Teenagers From Outer Space (1959)

Teenagers from Outer SpaceTeenagers from Outer Space

Written, Produced, and directed by Tom Graeff

Tagline: "Thrill-Crazed Space Kids Blasting the Flesh Off Humans!"

Run Time: 86 min

Other titles: "Invasion of the Gargon"


Our current feature presentation, “ Teenagers from Outer Space” was horribly written and directed. The, ahem, special effects are truly some of the worst I have ever had the displeasure of seeing. Let’s just say, if you are afraid of lobsters, then you should brace yourself before seeing this film.

With that warning to the lobster-phobic, I now have the pleasure of presenting to you, “Teenagers from Outer Space” ….

Our wonderful feature begins with the standard credits lines overlaid on a, yes, flying saucer.

After the opening credits, a small dog runs up to the saucer, which appears quite small when you see the dog next to it, but anyhoo… The hatch opens and an alien in what is obviously a jet-fighter pilot’s helmet shoots the dog with a ray gun. The barking dog is reduced to a skeleton. Those mean aliens!

Another alien emerges from the saucer. We can tell that he is the “bad” alien because of the ominous music that begins to play when he takes off his helmet. As usual, the aliens look like high-school homecoming kings.

Another small matter is that the, ahem, “teenagers” from outer space appear to be in their early 30’s. But maybe that is what teenagers look like on their planet. Maybe I should shut up and get this over with.

Teenagers from Outer Space

The Captain. One of the, *ahem*, “Teens”

The invading “teenagers” begin offloading some very Earth-like suitcases and trunks while scary “spacey” music plays. Finally, one of the younger teenage aliens comes of the ship. He must be a “good” alien because he is taken aback when he sees the dog’s skeleton on the ground. He also must be a lower rank because he only has one stripe of duct tape on his jumper while the boss has two stripes. Ahh…what an advanced civilization! Earth doesn’t have a chance!

Teenagers from Outer Space

Derek, the good space teen

Speaking of advanced, you can see that the special effects department didn’t have enough money to buy “space boots” for the actors. In fact, they used white socks pulled up over men’s dress shoes!

I’m really getting a bad feeling about this movie already, and I’m only about 3 minutes into it. OK, the sooner we finish this, the better.

The “good” alien is told to get back to work by the “bad” alien. His work is interrupted when one of the crates starts beeping. He opens up the crate and fiddles with what looks just like a multi-channel mixer. Hey! What a coincidence! The words “Multi-channel Mixer” are actually on the instrument! What great special effects!

After some typical science-babble-mumble-jumbo, the aliens report in to the leader. Seems strange when they have to report in, since they are all standing right in front of the leader, but hey, it gives us a way to hear there really far-out alien names like Saul, Moreal, Thor (!) and, our “good alien”, Derek (!).

Derek returns to the dog skeleton and picks up the dog’s tags. He reports to the leader that this is “…a sign of intelligence beings” (unlike this film). You would have thought that the aliens would have seen any of the millions of cities on the Earth’s surface as they landed their saucer, but hey, what do I know? Anyhoo, the leader ignores Derek and says that they will release…(cue evil music)…the gargon! (Horror!)

Pssstttt: Just so you don’t lose any sleep over the excitement of not knowing, the aliens use the gargons for a food supply, but they are too dangerous to raise on their own planet. So they raise them on other planets and then use them as a food source safely away from their own planet.

Now the stress between the crew members begins to show. Derek, God bless his gentle soul, doesn’t want to release the gargon because of the possibility of intelligent life on the planet. Thor (boo! Hiss! Mean alien!) mocks him because of his sensitivities. The Captain tells Thor and Derek to pipe down and is about to release the gargon when…gasp! Derek pulls his laser-ray-gun-doo-hickey on the Captain! What a turn of events, eh?

Derek no longer believes in the codes and values that the, ahem, Supreme Race, lives by. (Including the fact that they are “…raised in cubicles.” Sounds sort of like the place I work…). He produces a book which he has read. The book is obviously banned since it has “…survived the flames of the Annihilates” (!). Oh, what knowledge must lie in that book.

