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Friday, June 9, 2017

The Eye Creatures



The Eye Creatures (aka Attack of the Eye Creatures aka Attack of the the Eye Creatures )
1965
Larry Buchanan

After the long introduction in which the military explains that they have been tracking a UFO that will land in the central United States, we meet some local teens who have a habit of trespassing on an old man’s land to go make out in the woods. A flying saucer lands nearby, disgusting green humanoid lumps spill out of it and wander around the place. A couple of drifters looking to score some women or some money (preferably both) get caught up in the whole mess. Eye Creatures stumble around. People stumble around. There is death and eventually it ends. Thank goodness.

Like Zontar, Thing from Venus (1966), The Eye Creatures is a Larry Buchanan helmed color remake of an earlier SF film for American International Pictures. In this case, the victim is Invasion of the Saucer Men (1958). The Eye Creatures is a remake of a film that is an out and out comedy, but renders it into a tonal mess. There are moments that are supposed to resemble actual humor, but they fall flat, if they manage to make any sense at all. The military is portrayed as bungling perverts, which is fine, except that at no point does that subplot intersect or affect the main story in any fashion. It is merely the place to dump obvious jokes.

I feel like they escaped from the set of Eegah!
To be fair, a scene of soldiers accidentally blowing up the alien ship and congratulating themselves on defending the Earth is probably the best moment in the whole film. I understand that the story had to stick somewhat to the plot of Invasion of the Saucer People, but it is too bad that it couldn’t strive for a more arch satire of the military and SF films of the 1950s. There’s also a very casual Vietnam draft joke in the early section of the movie that comes across as awkward in the wake of that war.

The cast is thoroughly unappealing; from yet another bland leading man (John Ashley), a female lead who is supposed to be ditzy, but just ends up being aggravating (Cynthia Hull), to the whole remaining cast of characters who are supposed to be irreverent, but just come across of smug. Once you are into the film you will be begging to spend screen time with the blissfully silent Eye Creatures.

"Oh, eye don't know..."
How does it look? Well, it’s a low budget made for TV movie, so pretty terrible. Everything is flat and murky. There are nighttime scenes so under lit, that it is almost impossible to see what is happening. The Eye Creatures lack any of the charm of the big headed aliens of Invasion of the Saucer People, instead looking like lumpy green walking turd-men. For things called Eye Creatures, their eyes are little more than a few black glassy dots scattered around their bodies. They stumble around with no personality, no purpose, and exist only to lazily menace horny teenagers.

The Eye Creatures exists as a document to just how thoroughly a movie can fail even when set against the lowest of expectations, such as being a cheap television remake of relatively obscure low-budget science-fiction comedy made eight years prior. 



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