******* Jimmy Hunt sees the landing of a flying saucer from his bedroom window.******
Not to be confused with the atrocious Tobe Hooper retread, William Cameron Menzies’ “Invaders From Mars” is a small gem of a film; the kind of movie that is fondly remembered as a troubling twilight half-dream that buries deeply in the back of your mind and sends involuntary shivers down your spine. It is also a heartening example of the truly creative creative instinct which was able to flourish in Hollywood despite the restrictions of the Production Code, and a extremely fine example of that same creativity triumphing over a paucity of budget.
A deceptively simple tale of alien invasion as seen through the eyes of a twelve year old boy (Jimmy Hunt) who one night is awakened by what he thinks is a lightning flash, but soon realizes is actually a descending flying saucer which buries itself in a mysterious sandpit just beyond a slight hill next to his house. Naturally, being a child no one believes him and he begins to doubt himself until…
The film resembles a prescient children’s version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, although Jimmy’s anxiety is less about global takeover than fear of a permanent fracturing of his own familial structure. With the escalation of events as the aliens begin their takeover, the film becomes a fascinating study of childhood angst concerning fears of, first, parental abandonment and then a creeping distrust of adult authority.
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