Invisible Invaders

 (188)
5.01 h 6 min195913+
Spine-tingling excitement builds with each narrow escape in this sci-fi thriller about a nightmarish attack on Earth that begins when aliens inhabit human corpses.
Directors
Edward L. Cahn
Starring
John AgarJean Byron
Genres
Science FictionHorror
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Producers
Robert E. Kent
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4.4 out of 5 stars

188 global ratings

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Raw Movie ReviewsReviewed in the United States on June 10, 2015
3.0 out of 5 stars
Early Days of the Atomic Age Sci-fi Movie With Some Surprising Staying Power.
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Back in the 50s and 60s just about every movie dealing with monsters, aliens, weird phenomena, supernatural, preternatural, and everything in between had one thing in common - Atomic weapons. Radioactive fallout was causing insects and animals to mutate into giant monstrosities, atomic energy was lifting man off the planet tossing us across the stars and into unknown peril, drawing the attention of alien civilization. The ideas were endless. Sometimes good and sometimes not so good. In the case of Invisible Invaders (1959) it wasn't too bad.

Amazon Prime has a slew of old classic science fiction and monster movies and most of them are junk. I'm not trying to disparage anyone childhood memories here but let's be honest, just as it is today, a large portion of the movies made back then weren't very good. One could literally spend hours digging through the catalog searching for a decent movie to watch and come up short. Well today is your lucky day. I've conducted that dive and located a pretty good movie for you.

Invisible Invaders is an alien invasion movie. The concept is straightforward, mankind's development of atomic weapons signals to a super advanced race of invisible aliens that the Earth is now a threat. The aliens arrive, speak with one person who isn't terribly important or in a position of power, and demand worldwide surrender within 24 hours. The aliens are far superior in technology, using cloaking technology to hide themselves and their spacecraft. In order to communicate with humans they reanimate the corpses of the dead. When this fails they use the army of reanimated dead to destroy the Earth.

Watching older films within the genre can be painful or fascinating, or both. Invisible Invaders holds up very well for being fifty-six years old. The screenplay leans on narration to transition through time and location, which is common with older classics. A trite and silly romantic bond is written in for two of the main characters, another staple of classic genre. What's most fascinating is the use of zombies to take over the world. Sure they aren't the fleshing eating kind, and they are all white adult males wearing suits, but the idea is still pretty prophetic when you look at how fascinated media is with zombies today.
12 people found this helpful
SciFi-Kaiju-Guy @ TeePublicReviewed in the United States on July 20, 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
Agar & Carradine battle to the death! Brace yourself for 64 minutes of heart-stopping, pulse-pounding, nerve-racking non-action!
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BOTTOM LINE: While not one of Hollywood's best alien invasion films from the good old days, it's far from the worst. Fans of fantastic cinema and low budget sci-fi programmers should be delighted with how terrific this old B flick looks here in hi-def. If you're a fan of such fare then this gorgeous Blu-ray edition of INVISIBLE INVADERS comes highly recommended. 4 STARS

THE STORY (contains major spoilers): Threatened by our nuclear proliferation and newly developed rocket program, paranoid aliens decide to attack Earth before we can take the fight to them. They have the advantage because they're invisible, so do they slip in unseen and swiftly eradicate us? Of course not! They instead opt to inhabit fresh human corpses, maneuver the reanimated bodies into the announcement booths of local sporting events and make vague, non-specific threats. Pretty terrifying, huh? In the meantime, a couple of whitebread science types hidden away in a military bunker struggle to devise a method of stopping the invasion before all mankind is wiped out. The adrenaline-fueled climax features jumpin' John Agar in saggy radiation-proof pajamas, riding atop a radar dish-equipped International Harvester panel wagon that idles aimlessly around the Bronson Canyon area. When an army of Invaders show up, (a few middle-aged white guys in greasepaint wearing dusty three-piece suits who wander about, looking extremely bored), Agar fires the super science weapon developed by the two sequestered scientists: a sonic ray rifle/backpack thingamabob, obviously constructed from PVC pipe, wood and a handful of TV vacuum tubes. With it he stuns the deadly aliens, who promptly collapse and reveal their "true" forms, (the monster costume from "IT! The Terror From Beyond Space," optically distorted & blurred). The creatures curl up and dissolve into foaming piles of soapsuds. Sadly, the glowing mothership/saucer at the end of the film is literally a cheesy matte painting, with stock explosion footage superimposed over it.

