galaxy. But you wouldn’t need a whole movie for that…unless he had very long arms.
Still further of course, I’m basing this all on the title, which might have nothing to do with anything at all. The only thing I know about this one is that it was made in Maryland, and one of the actors is best known for playing Count Gore DeVol on the Saturday night Monster Chiller Horror Theatre (not the real title), also back in Maryland. When I lived in that area, I used to watch that show all the time and the Count was always very entertaining.
So, let’s start. We get eerie electronic tones and our opening credits, and we’re told this is a Don Dohler film. And we see space, and the Earth, and an animated fireball flies right at Earth, but don’t worry it’s a tiny one and can’t blow up anything of any significance. The music is a bit reminiscent of the score for Dark Star. Sixth billed is Richard Dyszel, aka the Count. Greg and Kim Dohler also appear so this was a real family affair one guesses. Don Leifert played “Frank Custer” in case you were wondering about that. And “Alien Portrayed by Glenn Barnes.” Two mysteries solved!
Another Dohler, Pam, shared Production Coordinator duties with Anne Frith, one of the main actors. Yes, we are talking low budget but that doesn’t have to mean bad. It just means that, um, spectacle will be kept at a low scale. So far, Don Dohler has claimed story and sound effects credit, and we’re not even done yet. Norman Noplock did the music. We get credits for “Meteor Effects” which I’m hoping weren’t limited to that brief animated bit. Don’t get me wrong, it was pretty well done, but it was about two seconds long. Also, “Alien Designed & Created by John Cosentino, Assisted by Ted Rae.”
Anne Frith makes another appearance as Assistant Director. No producer credit, but Don Dohler takes the “Written & Directed by” one. Strange that he would have a separate story credit, but what the heck, we can be lenient as the credits are (presumably) done now. Two and a half minutes in!
Fade in on some interesting night photography (everything is blue) and a car is driving along a dirt road. I’ve seen that car before, my brother has one. A 442? By Plymouth? This one is much quieter than my brother’s car, though, so perhaps the budget allowed for that.
Anyway, it’s driving along, and in the sky, the “meteor” is flying around, dancing hither and yon. It passes over the car, causing some lightning effects, and I guess the car stops. Someone in the car watches the meteor do its sky ballet thing. He gets out and watches as the meteor flies around a bit more, then smacks into a landing behind some trees and makes a big glow happen.
And we get an alien POV, now, as a hatch opens and someone gets out to take a look around at this here planet. He breathes like Darth Vader and looks at all the leaves on the ground, and the trees too. There are some awfully bright patches on the ground, like this was actually shot during the day, but…oh, wait a minute, low budget! Sorry, sorry.
At any rate, we cut to some guy with a mustache sleeping next to a phone which you just KNOW is going to ring. Sure enough, it does, and eventually he answers it. Guy in the Car is calling him (Dr. Tracy) to tell him, after some introductory stuff, that he saw a UFO. Car Guy is in a tightly shot phone booth which one assumes is out in the middle of nowhere. Dr. Tracy is a professor (who sleeps with his wristwatch on) and he was always interested in such stuff, so that is why Car Guy is calling him now, despite the lateness of the hour when decent people are asleep and such.
Dr. Tracy, who I think is Gore DeVol, asks for a description and gets one, including the fact that there wasn’t “exactly” an explosion when the “meteor” landed. He asks where Car Guy is now, and gets the location. “Right outside of Harleyville, the town I live in.”
Dr. Tracy notes that this is “five hours” from where he lives. But he’ll make some phone calls and be right there in six hours. He asks Car Guy to wait, right there in a phone booth next to nowhere, until he (Dr. Tracy) arrives. For six hours. Well, good, then. Hope the phone booth has a restroom. Phones are hung up.
And we cut to some guy drinking coffee (I’m guessing) from a mug. Some gal is with him. They’re reading the paper, and hear noises as a POV enters their storage area. They grab carving knives and go to investigate, because in Lowbudgetville, when noises happen, it usually isn’t a good thing. When they turn on the light in the basement, we get a brief off-kilter shot of the Alien, who has lumpy green skin.
As they search through the basement for the “intruder,” it sure looks to me like there’s a portrait of Count Gore DeVol down there among the folderol. Eventually, they come across the Alien who has a skull-like face. Everyone screams, Some Guy attacks with his knife (which is knocked away), then he takes a shovel to this visitant from the stars. This leads to a lot of pretty pointless close-ups and stuff as we get some “action” carefully blocked so as not to damage the suit (low budget, remember).
Eventually, Alien tires of Mr. Shovel and smacks him unconscious. Mr. Shovel’s wife attacks with a lamp, and she gets knocked out too. With the two of them unconscious (or dead, who knows), the Alien leaves using his giant awkward feet.
And we cut to some house with the sound of boiling water waking someone up. And we further cut inside--
Wow. We have a whole Expositionary Family o’Rednecks inside. Younger sister is trying to get some coffee, but is told it is not good for her (by Brother). Mom is making everyone’s breakfast. Older Daughter and Father have an argument which is that he is a Cheating Drunken Bum and she is Rebelling Against Him. He smacks her, and she runs away. He gets a big shotgun and goes after her. (Let me point out that a shotgun is not really a good way to win an argument.)
Ma tells the Brother to go after and stop Pa from committing mayhem. He notes how he has no gun and Pa is armed, but is talked into going anyway.
