Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Killers From Space (1954)

Killers_from_space1Killers From Space is a mildly amusing piece of 1950s American sci-fi silliness. It does manage to combine the alien invasion genre with the giant bug genre, so that’s something in its favour.

Dr Doug Martin (Peter Graves) is a nuclear scientist observing the latest nuclear test from a two-seat fighter jet. After the detonation he sees a strange fireball (not a fireball from the blast) then he remembers nothing until he walks back through the gates of the local air force base. In fact his plane crashed and the pilot was killed. It seems impossible he could have lived through the crash, but here he is. Apparently normal.

Well, almost normal. He does seem a bit jumpy, and where did that strange scar on his chest come from? It looks like the scar from an operation, but he’s never had an operation in his life. Both the doctors and the FBI are worried about. They think he may now be a security risk.


After behaving particularly oddly he is given a dose of truth serum, and tells his strange story. He awoke after the crash in an underground cavern and discovered that he had died in the crash. The aliens tell him this; the aliens who brought him back to life. Now they want his help. They want information about the next nuclear test.

Dr Martin soon finds out just what the aliens’ intentions are. They are going to invade the earth after eliminating its present inhabitants by means of giant bugs and lizards. Dr Martin has been hypnotised by them and has no choice but to obey their orders.


Now he has recovered from the hypnosis, but how to make people believe his story?

The aliens apparently draw their power from atomic tests, but strangely enough they also rely on electricity provided by the power company. If Dr Martin can find a way of cutting off their power there may be a chance of stopping them. Unfortunately everybody in authority is convinced that Dr Martin is crazy.

The aliens are especially goofy-looking with huge eyebrows and giant bug eyes. The special effects are ultra-cheap; in fact everything about this movie is ultra-cheap. The giant bugs are just regular bugs.


This is not just an alien invasion movie and a giant bug movie; it’s also an alien abduction movie (and it may be the movie that kicked off the whole “aliens performing operations on abductees” thing).

Peter Graves is pretty bad, although he’s better than the rest of the cast. W. Lee Wilder does a rather pedestrian job of directing. The script is pleasingly silly with plenty of the technobabble that fans of this genre (myself definitely included) love so much.


The Region 4 DVD that I saw was a public domain disc and it is truly abysmal. Picture quality is atrocious and the sound cuts out completely in places. Luckily it was a rental. You wouldn’t want to pay more than a dollar for a public domain copy of this movie.

The movie itself is fun in the manner of low-budget 50s sci-fi and if you enjoy that sort of thing it’s worth a look.


CavedogRob said...

I would say this was the first alien abduction movie (and discovered by hypnotism)! Director Lee Wilder also made the first abominable snowman movie SNOW BEAST!

hedgehogplop said...

Stumbled across your blog researching exploitation films for my own blog, and ended up losing an hour reading your posts. Just wanted to give you a nod and a high-five for how thoughtfully your reviews are presented. Cheers for bringing a classy intellect (and good human-natured humor) to a genre that most reviewers treat with eager sleaze. Looking forward to exploring your other blogs and enjoying your commentary!