THOUGHTS: One of the lesser ET invasion flicks from the golden age of sci-fi. The plot is routine, with plenty of head-scratching moments that make you wonder if the screenwriters for this sort of thing ever bothered to proofread their work before submitting it. The mostly set-bound film is jam-packed with wall-to-wall exposition, a poorly-staged fist fight or two, and plenty of stock footage. Thankfully it only assaults us for a little over an hour, though it often feels much longer. And yet there's just something about this film that I like. I picked up a rough-looking copy from PD supplier Sinister Cinema decades ago and, for whatever reason, it got under my skin. (Like a rash, I suppose?) The inclusion of two of low budget sci-fi's best Johns: Agar & Carradine, are likely the strongest reasons for my affinity for INVISIBLE INVADERS. The addition of Brit ex-pat Philp Tonge, (the Macy's manager from 1934's Miracle on 34th Street), gives the flick a touch of class with his sincere, angsty turn as Dr. Adam Penner. Genre thesps Jean Byron and Paul Langton are also on hand to up the B-level star power a touch. The few original F/X shots are kinda cool and the zombie make-ups are effective and surprisingly gruesome for the time period in which these were filmed. Most of the remaining "action" comes courtesy of reams of natural disaster stock footage. In all honesty, the best thing about INVISIBLE INVADERS is the flashy trailer for it which, like so many films of this type, promised far more excitement than it actually delivers. But hey, what do you honestly expect from a movie that was slapped together in less than a week?

THE BLU-RAY: One of their strongest efforts yet, the Kino Lorber release of INVISIBLE INVADERS looks stunning, quite frankly. The picture is clean, solid and almost entirely free of dirt & debris. No pixelation, artifacting or edge enhancement was detected. Focus is razor sharp without the crush (video noise) that often results when sharpness is dialed up on older films to maximize picture clarity. The techs at Kino Lorber are either getting really good at achieving a better balance with their remastering process or else they got their hands on a print of the film that was in pristine condition. Audio is clear & level and the soundmix is loud & proud! Bonus features include a full-length audio commentary with film historian Tom Weaver, the film's theatrical trailer and the preview for another recent Kino Lorber Blu-ray release, The Magnetic Monster.
13 people found this helpful
James C GirasaReviewed in the United States on October 21, 2018
3.0 out of 5 stars
Boring, low budget 50's sci-fi with a nice print
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This review is for the Blu-Ray edition of "Invisible Invaders" released by Kino-Lorber in July, 2016.

This movie was made in 1959 and has had mixed reactions as to it's quality. I am a big fan of 1950's science fiction but I am not a fan of this movie. More on that in the 'Comments' section below.

BLU-RAY & EXTRA'S: For those who are looking to purchase this as an upgrade, the picture is quite nice and as usual
Kino-Lorber does an excellent job with providing a restored picture. The picture is sharp and the contrast is good. Overall I give the picture a 8/10.
The movie is shown in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio.
As far as the extra's go, there is:
1) Commentary track with film historian Tom Weaver. This is one of those commentary tracks that tells the biographies of everyone involved, not my favorite kind. However, Weaver is a pretty entertaining commentator. He comments on the scenes wherever he feels it's necessary. He makes no secret that this is not one of his favorite films.
2)There are two trailers
3)Subtitles

PLOT/SUMMARY:The movie opens with Dr. Karol Noymann (John Carradine), a scientist, being killed. He is only on screen for seconds before this happens. As a result, Dr. Adam Penner, a co-worker, resigns. At Noymann's funeral, an invisible alien takes over his body. He confronts Penner and tells him that he has one day to convince earth to surrender to the aliens or earth will be destroyed. The alien gives him a brief demonstration to show him that their force is invisible. They have been plotting their attack from the moon.
Penner tells his Dr. John Lamont and his daughter, Phyllis. He asks Lamont to convince the government of what is going on since they won't listen to him. The government ignores the warnings and then the aliens proceed to warn earth on their own by taking over the broadcast booth of a few sporting events. The aliens take over the bodies of the dead and use them for their attack on humanity.
Major Bruce Jay (John Agar) takes, Dr. Penner, Dr. Lamont and Phyllis to a bunker. While at the bunker, everyone works on coming up with a way to stop the aliens. They conclude that they must trap one so that they can study it, find a weakness, and stop the alien invasion.

