Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Killers from Space/Last Woman on Earth|
Actor: Peter Graves
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Peter Graves saves the world, and then Roger Corman destroys
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 12/19/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Ah, you have to love those 1950s B-movies, especially when you can get two "cult classics" like Killers From Space and The Last Woman on Earth in one neat package.
According to some, Killers From Space is so bad that it's good; some would even grant it B movie cult status. I take more of a middle ground because, to me, the movie isn't really that bad. Sure, it has some silly aspects to it, but it's a lot more enjoyable than many a 1950s science fiction thriller you can find out there in the wild. Admittedly, the prominence of Peter Graves also helps because I can't help but think of him as a legitimate actor despite a good bit of evidence to the contrary.
As for the plot, it all starts on a gorgeous day with a lot of folks coming together to watch the detonation of an atomic bomb - don't worry, they are all wearing goggles, so I'm sure they are in no danger whatsoever; as we all learned on MST3K, radiation can only hurt you if you touch it. Anyway, Dr. Douglas Martin (Peter Graves) is flying around above the explosion taking readings when his pilot spots a glowing object below and commences to take the plane into a vertical dive toward the earth. There is no sign of Martin's body in the wreckage, but no one could have survived the crash. Then, shortly thereafter, who should come wandering up to the gate of the local military base but Dr. Martin himself. He returns with no memory of what happened, but he does have a shiny new surgical scar covering the left upper side of his chest. He soon begins acting strangely, and ultimately he gets nabbed hiding some secret information about the next atomic test under a rock in the desert. In with the truth serum, and out comes a story of aliens with hard-boiled eggs for eyes breeding a zoo of genetically mutated super-sized critters. He insists that the future of the planet is in grave peril, but no one believes him. Thus, as is always the case, it's up to Peter Graves to save the world single-handedly (and, as luck would have it, the aliens were stupid enough to pretty much tell him how to destroy them).
Some individuals have posited that this film helped create a template for future alien abduction accounts. This idea is pure rubbish, in my opinion. Sure, the aliens have huge eyes that seem to haunt Martin, but no E.T. ever looked as stupid as these guys; Martin also wakes up on a table surrounded by aliens performing some kind of medical procedure on him, but the scenes in this movie are by and large pretty laughable. Besides the aliens, the other thing this movie is known for is its whole giant insect montage. When Martin tries to escape from the aliens, he winds up running around in their menagerie - in other words, he runs back and forth between some projection screens showing extreme close-ups of spiders, lizards, and other creepy-crawlies. This scene would have been fairly effective had the director shown any restraint, but these shots just continue for far too long. If you've seen Peter Graves in The Beginning of the End, you will feel quite at home here. In the final analysis, Killers From Space is obviously not a great movie, but I personally don't think it is quite bad enough to be considered a full-fledged "bad movie."
Roger Corman was the Ernie Banks of filmmaking (the difference being that Ernie Banks was actually good at what he did). Let's make two, Corman said on more than one occasion. And so it was that The Last Woman on Earth was made alongside Creature From the Haunted Sea on location in Puerto Rico. It looks and sounds like the story and dialogue were all made up on the spot - and that's pretty close to the truth. That's the only excuse Robert Towne has for giving us such a miserably boring script.
Towne not only wrote the script, he also starred in the film (under the name Edward Wain) as lawyer Martin Joyce. He's joined by Antony Carbone (who seems to be attempting to channel both Dean Martin and Bing Crosby simultaneously - with little success) and Betsy Jones-Moreland (the "last woman," as you might have guessed). Martin's a lawyer for shady businessman Harold Gern, who is "vacationing" in Puerto Rico with his wife Evelyn. The three just so happen to be scuba diving when all of the oxygen in the air mysteriously disappears, killing everyone who wasn't fortunate enough to be hooked up to an oxygen tank at the time. The oxygen soon returns as mysteriously as it vanished, and our three survivors hole themselves up in a beachside villa and basically just bicker amongst themselves for the rest of the movie. Harold is a power freak, and his constant planning drives Ev and Martin up the wall (and closer together). Martin thinks that the whole apocalypse thing makes the Gerns' marriage null and void, but Harold disagrees. The men argue about more than sharing Harold's wife, though. My favorite is the boat argument - there are hundreds of abandoned boats out at the marina, but these two chowder heads actually duke it out over sole control of Harold's boat.
The only good thing about The Last Woman on Earth is the fact that it's relatively short, clocking in at 64 minutes - that's about all a sane person can take of these three incredibly annoying characters. I've seen some bad Roger Corman films in my time, but this has to be the most boring of the bunch."