Ma and Younger Sis worry about this display of…whatever. And they have this conversation, Younger Sis and Ma:
”Dad won’t hurt Carol.”
”I hope not,” says Ma.
”I hate him,” says Younger Sis.
And, well, enough of that. We cut to the brush, where Carol is running, followed slowly by Pa. And then by Brother. Through the same landscape, one after another. Pa promises to Brother that he’s going to “blow your head off.” Sheesh, I thought he was mad at Carol. But then, I was drinking a lot when this happened.
Pa then sees the Alien, who’s just kind of standing around, like someone waiting for a cue. Brother shows up as well. Just for the Hell of it, Pa shoots the Alien, who drops one of his balls. Well, that’s what happens! The Alien then runs away.
Pa and Bro wonder what this Ball is. It is not fiery, like the sun or moon, so I doubt it came from a catfish. Pa avers how it is worth a lot of money. He orders Bro to get the wheelbarrow so they can grab it and make a fortune with this ball. Yeah, that would be my plan too.
Cut to Carol, jogging through the woods. She comes across a shack, and stands beside it, glancing at her watch, until finally a hand grabs her shoulder. Turns out it is her beau, though, so while she is angry it is only for a moment.
They discuss the soap opera stuff, how Pa is out there with a gun and Beau is very concerned about this, and the cat is wrecking the window…except the last bit is in the real world. Hang on a moment.
So, I’m back, and we get more redneck opera, none of which has to do with aliens. Although Beau ends the scene with, “I know one thing. If that father of yours scares you like this again, I’m gonna be de-facing.” Or “beat his face in.” Or “be the space alien.” Or some thing which is hard to decipher and probably isn’t what I thought it was anyway. (You may recall: low budget, which means one microphone and no dubbing booth.)
Cut to Car Guy still waiting by the phone booth. I sure hope he has a magazine to read. Finally, Dr. Tracy shows up in his weird-looking car. They chat and decide to hike to where the thing might have landed. In response to Doc’s question whether Car Guy told anyone else, Car Guy says, “People in this town wouldn’t understand something like a meteor.” No, they would say that was devil talk, no doubt. Meteors? Get thee behind me, Car Guy!
Dr. Tracy avers how this may be more than just a mere meteor. They chatter some more, about what this might be, and Dr. Tracy says they’re “losing daylight fast” so they need to get going and they do, and I wonder how long it took Dr. Tracy to get there. Car Guy called when it was pretty damn dark, at most, early morning before the sun came up. Dr. Tracy said it was six hours away, um, carry the two-- Which means Dr. Tracy…oh, who cares!
Cut to Pa and Bro returning to the Farm with the Egg in a Wheelbarrow. Then, cut to Carol and Beau going back to the Farm, too, so Beau can confront Pa. He does, briefly, before Pa’s shotgun persuades him to skeddadle. But he notices the Egg, and Pa is all belligerent about having to explain alien stuff to this Beau guy. Bro, though, recounts the exciting origin of how they got the Egg. Then Pa tells him to shut up. Well! This works, by the way, because--
--we cut to the next scene, where Youngerr Sis is telling Ma that someone has just pulled up into the driveway. “Oh no!” Mom says. Yeah, I hate that too.
And Bro watches as some Jerk in a Hat gets out of the car, followed by some Ultra-Slut female who preens for the camera and gets out of the car like it is a fashion runway.
Inside, Younger Sis speculates that these losers have shown up to see “the thing from the green man.”
Ma says, “I’ve told you, there’s no such thing as a green man.” So that’s that, then. Glad we got that settled.
Pa banters with the Losers for a bit, then goes to get the Green Man’s Egg so Mr. Loser can judge whether it is, in fact, worth a lot of money. Bro goes to get it, and he comes out of the garage holding the Egg, and everyone looks right at it as he sets it down on the ground. The assembled clods are astonished, which I bet isn’t too hard to achieve.
Mr. Loser lets out a huge spit/drool/puff of smoke thing, before asking what the Egg is. No one knows, but Bro offers how it came from a Green Man.
Ultra-Slut decries this all as nonsense, but Pa wants to show them both what the Egg does. He picks it up and carries it a few feet away, averring how the Egg has to be activated with a pole. I’m not making this up.
Pa pokes it with a pole, and it sparks and whines. Everyone looks hard at this mediocre special effect (oh, damn, low budget, sorry), uh, buzzing and flaming egg. Being simple folk, these flames and whines are most impressive. One ungraciously suspects that fireworks would have the same impact on the persons assembled here, and have the advantage of being readily available at most truck stops.
But then one has to get back to reviewing this movie. Ultra-Slut is still skeptical, but Mr. Loser seems to think there might be money here. But he thinks the Alien might mean even bigger money. I suppose he might flame and whine even more than a simple egg.
”I never gave that a thought,” Pa says, smacking his own palm. “Hot damn, Frank, you’re right! All we got to do is hunt the space man and blow a hole through him!”
…Well…that’s pretty much the answer to everything, isn’t it?
Mr. Loser, though, thinks it would be better to capture the Alien alive. It might mean a lot of money. Pa thinks it won’t be easy with just “the three” of them (leaving out Ultra-Slut, much to her annoyance). Mr. Loser thinks they can get the townsfolk to help, and when Pa complains that means splitting the money, but Mr. Loser says everyone else can just get a straight salary. Pa thinks these are the words that herald genius. He tells Bro to guard the Egg “with your life.”
You know, it is really hard to escape the feeling that what I am watching could, with a couple of rights clearances, be called “The Beverly Hillbillies Meet Spacemen” or “Rednecks Get the Best of the Green Guy,” or “The Appalachian Invader,” or something equally depressing and unimaginative.
Be that as it may, though, we…well. We need to get on with this thing. If you are a really huge fan of rednecks who poke eggs, this is probably like your ultimate movie experience. For the rest of us, not so much.
So, where were we? This quartet of Pa, Bro, Slut and Mr. Loser are all talking about how rich they’re going to be. The three of them who aren’t Bro go off to get some help to capture the alien, while Bro brings the egg back to safety. Ma and Younger Sis watch through the venetian blinds.
Bro hears some cans being knocked around, so he grabs a tree-branch for comfort (I guess), then decides to investigate this here unexpected stuff. So he walks around and turns a corner, and there’s the alien! He touches Bro with a rod which sparks, and Bro falls down. The alien retrieves his egg, in close-up, just in case we didn’t have any idea of what he might have been up to, here.
And we cut to some bar, where folks are drinking and playing pool and we get a tracking shot along the bar, and finally the door opens and our Redneck Trio strolls inside, much to the amusement of the regular patrons. At any rate, Mr. Loser tells the assembled patrons that he needs a couple of “good men” to come out with them and do some “hunting” and there is some money involved for those who wish to partake. He specifically excludes women from this lark. He also notes that guns are needed. Whoever the actor is playing Mr. Loser, he seems to think this scene will be his ticket to greatness so he pulls out all the stops he has, which turns out to be three or four or so. It’s actually kind of sad.
He avoid talking about how the hunt is for something unusual, without mentioning aliens. He notes that only those who show up for the secondary meeting at Pa’s house will get the full details. Slut tries to spill some beans but gets her arm twisted and is told to shut up. See this movie is like, advise for treating ladies so you can get away with OW okay, it isn’t really. Ouch.
A couple of the Bar Guys say they’ll come along, and some of the poorer performers even get close ups as they promise to bring along some uncles as well. This makes Pa and Mr. Loser very, very happy. And Mr. Loser closes the offer, while Pa reminds everyone that they’re all going to meet at Pa’s at nine o’clock and everyone is to bring guns. Note: guns, and not a covered dish or a desert or beverage. They want guns.
Cut pretty immediately to Pa standing around calling for Bro, who does not answer (you might remember, a few years back, he was stunned by an alien rod). Pa runs around a bit more waving his hands and generally trying to act as he calls for Bro. He goes inside and talks to a bunch of kids gathered inside, “Where the hell’s your brother?”
”I don’t know, he’s outside somewhere,” is the reply he gets, and he looks as if this is some kind of weird, baffling alien tongue as he twitches his head to try and get some of these syllables he’s hearing inside it. He then closes the door and leaves, and the assembled kids (who were looking at record albums) discuss how they think ol’ Pa is pretty hateable, relative or no. I guess one of these kids was Younger Sis, but as she has made almost no impact, I forgot what she looks like.
Finally, Pa goes outside and around the side of the house (which necessitates him leaping over a wall) and finds the stunned Bro, who is just now coming to. What a coincidence! I mean, cough, low budget.
Pa calls out to him as he shakes off his stunned-ness. “You hear me, boy, I wanna know what happened!”
”Oh, my head!” says Bro.
“Where’s the round thing?” Pa asks frantically.
”Pa, the green man jumped me! It musta took the thing!”
”Whattaya mean, it took the thing?” Pa shrieks. “How in the hell could you let it do that! I told you to lock it in the garage!”
”I was getting ready to, Pa, then I heard a noise back here.”
”So you just come back here like a fool? And let the green man take it? Damn you, boy! Now you gonna make me look like a fool, to Frank and the guys!”
”We can get that round thing back tonight, Pa,” Bro offers, sounding pretty desperate (to avoid a whupping), “when we catch the green man!”
”Yeah, sure!” Pa shouts sarcastically, “If we catch the damn thing! And you better pray we catch it! Or I’ll turn you over to Custer and let him deal with you!” Oh my gosh, not Custer! Whoever the hell he is, I mean.
Anyway, apparently purged of his wrath, Pa leaves, and we cut to some guys strolling through the brush. Oh, good, I was sure hoping for a strolling scene—and here it is! Actually, it’s Car Guy and the Count (formerly Dr. Tracy, which is too hard to type), and the Count complains how they are “losing light fast” though given the brightness of the surroundings, I think the Count has a bit of a lazy streak in him. Anyway, he wants to call off the search. Car Guy hopes the Count doesn’t think he (Car Guy) was lying, but the Count laughs this off. He suggests they get some food, and Car Guy agrees, and they stroll past the camera at crotch level. Well, they do!
Cut to Pa’s house, where Ma and Younger Sis are making vittles.
They mention how they’re worried about this “hunting trip.”
Pa ambles in and says, “Yeah…keep on talking.” And he glares evilly at Ma. Well! I guess that proves everything! Cough. Outside, anyway, it’s finally dark (for real) and a car is driving up. And another one after that, and some more, and Pa looks really pretty satisfied about this. It is, after all, his hunting folks arriving (including Mr. Loser). And I should mention that, accompanying this scene are the loudest crickets I’ve ever heard, ever, anywhere, including the real world. Mr. Loser and Pa greet each other warmly as the music pulses ominously.
