Invaders from Mars - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Invaders from Mars Reviews

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½ October 24, 2012
A cult sci-fi movie--Swirling Sand!!
½ May 8, 2012
Despite very limited sets and some intentional, and unintentionally, stilted performances and the stylistic portrayal of outdoor scenery on obvious sound stages all lend an eerie atmosphere that is instantly recognizable. The amazing use of inventively simple effects shots show the love-on-a-budget film making that was the hallmark of the best 50's alien invasion flicks.
Super Reviewer
½ April 7, 2012
The movie starts out rather well, but after the first act it stagnates into a low budget "War of the Worlds". By the end I was left with the feeling that this film could have been so much more than it was. The film does a pretty good job in pulling the viewer into the shoes of the film's child protagonist as he slowly witnesses people slowly falling to the martians control. Seeing the boy's caring parents turn into heartless puppets controlled by the martians is unnerving, and provides an interesting set-up. However, the moment the military gets involved in the plot, the movie dissolves into a typical 50's "martians vs. the Earth" affair and the boy becomes a secondary character until the very end. It is almost funny how the military keeps allowing the boy to hang around them while they try to defeat the aliens. Way too much stock footage is used that pans out the film's run time and the reveal of the martians is a total letdown. The martians look like grown-men wearing brown onesies (you can actually see the zippers on their backs) and the alien leader is a really fake-looking tentacled head. The spaceship set is cheesy to the point that it almost gives off a trippy surreal vibe. Despite a decent but drawn-out climax, the gets bogged down a whole level because of it's terrible ending. If the movie had stuck with the child's point of view and been consistent with it's psychological themes, then this movie could have been a nice little gem.
½ April 2, 2012
Although this film is primarily a cautionary tale about the dangers of entertaining communist thoughts during McCarthy's 1950's (a point in the nations history when we seemed nearly as communist -- or at least fascist as the countries which we were in fear of) a more universal and terrifying theme seems to pervade in the earlier sections of this film -- the seemingly Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde complex of a volatile, explosive parent.

The film begins with a young boy in his room at night. His alarm clock set to an ungodly hour in the morning so that he might indulge himself in his favorite activity -- watching the heavenly bodies which lie beyond the reaches of this terrestrial sphere. When his stargazing is disrupted by a twosome of pleasantly loving parents who think it better for the boy to sleep through the night instead of being up all hours of it, he reluctantly climbs back into the feathery comfort of his bed.

Suddenly the boy is woken again, but this time by the fierce crashes of what seems to be a thunder storm. Rushing to his telescope to catch a peak he witnesses one of the most frightening moments in the film -- a glowing green flying saucer which floats across the sky until it comes to rest in a sand pit just beyond a black wooden fence.

Listening to someone speak of the horror elements of this picture does not seem all that disturbing upon transmission, however, the way in which this film deals with many of the visual and psychological elements is quite effective. Think of what it would be if you, as a young boy, looking out your window at night and saw something bizarre and completely out of the ordinary taking place just in front of you house. It's a scary thought, even for adults. This is the same idea which is used here: placing a character in the safest place possible (there bedroom in their mother and father's care) and make it unsafe.

As the movie progresses adults begin to end up missing, beginning with the boys loving father. When he returns, all of the kindness has been methodically drained from his demeanor. He is a different man, almost unrecognizable by his wife and son. He is cruel and belligerent, swatting his little boy to the ground when frustrated with him. Of course, he has been taken over by the aliens, or "Mutants" (Mew-tants) as they are called in the picture. The same fate is reserved for two police officers along with their chief, an army general as well as a little girl who dies of a brain hemorrhage which is brought on by the metallic chips which they insert at the base of the skull in order to control their unwitting human puppets. Everyone whose mind is taken captive is exactly the same: cold and calculating.

This notion of your loving parents coming home one day and being someone completely different and altogether untrustworthy is a fear that many children have and which too many children deal with every day. As I watched the film, it seemed to be less and less about communists and how they want to take over our happy lives, and more about the effects of debilitating substances upon the people we love. The boys father, when he reappeared after having been missing for a few hours, could have easily come from a bar where he had one or two too many. The same thought process seemed to be in the works here and this is where the film is truly disturbing.

Forget about the "Mutants" and their green valor suits or the entire last third of the picture when the army gets involved. This film is most powerful when it sticks to the domestic angle and the destruction of a home by a power -- or substance -- which is beyond the ability of a child to affect.
½ March 19, 2012
It's little more than a platform upon which the impending invasions could build.
flixsterman
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2012
The quintessential science-fiction film of the 1950s. Ripe with cold-war innuendo, Invaders from Mars has, in a sense, become a parody of itself. It's as if someone merged John Carpenter's The Thing with an old episode of Leave it to Beaver.
January 22, 2012
Lame. Cheap costumes, an annoying kid, and a stupid plot. Not even enjoyable for b-grade sci-fi
½ January 22, 2012
I want you to come outside first. There's something I want to show you.

The young boy of a scientist spends numerous hours at the local observatory staring into space and discussing various theories with his father. One inauspicious night a spacecraft crashes in his backyard. When his father investigates the occurrence, it quickly becomes apparent he has been infected by the aliens. Can the boy convince the local authorities something strange is going on before it is too late?

"That would make for a pretty effective weapon, wouldn't it?"
"Yes, sir. There wouldn't be an effective counter weapon."

William Cameron Menzies, director of The Spider, The Green Cockatoo, The Thief of Baghdad, The Whip Hand, and The Maze, delivers Invaders from Mars. The storyline for this picture is outstanding and an amazing piece of work for this time period. The plot is intense are well delivered and the acting is very good. The cast includes Arthur Franz, Helena Carter, Jimmy Hunt, and Leif Erickson.

"I wish you'd please learn to mind your own business."

Invaders from Mars may be the best science fiction picture from this era (and there were numerous science fiction pictures from this time period). I was thoroughly impressed by the intensity displayed throughout this film. The sequences were fairly drastic and the plot was gripping and very entertaining. I strongly recommend this classic.

"Could be a mother ship."

Grade: A
December 10, 2011
Quite terrible, even by 1950s sci-fi B-movie standards. The aliens are hilariously bad and the ending 'twist' with the 'whole film recap' is especially disappointing.
August 24, 2011
It was 5 bucks in the cheap bin at the bstore. Woao they grab people and insert implants into the back of their brain stems and create mindcontrolled slaves. Crazy, man. And everyone says these silly movies were metaphors for McCarthyism. It has a zipper up its back- that is obviously McCarthyism!
½ July 20, 2011
Remember seeing this as a kid but had no idea what it was called... all i remebered was the mound at the bottom of the garden and the swallowing sand!!
Traumatic viewing for a 9yr old at the time i saw it!!
Little bit lame now as to be expected, but still very entertaining and also unintentionally amusing!
½ June 21, 2011
This is THE movie that scared the cr*p out of me when I was a kid. It's still creepy.
May 29, 2011
Didn't mind having this invade my television.
½ April 3, 2011
3.4.2011
The production design looked cool, in a weird version of 50s B-scifi. The story didn't have much surprises, but goings were mostly solid. I liked the use of colors. Then there were men in green suits running around. Oh, okay. So that was it.
December 24, 2010
Some cool design, entertaining goof/campiness, and a few pretty effective scenes, but I'm not really sure why it's considered a sci-fi classic.
½ December 14, 2010
A boy finds Martians are taking over the minds of locals. Very dated. Police actually lock up the youngster in a prison cell after telling his story. I liked how the mild mannered Dad became very rude to his wife and son under Martian control.
Super Reviewer
½ November 7, 2010
Another great sci-fi movie from the fifties, a young kid must prove that aliens are taking over, sort of like the Blob meets Invasion of the body Snatchers, but with a kid. I really liked it.
November 7, 2010
Great low budget sci fi classic!
½ November 6, 2010
Although this film is primarily a cautionary tale about the dangers of entertaining communist thoughts during McCarthy's 1950's (a point in the nations history when we seemed nearly as communist -- or at least fascist as the countries which we were in fear of) a more universal and terrifying theme seems to pervade in the earlier sections of this film -- the seemingly Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde complex of a volatile, explosive parent.

The film begins with a young boy in his room at night. His alarm clock set to an ungodly hour in the morning so that he might indulge himself in his favorite activity -- watching the heavenly bodies which lie beyond the reaches of this terrestrial sphere. When his stargazing is disrupted by a twosome of pleasantly loving parents who think it better for the boy to sleep through the night instead of being up all hours of it, he reluctantly climbs back into the feathery comfort of his bed.

Suddenly the boy is woken again, but this time by the fierce crashes of what seems to be a thunder storm. Rushing to his telescope to catch a peak he witnesses one of the most frightening moments in the film -- a glowing green flying saucer which floats across the sky until it comes to rest in a sand pit just beyond a black wooden fence.

Listening to someone speak of the horror elements of this picture does not seem all that disturbing upon transmission, however, the way in which this film deals with many of the visual and psychological elements is quite effective. Think of what it would be if you, as a young boy, looking out your window at night and saw something bizarre and completely out of the ordinary taking place just in front of you house. It's a scary thought, even for adults. This is the same idea which is used here: placing a character in the safest place possible (there bedroom in their mother and father's care) and make it unsafe.

As the movie progresses adults begin to end up missing, beginning with the boys loving father. When he returns, all of the kindness has been methodically drained from his demeanor. He is a different man, almost unrecognizable by his wife and son. He is cruel and belligerent, swatting his little boy to the ground when frustrated with him. Of course, he has been taken over by the aliens, or "Mutants" (Mew-tants) as they are called in the picture. The same fate is reserved for two police officers along with their chief, an army general as well as a little girl who dies of a brain hemorrhage which is brought on by the metallic chips which they insert at the base of the skull in order to control their unwitting human puppets. Everyone whose mind is taken captive is exactly the same: cold and calculating.

This notion of your loving parents coming home one day and being someone completely different and altogether untrustworthy is a fear that many children have and which too many children deal with every day. As I watched the film, it seemed to be less and less about communists and how they want to take over our happy lives, and more about the effects of debilitating substances upon the people we love. The boys father, when he reappeared after having been missing for a few hours, could have easily come from a bar where he had one or two too many. The same thought process seemed to be in the works here and this is where the film is truly disturbing.

Forget about the "Mutants" and their green valor suits or the entire last third of the picture when the army gets involved. This film is most powerful when it sticks to the domestic angle and the destruction of a home by a power -- or substance -- which is beyond the ability of a child to affect.
½ October 21, 2010
One of those 'good bad' films on the early 50's, in the sci fi craze that hit hollywood due to UFO Sightings around the US at the time.

This film isn't of the highest quality, but it is enjoyable none the less, the cheesy dialogue, very unnatural acting just adds to the overall flavour of the film. The aliens are atrocious but there so bad it's funny, the plot is folly but just go with it.

It is worth a watch, especially if it's 2am and it's on ABC, a mighnight movie nothing else.
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