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We open in the desert with some nice desert palm trees, while a narrator tells us this is Soledad Flats, Nevada, way early in the morning, and we see a jet plane taking off.  It’s just fuming out huge clouds of exhaust from its jets, it really looks like a crop duster almost, but the narrator tells us that “operation A-Bomb Test is underway.”  Wow, it must have taken a week to come up with that name.  Good thing it won’t arouse suspicion or anything. 

While a radio voice tells us that the target is two minutes away, a huge mass of soldiers is trudging along a stock footage road, and they stock-footageingly get into a really narrow trench.  Apparently this huge crowd is just observing.  What looks to me like a completely different plane (a four propeller model with a huge tail fin) flies overhead, as the narrator tells us the bomber is nearing the target.  Well, apparently there are (at least) two planes, a four jet model and a smaller two jet model.  I guess they ran out of stock footage and decided to see if we were paying attention. 

Radar dishes spin and someone’s hands switch a few patch cords.  An oscilloscope.  A jet taxing into an airport, while the narrator says all commercial craft were warned to stay out of the area.  Man, a minute in and I’m already bored. 

We’re told that “tension mounts” but it just looks like hell of stock footage to me. 

And the plane gets closer to the target, and other planes watch, and the bomb bay doors open, and there’s a countdown, and the bomb drops, and there’s a giant explosion, and they managed to get it right on the target!  Go, plane people, go!

And as the mushroom cloud swells, “and this is the beginning,” says our narrator.    And Killers from Space shoot right out of the mushroom cloud, at us!  No, no, just the words of the title, not actual killers.  You can come out from behind the sofa. 

One transparent little plane flies around the mushroom cloud in a circle.  I think it’s not really transparent, it’s just badly overlaid on top of the other footage.  We see it a bit closer and it looks okay.  Inside, the two pilots are circling the cloud and taking readings on sensors and stuff.  They radio back to the base and let everyone know they’re doing just that.  The pilot then turns the radio over to the scientist—one Dr. Martin—sitting in the back, and Doc Martin starts reading off a string of numbers.  Wow, science is such a mysterious mistress.  They decide to go in closer. 

And there’s an interesting shot through the front of the cockpit, tracking in to the pilot, who appears to be falling asleep.  Hey, don’t you start or I won’t be able to help myself.  But false alarm, he was just bored.   They fly some more.

”What’s that thing shining below?” asks the pilot as we get a whiff of Theremin.  There’s a flash on the film, all right, on the desert floor near some highways. 

”Looks like a fireball,” Doc says.  “Better check.”  Well, first of all, no it does not, and secondly, how do they do that from a jet?

Suddenly the pilot sits bold upright like he’s just remembered he left the stove on back home.  “Doctor Martin, we’re in trouble!” he says.  Doc tells him to pull up.  But he can’t, the “controls are frozen!”

And we see them superimposed on some clouds, rushing pretty much straight down.  Say, if you fall out of the sky but you’re only superimposed there to start with, shouldn’t it hurt less?

The film goes out of focus, and I guess the base hears the explosion over the radio?  The base radio guy tries to make contact but of course doesn’t get anything.  So he calls out the search party.   More jets from the Stock Footage Force roar into action, and one of them spots wreckage southwest of Soledad Flats.  Wasn’t that where everyone was anyway?

He says “it appears completely demolished.  No sign of survivors.”  He’s told to circle until the helicopter arrives, and soon enough one arrives from Stockfootagania.    Fade.

Cut to some guy, Colonel Baines, who calls for a Doctor Kruger (on the phone).   We pull back to see that the Colonel was breaking various kinds of bad news to Doc Martin’s wife, but apparently he hadn’t gotten around to the whole “No survivors” bit.  Mrs. Martin is an attractive brunette who appears a bit sharp-featured, but that could be stress.  She asks the Colonel that, if the wreckage was found hours again, how come the Doc ain’t back in her arms?

”I honestly don’t know,” he lies.

On the wall is a portrait of Eisenhower.   But, no matter, as there’s a knock at the door and some blonde guy enters.  No intros or anything, but she knows him, and he goes to comfort her.  Right about then, the Colonel admits the Doc must be strawberry jelly, and she takes this pretty hard.   As she sobs and he lights up a smoke, we fade to black. 

And fade in, outside, on some guy in a jump suit approaching a large mailbox, and then leaning at it like he’s totally about to barf.   The music is all slightly odd and menacing.  The guy continues to stagger toward us, and we can see his jump suit is in need of some repair, and also that this is Peter Graves.  An MP runs up and yells how this is Doctor Martin, and asks him if he’s all right. 

”I, I am,” he says.

”It’s Doctor Martin!” the MP shouts to someone we can’t see.  “Call the base hospital!” 

And we cut to another interesting shot, a doctor with one of those mirror things that, long ago, doctors used to strap to their heads and look through.  This guy looks directly at the camera and it’s a pretty cool shot. 

So, out of eight minutes, two cool shots.  

He instructs “us” to look to the left, then look to the right, ladies form a star and allamande left.  Yes, I’m kidding.  Not seeming happy, he pulls off the mirror and tells the unseen Doc Martin (for yea, it IS he) to get dressed.  Still pretty depressed (or liquored up) he tells Doc that everything seems normal.   Only the amnesia troubles him.

Doc says he remembers the controls freezing, then staggering up to the gate (where the MP was).  Anything in between is a blank. 

The Other Doc seems pretty animated by this, and points to a cross shaped scar right over Doc Martin’s heart.  This makeup effect is pretty convincing.   He says Doc Martin’s charts show no scars, and Doc Martin is like, Huh, how about that.  He opines he must have gotten it in the crash, but Other Doc (MD) says this (the scar) is the mark of very skillful surgery.   Doc Martin says he’s never had surgery.   He’s never even used a script doctor! 

Well, Other Doc looks at Doc Martin like Doc Martin just told a big whopping lie, but no matter as we fade to black, and fade in on the Colonel’s office.

The Colonel seems to have a time of it trying to hang up his phone as we hear loud banging noises.  I THINK that Other Doc is sitting below the portrait of Eisenhower, who, himself, appears unaware what kind of movie he is appearing in.  The reason I say I THINK is because he is no longer dressed as a doctor, but has a military uniform on. 

And Colonel gets the doors, and it’s an FBI agent named Briggs, and Other Doc (for aye, it IS he) is introduced as Doctor Clift. 

So, they all sit down to discuss stuff, but not before cigarettes are offered.  Briggs reveals that he has talked to Martin, and he understands Martin is “key man” around here.   And he’s just as suspicious as all get out of Martin and his missing memory.

