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Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers

1956

By Tom BakerPublished 4 months ago 4 min read
2

1956 was either a stellar year to be an intergalactic flying saucer menace, or a bad one, depending on your perspective. We have Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Invasion of the Saucer Men, The Thing, The Day the Earth Stood Still, and Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers. Whatever heavy trip the space brothers were laying on us that year (and it had more to do than just cleaning up the environment) the message was delivered by an iron fist in a velvety intergalactic space gauntlet. Or some such.

Hugh Marlowe and Joan Taylor play a couple of research scientists who have a close encounter with one of Ray Harryhausen's flying saucers while driving a country road. They're newlyweds and her daddy is a general in the Pentagon, one who gets kidnapped by the UFO baddies who then proceed to either fill up or extract knowledge from his brain. I can't remember exactly which it is. The UFO saucer pilots f*ck shit up after being fired upon by Washington; predictable. They have a Martian heat ray that would have made Wells envious, if Wells had lived to see this picture. He's probably off somewhere, dallying among graceful, beautiful Eloi, thanking his lucky stars he didn't.

(Did I mention they knocked ELEVEN of our sattelites out of orbit? Minor plot point, really.)

The aliens are all bullet-headed robots it seems at first, walking around like lumbering, stiff heavy metal trees, and they have weird balls for hands that also shoot glowing death rays that turn what they hit into mist just before exploding it. They have highly distorted, warbling voices that are sort of your standard, synthesized "take me to your leader" voice--and if you have one of their helmets, brother, YOU TOO can have such a voice it seems. (I had a Transformer's helmet when I was a kid, shaped like the skull of the late Optimus Prime, that had two settings that changed your voice. One setting was "Optimus Prime," the other "Megatron." or maybe it was Starscream. I can't for the life of me remember now. Anyway, I thought I was King Shit of Turd Mountain in that damn thing.)

Getting back to the movie, the two scientists (the "Marvins," har-har, as in "Marvin the Martian") go aboard the flying saucer as so many have done before and since, but are NOT, and I repeat: ARE NOT SUBJECTED TO THE RECTAL PROBE. In fact, I didn't see one sore or bleeding anus the entire picture, and I'm darn happy because of it.

Now, to be serious for a moment: much of this actually DOES sound like various UFO encounter narratives from the era, right down to the huge, lumbering, bullet-head robots with the orbs for hands, and the whloe being taken aboard the spacecraft and shown films of environmental destruction and other suchlike via the saucer's flatscreen TV thing. Begging the question: Despite the silliness of the film, does it indeed have a ring of truth about it? I would argue yes indeed it damn sure does, but you'd have to ask David Grusch about the details.

So the UFOnauts are actually ugly, withered ancient prune faces that, according to Wikipedia, are wearing robot suits comprised of, like "Solidified electricity," but I must have missed that part. This gives them super hearing, super vision, and the warbling voices; and maybe it meaqns they can run faster than a speeding bullett and are able to leap tall buildins at a single bound, too.

So initially they came in peace, but after being fired upon by slow-headed grunts borrowed from The Day the Earth Stood Still, they decided they want to throw down. "Them kids was sizin' us up," as a girl I use to know use to say when I use to know her; back in the day, y'all.

So they fly over Washington, and cut the Washington Monument in half and then destroy the Capitol Building (maybe they thought the last election was stolen), and then they all just die or something, I'm not sure why, but I know one thing: It had NOTHING, I repeat, absolutely NOTHING to do with germs! Okay? So, like they didn't just rip off War of the Worlds or something.

Next thing you know, the pale, skinny, freckled 1956 asses of Taylor and Marlowe (sounds like a third-rung law firm) are cavorting on the beach, as happy as a couple of clams just having defeated the man with the clam net who makes clam chowder.

Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers is not a great movie, even if it does have speical effects by the great Ray Harryhausen. It is not even a particularly good movie. It is an OLD movie, and so some of its sins, while they may strike us as jaw-droppingly funny, can be forgiven. And, well, according to the testimony of David Grusch, under oath, given on the floor of the House concerning crashed UFO retrieval programs operated clandestinely by the United States government for decades, it is not an entirely fictional one.

Put THAT in your bullet-head helmet and cogitate on it.

Later days.

scifi movievintagescience fictionmovie reviewextraterrestrial
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About the Creator

Tom Baker

Author of Haunted Indianapolis, Indiana Ghost Folklore, Midwest Maniacs, Midwest UFOs and Beyond, Scary Urban Legends, 50 Famous Fables and Folk Tales, and Notorious Crimes of the Upper Midwest.: http://tombakerbooks.weebly.com

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  • Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock3 months ago

    Another fun review, Tom. Perhaps I'll come back for the movie once I'm caught up again on notifications. (We were gone most of last week & I had little time for anything related to Vocal.)

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