As the assembled Rednecks, er, assemble (in shots highly reminiscent of Night of the Living Dead, at least in terms of having a lot of folks shuffling aimlessly), Mr. Loser notes to Pa that it might be prudent if they allow the hunting party to go on ahead, while they linger behind. “We don’t know what we’re dealing with here, and, uh,” he says, “there ain’t no sense in us getting our heads blown off.” Pa agrees this sounds like sage advice to him.
And we watch more of the Night of the Hunting RedNecks. And they assemble, and they try to act while Mr. Loser tries to act as well, all trying to find out what is up. Mr. Loser finally (and I do mean finally) tells them they’re hunting an alien being, a Galaxy Invader if you will. He mentions that it is “some kind of creature” and emphasizes that “it isn’t human” but then points out that if they can bring it in alive, they will all “be rich.”
The rednecks discuss this. They seem to feel (based on their mutterings) that Mr. Loser might not be the most reliable of folk, so they chatter amongst their number. Pa offers how he not only saw the creature, he shot at it as well; this turns the redneck muttering into a more upbeat channel. A chance to shoot something puts everything in a new light, I guess. They all decide (rather half-heartedly) to play along and find the Galaxy Invader and put his career of, well, hiding and egg-dropping to a standstill. Gosh darn it, though. Is there no end to these aliens and their perfidious egg-dropping!
Inside, Ma and Younger Sis watch all this male redneck activity. Younger Sis asks, “What are they going to look for, Ma?”
Ma, obviously well-conversed with The Belt, smoothly changes the subject. ”Hey, how about a game of Scrabble?”
”I hate that game,” Younger Sis avers, drawing us relentlessly into the realm of The Galaxy Invader. I hate that game, she says, and the galaxy explodes into a realm of depth and possibility. Well, I suppose it would if we didn’t cut to a lot of cars driving off, then back to the bar slash pool hall. Sorry, Younger Sis! Next movie for sure! Oh wait—low budget. Damn. Damn!
So, inside the pool hall slash saloon slash the only game in town. A bunch of rednecks (an entirely different set, please note) all order drinks, ask for jukebox selections and (in the case of the one redneck we have seen before, AKA Slut) talk about how rich they are going to be. And then the Count and Car Guy stumble into the bar. Yeah, that sounds like a good place for food to me, too, what a coincidence. Pretzels on tap!
Here, I am going to stop transcribing bar talk and bet that the two of them will somehow find out about the hunt and rush off to stop it, so that a valuable alien specimen can be preserved. Let’s find out how wrong I am.
The Count, as expected, proves himself to be a pretty good actor. He wonders about the bar, but is assured that “the food is good” so he’s okay for now. A waitress shows up, and the Count asks if he can get “a vodka martini, shaken not stirred, on the rocks with a twist of lime.”
”No,” says the waitress.
”How about a beer?” asks the Count.
”Sure can!” says the waitress. Car Guy orders the same, only a large one. In the background, Slut is telling some unimportant chap (sorry) about the mission that Pa and Mr. Loser are on, to capture the “spaceman.”
Well, you can well imagine that the Count and Car Guy perk themselves up when they hear this! And I hope your imagination is a good one, because you will need it.
The Count asks Car Guy if he knows “that woman” and can get her over to their table. Car Guy says no problem and just calls her over. Wow, that was easy!
Slut, who is pretty damn drunk (but is tempted by more liquor) avers how she is “not supposed to tell nobody” about what is what, but liquor drinks (and the Count’s natural suaveness) carry the day. So the Count and Car Guy get all the needed details about the alien hunt. And Slut didn’t even get an extra beer out of it. “Wait a minute, I thought you were going to buy me a drink!” she yells as they leave. There is no justice! (I can say this because I am watching the movie.)
To a touch of exciting surf-rock type music, we see some headlights driving along a country road. This appears to be the redneck troupe, all out so they can hunt aliens. Or at least, AN alien. The ever-present booze is, among all hands, ever present. Mr. Loser tells the assembled dolts that the best strategy is a straight line.
”Well, what if we see something?” some one asks.
”You yell out,” Mr. Loser says, with every ounce of duh-ralph included. Why hasn’t this guy been beaten up a lot? It is not a part of the movie, I’m just being curious again.
The ‘necks start fighting amongst themselves, accusing one another of being scaredy-cats and what-nots. Mr. Loser then produces a bunch of rope, which he says he and Pa will use to capture the creature, so he reminds them all that they should only shoot “to scare” the creature. Wow, this sounds like such a well formed plan. In some horrible, horrible world.
So, all the ‘necks and whoevers fan out to start hunting for this much vaunted “Galaxy Invader” (promised by the title) who has done almost nothing in the whole movie, other than to be startled and menaced and such. What a wuss! A wuss from beyond space! Man, I wish I was dead right around now.
We watch the ‘necks all march into the woods, and they pass by this clump of brush (shot at knee level) and there is this musical sting, but it turns out, they just had some leftover musical stings and decided to use them on shrubbery. Kids today, I tell you.