Doc Clift says that’s probably due to shock.   This guy is actually a pretty interesting actor, he has a rich voice and moves well.  Kind of looks a bit like Victor Mature. 

”Did you ever stop to think,” asks Briggs, “that perhaps this Doctor Martin, isn’t really THE Doctor Martin?”  Sad violins play to show Wow, this is worrisome.   He thinks Doc Martin might be some imposter. 

Of course, rather than discuss any implications of this, we cut to a busy telephone switchboard.  Couldn’t get enough of that in the 50’s you know.   If we’re lucky we’ll get a spinning headline, and maybe a calendar where the days all fall off!   Let’s keep our fingers crossed. 

Lots of sorting of messages and such, and a significant shot of two blow ups of fingerprints being compared.  They look pretty identical to me, but that’s hardly surprising as this is called “Killers from Space” and not “The Day They Impersonated Peter Graves.”

Cut to Briggs getting a phone call in his office.  He confirms “they DO check,” and then dials the Colonel and admits he was wrong, and Martin is Martin.   I was kind of hoping Doc Martin was actually DON Martin, because then he’d have his own Department and would draw those grotesque cartoons for Mad magazine like “One Fine Day” or “One Day in the Park” and what not.  Those cartoons were just damned weird, but they were weird in an inspiring way.  Why, once, I remember--

--what?&nbssp; “Killers from Space”?  Oh, all right, if you insist.   Briggs flips through a magazine on his desk and says (to the colonel), “Here’s what I suggest you do,” but his suggesting is left intriguingly for us to figure out. 

So we cut to Mrs. Martin saying she doesn’t know what all the hoopla is about, why can’t she see hubby?  And…some guy, I think it’s Blonde from earlier reminds her that her old man was working on some totally secret stuff, so everyone naturally walks around on eggshells when that sort of stuff is involved.   He tries to make her see reason in this fashion.  Good luck with that, man.

He off-handedly mentions that if Martin’s experiences had “well, affected his mind…”

Well, she’s curious to know if he’s implying that “Doug is—“

But Doc Cllift interrupts and makes soothing noises, noting that Doc Martin’s “reflexes are excellent.”  Well…I guess that could have been what she was worried about.  Uh, you know, being a chick and all.

They banter back and forth about his memory loss and the scar on his chest, he’s a bit worried about it, she’s all, well, how about letting me love him up a bit please.   She notes that Doc Martin had no scar, and Doc Clift says it’s “impossible” that such a wound would have healed so “quickly, and without medical attention,” ie without him getting paid, he means!

There’s more chatter, and it turns out that Doc Martin is going to be released today, and Mrs. Martin can take him home!  So, she notes, they can go on a vacation.  But the Colonel notes (where is the ominous music?) that Doc Martin has been pestering him a lot about when the next test is happening and secret kinds of things like that and so forth. 

Doc Clift says that Mrs. Martin should see that he (Doc Martin) gets plenty of rest and stuff and doesn’t get to do or see things that will excite him.   Not sure why this warning is given…he’s in perfect health and isn’t a duplicate…but whatever. 

A grateful Mrs. Martin receives Doc Martin back into her home and her heart and so forth, but all offscreen as we fade to the Martins (in separate beds) having a few winks.  Doc’s having a restless time of it, moaning and so forth (note the bit about separate beds, so it isn’t that).  Suddenly he shoots awake and stares right into the camera, and he sees two big eyes coming right at him through the Venetian blinds.  But he blinks hard and they’re gone when he reopens his eyes. 

But he “can’t sleep” as he explains to the Mrs; his shenanigans have woken her up.  So he pulls on his robe and, even though it is after three, he is going to get a glass of milk.  He needs to put on his robe for this?  Heck, I thought he was going to go outside to look at desert formations and speculate about them, but maybe the budget here doesn’t stretch to such location, or maybe they felt It Came From Outer Space did the “desert” thing and there’s no point in looking repetitive. 

Anyway, Doc Martin stops and makes a phone call first, to “Squadron Operation” and specifically the “duty desk.”   I hope he’s not going to ask if their refrigerator is running. 

Instead, Mrs. Martin—“Helen” we are finally told, walks into the room and he’s all bent about that.  Nonetheless, he asks the duty desk if there’s, oh, I dunno, gonna be another test soon?  Duty Desk can’t answer that query, as it’s secret and things like that. Dr. Martin gets a tad irate about this situ.  “All right, we’ll see about that!” and he bangs the phone down.

Then he goes to some other room and starts getting dressed.   Helen is more than a touch worried about this.   Doc Martin notes how he has to get out to the base, “Helen, don’t you agree with me?”  Without waiting for an answer he details how he’s worked on this a lot, and no flunky is going to say him nay.  She continues to look less than pleased, but also less severe than earlier and kind of hotter.

He says he should be there, and she agrees that he’s normal, but they don’t want him at the test because he’s all tense and stuff.   He’s kind of indignant at this, but she kisses him and we fade to black.  I’m sure you can figure this out, right?

So, it’s the next morning and he’s carrying what looks like a length of rope!  Wow, what did you two get up to last night.  He walks into the bedroom and tickles Helen’s foot to try to get her awake.  She doesn’t want to, though.  He tells her (twice) that it is almost 11am!    He seems in a much more relaxed mood now.  Heh-heh-heh. 

Well, he allows as she can get dressed while he makes the coffee, and he goes outside and gets the newspaper, but he obviously doesn’t like what he sees!   We hold on his face for a long time as he tries various shocked expressions on.  Finally selecting one he likes, we see that the Daily Courier headline reads “ER ATOM BOMB EXP” while also noting “6 a.m. Blast Visible for 300 Miles” and “New Petitions Against Tax.”

Wow!  I wonder what the competing paper, the Daily Times New Roman, has to say about that!  Not to mention the Daily Arial.  We blur in on that headline, and then blur out on it as another pair of hands is holding the paper.  Also, “State Boards Investigate Fraud Charge.”

We pull out and see that Doc Martin is being all mad about not getting to go to this test, and he’s steamed at all his pals.  He says he’s fine but the Colonel says he, Doc Martin, is not considered a “good security risk” in his present condition.  The portrait of Eisenhower stays out of the argument. 

Doc Martin continues how it just isn’t fair, as it’s his experiment and all, darn it.  The Colonel says he should go home and relax, or be confined to the base hospital until he decides going home and relaxing is a worthwhile scheme.  Without a word, Doc Martin slams out of the office, apparently kicking over a small trash can on the way from the sound of it.  The Colonel and Blonde look concerned.

At (it happens) his office, Doc Martin bursts in and surprises his secretary.  He tells her that he’s mental and berserk (he even barks at her) and that he really shouldn’t be here…then he says she can take the rest of the day off, and she does!  Wow, was that ever easy! 

