Thursday, 12 January 2012



Every so often I indulge myself with one of these multi-movie cheapo box sets from Mill Creek. Usually it's a horror compilation, this time it's science fiction with theme (according to the set's title) of invasion. Now even using the word invasion in it's broadest sense which, in this context, I'll take to mean unwanted intrusion by someone or something not native to the movie's environment (you'll see what I mean as we go through the individual films), there are a few which don't fit the category by any stretch of the imagination.

Now if all the movies aren't in the public domain which, I suspect, is most of them, then Mill Creek got the rights for peanuts. None of them have ever been remastered, just copied directly to DVD, and tend to look shoddy. Usually they tend to be quite old from the 50s to the 70's, some even earlier. In this box they're mainly from the 70s & 80s with one dating 1991 and the earliest from 1936. And the chances are that most of them won't be very good but at a cost of about 25p per film, so what. I'm looking for diamonds in the rough.

As usual I watch them on my pc and when I get bored (often) I'll use the slider to move it along a minute or two and can watch a 90 minute movie in 20 minutes. Normally I pick my way through these set by choosing the film I'm most interested in. However, as I'm intending to review the whole box set, I'll do it a disc at a time, starting from the beginning. And here we go.

Disc 1.

Brain Twisters (1991).
Scientist drugs students to turn them violent. Dull, no nudity/sex, minimal gore, no invasion except of the bloodstream. Flicked through it very quickly.
The Head (1959)
A black and white cheapo from an independent studio, though studio is hardly the right word. A scientist manages to a keep a dog's head alive. His mad scientist assistant keeps his head alive when he dies of a heart attack so the scientist can help him transfer the head of a hunchback nurse he's fallen in love with onto the body of a stripper. Which is what happens, though it all, naturally, ends badly. The limited budget with most of the film shot at night, the small sets, and the adequacy of the actors give this an oddly engaging and claustrophobic feel, despite the cliched melodrama. It's not good but it's better than I expected.
The Day Time Ended (1980)
This is the first which actually involves aliens invading, though they only invade an isolated modernistic house and barn where a family live. I saw this on video in the early 80's. It stars forgotten (by me at least) character actor Jim Davis (a name I associate with the creator of Garfield) and (the less forgotten) Dorothy Malone. Things in it include: a time and size-shifting glowing green pyramid, a tiny friendly alien, a hostile small space craft, two stop motion monsters fighting with the winner attacking the family, lots of flashing lights, and the family getting zapped to the future for a happy end. (Oh, spoiler warning.) It's engaging enough in a low key way.
Eyes Behind The Stars (1978)
Some dubbed Italian crap involving a couple being chased by government agents after accidentally photographing an alien space ship. I had to switch if off half way through and felt absolutely no desire to find out what happened at the end.

Abraxas - Guardian of the Universe
The Alien Factor
Alien Prey
The Amazing Transparent Man
The Bat (1959)
Battle Beyond the Sun
Beyond the Moon
Brain Twisters
The Brother from Another Planet (yes, the John Sayles movie)
The Crater Lake Monster
The Creeping Terror
The Day Time Ended
Death Machines
Escape from Galaxy 3
Evil Brain from Outer Space
Extraterrestrial Visitors
The Eyes Behind The Stars
Fugitive Alien
Future Hunters
Future Women
The Giant of Metropolis
Hands of Steel
The Head
Horror High
Hyper Sapien: People From Another Star
Invaders From Space
It's Alive (not the one you're thinking of)
Life Returns
The Manster
Mission Stardust
Morons from Outer Space (yes, the British film with Jimmy Nail)
Night Fright
Night of the Blood Beast
Primal Impulse
Raiders of Atlantis
Robo Vampire
Rocket Attack U.S.A.
Slipstream (yes, the one with Mark Hamill)
Star Knight
Star Pilot
Top Line
Trapped by Television
War of the Robots
The Wasp Woman
Welcome To Blood City

"Oh what fun we had."

To be continued...

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