A QUESTION I'D LIKE ANSWERED: Why exactly do the aliens need to take over the bodies of the dead? It would be understandable if they could control them without possessing their bodies. However, the dead seem to need one person per body. So why not just stay invisible and attack without the cumbersome dead bodies? I thought it might be because they couldn't exist in our atmosphere but they were walking around and didn't seem to have an issue leaving the body in the pressure chamber.

PRODUCTION/COMMENTS: This was a fairly low budget movie that spent anything they could on getting a few name actors (Agar, Carradine) along with the purchase of quite a bit of stock footage. The budget was just over $100,000.

-The alien tells LaMont & Co. that earth will be given one warning. They then proceed to give earth two warnings.
-The airplane that crashes into the mountain is clearly aiming for an 'X' marked on the mountain.
-How exactly does somebody who walks like a zombie and is covered in blood manage to walk into an arena, go through the turnstiles, pass security and make it all the way to the broadcast booth without anyone noticing?
-'Night of the Living Dead' often gets credit for being the first 'walking dead' movie, but clearly this one predates that one by almost 10 years.
-As has been pointed out by others, this movie has distinct similarities to the famously bad "Plan 9 From Outer Space." Most notably, aliens using the dead to do their bidding.
-As with most 'walking dead' movies, the 'walking dead' move agonizingly slow. It makes you wonder how they ever beat anyone in a fight.
-I've read other reviews and comments and was surprised to see that many people said a positive point is that this movie moves along quite nicely. After watching the movie again, I guess I see the point. But, I never felt that way while watching it. The movie felt slow and plodding even if it really was moving along. I did not like this movie and it is probably my least favorite of the John Agar 50's movies. The plot seemed to make no sense and there was never any feeling that earth was going to lose.
-It's been rightly pointed out that this movie's use of an 'invisible' enemy is an obvious way to save money on production costs!
-I was surprised to see John Agar's character, Major Bruce Jay, shoot and kill an earth person. I thought that didn't bode well and that being that this was the 50's that his character would end up dying. Later on in the movie, he gives an explanation as to why he killed the farmer. He says it was to protect Phyllis' father. Obviously this explanation was included because the censors either warned them or they had the same reservations I did.
-I thought for sure that Dr. Penner was going to die after it became clear that Phyllis was falling for the Major. They seemed to be setting him up for a 'death' scene. He was increasingly becoming antagonistic as the movie went on and was showing cowardice. Perhaps, the short shooting schedule and a rewrite changed things? We'll probably never know.
-You can see the alien's briefly in a translucent appearance. Fans of Paul Blaisdell's (monster costume designer) movies will notice that they used the monster suit from 'It! The Terror From Beyond Space.'

FINALLY: Why can't aliens just co-exist with us? Why do they have to kill everyone or force everyone to surrender. They could have just gone directly to the President. Why go to some lowly retired scientist?

RECOMMENDATIONS/CONCLUSIONS: I'm giving the plot a 1.5 stars. I'm giving the extra's 3 stars mainly because it has a commentary track and you get the subtitles, which are important to me. The picture quality is 4 stars. Overall I'm giving this release 3 stars.

Recommended for fans of 50's science fiction movies who want the best print available of a movie from this time period. The print is currently the best out there.

The movie itself is in my opinion, well below average, even for the time period. I think that this is better suited in a collection.