Despite being threatened by “…being sentenced to torture! And death”, Derek sticks to his guns and insists that they raise the gargon herds on an uninhabited planet.

The Captain and Thor, using the oldest trick in the book, overpower Derek and takes away the gun. The Captain leaves Derek under the Thor’s guard while he goes off to “…study the reaction of the young gargon”.

The Captain and the others see that the young gargon “thrives”. As you can see, this is not a lobster under some chicken wire. Oh wait, maybe it is.

Teenagers from Outer Space

“It thrives! It thrives!”

After a thorough check of the planet and the gargon, which takes about 5 seconds, the Captain orders them to pack the equipment while he radios to the home planet about their success.

Not so fast! The young gargon has “…suddenly fell limp…and now does not move.” (much like my brain has done while watching this film). The Captain quickly deduces the cause of the limp gargon. (See Classic Dialog)

Derek is pleased to see that this civilized planet will be spared since it is obviously unsuitable for the gargon herds. (Why do I laugh every time I type that?). However, he will not escape being brought before the High Court and possible sentencing (to torture (!)). Saul and Moreal are to “bind” Derek and bring him to the “isolation chamber” (sounds pretty kinky to me!).

Somehow (who knows how and who cares), Derek escapes and runs off into the desert. The Captain insists that Thor capture Derek alive because, gasp! Derek is the son of their leader! (plot twist: Derek doesn’t know this fact! Ohh!) Who would have thunk it? Anyhoo, the Captain decides to wait until the “sky is light” before pursuing Derek. Ummm…I think it’s probably light enough already, but what do I know?

Teenagers from Outer Space

Thor and the Captain, waiting for the sky to get light…

But wait! Don’t leave just yet! The gargon is getting better! In fact, it’s improved so much that it looks just like a lobster gasping for breathe in hot desert air. Well, the Captain spews some more mumbo-jumbo about these, errr, nitrogenic compounds, and how the gargon now thrives on them. Ok, you win. Let’s just get on with it, shall we Captain?

The Captain orders a couple of the space-teens to secure the gargon with, ahem, “expandable leg-bands” (ohh! Sounds kinky to me!) So ok, yup, the gargon is secured while the aliens take off back to the home planet in order to fetch the rest of the gargon herd. In case you care, the gargon is to be left behind so that they can judge its growth rate when they come back. (In case you cared about that, then you probably care way too much about this movie)

Ahh…now to set up the conflict in the film. Thor is left behind to find Derek and inform him that he is the leader’s son. However, the Leader does agree that if Derek tries to harm anybody then he is to be destroyed. In fact, anybody that Derek makes contact with must also be destroyed too! Damn that Supreme Race!

We next see Derek running along a road and reaching a local town. So that really shows what a thorough search they did for “foreign beings”. He ran for what, 2 minutes before coming to the town? After some “funny” scenes with Derek in town, he finally finds out where the dog lives.

You see, the scenes are funny because Derek looks so different from everybody else in the town. And he talks funny, because he is an alien. Just thought I would explain that in case you didn’t laugh. I didn’t.

Thor manages to catch a ride from a passing motorist along a truly desolate stretch of road.

Derek soon makes it to the house and meets the young woman (of course) that lives there, Betty Morgan. She mistakenly thinks that Derek is there to see the room that she and her grandpa have for rent (oh brother).

Teenagers from Outer Space

“Derek, meet Grandpa. Grandpa, meet Derek. He’s from outer space!”

We are then subjected to some awful dialog designed to evoke sympathy for Derek (helped by “sad” music in the background in case you didn’t know you were supposed to feel “sorry” for Derek). You see, Derek never knew his brothers or sisters, or even his parents. OK everybody, all together now: awwwwwwww poor Derek!

Betty, enamored by the space-teen, convinces her grandpa to let Derek have the room for free “until he gets a job”. They even loan Derek some old clothes from Betty’s brother that used to live there (whew! That was convenient!).

