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Invisible Invaders

Invisible Invaders(1959)

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teaser Invisible Invaders (1959)

OK, George Romero. Now we know where you got the inspiration for Night of the Living Dead (1968). Take a look at the pasty-face, black-eyed zombies in this flick and tell us if we're wrong. Invisible aliens from the moon invade Earth and take over the bodies of recently deceased humans in Invisible Invaders (1959). Only John Agar and his high-frequency sound wave machine can save the day!

Invisible Invaders also bears more than a passing resemblance to Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), the delightfully tacky production that is often voted "worst film ever made." As with most low-budget pictures of its day, cost-cutting measures determined much of the final look of Invisible Invaders. For example, the severe lack of funds obviously influenced the producer's decision to make the aliens invisible, thus avoiding the need for costly special effects, extras, and more sets. And the blending of the science fiction film with the horror genre made good business sense, given that other exploitation films had already done the same (The Blob and I Married a Monster from Outer Space, both 1958). Invisible Invaders gave audiences a double whammy of both, thanks to the expertise of director Edward L. Cahn, who had filmed It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) the previous year.

If you think the final results are wacky, you should have been on the set. While Invisible Invaders co-star Robert Hutton admits he has few memories of the production, he does recall one incident which appears in Science Fiction Stars and Horror Heroes by Tom Weaver (McFarland Classics): "The thing I do remember about Invaders was a Jeep ride with John Agar - he damn near turned the thing over. We were doing a scene where we were driving up to the cave entrance in Bronson Canyon, and he made one turn where we went up on two wheels - he was a madman! But he was a very nice guy to work with, very quiet and very serious."

Producer: Robert E. Kent
Director: Edward L. Cahn
Screenplay: Samuel Newman
Cinematography: Maury Gertsman
Editor: Grant Whytock
Art Direction: William Glasgow
Music: Paul Dunlap
Cast: John Agar (Major Bruce Jay), Jean Byron (Phyllis Penner), Philip Tonge (Dr. Adam Penner), Robert Hutton (Dr. John Lamont), John Carradine (Dr. Karol Noymann).

by Scott McGee & Jeff Stafford

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