Sunday, December 11, 2016
Only he ain’t really Noymann. He’s actually an emissary for a group of aliens who have been spying on Earth from their hidden base on our moon. Oh yeah, and he’s really invisible and just using Noymann’s corpse as a vessel. And he has arrived in an invisible spaceship, which is a pathetic concept, but great on penny-pinching producer Robert E. Kent’s special effects budget. INVISIBLE INVADERS was produced in six days for $118,000.
Noymann gives Penner a message: the governments of Earth have 24 hours to surrender, or else his people will destroy us. Of course, Penner becomes a laughing stock—his own daughter Phyllis (Jean Byron, later on THE PATTY DUKE SHOW) and her sort-of boyfriend Dr. Lamont (Robert Hutton) barely believe him, and Earth’s leaders merely mock him.
Hopefully, Penner remembered to say “I told you so” when the invisible aliens begin reanimating the corpses of Earthlings and sending them shambling out to wreak all kinds of havoc, like crashing cars and planes and blowing lots of stuff up. Teaming up with no-nonsense Army Major Jay (John Agar, who else?), the Penners and Lamont barricade themselves in a bunker located in Bronson Caverns, while working against time to develop a method for stopping the invasion.
Carradine really got off easy, since he got to shoot all his scenes in a day and go home. Everyone else had to stick around for the seven or eight days it must have taken to film this dreck. Filled with somnabulent performances, mucho stock footage (some of which does contain nice miniature work—and the rolling car crash from THUNDER ROAD), non-existent special effects, and static direction by good ol’ Edward L. Cahn (CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN), INVISIBLE INVADERS fails to work on any level.
Although the fate of the whole world is in danger, we never see anything outside of Griffith Park, and the four protagonists have barely any contact with other living beings. Screenwriter Samuel Newman also penned THE GIANT CLAW — even worse than INVISIBLE INVADERS — and several Jungle Jim movies. Cahn and producer Robert E. Kent made 31 movies together, including THE FOUR SKULLS OF JONATHAN DRAKE, which played with INVISIBLE INVADERS on a United Artists double bill.