He takes this opportunity to…pick up his pipe, thoughtfully.  He didn’t have this when he came in, so I guess it’s always kept lit for him, just in case?  Or maybe he just likes chewing on a cold one.  Speaking of cold ones, don’t mind if I do!

Cut to a wristwatch, now showing 4:08.  Then a wipe dissolve to the same watch, precisely two hours later.  Even the second hands are almost the same.  Yeah, well, cool, but what about calendar pages flying off the wall!  What are you, movie, chicken?

Well, Doc Martin peers around a door and watches as Blonde leaves for the day (I guess).  Geez, so apparently they just let Martin storm off, and assumed he was going home?  You know, Martin isn’t the only security risk at this base…everyone else is too.

Actually, Blonde goes into another room with papers and such in it.  Martin watches this sneakily.  He opens a jar on his desk and starts filling his pipe with tobacco, and his phone rings.  He absently picks up the whole phone and moves it next to him, before (apparently) thinking, Hey, no one’s supposed to know I’m here.  Or something.  He decides not to answer it, as Blonde finishes up in the small room (it’s a vault of some kind).

Once the phone stops ringing, he looks at it like Good plan and turns to watch Blonde leave for the night (for real this time, he turns off the lights and everything—but not before he pokes his head into Doc Martin’s office!  Luckily, the Doc foresaw this and hid behind the door).  The music, by the way, is all tense violins. 

Doc walks across the hall to the Blonde room (smoking his pipe—why, how could that leave evidence?) and opens the vault.  Once inside, he pokes around in various things and stuffs and is reading various folders.  His pipe falls on the floor, fall down go boom.  Like our friend from
The Wasp Woman, he puts his lit pipe into his coat pocket!  Man, was this a trend or something back in the fifties? 

Anyway, he finds some juicy reading material (I bet the centerfold is Ooo la la) but just then, an MP is going down the hallway, checking doors!    He also checks the vending machines.   Can’t be too careful!

However, Doc Martin is done and leaves (leaving the vault open) way before the MP gets there.  Is he trying to get Blonde in trouble?  Sure enough, MP walks inside and sees the open vault and practically craps himself.  He gets on the phone pronto and calls the main gate, just as Doc Martin pulls up in his swell convertible.  “Just a minute, Doctor,” says the main gate MP and he takes the call.  He tells the other MP that Dr. Kruger (Blonde) left about 20 minutes ago.  He then lets Doc Martin sign out.   Some other guy calls for the Colonel at the officer’s club.

Hang on just a sec.  Okay, the vault in Kruger’s office was left open.  Which would sure throw suspicion on him…except for the fact that Doc Martin wasn’t supposed to be there at all, and left 20 minutes later.  Man, security is so terrible at this base they might as well just have an open house.

Elsewhere, someone gets out of a parked car (can’t tell who) and a guy (wearing a hat) pulls up in a big white car.  The white car guy is Blonde, and the other guy is an FBI agent who wants to take Blonde back to the office for a bit of a chat over “a few things we’d like to straighten out.”  They agree to go back, but just so no one gets the wrong idea, they’ll take their own cars.  And we cut back to the open vault (this place is sure popular) and Blonde does some poking of his own.  He confirms that the papers are all intact.

FBI Man asks, while Colonel smokes in the background, who else has access to the combination to the safe.  Apparently only he, Colonel and Doc Martin do.   Okay, since Martin left 20 minutes later, case solved, yes?   I bet he would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling MPs and their darn FBI agent!

Well, in rapid succession, Colonel, Mr. FBI and Blonde piece together the whole plot.   Both Colonel and Mr. FBI make jabbing motions with their cigarettes.   Blonde, of course, tosses a spanner in the works when he notes that he checked Doc Martin’s office.  Once again the spotlight is on him.  Man, those Blondes! 

But, everyone else covers his rear and notes how weird Doc Martin was acting.  Blonde says he was concerned, and Mr. FBI says Me too.  And apparently, somewhere in there, Doc’s wife says he “hasn’t shown up yet.”  Well, maybe he’s at the rope store.  You know, nudge nudge wink wink say no more.

Finally, to a musical sting, our crack Mr. FBI notes the titanic wad of tobacco on the floor.   Remember when Doc Martin dropped his pipe and put it in his pocket?  Well, neither does anyone else.   In answer to Mr. FBI’s query (“What kind of pipe tobacco do you use?”), Blonde notes he doesn’t smoke, and Colonel only smokes cigarettes.  Mr. FBI thinks this smells like evidence, and he takes a huge whiff.

And we fade to the jar on Doc Martin’s desk where he re-filled his pipe, mere (screen) moments ago.  Someone is messing with the baccy jar, and it’s Mr. FBI.  He asks Helen Martin how long the Doc has been using “this” brand of tobacco.  So it’s not the Doc’s desk?  He just likes that style of tobacco urn I guess. 

Anyway, the Mrs. has no idea when he started using this tobacco, or, for that matter, where he is. 

”Well, I hate to ask this,” Mr. FBI says, “but have you ever had…any suspicion…that there might be…another woman?”

”Certainly not!” Helen says.

”I’m sorry Mrs. Martin,” he says, grinning up a storm. 

”Just why are you asking me these questions?”

”Well,” he says, pulling out a match to light her cigarette, “let’s put it this way.  Have you made any new friends lately?   You know, people not of the usual group.”  He blows out the match as she puffs.  Man, the sexual tension…well, I guess it’s around somewhere. 

Helen notes that the only friends they have are connected with the “institute” but just then there’s a phone call.  And it’s for Mr. FBI! 

He takes it.   But instead of finding out if he wants to sign up for a guaranteed low rate mortgage, we cut to Doc Martin’s car, racing along the nighttime streets.  He’s driving and driving (sometimes in close-up) and the music is all, This can’t be good.

And we cut to a police dispatcher.  He reads out that everyone should be looking for Doc’s car, a “two-tone coupe” and he even has the license number.  Some stock shots show a police car roaring down a road and a police motorcycle getting into the action as well.   And apparently they’re calling out the entire police force of Stockfootageville, as we see several more police cars and motorcycles give in to the chase urge. 

But Doc Martin is out in the desert.  He’s ditched the car, and he’s putting a note under a rock…but his hand is grabbed by someone!  I think it’s Mr. FBI.  He wants to know why the Doc would put a note under a rock.  We get a tightly lit close up of Mr. FBI’s eyes, and the Doc reacts like he’s…sigh.  Under the control of aliens or something.  (Sorry, you can’t be innocent forever.  And while I’ve not seen this film, I have read about it.)

