Archive for March 18, 2009

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

Posted in Classics, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , on March 18, 2009 by Mystery Man


The film is set in 1956, a year before the first satellite, Sputnik I went into orbit. In the film, “Project Skyhook,” a U.S. effort to launch a dozen satellites, is visited by a flying saucer. A misunderstanding leads to the aliens being fired on, and they retaliate by destroying the project site, killing everyone except the two principal scientists, Dr. and Mrs. Marvin (a married couple). The sequence of events quickly spirals out of control and leads to a full scale invasion. Flying saucers attack Washington, D.C., Paris, London and Moscow. In the end, the alien saucers are defeated over the skies of Washington by a device using high-power sound coupled with an electric field that stops the saucers’ propulsion systems.


In the 50s, sci films such as this, The Day the Earth Stood Still, 20 Million Miles to EarthPlan 9 From Outer Space, Forbidden Planet, and a slew of others were all the rage. I must say that after watching this film, I was really impressed with the quality of it. They say it’s a B-movie, but I’m not quite sure I agree with that.

Hugh Marlowe is the lead male in this film, but this role has similarities to his character in The Day the Earth Stood Still.He was overprotective to the point that he nearly doomed the earth. On top of that, the military is trigger happy. Some things never change.

I’ve said before that Ray Harryhausen is a genius. There were no stop motion monsters in this film, but he was in charge of the flying saucers. Don’t quote me on this, but I believe this film is responsible for the idea of flying saucers being a giant, er…saucer.

This is a classic sci-fi film that any fan of the genre cannot call themself a fan without seeing. I would have liked to have seen more of the aliens and for their suits to not make them look like Robby the robot. The scenes where the aliens go on a rampage and destroy Washington, D.C. reminded me of the game Destroy All Humans. As a matter of fact, when they unmasked the alien, he looked a lot like that. I wonder….

Do I think you should watch this? Well, as I say with all classic films, don’t watch if you’re not a fan of the genre or period. If you can’t appreciate and remember that it was a different time then it is better that you stay away than watch and do nothing but criticize the film. Having said that, yes, I do recommend. This is a good film, with an amazing climax, especially for the time. I would have liked for there to have been more carnage earlier in the film, but that’s a personal opinion.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars