Tuesday, 7 October 2014
Attack from Space (1964)
So when I said I'd have to face more Starman movies sooner or later in this pack, I was kind of hoping it would be later. But there is only one film in the box between Atomic Rulers and this one, and it's a movie I've already seen (The Alpha Incident, a not entirely terrible low-rent Andromeda Strain). So we now get the third of the four mash-ups of the Super Giant series. I'm not sure what happened to the second one - you'd have to ask Mill Creek's compilers that.
As you might expect, this film is dreadful, but I am happy to report that it's a significantly more entertaining form of dreadful than the first one. I'd much rather watch something that leaves me goggle-eyed in wonder at its awfulness than something merely bad.
And boy, does this movie bring out the goggle-eyes moments.
We begin with the Starman intro. Council of Peace on the Emerald Planet yada yada. Terrible threat to the galaxy tiddly-dee. This time it's the Superians, an evil alien race bent on universal domination. And naturally, they're going to start with Earth.
Meanwhile, in a secret rocketship base in Japan, a malfunction forces the head scientist to order a new part. There are none on hand you see, because the part is supposed to be incapable of burning out. How does he arrange a replacement for this vital component?
He sends his teenage daughter and pre-teen son to the corner store. Yes, really.
As it turns out however, all the parts were recently purchased! There will be more in stock tomorrow, but the kids decide that somebody buying up all these doodads is suspicious and they follow the guy - who leads them right into a Superian trap!
The Head Scientist and his chief assistant are then blackmailed into coming to the Superian base, where we learn that these would-be universe conquerors need the doctor's rocket engine for their ship.
Seriously guys, you have cool uniforms and I dig the fact that you have men and women in your army, but if you need the help of 1960s Earthlings to make a working spaceship, conquering the Universe might be a big ask. Maybe just conquer Hoboken, instead.
Anyway, the Doctor hands over the engine to save his kids' life (in a nice change of pace, they're not all brave an stoic and beg him to not let the aliens kill them). He refuses to help the Superians build more ships though, so they brainwash all the captives.
At no sign throughout the rest of the movie will the four show the slightest sign of actually being under mental domination. I guess Superian brainwashing is about on a par with Superian rocket engines.
Of course, eventually Starman is going to swoop in to save the day, leading into a looooong and occasionally very silly sequence of technobabble and fisticuffs.