Monday, April 8, 2013

Invaders From Mars (1953)

There's one spoiler that I ALWAYS give away, without the slightest twinge of conscience, and that's the old "it was all a dream" routine. There are plenty of classic movies (like THE WIZARD OF OZ, for example), that end up with the protagonist regaining consciousness, but you don't feel cheated at the end, and when I give it away, it doesn't matter. And if the suspense depended on you being fooled, well, you really ought to feel cheated. No one should feel cheated when the kid wakes up at the end of "Invaders From Mars", but even if you haven't seen it. Knowing that it's all a nightmare will make the implausible dialogue and weird sets go down much more comfortably. And it's a good nightmare. The silent cold stare of the alien commander (the head in the globe) still scares the shit out of me, and the odd Disneyish characters make it all the more nightmareish. There's a lot of sci-fi coming out of the fifties, but most of it was last fifties. This was four years pre-sputnik, and that gives it an odd, fairy tale feeling.

Thursday, April 4, 2013