Wednesday, July 27, 2016

"I Married a Monster from Outer Space" (1958) d/ Gene Fowler, Jr.

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How do I love thee, woprophiles, let me elucidate upon the many ways. You hit my humble site yesterday like it was 2012 all over again, which coincidentally, was the high water mark for traffic on the Wop over the past decade. I don't know what I've done to deserve such attention, perhaps I forgot to button the flys on my Levi's 501's after hitting the khazi. Either way, your readership is a source for gladness and inspiration for me, and I'd very much like to see a whole lot more of it, in future. If you keep reading, I'll keep watching and writing. Danke! Tonight's review is a fifties sci-fi/horror classic with the granddaddy of exploitative titles, and despite the profuse number of bullet bra-enshrouded titties within, packs a heavy themed punch to this very day. It must have been broadcast twenty times on network television on Saturday afternoons back in the seventies, where I caught it many, many times. It goes like...

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"My vadge is neglected and the Rabbit Habit won't be invented for another fifty years...", groans Marge (Gloria Talbott).
When Marge's fiance-to-be (Tom Tryon) ducks out of a drape-tastic bachelor's party early, his body is soon enveloped in a cloud of smoke, after which his persona is adopted by a Morlock-esque alien from another world. After their wedding, Marge grows listless at the prospect of her new husband, who suddenly behaves quite differently from the man she originally agreed to marry, changing his former mannerisms to a bland, emotionless alternative, even disliking his own pet dogs, that he once dug highly. As time progresses, she notices all of Bill's former drinking buddies acting the exact same brand of strange, leading her to tail him on a stroll that surprisingly ends with him shedding his human form like a Harrington jacket, and climbing aboard a spacecraft. At least he ain't cheating on or beating you, sister. Meanwhile, other fellows are given the smoke cloud treatment, like some beat cops and even the Chief of Police, and Marge's declaration of her husband's unearthly possession soon fall upon mostly deaf (alien) ears.

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"I'm easier to get into than a Disney movie!",  purrs Francine (Valerie Allen).
After much cajoling, Bill explains to his  frustrated spouse that he is indeed one of the titular monsters from outer space, a race of male alien lifeforms whose females have gone extinct, and that he and his interstellar chums have come to this planet to impersonate human males, mate with their women, and therefore, prevent his race from further, complete extinction. Not only isn't Marge very cool with their strategy, she tries to leak the alien domination plot to others in town, but finds that the alien influence is more far reaching than before, and many citizens have been replaced by slimy beings from the stars. Except for her doctor, who begins to buy into her crazy tale, and forms a posse of angry humans to bring the flying saucer and its inhabitants up to specs with our inborn need for survival. The aliens are seemingly bulletproof, but not German Shepard-proof, and a pair of pooches wipes the lot out in the nick of time.Aboard the spacecraft, all abducted parties are found safe, and reunited with their loved ones, as a number of saucers are seen fleeing the planet's surface to the safety of the darkest reaches of space. Blueballed again.

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"My performance in The Nutcracker is being broadcast tonight on Playhouse 90, in color, no less...and now this!"
Besides being packed with the usual Cold War/Red Invasion allusions that we often saw in American movies of the era, there's also unusually strong sexual frustration here, coupled with an undercurrent of anti-marriage sentiment that was indeed rare for the time. Fowler, Jr. had directed I Was a Teenage Werewolf the year before, and went on to edit everything from 1968's Hang 'Em High to 1979's Skatetown U.S.A. during his long Hollywood career. Besides enjoying a prolific television career that spanned fifteen or so years, Gloria Talbott also scored roles in genre films like The Cyclops (1957) and Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (also 1957). Peter Baldwin went on to direct on several popular tv series like Sanford and Son, Newhart, and Murphy Brown, after scoring acting roles in genre fare like 1970's The Weekend Murders and Luigi Bazzoni's La donna del lago aka/ The Possessed (1965). On the scale, Monster earns a pair of Wops, and always makes for an entertaining retro-viewing for any vintage sci-fi or horror buffs out there. Score yourselves a copy today!

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"...and that cloud looks like Imre Nagy, hanging from the gallows."
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