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Teenagers from Outer Space (1959)

Teenagers from Outer Space poster.jpg

Aka The Gargon Terror. Hoodlums with rayguns! Rebellious alien Derek (David Love) objects to his colleague Thor (Bryan Grant) vaporising Sparky the dog when they hit Earth looking for a suitable place to raise Gargons, yummy lobster thingummies they like to eat. Derek runs off with the dog’s tag to find his owner and falls for Betty (Dawn Anderson) who lives with her Grandpa. Thor kills everyone he meets in his quest to track down Derek. Derek and Betty stop an alien invasion and eventually Derek returns to his home planet, reunited with the Leader who turns out to be his father! Good, wholesome, indie exploitation fare (shot on a budget of $20,000) that was made by triple threat writer/producer/director/ AND editor/composer  UCLA film grad Tom Graeff (playing Betty’s boyfriend) and picked up by Warners – and did terrible business. One exhibitor said they’d never had such a bad film in 15 years. They blast the flesh off humans! Well, what did you expect?! The raygun that turns victims into skeletons was an effect that was resurrected in Mars Attacks! Graeff had worked for Roger Corman which inspired him to make this in and around Hollywood in 1956/57. He then got publicly lambasted after petitioning to change his name to Jesus Christ II and moved to the east coast for several years. He worked as an editor and then tried to sell a screenplay for an unprecedented sum of money before being outed as JCII. Unable to find work, he committed suicide shortly thereafter. What – you wanted a happy ending?


About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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