OK, reality check: A guy shows up at your door. He’s outlandishly dressed, and talks strange. He has no money and no clothes. What’s the first word that pops into your head? All together now: psycho! Slam the door in his face! Call the cops! (Now back to our feature presentation)

Teenagers from Outer Space

Joe

Betty’s boyfriend, “Joe” (oh brother), drives up and has to cancel their “swim date” (!?). You see, Joe is a reporter and is called away on a special assignment because some people saw a flying saucer. Wait a minute! That’s probably Derek’s saucer! Do you see the irony? Do you?

By the way, the “actor” playing Joe is none other than Tom Graeff, writer and director of the film. He changes his name to “Tom Lockyear” in the credits to give the film more, ahem, credibility (didn’t work,…sorry Tom). A host of other “actors” were also credited as producers (read: chipped in money), including the actors playing Thor, Derek, and the Captain (among others).

In the meantime Thor has reached the gas station where Derek first asked for directions. (what a coincendence, eh?). Thor finds out that the station attendant spoke to Derek and forces the attendant to tell him where Derek went. He then reduces the driver of the car and the station attendant to skeletons with his ray gun. (pretend that you didn’t see the metal joints holding the skeleton together)

Teenagers from Outer Space

“Should I check your tires, sir?”

Betty teaches Derek to drive a car as she takes him to Alice’s house. They are going to “dig up” some swim trunks for Derek, so they, um, can go swimming at, I guess. Well, anyhoo…

Betty introduces Derek to a more-than-just-a-little-flirtatious Alice (see Classic Dialog), and they all decide to go swimming. Yippee! Ahhh….how I long for simpler times. Alice says that Derek can borrow a pair of her father’s swimming trunks (yech!!!). She even points out that her father and the servants are all gone for the day and that they have the house “to themselves”(!).

Teenagers from Outer Space

Alice

Derek accidentally drops the dog-tag into the pool. (Remember the dog that was vaporized in the beginning, remember that Derek picked up the dog’s tags? Doesn’t that seem, like, a million years ago now?)

Betty reads the tags and Derek explains that, yes, somebody has killed Sparky. No! Anything but that! Betty wants Derek to take her to the place, gulp, “where it happened.” So, Betty and the young space-teen take leave of the eager Alice and her servant-less home to drive out into the middle of nowhere to see Sparky’s skeleton. But wait a minute, isn’t the, gasp, gargon , out there? Does this mean that they are going to be attacked? (I hope I didn’t give anything away here)

Meanwhile, Grandpa is in the front yard watering his bushes, or lawn, or something. Up drives Thor (who by the way is a much better driver than Derek. Then again, he is a bad space-teen). Via a rambling monologue from Grandpa, Thor finds out where Derek is. (Grandpa is spared the death-ray because he happens to mention that Derek didn’t tell him where he was from).

Derek drives Betty to the place where Sparky’s skeleton lies in the dirt. Given that Derek has been on Earth for maybe an hour, how he drove to the spot from an entirely different direction from where he ran from is not really explained (and probably not very important giving the overall quality of this film).

Betty gets out of the car, barefoot and still in her swimsuit (!!), and begins to look for Sparky, or at least what’s left of him. Betty refuses to believe that the “old bones” are Sparky. Derek then informs her (and us, thanks!) about the, cue drum roll…, “focusing disintegrator ray.” You see, it displaces living molecules and then…oh forget it…just see the movie.

While Betty runs around barefoot in the desert with Derek, Thor has driven to Alice’s house and is standing by the side of the pool. Alice swims over and, *sigh*, begins to flirt with him. Thor, is his ever so charming manner, demands to know where Derek and the girl have gone. Alice refuses to answer and threatens to call the police. Bad move, Alice. Thor disintegrates her and we see her skeleton fall into the pool (complete with bubbling dry ice and fog).

Betty, back home, changes back into her dress and writes a note to her grandpa (who is sleeping on the sofa). She then takes off in the car with Derek. (Where they are going? I’m not really sure at this point).

Ring! Ring! Grandpa is awoken by the phone and anwers it is a ridiculous “sleepy” voice. It turns out that Joe (how creative) is calling to say that he has “…stumbled onto a double-murder story…” (maybe he should watch where he is walking…(rim shot)). Anyhoo, Joe will meet Betty at Alice’s house after he “..gets the story into the paper.” Ummmmkay, whatever.

Thor drives up now, still wearing his ridiculous space outfit. Grandpa (in all his trusting naivety) tells Thor that Betty and Derek have gone “to the college” to talk to Professor Simpson.

At “the college” (oh brother), which appears to be completely deserted (summer vacation?). Professor Simpson’s secretary tells them that he is not in at the moment but they can wait there. Betty, however, suggests that they wait for him “at the faculty parking lot” (!) (Gee, that would probably be much more comfortable than waiting for him in his office lobby).

Just missing each other, Professor Simpson enters the building and goes to his office. He sends his secretary to get the “student questionnaires” (sure, whatever).

Thor also arrives at “the college” and is directed to his office by a janitor (or something). We also learn that Simpson is the “head of the Science department”. Boy, talk a about a specialized field of study! Whew!

Wait a minute, I sense a pattern here:

1. Derek and Betty go somewhere

2. Thor follows and barely misses them

3. Thor turns somebody into a skeleton

4. Goto step 1

Derek and Betty see Simpson’s car in the parking lot and decide to go back to the office. However, Thor has zapped Simpson and for some strange reason, he goes out the window instead of leaving through the office door. Oh wait, I know why, that way he won’t run into Betty and Derek who are on their way back to the office. Which means, this movie will continue, argghhh!!!

Teenagers from Outer Space

Much easier to jump out of window…

Derek and Betty return to the office along with Simpson’s secretary (I guess she found the, err, student questionnaires). The sight of Simpson’s bones draped over the desk is enough to shock the secretary into some hilarious dialog (see Classic Dialog) before she quits her job and storms out of the office. Huh? Oh yeah, I get it. She quits her job and storms out of the room so that Derek and Betty can discuss the aliens and the death ray. See how neatly it all ties together? See? See? I tell you, this plot is woven together as tight as a baby seals butt.

Anyhoo, Betty realizes that Thor has found the note she left for Grandpa, ergo, Grandpa is in danger. They run from the office to call Grandpa from a phone booth. (why couldn’t they just use the phone right there on Simpson’s desk?!) Betty warns him that he’s in danger and tells Grandpa to meet her and Derek at the “City Hall Police Station” (oh brother).

Grandpa slips out the back door of the house as Thor races up in his black car (a black car because he is EVIL, see?). Why he suddenly wants to kill Grandpa now, instead of when he had the chance earlier? Ehhh? Who knows. Maybe it’s because he’s EVIL.

Ja, Ja, ok. Derek and Betty arrive at the police station where they are met by “armed guards” on the steps. A hilarious shoot-out occurs between Thor and the police.

But wait…

How did Thor get there at the same time as Betty and Derek? (Future note: answered soon)

How did he even know where it was?

Who cares?

Thor takes a shot to the shoulder and somehow manages to slip away (!!!). Derek picks up a pistol from one of the policemen-skeletons and joins the chase. Umm, aren’t there any other policemen there to, you know, take over the scene of the shootout? To prevent people from walking up and taking guns?

Incredibly, Joe (remember Betty’s boyfriend) drives up to the police station at that exact moment (why on Earth he happens to come to the City Hall?). He ever so gently tells Betty that he just came from Alice’s house where he saw “…a skeleton in the pool…”. (Gee…don’t try to sugar-coat it or anything).

Oh my, plot-hole patch!!! Joe figures out that Thor has forced Grandpa to drive him there. How the hell does he know that? Betty looks up and sees Grandpa trying to get across the street(!). Joe, ever chivalrous, runs to help Grandpa across the street (and conveniently get out of the scene for the next action sequence…I sense this movie is rapidly falling apart at the seams now).

But wait! Betty sees some blood on the sidewalk which leads to the black car which is on their side of the street. (So if Grandpa was forced to drive Thor there, what is he doing on the other side of the street?!). Suddenly, Thor sticks his head up from the back seat of the car! You mean, he was involved with in a shootout with 6 policemen on the steps of city hall and managed to get into the car without them seeing him?

