Weekend Movie – Teenagers from Outer Space

He promised he’d never leave

1950s small town horror story.

(Science Fiction)

For Friday the 13th it had to be a spooky movie.

A space ship lands on planet earth. The explorers are looking for suitable planets to turn into gardens for their Gargons to raise in a safe distance to their home planet. The aliens are from an advanced society, shaped by an absence of love or family. Amongst them is a young crew member who has read a book about how life once was. Derek (David Love) believes there was evidence for intelligent life and does not want to sacrifice life on earth for raising Gargons to feet his people. While Derek manages to escape, the crew find out he is the son of the leader. Thor (Bryan Grant), with a hunger for killing, is sent to follow him and the ship leaves earth to fetch the “livestock”.

We are the superior race. We have the superior weapons.

(Captain)

Soon, Derek  meets Betty Morgan (Dawn Anderson) and her grandpa (Harvey B. Dunn) who have a room to let in house 1243 and before you know it, Derek is off to enjoy life with Betty. In the meantime Thor chases after the couple but always just misses them, leaving a trail of dead people behind him. I suppose this bit of the plot is meant to create some suspense. The relationship between Betty and Derek turns into romance. He confides in her and promises not to leave earth.

You make me angry but I like you very much.

(Derek)

Unnoticed in a cave near the landing site, a Gargon has matured and is getting pretty hungry. In order to kill the Gargon Betty and Derek need a broken disintegrator raygun and lots of electricity. How they get that is by far the best dialog of the movie. Eric learns the truth about his father and when the space fleet arrives, he knows his fate…

Can earth be saved?

Will the resistance win?

Will there be a remarkable explosion?

It is a bit tough to digest.

If it’s all about the first impressions, this is the only DVD I can recall that has one feature on the main menu only: PLAY. (Can you?)

Looking back it makes you wonder why anyone would miss the good old times. Betty’s female weakness solves as many problems as it creates, not once do you see a woman driving a car and when the nice African-American guy appears, one can’t help but wonder when he gets killed. (Admittedly, he lives longer than anybody else that dies. He is also the nicest.) All that is left of the dead people is what looks like a school skeleton. It all feels a bit clunky.

At first glance, it seems as if  Teenagers from Outer Space could’ve needed a bit more work but this movie has actually been put together by a single person (including cinematography, music and an acting role) on no budget.  Tom Graeff clearly had a vision. Graeff had a breakdown after the release of this movie and may never have recovered from it. He left Hollywood in the mid-60s and ended his life in 1970.

Judge for yourself; due to failed copyright renewal, this movie has entered the public domain, so it’s just a quick internet search away.

Why we love it: The Teens are Tweens, the love is 50s and who doesn’t like a lobster monster.

Recommended for: people with big questions about the state of mankind and the universe, fans of low budget productions, Sci-Fi and the Night of the Living Dead soundtrack

David Love (Derek)
Dawn Anderson (Betty Morgan)
Bryan Grant (Thor)
Harvey B. Dunn (Gramps)
Tom Graeff (Joe Rogers)
1959, Warner Bros. Pictures
B&W
Written, produced, directed by Tom Graeff

If you spot the scene in which you see the skeleton’s metal stand, I give away one copy of Baywatch Comic Stories from 1996. Seriously. First come first served.

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