More trudging through the woods. And then, some more, after that first part of trudging, so we have kind of a two-tiered effect, with camera angles and stuff making all the difference. And everyone passes by the tree, and it turns out that the alien was hiding right next to the tree. And he comes out of hiding to watch the ‘necks all pass, but unluckily for him, one of the necks has mastered the ancient occidental skill of “turning around” and he sees the alien. “Hey, what’s that?” he yells, obviously not having seen much in the way of aliens before.
The assembled ‘necks all go off on a massive chase after this remarkably stupid alien. Damn, this alien is stupid. How did his race manage to build a spaceship? It must have been sheer accident. A lot of accidents. Some of which led to this film. Stupid aliens—they are trying to destroy us through cinema. And it is working!
As stated, this alien hasn’t done much of anything other than stun a redneck, drop his egg and wander around. If I had a cattle prod and a whiffle ball I could do the same, but the results would bore even me…just like now. Say, who wants to bet that, at the end of the movie, there’s an ominous close-up of the egg hatching followed by the words “The End” with a question mark.
Well, that mystery will be solved later as now everyone is running and a-whooping and a-hollering through the night, and they really don’t try to hide the giant lights that are lighting the scene. Oh, they have some fog effects, but they don’t do the job. And everyone is chasing the alien. And this goes on for rather a while. Man, these are the noisiest rednecks one can imagine. It is almost like NASCAR weekend.
So, somehow they manage to trap the alien. How, I don’t know, more likely the director told everyone to stop running. Well, they all aim their guns at the alien, one guy shoots (but misses) and the alien twists his egg and uses a zap gun to blast the stupid redneck. Well, the others take exception to this assault upon their kind, and they start shooting back en mass.
The alien seems to think shooting so that sparks fly up near people’s feet is the ultimate plan, and perhaps in his world it is, but the shooting on both sides continues for a while. Interestingly, the alien is just standing out in the open and none of the rednecks are able to shoot anywhere close to where he is. Yes, yes, they were told to “shoot to scare” but it doesn’t seem to be working.
Well, Pa, Bro and Mr. Loser all circle around behind the alien with a big net. Also in the background are the Count and Car Guy; the Count is particularly pleased to see an actual alien—so pleased that he blows his line and has to start over. He’s that excited. Well, I’m glad someone is. As they watch the gun battle unfurl, Count muses that this is happening because the creature was provoked into fighting. Which, to be fair, it was.
Several rednecks appear to buy the farm during this lengthy process.
Finally, Pa, Bro and Mr. Loser jump the alien with their ropes and render him harmless. Car Guy and the Count are pretty peeved about this sudden gain for redneck commerce. Everyone jumps up and tries to restrain the fitfully struggling alien; finally, one guy chokes the damn thing with a big stick. And the Galaxy Invader is subdued. And there was much whooping and hollering. Someone mentions the dead bodies, and this entails far more running time than is needed as Mr. Loser details how they’re first going to secure the alien, then give the Deadnecks “proper” burials.
And we get to watch every moment of the guys struggling to lift the alien, while Mr. Loser avers how they’ll take him to “Joe’s house.” (Joe is Pa’s name.)
”David,” the Count asks Car Guy, “do you know where this ‘Joe’s house’ is?”
David opines that he certainly does, and he can take the Count right there.
And cut to the garage being closed. It looks like only two of the rednecks survived the battle royale. Anyway, Bro says how Pa secured that alien up right, and Mr. Loser tells Bro that he, Bro, will be responsible if the creature escapes! Wow, that Bro cannot catch a break. This is just making these characters so rich and deep. Okay, I lied, it isn’t really.
There is some discussion about what the rednecks are going to be paid, but Mr. Loser tells them not to worry about that, and apparently this works. Next, we see some guys (I think it is Bro and Pa) descending into a storm cellar to “test this gun.” So I guess they have the alien’s sparkler-shooter. Now, I probably should have mentioned this during the big battle, but it was so exciting I fell asleep, but I’ll mention it now and that will make everything all right. When the alien was shooting rednecks, the egg would sometimes pulse, like it’s not an egg but some kind of power source. So, consider that mentioned.
In the garage, Bro has actually figured out that the egg powers the gun. Younger Sis and Ma show up just then, and many questions about the alien are bandied about with abandon. Pa threatens to put Ma’s “light out for good!” but Bro is more forthcoming with facts and factoids. Ma objects that this seems all kind of dangerous; Pa opines that he knows what he’s doing and there’s money involved, but she’s pretty unhappy and says that Mr. Loser can’t be trusted and she’s worried about Pa. Pa eventually puts his foot down.
Left alone, the two men decide to figure out the alien’s weaponry. “Okay, JJ,” Pa says, “let’s figure this thing out.”
”Let’s put it down here on the floor,” Bro says.
”Okay,” Pa agrees, then adds, “be careful of that switch.”
Being careful, Bro turns on the egg, and Pa notes how the gun feels like it sure wants to fire. So he points it into the stairwell and shoots. This makes both of them excited. “Shoot another one, Pa!” Bro yells.
Pa does. Of course, no real damage seems to result (which is good for them, as they were aiming at the infrastructure of their own house). Pa wonders what the Russians would pay for this weapon that shoots pretty sparks. Why, you damn Commie, Pa.
The next morning…the Count and Car Guy are watching the house, and decide that everything seems quiet (now that it is mid-morning) and it is the perfect time for their plan. I sure hope their plan is to get shot by rednecks!
