Posted by Sam Hayes On Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Our second film in the unit today was 'Invaders from Mars', directed by William Cameron Menzies who was the production designer for'Gone with the Wind' and 'The Thief of Baghdad'. The film was released a few years before 'Invaders of the Bodysnatchers' but on a smaller budget and is less 'grown up'. The film to me seemed like Sci-fi in a child's mind and from their perspective, whereas Bodysnatchers was very much an adult-based film.
The plot is based around a large sandpit next to a house where little Jimmy Hunt lives with his parents, when an alien spaceship lands in the pit, his parents become 'mind-controlled by them' and lure people from the town into the pit to join their alien cult. The film follows little Jimmy as he tries to explain and fight against the alien's ambition. The reason for the alien visit is explained later, they are there to destroy a 'inter-planetary' missile that has been developed in the town that could destroy their ship, also, they are wanting to find a way to take over the humans so they never become extinct.
I can see how some of Phil's explanation of the 'Uncanny' is portrayed in this film, with little Jimmy's mother and father suddenly being slightly different and the eery feeling of them not being his parents at all. The film also took the now cliched (Though back then not) ending of 'It was all a dream'. Perhaps I'll wake up in a minute and have to re-write this blog post. I hope not though, my fingers are tired.