horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

January 30th, 2018 Movie – Teenagers From Outer Space

teenagers from outer space

Man, do I miss being able to walk into a video store and just look at all of the different movies that were there. About the closest thing to that now a days is to go into a Movie Stop, though they have so many movies jammed together on the shelves that it can be a pain trying to pull out the DVD’s to look at the art work. Anyways, today’s movie is one that I have heard of over the years, either through articles from other movies or other means, and one I had been curious about, as it definitely seemed to fit into my wheelhouse of movies. Luckily for me, it was part of one of the numerous box sets that I have purchased so I will finally get a chance to see it. Now let’s see if this was worth the wait as I watch today’s movie, Teenagers From Outer Space.

The plot: At an observatory, an assistant calls over Dr. Mason to take a look at something in the telescope but before he gets there, the assistant apologizes and says he must have been seeing things. Meanwhile, an alien ship lands out in a field and when a dog, Sparky, approaches and starts barking at the ship, an alien named Thor exits the ship and uses a weapon to reduce Sparky to a skeleton. As more aliens exit the ship and begin setting up instruments to test the planet to see if it is suitable to raise Gargons, a lobster-like creature that is a food source for their species. As the various readings are given out, one of the aliens, Derek, examines Sparky’s remains and finds his dog tag. He points out to the others that there is intelligent life on the planet and that the shouldn’t try to raise the Gargons here but Thor and the others show contempt for other species, claiming to be the supreme race and their will is superior to that of any other form of intelligent life on any planet. Derek holds Thor and the ship’s captain at gunpoint, saying they should report the planet as unsuitable for Gargons and that they should find another planet that is uninhabitable, while chastising their race for becoming to robotic and forgetting what it is like to have compassion and feelings. The captain manages to disarm Derek, then has some of his crew bring up one of the Gargons to see how it will do on the planet but the Gargon appears to die. The captain says they will report the planet as unsuitable and that they will take Derek back to their planet to stand trial for his actions. As the others work on packing up the equipment, Derek manages to escape his captors and run off. Thor attempts to shoot him but the captain stops him, explaining that he just learned that Derek is the son of their leader and that he is to be brought back alive. Suddenly, one of the crew notices that the Gargon is still alive and the captain theorizes that the nitrogen elements in the atmosphere must have shocked it’s system but it has now adjusted to it. He orders the Gargon taken to a cave and restrained with leg bindings but the crew worry that it will grow to big to be restrained. Meanwhile, the captain reports back to the leader, who says to send his best man after Derek and Thor, who had listened in on the conversation, volunteers to go find Derek. Meanwhile, Derek makes his way into town and asks a gas station attendant for directions to the address on Sparky’s tag. When he arrives at the house, Derek is met by Betty Morgan and her grandfather, who mistakenly think Derek is there about their room for rent. After talking with Derek and showing him the room, they agree to let Derek stay there as their boarder. Betty goes outside to meet her boyfriend Joe Rogers for a swim date but Joe has to cancel, as the newspaper has him interviewing people that claim to have seen a flying saucer the night before, so Betty invites Derek to join her. Meanwhile, Thor is given a lift into town by a good samaritan and along the way, questions the man about how his car works. When they get to the gas station, the attendant comments about Thor’s uniform, as it is the same as Derek. Thor starts threatening the man to tell him about Derek and the attendant tells him where Derek was heading, then Thor kills the driver and the gas station attendant before driving off in the car. Meanwhile, Derek and Betty arrive at her friend Alice’s house and as Betty hands Derek a pair of swim trunks, Derek drops Sparky’s tag in the pool. When Alice retrieves it, Betty recognizes it and Derek explains that he came to their house because of the dog tag and explains that Sparky was killed. Betty doesn’t believe that anyone could have killed Sparky and asks Derek to take her to where Sparky is. Meanwhile, Thor shows up at Betty’s house and Gramps, seeing the uniform, says that he must be a friend of Derek’s and tells him that they went to Alice’s house and gives him directions. When Gramps comments about Derek not saying anything about where he was from, Thor spares Gramps life, as he figures he doesn’t know anything about their mission. Derek and Betty arrive at the site of the ship’s landing and Derek tries to explain about how Sparky was killed and how he comes from a place that is more technologically advanced. Betty suggests they go see Professor Simpson at the college and they leave but before they do, Derek hears a sound but thinks it is his imagination. Derek and Betty head back to her house so she can change and they head to the college, leaving a note for Gramps to tell him where they are going. After they leave, Gramps is woken up from his nap by the telephone and when he answers it, it is Joe calling to say he is working on a story about a double murder but hangs up before Gramps can tell him about Betty’s note. Meanwhile, Thor goes to Alice’s house but when she refuses to talk with him, he kills her and heads back to the Morgan’s house, where Gramps hands him Betty’s note. At the university, Derek and Betty are told Prof. Simpson hasn’t arrived yet so they go wait outside but after they leave, Simpson arrives at his office. Thor shows up and questions Simpson, thinking that Derek has already talked to him, then kills him and leaves out the window. Derek and Betty see Simpson’s car in