So, they run up to the garage, pick the lock (after a long time) and open the garage door. Then they close it behind them. They go over to where the alien has been trussed up and kind of stare at him for a while. For rather more of a while than we, the viewers, really need. The Count goes into a bit of a rapture at this alien being, right here, right now, and how he, the Count, is seeing all this.
They untie the alien. Slowly, the alien stands up.
Elsewhere, Mr. Loser shows up and tells Pa how rich they’ll all be. “Sounds great, Frank,” Pa says, sounding like he’s listening to an annoying salesman.
In the garage, the Count is getting ready to open the door. They see Pa and Mr. Loser, and decide that a full-out running away plan is a good one. Amazingly, this works. The three of them run away and pretty much escape. Mr. Loser shoots after them, but they are long gone.
Remember older Sis? Carol? Neither do I, but she hears gunshots, instantly intuits what’s going on, grabs the egg and the alien gun, and runs after the fleeing trio. As majestic organ music plays, she finds the alien and places his property before him. She then runs off, and alien scoops up his stuff (perhaps having learned something of…compassion). And then we’re back to the chase.
And Mr. Loser shoots the Count! Right in the chest! Wow! The Count collapses in agony and Car Guy goes back to help him. Mr. Loser then draws a bead on Car Guy.
Pa objects, saying that Car Guy is “just a kid” but Mr. Loser points out that he is “still a witness” and aims again…and the alien jumps up and shoots Mr. Loser! Wow, I was hoping he would do that. Mr. Loser collapses. Car Guy runs away, Pa picks up Mr. Loser’s gun, and he shoots the alien.
The alien collapses. Pa runs up to him, grabs the egg, then skeddadles. But the alien moves like he might be okay.
Car Guy runs through the woods for a bit, then runs into Carol. She says she saw everything, and now Pa has the alien’s weapon. She suggests meeting with Michael, her beau, because he will know what kind of stuff to do. Car Guy says he doesn’t feel too good. Oh, that excuse has never worked for me.
”I know what you’ve been through, and I understand how you feel, but we need help!” Carol says. “And right now, Michael’s our last chance!”
Car Guy reluctantly agrees that this is so and they go off to find Michael. Turns out, he is smoking next to a tree. Well, that was easy! They mention how the Count is dead and there’s an alien and various stuff is happening. The plan seems to be, get the alien’s gun and give it back to him.
”It’ll probably leave us alone if it gets the gun back,” Car Guy offers hopefully. Finally, Michael agrees to help. He’ll try to think of “some plan” during the rest of the day so everyone can chill until the evening, er, dawns. (Man are my talents wasted here.)
Carol takes a moment to mention how she loves Michael, then she and Car Guy go off somewhere while Michael watches. Then, it’s night-time. Talk about your magic of the cinema, well, you can talk all you want but it isn’t in evidence here.
Well, we see like an infrared shot of Pa’s house, and we hear some weird alien noises which wake up Carol. She slips some robe over her negligee and goes to see what might be making weird noises in a house which has seen alien visits. There couldn’t be anything that would make such noises, so wandering in a negligee is perfectly reasonable. Oh, wait, it isn’t. I forgot. Sorry! Low budget!
So, she goes into the basement. And she wanders around a while. Rather a chunk of a while, in fact.
Finally, after what seems like a couple of days, the alien shows up to startle her. Now, despite the fact that she (with Car Guy and Michael) is operating under the assumption that the alien is relatively benign, nonetheless, she screams her head off when it touches her. This doesn’t seem to conform to Michael’s plan. I’m just noting.
Pa shows up with the egg and alien gun. He runs outside and shoots vaguely, and then Bro runs up and asks what’s going on. Then Ma runs up and tries to comfort Carol. It’s like some kind of Triathlon for dull crap that no one cares about. Which is one of the saddest competitions offered on this planet.
Little Sister also runs up as Carol blurts out her panicky account of her encounter with something pretty much guaranteed to be smarter than her…just, not by much.
Cut to the next morning, with Pa sleeping on the sofa with the alien gun held tight. He rubs his face like he has a headache, calls out for Ma and leaves the gun on the coffee table. He starts calling out for everyone, but gets no answer, so he goes out on the porch and stomps around (based on the foley), looking for humans. Finding none, he wanders into the nearby foliage as the music tries to tell him this isn’t a good idea.
He wanders around some more, now completely unarmed, and he goes toward the garage. The music says, “Bad Idea” but I guess he can’t hear it. Nonetheless, he goes around to the back of the garage and still finds no one to serve him breakfast.
Cut to the woods, where everyone else (Ma, both Sis’s and Bro) are wandering around so they can find Michael. Finally, they do find him, and Car Guy too. So everyone who isn’t Pa is now in one place. Hope that long-dormant volcano doesn’t erupt, that would be inconvenient.
Just to add a bit, Younger Sis has decided to wait back in the woods. This is so she can be grabbed (I bet). Michael says they need to lure Pa out of the house so they can grab him. All they really want is the weapon, so Bro’s objections are stifled right off.
Cut to Younger Sis pouting by a tree. Everyone walks past her, and Carol says they “really, really” need her help, so she accedes. And they all walk back to the house. Man, that was so easy, it should not have taken all that running time.
