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oh honey...that dress makes you look so fat...

PG?

Paul Birch, Lorna Thayer, Dona Cole, Dick Sargent

Allan: So, you want to know our secret?  Very well, I’ll tell you.  You won’t understand it, mind you.  As a matter of fact, it just came to me.  It’s the simplest thing in the world.  We call it love.
Disembodied Alien Voice: What is that??
Allan: It’s a need within each of us…to reach out beyond ourselves…

An overconfident alien intelligence travels to earth on a small, junky spacecraft and lands in a wasteland outside of a farm.  The alien first starts to control the thoughts and actions of animals in the area, but then begins to move up to weak minded humans.  Its plan?  To eventually take over the world.

Sometimes I just get in the mood to watch a cheesy black and white monster movie from the 1950s.  Unfortunately, this one wasn’t quite as goofy as these movies usually are.  It does have its moments though.  Watching the poor actress playing the mom have chickens hurled at her from off camera to simulate an attack is funny, but also kind of sad.  Guess they had to do what they had to do though.

The story actually isn’t that bad.  I like the idea of the alien intelligence taking control of animals and using them against people.  The problem is, the scope of the movie is too small (at the rate his plan was progressing, it would take this alien about 100 years to finally take over earth) and the effects just weren’t available to them to make it believable.  The animal attack scenes just end up being incomprehensible.  The Birds, this ain’t.

Let’s face it, there’s only one real reason to watch a movie like this:  to make fun of it a la Mystery Science Theater 3000.  I think this movie would have worked well on MST3K, despite the lack of goofy alien costumes and outrageously bad special effects attempts.  The dialogue is silly (see the quote above), the daughter talks like Rocky the Flying Squirrel, there’s the typical perverted idiot farmhand, and the alien’s plan is not a well thought out one.  It also features one of the most poorly trained movie dogs I’ve seen.  It’s constantly watching the trainer off screen, and its tendency to be distracted by everything around it really takes away from the scenes where it’s supposed to be menacing and scary.  That does, however, make those scenes funnier.

So yeah, if you need a good movie to make fun of, there’s probably better ones out there, but this one will do in a pinch.  And yes, you did get to see one goofy alien creature at the very end, though it’s kind of indiscernible behind some cheap visual effects.  Plus, a young Dick Sargent (Darren from Bewitched) is in it!

Only together do we have the strength to defeat evil.

10 – 6 for cheap special effects, bad dialogue, and a lame alien + .2 for a not bad base plot and some unintentional laughs = 4.2