Teenagers from Outer Space

Surprise! Guess who…

Thor forces Derek to give him the pistol (which looks strangely like a Luger), and then compels Betty and Derek to get in the car. Thor wants them to take him to a doctor (see Classic Dialog) to treat his gunshot wound.

Joe and Grandpa return to the other side of the street and notice that the car is gone (gee…Joe sure is observant for a reporter, eh?). Joe says he’s going to phone in the story and then drive out to the “old mine” that Betty mentioned. (You know, the one where Sparky was killed. If that doesn’t sound like a newsworthy story, then I don’t know what is!)

The posse of gun-wielding policemen return and notice the blood on the sidewalk and figure that Thor must have taking the car. Grandpa says “…In our car?”. Wait a minute. They drove off in the black car, the one that Thor took after killing the guy who gave him a lift. Why does Grandpa say that it’s his car? Doh! A plot screw up? In this movie? Nahhhhhh….

Teenagers from Outer Space

Dr. Brandt

The teens drive up toDr. Brandt’s house (hmmm…is it just me or does he look a bit like Colonel Sanders?) Thor forces Dr. Brandt and the others into the house (doesn’t it look like he’s carrying a cake-box?). While Brandt begins to remove the bullets from Thor’s arm, Derek inquires as to why he has been following him. Thor reminds him that the gargon are to be raised here. (remember them? The lobsters from about 40 minutes ago? 40 long minutes ago….). Well, in another, err, exciting moment, Thor finally tells Derek that he is the son of the Leader. Ok, I know this is exciting because the music got really loud. I’m just happy to get that plot point out of the way. Now we can get on to the gargons and the end of this movie.

After pulling out the bullet, the doctor leaves the room to get some bandages and antiseptics, err, why aren’t they in the operating room already? Oh yeah, to get the doctor out of the scene.

For some reason, Thor begins to lose consciousness and Derek and Betty escape from the room. We then see Derek, Betty and the Doctor arrive at, where else, City Hall Police Station. Incredibly, Doctor Brandt says that his nurse will be arriving soon for office hours…and then runs down the street to a phone booth.

Moving right along, at a snails pace, the nurse arrives at the doctors office and sees the unconscious Thor laying at the front door. She tends to his wounds while the phone rings. (You see, it’s Dr. Brandt calling her to warn her…but she’s taking care of the person he’s trying to warn her about. You see the irony? See it?)

Well, wouldn’t you know it. Thor kidnaps Nurse Morse and forces her to drive him to the abandoned mine. Meanwhile, Derek says that if they could duplicate Thor’s ray gun, they could destroy the gargon before it gets to its full size (as big as City Hall according to Derek…ohhh…scary!)

Joe and a policeman named Mac (oh brother!!!) have now arrived at the scene of Sparky’s death. How everybody manages to drive to that exact spot every time is pretty amazing, but let’s not think too much about that. For some reason, the policeman and Joe decide to “check out that old cave” (cue scary music!). Hmm… that seems really smart!

What do you know, the police man is attacked in the cave while Joe is bringing his “flash bulbs”. The first gargon victim approximately 50 minutes into the film. Whew, this is really exciting. Have I mentioned the atrociously fake “screaming” noise the gargon makes. Please, don’t make me mention it. Note that we still haven’t seen it yet. Oh no…plenty of time to kill before that happens.

To our big surprise (not!) Thor and Nurse Morse happen to drive up. Thor sees Joe and tries to shoot him, but Nurse Morse swings the car around so he can’t get a clean shot. Instead of killing her, Thor knocks her out. Why? He’s had no qualms about killing anybody so far…He manages to switch positions with her in the front seat without getting out of the car, with a gunshot wound to the chest, and holding a ray-gun with his only good arm (!).

Oh goodie! A car chase!

Thor pursues the Joe over the twisting mountain road, complete with screeching tires on the dirt road (of course!). Nurse Morse regains consciousness and throws herself from the car (in an absolutely hilarious “sped-up” shot) just before the car “plunges” off the road and down an embankment.

Exit Thor. Rest in Peace. (Note from the Future: Ahh, it turns out he was taken to the hospital. This was never shown of course)

Joe backs up and tells Morse about the horrible monster back at the cave where Thor “…shot at me…” (hmmm, I didn’t see Thor get any shots off…). He explains how the thing tore Mac (oh brother) to pieces in just a few seconds.

