Saturday, August 16, 2014

THE DAY MARS INVADED EARTH - Richard Lasalle - " Strange Invisible Astro-Energy Unleashed Leaves Mankind A Human Shell As It Destroys His Body And Brain!" (1963)

Tonight's Saturday Night Special is one of those hard to find kinds of movies that's just been swept under the rug for some reason, but in our world, just like a lot of cars, it's a real classic!

So let's set the Wayback Machine to 1963, and let's get this over with before it's the end of the world! The future is now, and as far as you know, today just might be "The Day Mars Invaded Earth!"

The opening scenes of "The Day Mars Invaded Earth" show a Mars Rover Robot cruising the surface of Mars in an effort to obtain more knowledge about the red planet!

It doesn't take more than about 40 seconds for the exploratory craft to suddenly and mysteriously go up in flames! I guess they learned one thing, there's atmosphere on Mars, other than that, the project is a pretty dismal failure!

Meanwhile, back on good old Terra Firma, it's time to get back to the drawing board, and start all over again! The music in "The Day Mars Invaded Earth" was a product of the genius mind of the composer Richard LaSalle who was also responsible for the music in a wild array of films  ranging from "Hands Of A Stranger" and "Diary Of A Madman," to "Superbeast" "Daughter's Of Satan," and "Pirahna!!!"  Here's just a taste of the spooky and eerie Richard had up his sleeve!

The entire cast of "The Day Mars Invaded Earth" consisted of exactly 10 people, but what an amazing and pretty much all-star cast it is, starting with Kent Taylor as hard-working government worker Doctor David Fielding!!  Dr. Fielding was in charge of the whole Mars project, and he's feeling pretty dejected!

Next up is wild William Mims as Dr. Fielding's partner, Dr. Web Spencer! William was in almost all of the classic TV westerns of the day like "Cheyenne," and "Have Gun - Will Travel," and directly after this movie he was in the "Twilight Zone" episode titled "The New Exhibit" as Dave! He was on five "Wagon Train" shows as characters as colourful and varied as Esteban Perez, and  Gurn Meeker! Other roles include a strip bar patron on "The Fugitive," a one-armed miner on "Bonanza," and he was General Grant on three episodes of "The Beverly Hillbillies!"

Marvelous Marie Windsor has the role of Clair Fielding, Dr. Fielding's lonely wife! Marie was in "Cat-Women Of The Moon," "Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy," "Swamp Women" "Chamber Of Horrors," and "Freaky Friday" just to name a few, and she was Nellie Majors on two episodes of the "Batman" TV series!

These are the Fielding kids, Gregg Shank as Rocky Fielding, and Betty Beall as Judi Fielding! As active as the adult actors all were, that's how inactive these kids were! Between the two of them, Gregg and Betty only have a total of five credits, unless you want to count this picture twice, then it would be six!

Dr. Fielding is dedicated to his work, so he's a pretty crappy Father and husband! Their big project just failed, so it's time to go back home and patch things up a bit! Dr. Spencer agrees!

And then this 1962 Plymouth Fury station wagon enters the scene! What an awesome ride!

This is how cool you could be in 1962 if you wanted to be! I'm not sure if those rims would have been available in '62, but this black Plymouth Valiant is pretty damn sharp nonetheless!

It was at this point in the film that I realized that somebody involved with this movie, and I don't know if it was the Director Maury Dexter, or the Cinematographer John M. Nickolaus Jr., or both, but somebody had a penchant for shots that were shot from behind! At first I thought it was a fluke, but I'll let you be the judge! The strange thing is that it starts and ends with that Plymouth Fury! Weirdsville! BTW, this series of photos basically tells the rest of the story!

Some of the footage that wasn't shot from behind includes this shot that looks like Marie Windsor is standing on the end of the diving board of an empty swimming pool! If the estate looks at all familiar to you, it's because it's the Greystone Park and Mansion in Beverly Hills that has been used in scores of movies like "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte!"

The Martians can infiltrate and duplicate the bodies of their unsuspecting victims at any given time, and the Fielding family is ripe for the picking! Those Martians are devious little fuckers! They couldn't do it with every character, but in the case of Judi Fielding, they solicited the help of Betty Beall's twin sister Barbara!! Barbara only had 5 credits too, including this movie! I'm sure the Beall sister's would have some interesting stories to tell!

This blog wouldn't exist without characters like Kent Taylor! I would venture to say, that sadly, Kent Taylor is virtually unknown today, but without guys like him the cinematic 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's wouldn't have been the same! Why? THE NIGHT OF JUNE 13 (1932), IF I HAD A MILLION (1932), DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY (1934), GIRL IN 313 (1940), 58 episodes as BOSTON BLACKIE on TV from 1951 to 1953, THE PHANTOM FROM 10,000 LEAGUES (1955),  and THE CRAWLING HAND (1963) just to name a few! After that, Kent and his pencil-thin mustache went off into Krazy Town Al Adamson Land, and he ended his amazing career with an epic run of the best of the worst ever, like BLOOD OF GHASTLY HORROR, BRIDES OF BLOOD, SATAN'S SADISTS, THE MIGHTY GORGA, HELL'S BLOODY DEVILS, BRAIN OF BLOOD, ANGEL'S WILD WOMEN, and GIRLS FOR RENT! The man deserves some kind of posthumous award! He did it all, and this is a great closing shot of him!

"The Day Mars Invaded Earth" starts off on a sour note, the Fielding's marriage is a shambles, and Judi's boyfriend Frank gets murdered before it's over, so there's really no reason to expect a happy ending, and if you don't, then you won't be disappointed!


Randall Landers said...


I always thought the writers had written themselves into such a deep hole that they had no choice but to kill everyone off at the end. :)


Douglas McEwan said...

I saw this turkey in a theater when it was first released back in 1963. Man, did it bore me. I was hoping for something like George Pal's War of the Worlds and instead got this boring movie that cost less to make than I'd paid to see it.

TABONGA! said...

Eegah!! and I saw this one at the theater in 1963 also, I remember it more than he does though - yes, it was pretty boring.

Love those extra photos of cars and you!

Craftypants Carol said...

that back shot collage is seriously fab!

Eegah!! said...

Thanx Carol, I liked it!

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