Film Review: Teenagers From Outer Space (1959)

Also known as: The Gargon Terror (UK), The Boy From Outer Space, The Ray Gun Terror
Release Date: June 3rd, 1959
Directed by: Tom Graeff
Written by: Tom Graeff
Music by: Tom Graeff
Cast: David Love, Dawn Bender, Bryan Grant, Harvey B. Dunn, Tom Graeff, King Moody

Warner Bros., 86 Minutes

Review:

Teenagers From Outer Space has the distinction of having one of the absolute worst movie monsters I have ever seen, even for 1959 standards. The creature is a giant black lobster thing that is super imposed on the screen so poorly that it often times ruins the depth perception of the picture. In one scene, our hero raises a ray gun to the monster and his hand disappears behind it, even though it towers above him and is a couple dozen yards away.

Then there is the alien spaceship that looks like one of Ed Wood’s hubcap UFOs from Plan 9 From Outer Space but it is made to human scale. When the aliens enter and exit the dome of the saucer, they have to lift up the dome which looks more like an oversized metal salad bowl.

The costumes are horrible, the props are hokey but the fact that the ray gun turns people instantly into skeletons is awesome even though the effect is executed in the worst way possible. Then there is also that scene of the alien invasion where we don’t see flying saucers entering the atmosphere but three people stand in the middle of a quarry describing what they see.

Awful cheesiness aside, the film is entertaining and endearing. And really, that’s all I ask from these kinds of old school low-budget sci-fi pictures. It has the right kind of hokeyness. It was also a perfect film to be lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000, where it was featured in that show’s fourth season.

Teenagers From Outer Space is a worthwhile experience for those who want a large helping of cheese in their sci-fi. While the acting, directing and cinematography are below average, they aren’t so bad that this becomes a steaming pile of stinky ostrich tushy mush.

Rating: 4/10