The next scene (taken at night?!) shows Derek and Betty talking in a black car. (Whose car is this? The dead guy that gave Thor a lift? Is that allowed? Oh well, finders keepers I guess…). Derek explains how if he could get to the car wreck, he could get Thor’s ray gun.

Ahh, now it’s daytime again. Betty stays in the car while Derek runs down the “cliff” to get the ray gun. “Scary” music cues us that something “scary is about to happen. Betty gets out of the car (of course) and makes her way down the hill to help Derek look for the gun. (I thought he told you to stay in the car, woman!!!)

Two points to anybody who can guess what happens. Yes! You in the front row! She stumbles and falls into Derek’s arm. The wind up laying in the grass where Derek expresses his deep affection for her (see Classic Dialog).

She even mentions that the moon will soon be out from behind the clouds giving them extra light to help find the gun. What! Oh come on! It is absolutely in the middle of the day! They don’t even play the standard “cricket noises” to let us know that it’s “night”.

Teenagers from Outer Space

Waiting for the moonlight….

Moving right along, Betty finally realizes that Derek is from another planet, gee, what gave it away? The space suit? The ray gun? Romantic music cues us that something romantic is going to happen. Derek decides that he will make Earth his home, which really lights Betty’s fire, because she then gives him a big fat kiss.

Once the moon comes out, Derek abruptly ends the kiss and starts to look for the gun again. I think this dude really has his priorities screwed up…hmmm…find ray gun or make out with Betty…

Betty, ever alert, notices the crickets have stopped chirping (I sure didn’t hear any crickets, but anyway). Well, as we all know, crickets are deathly afraid of gargons, so whenever they stop chirping you better start looking around for lobster shadows, err, gargons!

Teenagers from Outer Space

The horror of the gargon !!!

Have I mentioned the ridiculous noise the gargon makes? I have? Well let me mention it again… ridiculous!

Hey! What do you know! The ray gun is laying under (?) a rock, right at Derek’s feet! What are the odds of that, eh?

Just in case you didn’t truly appreciate how bad the gargon really looks, I’m going to give you another chance…isn’t that nice of me? You can thank me later.

Teenagers from Outer SpaceBetty runs back up the hill and starts the car. (She runs pretty darn fast considering she’s wearing a dress and high-heels!) The intrepid Derek tries to shoot the gargon but the ray gun is “jammed” or something (of course). So instead, he picks up a rock and sends the thing sprawling. (yeah right…). Derek runs back to the car and they drive off (…now it’s nighttime again in the scene…oh well, I guess it took him a long time to run up the hill).

Driving back to town, Derek says that if he can repair the disintegrator, he can stop the gargon and “…give the Earth a weapon against invasion as well.” Hey, sounds good to me!

I really need to take a pause here. I just watched the next scene where a search party (!?) is attacked by the gargon. I…I…I’m stunned by how bad the effects were. My brain will not allow me to write about it. Just see it for yourself. You can also read about it in the newspaper headlines in the next scene.

Back at Betty’s house, Derek is fiddling with the ray gun. Seems pretty incredible that the search party was found, reported, and a newspaper issued with the details in the same time it took Derek and Betty to drive home. Boy, talk about “hot off the presses!”

Wouldn’t you know it, the military is called in to help destroy the ever-growing gargon (“planes and troops”, we are told). People are told to go to places of safety, such as “cellars … bomb shelters (!)” (a great 1950’s flash-back…everybody with their bomb shelters!)

Yup, ok. Now we are subjected to a series of street shots devoid of cars and people. I guess this means that everybody is in their bomb shelters. Boy, the little town now looks like a pretty big city in these scenes…oh well.

Derek and Betty are going to “drive to the edge of town”..oookay.. But first Betty is going to load “every tool in the garage” into the trunk of the car so Derek can repair the disintegrator. Hmmm…maybe he should do that before they drive out to face the gargon? Just a thought.