Well, no aliens need apply it seems, as the Doc belts Mr. FBI a good one and he, not having brought any backup, collapses into the desert sand while the Doc goes back to his coupe and roars off.    And he drives intensely through various streets, and then he comes to a gas station.  He stops and asks for ten gallons, and asks where the phone is.  He is told it is “over there, behind the pump.”  Kind of like “MTV:  Behind the Music,” I guess.

Well, as we see the attendant’s elaborate tank-filling ballet, the Doc goes to the payphone and tries to call Helen, but no one answers and it is all so sad. 

Meanwhile, attendant hears the police bulletin about the coupe and the license plate, and he double-takes that here’s that very car, right here, in his gas station!  Yikes!

Well, the Doc abandons the phone as a bad idea, and he goes to get his car, and the radio is still blaring about how wanted he is and stuff, and we get the close up of the attendant’s eyes.  Instead of belting him a stiff one, though, Doc just pushes him away and drives off. 

Attendant runs to the PAY PHONE and calls in the details of his sighting.  You mean there’s no phone in the gas station?  Man, that is harsh.   

And we cut to some stock footage of some gal pulling a page from a teletype.  She thrusts this into a tube (no, really) and it shoots through the tube til it gets to the police.   The sergeant or whoever reads this note, and gets on the radio.  “Calling car six,” he says, over and over, and we get a shot of Mr. FBI staggering awake from the dirt into which he was punched, and he hears his name being asked as the one to “come in,” as this is a “code eleven” and everything.  So he goes to the radio and reports in. 

He’s told that the Doc was last seen on route 61.    Despite the fact that he seems pretty out of it, he acknowledges the call and over-and-outs.  He closes the car door and races off to find his elusive quarry. 

More footage of the Doc racing along those nighttime streets, like a Bruce Springsteen song only less lame.  And he sees a pair of eyes superimposed on the night landscape!  Aaaah!  Eyes!  Help!  I mean they could be headlights but that wouldn’t be worth putting in a movie, so shut up you in the back.

Anyway, here come the eyes, looking like big ole fried eggs just a-zooming right at him, and he swerves to avoid them, but then has to swerve to avoid some cars that are actually there, and he ends up pranging the car into a tree.  And he prangs himself into unconsciousness, and ends up in the military hospital again.  As he awakens, he notes with some alarm how “they’re here, and they’re going to destroy us” and they’re also going to teach us ventriloquism, as he says these things without moving his lips.  We see that the usual crew is tending to him, the Colonel, Mr. FBI, Blonde and the Doctor from earlier.  The Colonel makes soothing noises.

Unsoothed, Doc roars how “they’ll kill everyone, we’ve got to stop them!”  Again, everyone urges calm and he gets a swell shot of calm juice.   Actually, it’s truth serum, but it seems to put him out pretty well.  The Doc starts interrogating him, telling him to count backwards from 100 while someone else pops off to get a tape recorder.  The Doc duly starts counting (he gets it right, as he is a scientist).  We get lots of close-ups of the various folks there.  Mr. FBT shows up with the tape recorder.  It has a giant hand-held mike like an old lounge singer would have.

Anyway, Mr. FBI asks the Doc what he was doing with the information he stole.  (Uh, I thought nothing was stolen?)   

Doc says he was “delivering it.”

”Delivering it?  But, to where?  To the rocks in Soledad Flats?”

Doc says yep, right near where his plane crash happened a while ago.  “I was delivering it, just as I was ordered.”

”Who ordered you to do this, Doctor Martin?” asks Mr. FBI.

”I’ll tell you the whole story,” says the Doc, and I bet that means it’s Flash Back Time.  (Cue the theme music and the announcer and note the special guests and the prizes.)   Sure enough we fade to see the circling transparent plane, the flashing light in the desert, the jammed controls, everything going black.

Then, we fade in on a close up of the Doc lying on some kind of bed, while whirring noises pulse in the background.   He says he’s on a table, and we suddenly see what he sees.

Pretty much, well, if not the goofiest looking aliens in the whole of cinema, they are at least way in the top five.  There are three of them, and they’re humanoid, wearing hooded jumpsuits, clean-shaven.  They have enormous eyes, wide-open and staring, like ping-pong balls.  The effect is remarkably like Gerry Anderson’s super-marionation figures...of course, those were puppets and these are actual people. 

As we see them, they’re waving acetylene torches around, and jerking around robotically.  Doc describes them as “strange people” who have “horrible eyes” but notes that they “didn’t speak.”

We see the Doc again, and while someone off camera thoughtfully wipes his cheek, there’s a mysterious pulsating thing above his (naked) chest.  “Then, one of them lowered it toward my chest.  It was my own heart.”  And the footage blurs out. 

It burs in on the aliens (come on, they have to be aliens!) waving the torches over the Doc’s chest, sealing the wound one supposes (kudos to actor Graves for allowing this to be done—those torches have to be a trick but it is really well hidden). 

In the flashback, Doc wakes up and asks where he is, who these people are, etc.  There’s a single frame of destroyed film which flashes—I’m not sure if it’s a ruined frame or if this is intentional.  If the latter, it’s kind of coolishly disorienting, like the aliens are messing with his mind (which we know they do anyway).

Finally having had enough of the silent treatment from the aliens, he pops up off the table and demands to know who they are.  A fourth alien approaches as we note that the aliens have accessorized their costumes with striped cummerbunds.  Maybe they’re going to a wedding afterwards.  Ha ha ha, I bet the bride and groom will say “Eye do”!  Ha ha ha, see, the aliens have big eyes.  So it’s funny.  It is so.

Anyway, they help him off the table, he notes the scar in his chest (really pretty convincingly deep) and after they help him to his feet and he exists stage right, they kind of jerk around like they haven’t been given any direction. 

In the extensive cave (this has all been taking place in a cave), one alien leads the Doc to another chamber, where there’s another alien.  “Step forward,” this alien says.

He then begins fiddling with some sort of dish.  Hey, can you get the Cartoon Network on that?   There are other apparatuses around, including something that is shaking two bottles.  (I bet it is some kind of cocktail maker.) 

The alien addresses the Doc by name, notes that he’s glad that the Doc has recovered from his accident, and tells Doc he is a scientist—just like Doc!   They’ll have lots to talk about together then.

”Where do you come from?” asks the Doc.

”From a planet,” Mr. Alien says, “as yet unknown to you.”

”You know my name, you speak English,” the Doc notes.

”We speak every language.”

”You can’t expect me to believe that!” Doc belligerently counters.  Calm down, Doc.  If Mr.—pardon me, Dr. Alien wants to boast a bit, let him. 

