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Teenagers from Outer Space (1959); The Lobsters are coming to get you!
Topic Started: Apr 29 2010, 03:32 PM (430 Views)
AndyFish
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This might take the cake for absolute DUMBEST monster in movie history-- I could hear the ghostly echoes of kids in theaters throwing their popcorn at the screen when this thing came on.

I watched the MST3K version last night and it's one of the better ones-- the movie itself is almost entertaining enough on its own-- a group of aliens come to earth, and for some reason are trying to hunt down another alien-- I was completely lost because I missed the first 30 seconds of the movie. It's pretty cool when they shoot someone or something (dog) with their raygun because said object instantly turns into a medical school skeleton (complete with nob on the top of their heads) and collapse.

But the absolute HIGHLIGHT is the monster they brought with them. Basically a Lobster's Shadow on top of the screen.
The middle school kids I teach stop motion animation classes to on Thursday afternoon could and have done better effects that this.

You really have to see this one to believe it.
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Laughing Gravy
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Teenagers from Outer Space (1959) Dir. Tom Graeff
A Tom Graeff Production
Written, Directed by, Produced by, Edited by Tom Graeff
Featuring Tom Graeff with David Love, Dawn Anderson, and King Moody
Distributed by Warner Bros.
86 min. / B&W / 1.37:1
DVD: Image Entertainment

ITB Strange Science Cinema #154

Looking for planets on which their "cattle," the gargans, can feed, a flying saucer full of pretty old teenagers decides Earth would be just perfect - except for Derek, who has a bad attitude about the whole thing, including a crazy idea that earth, being inhabited and all, maybe shouldn't be turned into a pasture for giant carnivorous lobster monsters. Derek runs off in search of truth, justice, and maybe an Earthian malted milkshake, with his arch nemesis, the ever-sneering Thor(!) in hot pursuit. When Derek finds a nice girl and her affable grandpa who befriend him, Thor's wrath knows no bounds, and dogs, college professors, sexy girls in bathing suits, and random guys in cars are all disintegrated and turn into piles of bones. Can nothing save our world? Well, one thing can, my friends: that crazy, wacky emotion called LOVE.

Yeah, not a good movie, and the one I kept thinking of recently when a Balconeer mentioned that I spend a lot of time breast-stroking through Cinematic Sewers. Ah, well. Truth is, this is a quite sincere motion picture: Mr. Graeff (who's budget was somewhere between $14,000 and $20,000, and I assure you, this movie looks it) does the best he can, and everybody (and there isn't a person in the movie who could act, and if they COULD, they couldn't act with the dialog they're given) is extremely earnest. Hey, this is the 154th science-fiction picture of the 1950s I've watched as part of this particular experiment, and I've seen everything from attempts at A-level movies to Z-level crap; thoughtful, pretentious movies and exploitation nothingness. This movie has good a good idea buried under its low budget and talentless cast and crew, so I can't really condemn it.

Million-dollar Dialog:
Scientist: "It makes me realize how desperately alone the earth is, hanging in space like a speck of food floating on the ocean, sooner or later to be swallowed up by some creature floating by."

Secretary, discovering her boss has been disintegrated and is now sitting at his desk, a skeleton: "I'm not going to keep a job where this sort of thing goes on!"

At 86 min., it goes on WA-A-A-AY too long (another example of why a director shouldn't edit his own film) but other than that, its "monsters" (lobsters held in front of a projector to make a big shadow on the screen) and its stupid title, it's an okay little movie made by a bunch of people who didn't have any talent (at least, not for making movies). Mr. Graeff got out of the business, tried preaching for awhile, then killed himself, leaving Teenagers from Outer Space as his legacy.

Also on the Program

For the kiddies, a trio of cartoons, including Trouble Indemnity: when Mr. Magoo buys an insurance policy, the insurance guys try their best to keep the blind rascal from hurting himself; Frankenstein's Cat,, one of our favorites, with the robotic feline terrorizing the town until Super Mouse eats his super cheese and swoops in to the rescue (this was the second cartoon of He Who Would Be Mighty Mouse); and finally, Chilly Willy, introducing the little penguin, who for the first and probably only time, can actually talk (he sounds like a lady and sings a song about having a cold). We enjoyed all three cartoons a lot.

In "Blackhawk's Leap for Life!", the sixth episode of our serial, Blackhawk jumps from a plane but his parachute isn't a-workin'; and we also saw the trailer for next week's previous-postponed The Cosmic Man. Wow!
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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CliffClaven
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"Teenagers From Outer Space" may be viewed as the economy version of "Mars Needs Women", which had people you'd heard of. That's one I've only seen in pieces, but the idea is irresistible: To repopulate Mars, Tommy Kirk and a couple of guys come to Earth, put on suits with neckties (which one Martian says they'd evolved beyond), and go out to pick up girls. Tommy connects with Yvonne Craig, but falls in love and ruins everything. They return to Mars, empty-handed (in one sense, anyway).

"Trouble Indemnity" is one of my favorites of all the Magoos. This was early on when Magoo was more irascible than lovable. He may be oblivious to physical danger, but he finds plenty to complain or mutter about in finest Cranky Old Man fashion. Super/Mighty Mouse inhabited a strange world: As the series went on, Oil Can Harry and other cats would sometimes view mice as protein, and other times as objects of lust. Chilly Willy was cute, but eventually evolved into a pro-active version of the Road Runner: the cartoons were usually more about the drawling, audience-addressing dog set on foiling him.
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Laughing Gravy
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I've had Mars Needs Women for many, many years and never could bring myself to watch it. I dunno, Tommy Kirk, science-fiction... hey, I've seen Pajama Party already. Several times, in fact.

I'm glad somebody commented on the cartoons, and I agree, that's one of the very best of the Magoos.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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Laughing Gravy
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Oh, and let me pass this on: "One of my fav Sci-fi films. I saw it on original release and it was a sensation for the audience!" - Sgt. Bill Cassara
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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