Joe drives up to Betty’s house and sees Grandpa out front. Talking with Joe, Grandpa figures out they have driven out to confront the gargon (see Classic Dialog). Doing the wisest thing possible, Joe brings along the 70 year old man to try and catch up with Derek and Betty.

Betty and Derek, driving to “the edge of town”, see the now gigantic gargon! Here you go, you can see it too. No, that’s not a lobster. Really.

Derek, desperately in need of a new power supply for the disintegrator, climbs a telephone pole (!) in order to cut the wires. Betty gets ahold of the “city electrical generating plant” (oh brother). She convinces the man on duty to…I don’t know…he pulls a switch or something which is shuts off the power so that Derek can connect the disintegrator to the power lines. (Hey, that was a telephone pole, not a power line pole…oh well…let’s just get this over with).

Derek gives the word and the power is restored….but it is not enough! Betty asks if he can “boost the power”, so he runs off to “speed up the generators”. Sheeze…why didn’t I think of that! Wait! It’s still not enough! (See, this builds what is called “suspense”). So anyway, the power plant person will “join in more circuits, but it will blow up the lines” (?) He pulls another switch (I guess that was the “Join More Circuits Switch”).

Yes! Finally enough power to the disintegrator. The gargon rolls over and sort of, well, dies.

Teenagers from Outer SpaceDespite Betty’s objections, Derek rushes off to confront the saucers that are now invading Earth. (We know this because we heard a weird, “spacey” sound) Derek drives back down the same windy, dirt road (same footage as before of course). He is torn be the conflicting emotions in his heart (if space teens have hearts). These, ahem, emotions are represented by the alternating voices of the Captain and Betty in his head. Oh, the pathos.

Joe and Grandpa pick up Betty in Joe’s car (I guess it’s Joe’s car. There’s so many damn cars in this movie I have lost track). Funny how they are all crammed into the front seat, and I mean it looks pretty tight up there. Why doesn’t somebody go in the back? Ok, Ok, I digress. Joe tries to find out where Derek is from, but Betty can only really say “from a place that none of us has ever heard of before.” Joe and Grandpa have a hard time believing that Derek comes from outer space (despite the giant lobster, the ray guns, and the spacey suits).

They pull up to the house and Derek comes trouncing out of the front door wearing his old space uniform again. Betty is understandably shocked (he does look like a total fruit-cake in it!). Derek forces Joe to drive him “somewhere” by pulling the newly repaired ray-gun on him. What? Has Derek gone bad? Oh no!

Once Derek is in the car, he tells Joe to take him to where the “prisoner” is. The prisoner? Oh yeah, Thor. Betty runs to the car to try and stop him, but Derek simply looks her in the eyes and says “Trust me. Trust me.”

Reaching “City Hospital” (oh brother), Derek asks Joe if Thor is still at the hospital. Using his incredible ESP powers, Joe looks out the window and says “It looks like they haven’t transferred him to City Jail yet.” (City Jail? Oh brother!)

Well, of course, with typical perfect timing, two policemen come out of the hospital with Thor. Derek takes their guns and forces Thor into the car with him. Derek says he was “stupid” (I could say “like this movie” but I won’t. Oh wait, I just did, didn’t I…). He also says he is taking Thor with him back to their people. No! Derek, you haven’t become a bad space-teen, have you? What about your promise to Betty to stay on Earth?

Suddenly air-raid sirens start going off and a TV newscaster says to “prepare for attack by an unknown enemy.” He should have said “prepare yourself for some really hokey footage of people acting scared and pointing at the sky.”

What the hell? Now Betty and Grandpa have returned again to the spot by the abandoned mine, er cave, whatever. That spot sure has become quite a tourist attraction. Betty thinks that Derek will return there (why?). Oh well, best to wait and see. Wait! She was right! Joe, Derek, and Joe have just driven up.

We now see footage of what has to be a weather balloon. Oh wait, that’s the guide ship for the flying saucer invasion. Now I see it! It’s not a weather balloon, it’s one of those wooden-spiral things that you hang on your porch that spins in the wind. Somebody give the special effects department an Oscar.