”I’m getting out of here!” Doc says.  Apparently he hates know-it-alls or something.  Dr. Alien tells him to sit tight, and he adjusts the dish again, and Doc Martin freezes in place.   Once it appears the Doc has learned his lesson, the alien releases him.  Doc wipes away the sweat from his very brow and asks who Dr. Alien is.  I should note that Dr. Alien’s cummerbund is plain.  (Maybe he is high up in the wedding party.  He seems too old to be the groom.)

”I have already told you that,” Dr. Alien says.

”How did you get here?”

In response, Dr. Alien aims a remote at the dish and it sputters a bit. 

Hey…the cat is no longer in the good chair.  I don’t have to type this while sitting on the little hard plastic thing.   This is the greatest day of my life.

Now back to Killers from Space.  Okay, maybe it’s not such a great day.

Anyway, having gotten some juice from the dish or something, Dr. Alien points the remote at an electronic easel and starts his PowerPoint presentation showing how some really stupid fake-looking flying saucers came to Earth via an “electron bridge.”

”Electron bridge!” Doc Martin repeats.  These caves sure echo!  “You mean you come and go, just like that?” and he snaps his fingers.

They talk about how the ships have been seen from time to time by Earthers, but since they’re such crappy, bad special effects no one bothers to report them (I’m projecting here).   Dr. Alien notes they have something like our “primitive radar,” then says “Our machines are set to change course at the mere approach of a pursuing object.”

Doc Martin is still skeptical about all this, despite fancy talk of an electron bridge and all.  He asks where they are, and Dr. Alien says they’re “in a cavern, within the upper crust” of the Earth.  Gee, you know, I figured that out, and I’m drunk.  He says that they’ve been here since man started flinging around atomic bombs, and they came to absorb the power from the bomb blasts.   

Before he can go on with more fascinating crap DAMN IT hang on I have to let the cat in before he destroys things. 

Anyway.  Dr. Alien says hang on to Doc Martin and picks up a sheet of tinfoil.  He looks troubled at it, then back to the electronic easel.  On screen, another alien (striped belt) is pointing a couple of weapon-like or antenna-like objects around, and speaking in a strange backwards-masked tongue.  To give points, it actually does sound pretty alien and is a nice touch.  Anyway, according to Dr. Alien this was a report of the latest blast (the one Doc Martin was so cheesed off about missing). 

Doc Martin says it’ll take days to gather such information, but Dr. Alien smugly hands him the tin foil, saying he believes Doc Martin will find that the figures are correct.

Doc Martin looks over the foil.  “So,” he says grimly.  “You’ve stolen our pizza roll technology, and have learned to make them for yourselves.”

Okay, I was kidding.  He didn’t say that.  But pizza rolls sure sounds great about now, doesn’t it?  Actually that sounds totally awesome!

I HAVE SOME IN THE FREEZER.

Okay, I’m back.  Hope you had some nice delicious pizza rolls, because they are so awesome, they rock my heart with bad fats.   Well, all good things must end, so here we are are back at Killers from Space.   Last week as you recall, Doc Martin was handed a sheet of tin foil by Dr. Alien, which was supposed to have all the analysis of the nuclear bomb test written on it (probably in tinfoilese, but anyway).

We see some equations written on the foil, and Doc Martin is suitably impressed.  He asks where the alien surface guy is, and Dr. Alien says he’s right around where he (Doc Martin) crashed.  He flicks a switch on a big box of switches and the view changes to the burned out hulk of the crashed jet.  But he quickly changes the channel back the alien guy waving he equipment around. 

”That rock, it was glowing!” Doc Martin exclaims.  What some people choose to pay attention to….

Dr. Alien notes that’s a normal reaction for a rock when there’s bunches of radiation around.  ”You have a remarkable memory, Doctor, considering the fact that you did not survive the crash.”

Wow, talk about dropping a bombshell, he didn’t even ask if Doc Martin was sitting down (he wasn’t if you want to know).  Clearly these people are aliens!  If, you know, the eyes didn’t clue you in (they might just be huge Marty Feldman fans, on the other hand).

Doc asks whaddaya mean, Dr. Alien says that the Doc’s heart had stopped and they had to revive it.  When you consider that the pilot was burned up, this seems pretty remarkable that Doc Martin only had a heart attack. 

Anyway, Doc marvels that he was dead for a while there, noting that “that’s” what those other aliens were doing when he woke up.   He notes that they didn’t spare any effort on the pilot, and Dr. Alien says they have “an important need” for the Doc and, I guess, the pilot wasn’t worth anything to them.  Those cold, heartless (ha) aliens, etc.

Doc asks why him, and Dr. Alien points his remote at the dish.  Get ready for more PowerPoint. 

We see some, uh, I think burning clouds on Earth, like after a bomb, then we pan up through more clouds and now are looking at space.  Dr. Alien tells Doc that he is “the first to be looking at our solar system, the Astron.”   He notes a moonish-looking globe as being “our home planet, Astron-Delta.”   He then notes that “during the twenty-third rotation, our sun began to die” and we see some footage of lava.   Dr. Alien says that vegetation began to die and things got really cold, and the pop eyes everyone has came about because it was always dim (like the movie).  “We were forced to migrate.”

”You left your planet?” Doc Martin asks.   Duh.  And he calls himself a scientist!

Dr. Alien says they “invaded” some planets nearer to their sun.  And we see (on the easel) a futuristic city.  A miniature, and an obvious one, but imaginative.  Except when they show little ships scooting around.  They are paper cut-outs on strings.  One of them comes toward the camera, revealing its two-dimensional glory for all to revel in. 

”You just invaded and took over?” asks Doc Martin.  “How many of you?”

Dr. Alien reveals that it was “all of” them, a total of one billion.  The people of the inner planets resisted but the Deltans were prepared and took over anyway.  But the sun kept dying, damn it, so now they’re coming to Earth, as this planet is “the only one capable of supporting our civilization.”

Doc Martin is pretty impressed, and Dr. Alien notes that his people have no alternative.  They’re all out of pizza rolls.  They have to come to Earth.   And he says that at the proper time, the invasion will start, launched from some platforms we see on the easel.  They fade in and out, probably being moved around by the “electron bridge” the aliens are so fond of.

Well, Doc Martin proclaims these notions both “insane” and “ridiculous” and he runs off.  Dr. Alien notes that the Doc won’t be able to find his way “in or out of these caverns” and advises the Doc not to try to leave, like he’s doing just now.  But the Doc has a notion stuck in his head and he’s off to try some escaping.  So he runs down a random corridor, but there’s a guard there.  So he runs off down another corridor, and another guard is coming right toward him…and passes by him.  These aliens must be copying the security at the military base.  So, Doc continues running, and we see rather a lot of reused sets.  For example, the cave wall that appeared right after he left Dr. Alien shows up again.  Even babies would notice this. 

