Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Space amazons give boys a brain drain

INVASION OF THE STAR CREATURES (1962). Director: Bruno VeSota. 

Jonathan Haze, who appeared in several Roger Corman features such as the starring role in The Little Shop of Horrors, wrote the screenplay for this atrocity and was supposed to play the lead with Dick Miller as his co-star. Wisely they passed up the opportunity and the utterly talentless Robert Ball and Frankie Ray were instead cast as two fucked-up soldiers who are sent to investigate a cave and discover strange vegetable-like aliens [who resemble something out of a grade school play] and two amply-endowed Amazon-like extraterrestrial "professors" (Gloria Victor and Delores Reed). The film was directed by Bruno VeSota, who'd appeared as an actor in such films as Attack of the Giant Leeches but had the good sense not to give himself a part in this 99 cents production [one assumes Roger Corman passed on this as well]. Ball and Ray, who make Martin and Lewis knock-offs Sammy Petrillo and Duke Mitchell [Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla] seem like Lawrence Olivier and Charles Laughton in comparison, are just terrible, but even talented comics would have a problem putting over this awful material. The busty outer space visitors want to take over Earth, but when they try to drain the brains of Ball and Ray they find nothing there -- no surprise. The gals are put into blissful shock by kisses from the fellows, making you wonder if the whole point of this production was for two creepy guys to have an opportunity to smooch two women who are so out of their league it isn't funny! Ball managed to rack up over sixty credits, while Ray had only one more credit after this. Reed and Victor are more talented than the boys, but Victor, like Ray, had only one more credit after Star Creatures and Reed never worked in pictures again [another big surprise]. Just dreadful and tedious with nary a real laugh. Mark Ferris, who plays the Colonel, is so completely inept as an actor that it's no wonder this was the only film he ever appeared in.

Verdict: Not even Roger Corman could have saved this hopeless production.  0 stars.

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