Ack. Derek and Thor head over to greet the ship, while Betty whines to Joe about how Derek broke his promise to make Earth his home. Do I really have to tell you that he is just tricking Thor? I hope that doesn’t ruin the surprise ending coming up.

Alright! The Captain is back, climbing out of the same saucer as he did in the opening scene (with the same exact scenery in the back ground, no less). Not only that, but the Leader climbs out of the saucer too! (You would think that the Leader of the Supreme Race would have a little bit nicer ride, wouldn’t you?)

Teenagers from Outer Space

The Leader of the Supreme Race and President of the Fake Beard Club

The Supreme Leader informs Derek that they will return immediately once the gargons are unloaded from the ships. The really do have to hurry back because if the people find out the Leader is gone, it will “spark another revolution.” Sounds like a pretty unstable form of government for such a “supreme” race, eh?

Derek asks for permission to guide in the ships for landing (you see, they are being guided by radio beacon from the guide ship…but you probably knew that already didn’t you). The Leader grants him permission much to the Captain’s dismay (smart Captain, actually). Derek enters the saucer and immediately locks the hatch. Yes, we find out he did lock the hatch thanks to some shameless exposition from Joe.

Back in the saucer, Derek fiddles with switches and buttons while “spacey” beeping noises fill the room. Wait a minute! So Derek is a good space-teen after all! He tells the fleet to increase speed and “…set flight pattern to minus point-zero-eight…” Oh no! Not minus point-zero-eight!

Teenagers from Outer SpaceJoe, Betty, and Grandpa run and take shelter in the cave while the saucers come in for the crash landing. We cut to stock footage of smoke blowing out of a volcano (!!!). I guess this represents the fleet crashing and exploding. Bravo! Bravo! What effects!

Sad music begins to play as the trio emerge from the cave. This must mean that Derek is dead. Sacrificing himself for the people of Earth that he knew and loved so much. So you see, he did keep his promise: he promised he would never leave. See?

Then in a must incredibly corny shot, we see Derek’s head superimposed over a sunset.

Betty, Joe, and Grandpa walk sadly away from the cave, back to the car.

The End

Dennis Grisbeck (Dec 2004)

Afterthoughts

Considering that this movie was made in 1959, it might have been somewhat thrilling to some. The disintegration of people (i.e., turning into skeletons) was probably pretty vivid for those times (instead of the way people usually just were shot and sort of groaned and died).

The way the plot came up with some of the most contrived ways to get people out of the scene was hilarious. For example:
Secretary sees skeleton and quits her job because she won’t work in a place where people ‘joke’ like that.

Dr. Brandt has to leave the surgery room in order to get bandages .

Etc…

Astonishing laziness in the special effects department. ‘Multi-channel Mixer’ clearly visible on the equipment from the space ship, not to mention the film’s star, the gargon, which was a lobster. Ok, fine, use a lobster; but they didn’t even attempt to change it just a little bit. (build extra ‘claws’ on it, extra eyes, fur, a pink dress, something! Anything!). It is simply….a lobster! I wish I could have taken more screen shots of the ‘gargon’. It has to be seen to be believed how bad the effects are.

And the screaming noise the gargon makes. Good grief! How stupid can it get? It is obviously, here, let me stress that again: obviously just a recording of somebody making a stupid screeching noise. Sounds like somebody imitating a crow.

The film became a little dull (ok a lot) when Thor was chasing Derek and Betty from place to place to place to place. Get on with it already! By the way, there is something not too threatening about an alien that uses a 1950’s Chevy to get around.

And what about those names: Thor! Derek! Couldn’t they come up with something just a little ‘spacey’, I don’t know, Zygor, Orglor, whatever. There, it took me half a second to think those up. Could it have been that hard?

All in all, a classic 1950’s ‘space’ film, billing ‘teens’ as a way to get real teens to go to the theater. Certainly a must see for all bad movie fans.

Read more about Teenagers from Outer Space at

IMDB

1 comment to Teenagers From Outer Space (1959)

  • david g.

    Ok, after seeing this movie (on Elvira’s movie maccabre), it’s difficult for me to understand how “Plan 9 From Outer Space” holds the distinction as “worst movie ever made…

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