Still, he persists in running around.  At one point, he runs into a whole squad of aliens, but they ignore him and he keeps going. 

Dr. Alien is watching him on the easel, and makes a big fence shoot into place—right where Doc Martin wanted to run!  You are just toying with him now, Dr. Alien.  So Doc Martin runs off another way, and he hears some frog croaking noises and looks up, just as a titanic tarantula falls over into the cave where he is (through rear projection so don’t get too scared). 

Well, giant spiders tend to be awe-inspiring but honestly, this one appears to be way into Saturday night if you get my meaning.  I mean, he’s a few sheets to the wind the way he falls over walls and stuff.   It seems to have trouble disentangling its limbs, as Doc Martin contemplates it.  He decides to back off (turns out there were two tarantulas) as we get another one of those weird ruined frames.  Doc Martin looks like he has a headache, but he runs away anyway.  Still more frog croak noises.   He runs into another drunk tarantula, who wakes up and makes noises like pool balls clacking into each other in an echo chamber.  (I’m learning lots of new facts from this movie.)

He runs off again, we get a quick shot of Dr. Alien flicking another switch.  So now Doc Martin runs into a chamber full of giant lizards!   They dart around quickly, and if they were in the same movie as Doc Martin he’d be lining their intestines now, but fortunately they’re stock footage so he easily escapes them.  (They make noises like wildcats, and also like blooping analog synthesizers.)  But he really doesn’t have any place good to run to now.  And his head rubbing indicates he still has a headache. 

Next, he runs into a giant cockroach!  Oh, that is really too much.  Giant cockroaches!  These are definitely evil aliens, there is all the proof you need.

Doc Martin runs by his favorite wall again, and sees a giant locust.  He’s beyond being impressed any more, so he just runs again.  Into another kind of giant lizard.  This one hisses and sticks its tongue out at him, and probably threatens to hold its breath until it turns blue unless it is bought a toy.  Now, Doc Martin sees a horned toad.  The rear projection here is actually not bad…I mean, you’re not fooled for a second, but there aren’t any matte lines or anything really visible.  Maybe this was easier when film was black and white. 

I do think we’ve got the point, now.  Giant creatures.  Got it.   No need for the giant octopus, but you can still pay him his salary for showing up.

(Somewhere, the giant octopus slams down his script.  “Damn it!”)

Another thing about the rear projection, they do seem to have captured some decent footage here.  So when one lizard turns right toward the camera (and Doc Martin), Doc Martin jumps back and runs off.   They’ve done pretty well with matching what they had to what they get. 

Now, he does see one larger lizard eating a smaller one.  So perhaps if he waits long enough, natural predation will take care of most of his barricades to freedom.  On the other hand, this is all a flashback and we’ve seen rather a lot of giant animal footage interspersed with Doc running around and Dr. Alien flicking some switches.  It is starting to get old hat, now.  (I do want to point out that Doc runs around his favorite wall for—at least—a fourth time, now.)

kplk.  (My cell phone said that.)

Look, I realize that “Doc Martin runs From Lizards” has become CBS’ top rated reality show, but honestly, after the first five seasons (which we are watching now, in real time) it started to get a little old.  And the Doc’s Favorite Wall has already won two Emmys for Supporting Character.  Can we wrap it up?  Can we capture the one-armed man?

Oh crap, Fave Wall makes a sixth appearance.  And that cockroach looks really steamed, and there’s the wall again for the seventh time.  At least.

And Doc Martin makes his way to the fence Dr. Alien put up, and Dr. Alien is there, all laughing like an evil guy.  “So, you have discovered our menagerie,” he says.  Yes, we’ve discovered them in excruciating detail.  “Don’t you think you will be more at ease on this side of the cage?”  And he gestures, and the cage opens, and Doc pops through.

”It’s horrible,” says Doc.  “What are you doing here?”

”We are breeding our…shall I say…armies?”  Well, yes, you may say that.  Since it kind of fits and all.

Doc asks how they got the way they did, and Dr. Alien says “Their growth is due to a change in their genes,” although he may mean “jeans,” like they got pants that were too big but grew to fit into them.  Repeat until they’re giants.  Brilliant! 

Dr. Alien says that when the next atomic test happens, that will be enough energy to, um, complete the creatures’ training.  And then, on a given signal, why, Dr. Alien might release them on every continent on earth to devour every living thing.   The obvious glee he takes in announcing this kind of cancels out any sympathy we might have had for his doomed solar system, you know.

Doc asks the obvious question, which is if they unleash these creatures, how will the aliens themselves survive?  Dr. Alien aims his remote at the dish again, and it flashes, and on screen, we see one of the giant cockroaches fall over apparently dead, and then start smoking.   No, no, I mean his body starts smoking.  Not cigarettes, no, no.  I’m not sure if this is an effect or an actual burning insect, but whichever, it does convey the idea. 

Dr. Alien says that when these fried insects and lizards start to disintegrate, they’ll provide a rich soil to grow craps in.  I mean crops.  You know that’s what I mean to type.

”Gamma rays?” asks Doc Martin, showing he knows his Hulkology.

”You see, Doctor, we have arranged for everything,” Dr. Alien says with smugness.  And they go off so Dr. Alien can do some more boasting in more comfortable surroundings, or something.

As they pass through another cavern, Doc Martin says, “Wait a minute!  All this equipment?”

Dr. Alien says that these are their “nucleo-storage units” where “several billion electron volts” have been accumulated from the various atomic bomb tests. 

Well, Doc Martin is pretty impressed by such large numbers.  He also notes, much to Dr. Alien’s annoyance, that all this stored energy might create a new element, an unstable one, and thus, the whole place is like a “powderkeg.” 

”You shouldn’t reveal how the movie will end, Doctor!” he says.  Well, okay, he doesn’t say that. 

”I assure you, Doctor, we have everything under our complete control,” is his answer, which we can file under Famous Last Words. 

Well, Doc Martin is in a theorizin’ mood, and he starts theorizin’ about how the aliens could control all this power they’re gathering, and he figures the power must be electricity, and “Of course—no generators, no generators!”  He’s pretty excited about that.   That means the aliens are getting their power from somewhere on the surface, “it must be passing through here.”

”You have heard enough Doctor Martin!” says Dr. Alien with some annoyance.  Yeah, stop figuring everything out, smartypants!   Ask him what “migrate” means. 

“Step inside!” he orders the Doc.  And they both exit stage right.  And they’re back at the dish lab.  Doc Martin wants to know what is wanted with him.  Dr. Alien says that Doc Martin will have a lot of info about the forthcoming atomic tests, and they’d like that info for themselves. 

