Review of “Teenagers from Outer Space”

Plot:

Aliens have come to earth to find a place to graze their dangerous and fast-growing “gargons,” lobster-like critters they use for food. A pesky dog barks at their flying saucer when it lands, so crew member Thor (Bryan Grant—not the god) whips out his ray gun and zaps him. Poor Sparky is left as only a skeleton. Another crew member, named Derek (David Love), notices the dog tag with an inscription, which could only have been made by an intelligent beings. He objects to Thor’s killing the creature and to the idea of using a planet where intelligent beings live to graze their predatory gargons. He’s told to get in line. Why should he care about the lives of “foreign beings”? Aren’t his group the “superior race”? (Superior to whom?) He escapes.

Among the earthlings, he meets the extra-friendly Gramps Morgan (Harvey B. Dunn) and his granddaughter, Betty (Dawn Bender), who think he’s come to rent a room from them. He’s pursued by trigger-happy Thor, who leaves a pile of articulated skeletons in his wake.

Thoughts:

Killing poor Sparky lets the viewer know that Thor is a thoroughly rotten bad’un. He’s unredeemable. Snidely Whiplash gets invited to your birthday party before Thor does. Derek, on the other hand has read a book. He knows of times when their people had families, brothers and sisters, when they weren’t robots.

The dialogue hits the ear as stilted and artificial. The alien invaders seem incapable of forming a contraction, as if they were speaking a language they’re unfamiliar with, even among themselves. The actors act, painfully and hollowly, following a plot that might have been feasible at certain points along the road.

While I will never watch this movie again, not for love or money, I can’t say that this wasn’t fun. The sight of the goofy lobster monster alone was worth the price of admission. And if the attachment for strings shows at times at the top of the skull? Well, how else do you hold up a skeleton?

According to Wikipedia, this was originally released as a double-feature with something called Gigantis Fire Monster. Because it’s been in public domain for so long, it’s since received treatment from Mystery Science Theater and Elvira’s Movie Macabre. It also appeared under titles like The Gargon Terror, The Boy from Outer Space, and The Ray Gun Terror.

Cast

David Love … Derek
Dawn Bender … Betty Morgan (as Dawn Anderson)
Bryan Grant … Thor
Harvey B. Dunn … Gramps Morgan
Tom Graeff … Joe Rogers (as Tom Lockyear)
King Moody … Spacecraft Captain (as Robert King Moody)

Director: Tom Graeff
Writer: Tom Graeff

Title: Teenagers from Outer Space
Released: June 3, 1959
Viewed: March 14, 2020

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

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