the parking lot and head back inside but find his skeleton at his desk. Derek says that someone must have stayed behind to kill him and Betty realizes that the only way they could have known where they were going was if they saw the note. She calls her house to see if Gramps is ok and when he answers the phone, she tells him that Simpson is dead and the person looking for Derek is the murderer. She tells him to meet her at the City Hall Police Station but when he gets off the phone, Thor shows up and forces Gramps to drive him to where Derek is going. Meanwhile, Betty phones ahead and the police say they will have armed guards waiting for them and they head to City Hall, with Derek trying to shoot at them along the way. When they get there, they take cover behind the pillars while Thor gets in a shoot out with the police. Thor kills two of the officers but is injured and runs off, with the police and Derek chasing after him. Joe arrives at City Hall and asks Betty what is going on. Betty explains what she knows and sees Gramps is ok, so Joe goes over to help him across the street. Derek returns and tells Betty to head inside where it is safe but Betty notices blood on the sidewalk and the door handle of her car. Thor appears in the back seat and holds his gun on them, forcing Derek to give him the gun he had grabbed from a fallen cop. Thor then demands that they take him somewhere to get medical attention for his wounds and Betty suggest going to a doctor she knows. Meanwhile, Gramps is telling Joe everything he knows when they discover that Betty and Derek are gone, and the police discover the blood on the sidewalk and figure out what happened. At Dr. Brandt’s house, they catch him before he leaves for a house call and Thor forces him to remove the bullets from him, holding his gun on Derek and Betty as the doctor operates on him. The doctor removes the bullets but secretly injects Thor with a sedative so that they can escape. Back at City Hall, Joe decides to head to the old mine that Betty had talked about and one of the cops decides to go with him. Meanwhile, Betty, Derek, and Brandt show up at City Hall but Brandt realizes that his nurse will be arriving at his place soon so he tries to call and warn her but is too late as Nurse Morse treats Thor, who recovers and forces her to drive him out of there. At the mine, the cop decides to investigate the cave and is killed by the Gargon, who has grown to monstrous proportions. Joe sees this and runs back to his car to get away but is spotted by Thor, who had just arrived there. Thor knocks out Nurse Morse and drives off after Derek but, still suffering from his surgery, ends up crashing the car. Nurse Morse had jumped to safety before the crash and Joe helps her up and warns her about the monster. As the news reports on Thor’s capture and the monster in the cave, Derek and Betty head to the crash site to find the disintegrator and as they look, they share a kiss, with Derek promising Betty that he wants to make the Earth his home. Suddenly, the Gargon appears and as Derek grabs a rock to try and defend themselves, Betty sees the disintegrator underneath it. Derek grabs the gun and tries to use it but it is out of power and so they are forced to run. A search party is sent out to try and find the monster but it attacks them and the survivors are forced to run. Derek tries to figure out what to do to get the gun working and, seeing the power lines, decides to try and connect the gun to them to give it enough power to work. They head out to where the Gargon was last seen and Betty contacts the power company to get there help. With the added boost from the power lines, Derek is able to get the disintegrator working long enough to kill the Gargon and Betty says it is over but Derek looks up into the sky and says it is too late, as “They” are coming. Derek leaves in Betty’s car as Joe and Gramps show up and she tells them what is going on. When they get back to the house, they find Derek has changed back into his uniform and he holds the disintegrator on Joe and forces him to drive him to where they are holding Thor, silencing Betty before she can tell Joe the gun doesn’t work and telling her to trust him. They head to the police station and grab Thor from the authorities, then head to the cave just as the fleet arrives in the sky. Betty has Gramps drive her to the cave, as she knows that Derek will be there and when Joe’s car pulls up, Derek is upset to see them there. When the lead ship lands, the captain and Derek’s father exit the ship and Derek apologizes for his actions, and convinces them to let him guide the ships in. The leader agrees and Derek heads inside the ship, but then seals the hatch and directs ships in on a crash course, killing all of the ships, as well as Thor, the captain, the Leader, and Derek in the explosions. Betty is saddened by Derek’s death and thinks back to his promise to make the Earth his home and never leave it.

Surprisingly, this was a much better movie than I thought it would be. The acting was honestly not that good, but that actually made the movie better, with David Love (Derek) and Bryan Grant (Thor) both being very stiff but that worked out well to sell them as alien’s from another world. However, most of the other actors also came across as being fairly stiff, which didn’t quite have the same effect. The story was interesting, albeit a little cliched, but I did think the idea of the aliens using the Earth as a breeding ground for their herd animals as it was a nice twist on an old theme. The overall theme was also pretty good, a decent mix of suspense and thrills that worked pretty effectively for the time. The special effects were pretty cheap but they made the movie kind of funny. My two favorite parts were the muzzle flashes from the police guns when they were in the shoot out with Thor and the shadowy Gargon, as it looked like they were just holding up a lobster and shining a light on it, so that it’s shadow would fall across the people to make it look bigger. One of the classic low budget movies that is worth watching at least once, even if you aren’t a fan of these movies.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5