Available on DVD !
To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat
Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
Little David (Jimmy Hunt), your typical science wiz-kid that knows
everything about outer space, sees an UFO land, tells his father (Leif
Erickson) about it, father goes looking ... and comes back a changed man.
Not enough with that though, he then takes mother (Hillary Brooke) to the
landing site (the UFO by the way has dug itself into the groung), and
wouldn't you know it, mommy comes back a changed woman, as if she and
daddy had been brainwashed.
David goes to the police to report, but unfortunately, the chief of
police (Bert Freed) has been brainwashed by the aliens as well, and he
throws David into the slammer. Good thing though that there's this nice
woman doctor Pat (Helena Carter), who does a medical exam on the boy,
finds him quite healthy and as a result and out of maternal instincts, she
believes every word the boy is saying about the UFO and phones her friend
Doc Kelston (Arthur Franz) from the local observatory - who also believes
every word the boy is saying and even lends some scientific evidence to
the boy's story.
The three of them then phone the army, and since Colonel Fielding also
believes everything the boy is saying, the army soon arrives with tanks
and the like to take care of the UFO problem - deswpite the fact that they
still weren't able to locate the UFO as such which is still hidden
underground. But while Doc Kelston and the soldiers are all doing manly
things, Doc Pat is all woman and gives little David some motherly care.
But since women are far less capable of protecting young boys than men
(the movie seems to say that, not me, I might want to point out), she and
David soon enough fall into a hole and end up inside the UFO to face the
alien intelligence (Luce Potter) - pretty much a green head in a jar - and
his mutant servants, but as they are about to be brainwashed, the army
starts attacking the UFO, and David and Doc Pat can get away ... and
thanks God David is such a clever kid that he takes one of the aliens'
rayguns with him ...
Meanwhile a searchparty has gone underground to look for David and Doc
Pat and to plant a nice little timebomb in the UFO, but when they all try
to get out again, they find their escape tunnle blocked - but David with
his raygun saves the day.
Ultimately the UFO takes off but is not even in the stratosphere when
the timebomb blows it up ... and the 1950's style earth is saved once
more, and by a little boy too ...
Because the film was backed by a big studio (20th Century Fox),
it is now considered a classic ... but what a piece of crap Invaders
from Mars is !!! And the m,ost annoying thing is not even that a
littly boy saves the world (I hate this kind of plot devices and have
hated them since I was a little boy myself - so much for audience
identification) but for its deeply reactionary messages:
- The family (this being father-mother-child) is holy, and
since David's parents have been snatched by aliens, he quickly finds a
surrogate family in Pat and Kelston to properly function.
- Everything that comes from outside is bad. And even though
this is the main premise of every alien invasion film (even the good
ones), it could have been more subtle.
- The army will take care of everything, and in doubt, tanks
will do the job. Yeah right.
- Women, know your place. This message gets hammered in again
and again. All the action is actually done by men, and there is only
one woman in any kind of substantial role, Doc Pat, and she seems to
know her role in a patriarchal society, so even when a male
ten-year-old tells her a wild story about UFOs she dares not just
ignore it. Rather since the story was told to her by a man (however
young) she feels obliged to double check with another man who will
tell her what to do. Later in the story, all the action is done by men
while she is relegated to the maternal role who is ultimately
ineffective in guarding the boy from any real danger. Oh boy.
Now I admit, maybe I'm reading too much into the film and fail to se it
in its historical context (but I doubt it), but even apart from its
messages, the movie isn't all that good: While most of the sets are at
least quite ok, the story takes way too long to develop, and seems to
repeat itself over and over when first David convinces Doc Pat, then Doc
Kelston, then Colonel Fielding, and the action-filled finale is less than
exciting since you already know there's no way a big Hollywood studio lets
a ten-year-old die.
Actually, this film is pretty much a nuisance, and many comparable
drive-in flicks from smaller studios produced on a fraction of this film's
budget are way more exciting and entertaining.