Back at Central Control, Pa bides his time by getting a beer and then sitting on the couch. Man, the thrills that cinema can provide! --will not be seen tonight. He looks around, and finally we fade to him asleep in the chair while someone knocks frantically on the front door. He finally gets up and answers the door, and it’s Vicki, and she wants to know where Frank is. If I recall my rednecks, Vicki was the slutty girlfriend and Frank was Mr. Loser. (Who is now dead, remember.) They decide to go off and see if Frank is hanging around at all. Pa isn’t telling what really happened to Frank.
Pa offers Vicki a drink, which she refuses; she asks him where his family is and he says “Who cares?” and offers the drink again. She accedes, this time. I hope you’re as spine-tingled as I am by all this. It looks as though Pa is going to hit up on Vicki, who is dressed to the nines (of sluts) (which sounds like a Tarot card).
Well, she refuses the drink and continues to ask where Frank is, and Pa evades the question by noting the capture of the Galaxy Invader in the woods last night. Well, this leads Vicki to query as to whether or not Frank might still be in these same woods, and Pa avers how he’ll take her there, and starts noting how “pretty” she is. Well, this leads to his (in essence) attempts to kiss her, which leads to his attempt to rape her. She resists, fights him off, and runs out of the house.
Pa pursues with the alien gun (and egg) and shoots Vicki in the back! Damn, his affections sure turn on a dime, that man. He runs to her and turns her over, but the bloody stain on her chest pretty much indicates her deadness. So he drags her off somewhere, and we cut to him, a little later, taking another big drink. Well, I can certainly see how drinking is a good idea now. But that’s about all I can see.
Cut to Michael lurking by the side of the house. Having been satisfied that the coast is clear, he motions the others to follow. And there are more others than I remember, including a couple other guys. Hard to tell from the angle. Anyway, they look inside and see Pa “passed out cold.” This is pronounced “better than we thought.”
So they sneak in, real quiet like (except for the keyboard on the soundtrack) and the three guys (Bro, Car Guy and Michael) all crouch down next to Pa, and slowly, slowly, slowly get the gun and egg away from him. The way they were doing this with such precision and stealth, it was like they were playing “Operation,” but really, they’re three young strong guys, and he’s an old drunk, even if he woke up, couldn’t they just hold him down and take it? Of course, he might rant and argue, so maybe their way took less running time. Perhaps the rednecks know best the ways of their kind.
So. The good guys all have the alien stuff, and they assemble outside again. Michael says that they have to hurry and find the alien guy, before Pa wakes up. And if he does wake up, the others must stall him. Uh…he’s an old drunk. Couldn’t they tie him up and gag him? He has NO ALIEN GUN now so he’s relatively harmless.
Well, as usual the folks on screen ignore my sensible suggestions. Michael, Car Guy and Carol all traipse off into the woods (you really need to see them run, it looks like they are trying to imitate slow motion), while Ma, Younger Sis and Bro are left to be the Stallers of Pa.
And the runners run off, after briefly attempting to locate by memory where the alien ship must have landed. (It eats up running time.) And they walk through the kudzu, and through the woods, and we get some knee level shots, and some shots from mid-distance…just the whole gamut of cinematic experience. I haven’t seen so much traipsing since all those jungle pictures I watched, and “King of Kong Island.”
Back at stately Pa Manor, we get this really long close-up of Pa’s drunken face in slumberous repose. It is a sight I could have, in all honesty, lived my life without seeing and still adjudged my life complete. Well, he wakes up and everyone is standing around him like dopes, and he starts yelling, asking where is the alien gun (and egg). He gets no useful answer (he assumes Carol took it, and avows that he will “kill her” and we know he just might), so be pushes the women around. Bro punches him, Pa struggles back against all of them, but slips just outside camera range and I guess…that’s it. That’s the extent of Ma, Bro and Younger Sis’s Stalling Powers. Moving a couple of steps to continue the struggle is RIGHT OUT.
Of course, that would lengthen this stupid film, but I’ve stopped even caring about that.
Back with the folks returning the alien gun (and egg), well, they are still traipsing up a storm. And Pa is now outside with a shotgun, ambling through the woods (he is actually sort of hopping). Damn, Ma, Bro and Younger Sis are pretty much worse than useless. Let me ask again. Why couldn’t they just TIE HIM UP and GAG HIM? Bash him over the head with a liquor bottle (there are plenty around) and be done with it.
Carol, Car Guy and Michael pause, and Michael asks if they hear something. Car Guy says it sounds like someone running, and Carol says, “Oh, no! It’s my father!” and sure enough it is.
Now wait just one damn minute here. No, no, no, I am not going forward until I note THIS OBJECTION. Michael and crew were going through the woods for some time before Pa woke up and overpowered his weakling handlers, and in a few seconds he has OVERTAKEN them? What the hell! Were Michael and crew trying not to wake up the baby birdies and baby squirrels in the forest and, more likely, movie goers in the theatre? Is this why they were going so, so, so slow? Because otherwise this is stupid.
…I guess that really answers the question, doesn’t it? Never mind. Oh, and Low Budget!
Michael and crew keep running, with Pa only a few yards behind them, and the music is all “we’re in the exciting climax bit” and I sure hope that is true.
Michael and crew run almost over the rim of a deep crevasse in the earth, obviously something they weren’t expecting. So they stop, and Pa gets the drop on them, and laughs and tells them not to move. At this point, I cannot help but note, Michael has both the alien gun and the egg (previously, Car Guy had the egg) so he could, if he really liked us viewers, shoot Pa dead with alien rays.