”I see,” says Doc Martin, mulling over something.  “You’re afraid of an overload!” he announces suddenly.  He figures, uh, somehow, that the aliens can’t tap enough energy to control the energy they have.  Uh sure, that makes perfect sense…right after I have this drink.

”You are a clever man, Doctor,” says Dr. Alien, “perhaps too clever.”

Doc wants to know how they figure he’s going to tell them anything.

”It is the only way to save your own life when the time comes,” Dr. Alien says.   He says that the Doc will be shot up to space while the giant lizards and what-not devour everyone else, then brought back down when everything is safe. 

”You’re asking me to sabotage the entire world, three billion people,” Doc Martin says. 

”They are doomed in any case,” notes Dr. Alien. 

Doc Martin seems to mull this over.  “I guess there’s no alternative.  I have to do as you say.” 

Dr. Alien looks (perhaps longingly) at the two bottles being shaken.  “You are lying, Doctor, you’re only wish is to betray us.”

Well, Doc says that he wasn’t thinking that at all, that is so unfair, why do they all hate him like that. 

Dr. Alien says that Doc Martin’s thoughts were recorded, which somehow makes…uh, stuff obvious to them, or whatever, so he’s…just been jerking us all around with what he wants Doc Martin to do.  He apparently knew he wouldn’t do it, the whole time, yet stringed us along with promises!  You lousy alien!

He says he has to contact his ship for Plan B.  An echo-y voice appears, and a face (looks like Dr. Alien) appears on the easel, calls itself “Tana” and then hypnotizes Doc Martin.    If you look closely, you can see the electronic easel boing around the cavern wall.  Obviously, we’re not done with rear-projection yet! 

Tana says Doc won’t remember anything except the aliens’ nefarious orders.  Good thing our side has truth serum, right?  You stupid aliens never thought of that, did you!

Well, Doc Martin is pretty totally hypnotized to do what the aliens want, and Dr. Alien folds his arms over a job well done.  And we blur out.

And we blur in on the tape recorder turning its wheels.  “And that’s what I did,” says the off screen voice of Doc Martin.  He looks at the tape recorder and says “I didn’t realize I was being mesmerized.”  Hey, it could happen to anyone, right?  However, as he sits up (and the camera pulls back) he looks at the four of them like they think he’s making it all up!  And here they are in a movie called Killers from Space and they’re skeptical!  Geez, some people eh? 

Anyway, Doc Martin goes on about how there are all these giant animals waiting to devour everyone, and how, if they set off the strongest bomb yet, it will overload the aliens’ “units” and the day will be saved.  Everyone is humoring the Doc because, they figure he’s nuts but if they point this out he’ll be all mad.  Mr. FBI goes to make a phone call, while Doctor prepares another syringe.  Some interesting use of close-ups here. 

Despite their murmuring assurances, though, Doc figures out that they all figure he’s gone nutzoid and will not be heeded by these authorities. 

Well, he decides that going nutzoid in a more physical manner is called for, so he struggles as everyone holds him down and the Doctor gives him an injection. 

So, I’m guessing they figured the truth serum didn’t work?  So what was the point?  Of my asking that question?

”What are you doing to me now?” asks Doc Martin, as he sinks into a stupor.  They make noises indicating that they’re just trying to help, etc.  And as they leave, someone kicks over that trashcan again!  I mean, either that or they have the noisiest doors ever.  Who built this mess?

So everyone leaves the room, and they’re all looking like they’re trying to ignore a foul odor (perhaps the script).    And boy do their shoes squeak.  (I’m just saying.)   Blonde notes how Mrs. Martin is on her way, what can he tell her?  Doctor says that since Doc Martin is in a state of shock, “Tell her he’s resting quietly.”  Taking this info, Blonde goes off to wait for Mrs. Martin.

”Well, Doctor Martin seems to be indestructible, except for those hallucinations,” says Colonel. 

Doctor points out that under truth serum, the imagination is completely cut out of any conversation.  So, Mr. FBI asks if Doc was telling the truth?  Doctor says he can only discuss crap from a medical perspective.  Which is that people under truth serum tell the truth.  He tells Colonel and Mr. FBI that they’ll have to make up their own tiny little minds.

And we fade to the rocks were Doc Martin drove to divulge information to creatures NOT of this World!  And there’s a dark figure there, who runs in a panic as a big car drives up, and Blonde gets out.  He looks around the landscape with a practiced skepticism, and walks up to where our phantom figure disappeared.  This figure reappears and turns out to be Mr. FBI, who is suspicious of why Blonde should show up just now. 

Blonde says he’s a pal of Doc Martin, and wanted to see if he could find an entrance to the caverns Doc described.  Mr. FBI says that he and his men have already covered the ground and have found nothing.   Blonde asks about the scar.  “How do you disprove that?”

Well, Mr. FBI has no answer to that, at least not that we hear, because we fade to the military hospital where Mrs. Martin is just now showing up.  So Blonde isn’t there to greet her, like he said, but Doctor is there (on the phone) and he assures her that Doc Martin is fine, he’s resting up.  And we cut to Doc resting up, just like Doctor said.  “How’s the car?” Doctor asks Mrs. Martin in voice over as Doc Martin struggles against his medication.   He wakes up, sees Dr. Alien’s superimposed face for a moment, and this alarms him into waking up the whole way.  He runs from the room, but sees an orderly approaching him, and he then sees Dr. Alien’s face superimposed on this orderly!  And the orderly walks into blur-ness.  So Doc Martin grabs him and shoves him away (right in front of the candy machine) and does some more dashing.  But Mrs. Martin, Doctor and some other orderly (could be the same one I guess) grab him and he calms a bit.  He wants to see Blonde.  Doctor says he’ll call Blonde when Doc Martin settles down.  Doc Martin tries to settle down, then.  He returns to his room and his bed, and Doctor calls Blonde.  Doc asks for a pencil, some paper and a slide rule and Doctor says he’ll get them.

On the other end of the phone, Blonde picks up.  He agrees to come over, and we fade to Doc Martin’s room, where he’s calculatin’ like crazy while his wife reads the papers.  She tries to communicate with him, by saying his name about four times, but he’s in a frenzy and doesn’t answer.  So she leaves the room and walks by the Coke machine. 

Just then Blonde shows up, and Mrs. Martin says the Doc is much better, he’s working, he even asked for a slide rule!  Blonde thinks this is a bit worrisome, as what could he be working on?  He might do the aliens’ taxes for them, or resign the cave walls.  Mrs. Martin tells Blonde (as they head to Doc’s room) that he should agree with Doc, no matter what he says. 

