Making my way through this series and already I hit a dud. Dang.
Earth is paralyzed with fear over the sudden appearance of unidentifiable flying objects entering the Earth's atmosphere. In nearly 90% of all these flying objects being seen, they are soon found to be a trick of the light shining off of a plane or something similar - nothing to be worried about. But it's the other 10% that is slightly bothersome...no one knows what these things are. The Department of Defense in the U.S. has taken upon itself to decree that if the military sees any unidentifiable object whizzing through the atmosphere it is to be shot down on sight. Could they be alien invaders? Perhaps. But some want to study these phenomena rather than obliterate them.
Yeah, those look like spaceships to me...can't be nothing else.
Dr. Russell Marvin (Hugh Marlowe) and his beautiful new bride Carol (Joan Taylor) are spearheading Project Sky Hook - a project that will be sending 14 un-manned satellites into space to orbit the Earth. These satellites will help to pinpoint these unidentifiable objects before they get close to Earth...but the project isn't going as hoped. Firstly, while driving to the test site after their short marriage ceremony a UFO flutters right over Carol and Russell's car! Carol is amazed to have seen a flying saucer but Russell is sure that it can't be so, that it was just a trick of the light. The only proof remaining of this happening is that Russell captured the sound of the UFO on his tape recorder. But that's not the only alarming thing happening today. A visit from Carol's father - General John Hanley (Morris Ankrum) - reveals a horrible fear of Russell's.
Those satellite's that Project Sky Hook has been launching into space have proved to be faulty - they go up...but no one is able to receive signals from them. Almost as though they've vanished. Well, General Hanley has come to Russell to reveal that the reason the signals are not coming in from the satellite's is because something has been shooting them down. One was found in Panama, and two more were found on the plains of Africa. But...nothing on Earth has the capacity to shoot down a satellite from outer space. Russell tries to brush this news aside, maybe it's just a fluke, and the next day he proceeds with the launch of Satellite 12...but then something remarkable happens!! A UFO, a legitimate flying saucer, lands on the launch pad of the site and out walk men in metal suits. And they make it clear from the beginning that their visit is not a friendly one.
Hello? Washington? Yeah, we've got angry aliens on our doorstep...
These alien invaders that landed at the test site instantly start setting fire to the facility, destroying the remaining satellites and killing everyone there! The Marvins are the only ones left alive, and General Hanley is captured and taken aboard the space ship...what is the meaning of this hostility?! It isn't until after the saucer takes off with the General and Russell is puzzling over the events of the day when he realizes that his tape recorder intercepted a message from the aliens aboard the ship - they requested a meeting with Dr. Marvin and were coming to Project Sky Hook to communicate peacefully...well that literally went up in flames. So Russell reaches out to the aliens asking for another meeting...and it is aboard their spaceship that he learns the purpose of their visit to Earth. These aliens are the last of their kind, their planet was destroyed. They were the ones who took out the satellites, thinking they were weapons. And they have come to Earth to take it over as their new home planet. No! Invaders from outer space! They must be stopped!
Dammit alien scum! You leave our president alone!
This was a very fun movie - I've never seen a 50's era alien invasion movie before so I was excited to check out my first. But as far as Ray Harryhausen's talents go, I feel like this movie was a little bit of a dud. The UFOs weren't anything fancy and the aliens were FAR from intriguing! They looked like metallic mushroom men! Boring! Regardless of the less than stellar animation though, I still enjoyed the plot and the characters so this movie was not a total wash. But I would recommend It Came From Beneath the Sea more. Up next, rounding out the 3-pack is 20 Million Miles to Earth - here's hoping for the best!
Not the best, but it could have been a lot worse!