Pa tells Michael to put the alien stuff on the ground and back off, and Michael, who should burn in hell, does so. Pa reaches down to grab the alien crap, when who should show up but the Galaxy Invader himself. He looks pretty impressive backlit against the afternoon sun (more impressive than he did in full light).
Pa shoots him with both shotgun shells, then shoots him with the alien gun as well. The alien falls over. And THEN Michael jumps Pa and wrassles with him for a bit. He and Pa go into a real punching match, if your idea of a punching match is horribly lame. Ma, Bro and Younger Sis show up just then, and like EVERYONE ELSE, no one thinks of going to Michael’s aid. They just watch as Pa whomps on him with a stick and such like. I am pretty sure I hate all these people equally.
Finally, Pa starts strangling Michael at the edge of the precipice, and everyone looks on aghast at this totally predictable turn. Finally, Ma picks up Pa’s shotgun, and in a slow-motion shot reproduced from every possible angle (except the good ones), she whacks Pa a good one across the neck, and a really stupid looking dummy made of sticks and a t-shirt flies into the precipice. It’s not the same precipice they were at, because there aren’t any trees around, but it means the movie is close to done so I am not going to call your attention to that. Oh…sorry.
We see the unconvincing dummy from a couple of non-convincing angles, too, and then we see Pa’s body at the bottom of the crevasse, surrounded by crabs (I think). The piano starts up on the soundtrack, playing all sad as if we cared. And we see everyone’s concerned face in close-up, then dead Pa, the dead Alien, and nothing else. And we get the end credits.
Uh…what? Really, that’s how they’re going to end it? Man, I sure wish I had the money to make a movie. If I could make one this crappy and get it on DVD, I bet all my bills would be paid. Money bills. Karma bills, that’s something else. But who cares about them? A brief struggle and they let you go, and they let you get your shotgun, too!
Edited by Don Dohler. Additional story concepts by Anne Frith, David Donoho. I sure wonder what these “concepts” might be.
Still photography: Greg Dohler. “Special Percussion Effects” by Garry Shertinger. The “Western Music” was composed and performed by Led and Silver. And Don Dohler gets an “Additional Photography” credit. Anne Frith was also an Associate Producer. Before all the special thanks, and being finally told that it was all shot in Maryland, we’re advised, thusly, that “Hat by Don Leifert.”
In the cast credits, we’re told that Anne Frith was “Ethel Montague.” I don’t know who that was, except that it wasn’t Carol or Vicki (Slut). Man, Anne sure wore a lot of hats. Pity none of them fit all that well.
”Frank Custer,” who I think was Mr. Loser, was played by Don Leifert—he who provided the miraculous hat! I do seem to recall that he had a cowboy hat that he wore throughout the film. That’s…just astounding, that a guy could show up in his own hat and get a screen credit for it.
Scanning the rest of the cast, it seems director, writer, editor and what-not Don Dohler didn’t give himself a cameo. At the very end, though, before telling us that this was all just fiction (you can breathe that huge sigh of relief now), he tells us that the story and characters are copyright 1985 by him, Don Dohler. So if you read this, don’t go stealing it, because it is against the law and I cannot help you if you get caught. Someone might come after you with a gun and an egg. And I imagine that’s worse than just a regular gun.
Actually, stealing the plot or the characters of this film is worse than doing drugs. It shows you have a complete disregard for sensibility, storytelling and any potential audience. Which brings me to the following question: why was this movie made?
I suppose it was because someone had a monster suit. There are certainly worse reasons, and in some cases a bit of imagination can make up for a paucity of budget. I recall seeing (on Count Gore DeVol’s show) another Don Dohler movie, about another crashed alien ship that had several different kinds of aliens that escaped. While this was also low budget, the aliens were imaginative—each was different, and could only be defeated through different methods. The one I recall most clearly was a costume on a guy obviously walking around on stilts, but it looked just odd enough that you could forgive the low budget and go with the imagination.
So what went wrong with The Galaxy Invader? The costume isn’t all that bad, and the two piece weapon had a degree of imagination to it. It could have been part of something at least interesting.
The problem in a nutshell is this: the alien is nothing more than a MacGuffin. There’s no emphasis on it at all—why it’s here, what it’s doing, what it is capable of, none of that. Is it actually invading our galaxy, or did it get lost, or what? Who knows? The director doesn’t seem to care. The alien only figures in the plot as a means for some rednecks to get rich.
The entire emphasis in the film is on the rednecks, and their uninteresting problems, boring behaviors, and flat-headed, underthought get-rich-quick schemes. The alien could have been replaced by a gold mine, or an antique car, or a deed to some land—anything other than an alien being. There’s no point to any of this.
So. “Low budget” doesn’t have to mean “terrible.” If Don Dohler had whomped up some imagination and spilled it all over this film, it might have been entertaining and thoughtful. Instead, it’s just boring and insufferable. I can’t believe it took three people to concoct this story. I can’t believe Don Dohler typed up this script while thinking I have to get more backwoods soap opera into this, because everyone’s going to want to know about Pa and Carol and all them. I can’t imagine the kind of person who would care about Pa or Carol or any of them. Personally, I didn't. And I’m not impressed by people who bring their own hats to the set. Unless…they had very long arms.