“Unless Earth surrenders within 24 hours, we will begin a massive invasion.”
When invisible aliens from the moon embody corpses as part of a plan to take over the Earth, it’s up to scientists Dr. Penner (Philip Tonge) and Dr. Lamont (Robert Hutton) to discover an effective weapon against them.
This low budget sci-fi thriller features many classic tropes of 1950s cinema, including a mysterious invasion by aliens, threat of world domination, nuclear experimentation gone awry, and a beautiful young woman (Jean Byron) whose only real function in the film is to serve as a supportive love interest. Interestingly, an initial subplot about a scientist (John Carradine) who blows himself up while conducting research on atomic energy turns out to be little more than the narrative catalyst which brings the aliens down to Earth; atomic research is thus posited as a defining frontier which finally marks humankind as a threat to its more advanced intergalactic neighbors.
As to be expected for a B-budget film of this caliber, the special effects in Invisible Invaders are lame, and the acting is mostly sub-par. Fortunately, B-regular John Agar (who sounds uncannily like John Wayne) is suitably cast as the no-nonsense major, and British Philip Tonge (in one of his final roles) somehow manages to make campy lines such as “We need time… They must give it to us! They must!” and “Cyclic pulsations? It doesn’t make any sense at all!” sound semi-natural. It should also be noted that Invisible Invaders is a clear thematic precursor to George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, and will probably be of interest to sci fi/horror fans for this reason alone.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Philip Tonge as Dr. Penner
- John Agar as no-nonsense Major Jay
- A laughably hokey voiceover narration: “The walking dead were everywhere now — a vast army of destruction that could not be killed!”
No, but it’s recommended for those who enjoy campy, ultra-low-budget sci-fi flicks. It’s listed in the back of Peary’s book as a Camp Classic.