Well, this here's another little jewel that has fallen off the zombie radar, because THIS time, the people who have had their brains taken over are GOONS! Kind of like a cross between zombies, and the critters that Popeye ran into on Goon Island! It's 1956, not that long after the war, and you've got this small secluded European village filled with goons and a bunch of nazified kids brainwashed by a madman with a whistle! Pretty freakin' scary!!
Just this one time I'm going to let cast member Hugo push Ralphie and Piff's big red "GO" button that he stole, So get ready cause here they come, The freakin' "Gamma People"!!!
It all starts off innocently enough with two journalists, one American Mike Wilson, and one Englishman, Howard Meade, on a nice train ride enjoying a game of chess, but you see, the train takes a wrong turn, and essentially ends up in a place we would refer to today as, Bumfuck, Egypt, The Boondocks, or in this instance, Gudavia!
So, what the heck is actually going on in this little burg?? Tell me this doesn't look like the cover of a DEVO album!!!
Phillip Leaver as Koerner shows our heroes about after first arresting and releasing them! Leslie Phillips is supposedly beloved in his native England but is gratingly annoying here as Howard Meade!
Character actor Paul Douglas as Mike Wilson passed away a couple of years after this film was made, and was never able to play at least two roles that were written specifically for him! Here you can see how he could just look like he's had about enough of this BS!!
They meet Eva Bartok, one fine Hungarian meatball left unrefrigerated too long, and starting to spoil, as Paula Wendt, and art student Hugo Wendt who has obviously seen the serial "The Phantom Creeps" too many times!
As unimpressed as they were with Hugo's sculpture, Mike and Howard find Hedda Lochner's piano playing skills to be extraordinary!
If I did my math right, Michael Caridia as little nazi Hugo Wendt was about 15 when this film was made. He did a little more, mostly TV, but it looks like he quit at age 20! I'm pretty sure this role would have got to me too!!!
Cute little musical prodigy Pauline Drewett as Hedda Lochner also failed to go much further and finished her career in 1957 in the blockbuster "True as a Turtle!"
No free thinking is allowed around this joint!! Do it prefect or don't do it at all!
During the day, the boys roam around with an out of control pack dog mentality!
At night, the Goon Boys likes to come out to play!!
Composer of the music for "The Gamma People" was none other than George Melachrino, a man who, along with Mantovani, Percy Faith, and Andre Kostelanetz would usher in a whole new era of "Mood Music" to a tired and aching world, you know, stuff like "Music For Romance" and "Music For Relaxation!"
Ridiculously evil mean bad guy Walter Rilla here as scientific A-hole Boronski, was in the habit of hanging with guys like Dr. Mabuse and Fu Manchu, and also had the role of Sir Marney in "Room 13!"
The Goons are ruthless and even resort to throwing rocks!
And throwing people off of cliffs!!
But Mike Wilson is tough as nails and doesn't put up with much of their crap at all!!
But he is outnumbered!!
Boronski turns the Gamma Ray on Mike, Paula and Hedda, and turns up the heat in a classic matchup of good vs. evil!
But Boronski made one big mistake, he underestimated the power of human nature! The local yocals could put up with almost anything, but when he cancelled their annual carnival, he stepped over the line, and they were ready to fight for their right to party!!
Since they were so pissed off, Howard was easily able to unite the local denizens, and they have one big gang war with The Goons. A big melee breaks out, kind of like "West Side Story" without the music, and they are able to get the Gamma Ray turned off before it destroys Mike and the girls! Whew! They weren't the only ones sweating it!!