So Blonde and the Missus pop in to see Doc, and Doc is all, Well, everyone thinks I’m crazy and Blonde is Well, we were pretty worried. 

Yeah, well, Doc says, and he goes on about how everything he said was true (you can practically see Blonde rolling his eyes).  Doc Martin says he’s figured out what kind of a blast would totally wreck everything alien.  Blonde is interested and looks over the Doc’s figures.  They begin talking technobabble about the aliens’ power conversion.  They’re in agreement that shutting down the main power plant (for 8-10 seconds, says Doc) would be enough to make the aliens’ power stuff blow up, but Blonde is still not sold on the fact that there are aliens.

So, Doc Martin jumps up, grabs Mrs. Martin’s purse (which has car keys) and shoves the door closed on both of them when they object.   He runs down the hallway and outside, where the car awaits.  Blonde and the Missus tell Doctor to call the main gate and get Doc Martin stopped.

But Doc Martin roars off in the car, almost running over the guard.  Blonde and Helen grab Blonde’s car and follow.  And Colonel and Mr. FBI get the call about the escape and everything.   (Now, just parenthetically, since the film was so dark I assumed it was Blonde who met Mr. FBI near the rocks earlier.  It could have been anyone…except Blonde and Helen drive off in his huge white car.  So who cares?  No one, that is who.  No one.)

Anyway, they roar off in pursuit of Doc Martin as well.  And Doc Martin himself is driving along a road.   And he comes to the power plant and parks, and a guard runs out and says, “Hey!  No parking!”  But Doc Martin runs off.  And the guard gives chase. 

Doc Martin runs through the vast machinery of the power plant, but the guard tells everyone there (they all look like country singers) about the intruder and they all take heed.  So the aliens win.  The end.  Ha ha, I was just kidding.

Well, there’s a bit of chasing as the lone guard and the two workers attempt to find Doc Martin, but he’s pretty good at running and hiding, though the editor ought to know we’ve seen this locale before and not use it.  I hope it will not become like his favorite wall in the space killer’s underground menagerie. 

Up top, everyone else involved in this arrives at the power plant as well, and they all dash off to become involved in the action. 

Inside, Doc hides behind a bit of equipment, then beats up both the country singers.  Everyone else runs inside as he darts off. 

He runs into an elevator and take it up to the main power place.  The others see him do this, but decide to take the stairs. 

Doc gets there first (of course) and he asks the befuddled person up there where the main switches are.  This person doesn’t answer, asking instead if Doc Martin is “sleepwalking or something,” but Doc is pretty persistent…especially since a phone starts ringing!  Uh oh, that phone could only mean trouble!

Well, Doc lets him answer the phone.  The conversation is something like, “Hello?  Yeah!  Ha ha!”  But Befuddled grabs a gun.  Good thing (for Doc Martin) that he’s so completely awkward with it, as Doc disarms him and again asks where the main switches are.  Befuddled takes him there. 

Doc forces Befuddled to cut all the power switches.  Everyone shows up to watch this (except the country singers).  Mr. FBI tries to pull something, but Doc is well aware of his machinations and continues to make Befuddled cut switches.   (Apparently there are way more than just one.) 

Doc Martin prepares, himself, to pull the last switch.  “Give me ten seconds after I cut the power.  If I’m insane, nothing will happen, and you can do what you want with me.  But if I’m right…”   He leaves his sentence tantalizingly incomplete and throws the switch.  He then starts counting up, and at second eight, there’s a huge explosion which shakes the whole building; the others rush to a window and see a titanic mushroom cloud!  I mean, the kind you would see from twenty miles up!   And it’s right outside the window.   I don’t think that’s going to be good for anyone in this room.

”Soledad Flats, right on the button,” says the Colonel.   As Doc Martin joins the throng, Colonel adds, “Just as he said.”

”He blew them to pieces,” says someone else over the Venetian blind-screened footage.  (To be fair, the blinds billow inward a bit, as if there’s a mild breeze disturbing them.)

And we get our credits.  Producer and director, W. Lee Wilder (Billy Wilder’s brother for you film fans).   Script by Bill Raynor, from a story by Myles Wilder.  Another Wilder brother?   And we get our music credits, and then the cast.  Is this one of the earliest examples of credits at the end of the movie?   Other than Peter Graves, no names I recognize except “John Merrick” as “Deneb-Tala.”  Got to be Dr. Alien…played by the Elephant Man.  Talk about a casting coup!  Finally “The End” appears and is just as suddenly cut short.  Oh cruel fate, yadda yadda tadda. 

Well.  You know something?  That could certainly been a whole lot worse.  Oh, sure, the aliens are stupid looking and their plan is full of holes (how do they feed the giant creatures they have now?), and neither race seems to know what “security” means (except in terms of Linus’ blanket I guess) and the ending was pretty “abrupt” (it was stretched out but we saw nothing of the aliens or their creatures perishing), but honestly, it wasn’t too bad.  Not that I am claiming it is an unsung masterpiece of cinema, but its seventy-odd minutes are gone through quickly and effectively.  Peter Graves seems pretty awkward (like David Duchovny, he’s more convincing the less emotional he has to be) but the rest of the cast plays pretty well.  There are some nice touches, like the weird alien language (let’s face it, most films of 1954 would have had all the aliens just speak English) and some surprisingly careful matching of animal stock footage to Doc Martin’s reactions. 

While the repetitiveness of the various escapes was annoying to a, well, annoying degree, that wasn’t the worst of this film.  (After all, it’s only seventy minutes long, how bad could it get—boy was I to eat those words later.)  Not the worst bit by far.

It’s those damn aliens.  Had the film-makers simply gone with regular humans, this film would not have the bad reputation it has today.  Sure, it’s kinda stupid, but no worse than a lot of other films that are more highly thought of nowadays. 

If you can watch it with (cough) forgiving eyes, while trying to ignore (cough) the giant pop eyes, you might find it pretty entertaining.  And if you don’t, well, heck, it’s over in a little over an hour, what else were you going to do?  Paint the garage?  Yeah right, you’ve been promising to do that for the last three Saturdays, we all know you’re hoping the weather will turn cold so you won’t have to. 

I wouldn’t blow $50 bucks on the double-disk Criterion DVD of this film, but it’s a fun rental (minus the caveats) and it goes by pretty quickly.   You can ignore the stupid bits pretty easily, because the rest of it moves along pretty well.   Most of the rest of it…I’m sure the Giant octopus is still steamed because he got cut, but really, it turns out you CAN see too many giant lizards.

In summation:  not as bad as you’ve heard.  No unsung masterpiece, but there are a lot worse things that have managed to become classics.   This one missed being in their company by a nose.  Or a pair of eyes.