However, thanks to Kino Lorber for making this movie available with a high quality print.
2 people found this helpful
LandruReviewed in the United States on August 6, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
In Defense of the Indefensible
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I upgraded to the bluray of this film not because it merited being seen in higher definition, but rather because my all-time favorite old horror movie historian Tom Weaver did the commentary track. Interestingly, he actually begins by saying he hates this movie. He gives us the usual cool information behind the production you're not likely to get from many other specialists of these sorts of films, but he just takes no pleasure in the end result. (And this from someone who likes Attack of the Crab Monsters!) So, in light of all this, let me make my case to the contrary. This little stinker was filmed in under a week. And nobody was lavishing the production with planeloads of cash. In the realm of goofy, low-budge retreads, Invisible Invaders has John Carradine and John Agar, that cool invisible feet shuffling through sand effect, lumbering corpses, and a military hero who shoots an out-of-control civilian. With nothing but respect for Tom Weaver's knowledge and (for that matter) taste, let me submit that there's actually some fun to be had. (And after Mr. Weaver pointed out that the lab where Carradine blows himself up is identical to the lab later in the movie, and that our heroes get UN recognition while seated in . . .aw, hell, I'm not giving that away--listen to the commentary track--Invisible Invaders has actually gone up a notch for me.)
4 people found this helpful
Wayne P.Reviewed in the United States on February 4, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
The father (or son) of Plan 9
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First, let me say I am a real fan of the 50s and 60s B movies. I appreciate them for what they are and I don't try to compare them to current movies. So I had read some reviews of this movie, one that I hadn't seen, and decided to give it a try. What you have here is evidently the father of, and the inspiration for (or perhaps son of and inspired by - both were released on 1959), "Plan 9 From Outer Space." The plot is basically the same. Of course, here the acting is better than Plan 9, the sets are much better, and the directing is significantly better. But the plot is similar - invaders from another planet use corpses of humans to take over the earth. Samuel Newman wrote this screenplay, as he did "The Gian Claw" - and he reuses some of the names from that 1957 effort. Lots and lots of stock footage shots, too. Overall, it's an okay way to spend a little over an hour, but there is nothing really great or original here, even considering its time period.
mistercatReviewed in the United States on December 19, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
This is a B-movie and the aliens are invisible
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OK. John Carradine's character, a nuclear physicist, is blown up in some kind of nuclear experiment explosion that involves mixing two chemicals together. (I have degrees in Chemistry and Physics - that ISN'T going to happen). However, his body is still intact enough to be occupied by Invisible Invaders. So, not that much of an explosion after all. The alien sends his friend to warn the Earth to surrender, but doesn't even give him the invisible rock he is shown as "proof". The aliens, not so apparently, have made "everything on their planet invisible", which seems just TERRIBLY inconvenient. It gets better from there, but only by contrast. I enjoyed it for what it was to me as a young boy - terribly silly, done seriously.
Celia TrimboliReviewed in the United States on November 12, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Invisible Invaders (1959) (Kino Lorber DVD)
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Not the greatest of the late black-and-white 50's sci-fi films, but not bad. It seems some baddo aliens have decimated whatever life there was on our moon and occupied it as they did on other planets, and now want to do the same on Earth. Since they are invisible to us in our light spectrum that gives them an advantage. When they want to tell us that they are going to destroy us and take over, they take over a dead human body and lumber about while they pontificate at us. Now the Army sequesters some scientists at a secure bunker to come up with a way to battle the invaders. Made on the typical low budget it still is OK. The background music is the same as the music in The Angry Red Planet. The Kino Lorber DVD is excellent quality, probably the best available. Better than the Midnite Movies DVD version. Has some extras, including some trailers. The picture is crystal clear. Highly recommended.
2 people found this helpful
catskinnerReviewed in the United States on March 3, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great classic
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I always loved this movie, the blu ray is icing on the cake because its so crisp and clear, however being a die hard fan of audio commentarys alittle disapointed, yes it has audio commentary by Tom Weaver who I have listened to many of his commentaries and excellent ones, but here he says he doesn't much care for this movie right off the bat however if you excuse a couple of his personel opinions most of his commentary is very educational, but even though the blu rays says Dr Robert J Kiss a commentary contributor,error, he is not on the track, it may have been a better one if he was.
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