The Alien Factor – USA, 1977 – reviews

‘Gripping sci-fi terror from beyond…’

The Alien Factor is a 1977 American science fiction horror feature film directed and written by Baltimore-based filmmaker Don Dohler [as Donald M. Dohler] (Blood MassacreThe Galaxy InvaderNightbeast; Fiend). The movie stars Don Leifert, Tom Griffiths, Mary Mertens and features cult actor George Stover.

The film features the special effects of Ernest D. Farino (The Terminator), John Cosentino and Larry Schlecter and was shown frequently on American TV throughout the 1980s, including Ted Turner’s Superstation.

A young teenage couple making out in a car when an insect-looking monster attacks. Sheriff Cinder must find out what’s causing the killings. Meanwhile, Mayor Wicker (Richard Dyszel) wants to keep a lid on the deaths so a multi-million dollar amusement park can be built…


Reviews [click links to read more]:

“To be sure, there are plenty of technical flaws in The Alien Factor, but much like good punk rock, these flaws do not distract from the bigger picture thanks to the sheer amount of enthusiasm shown by the filmmakers. This feeling is further enhanced by the fact that this was Dohler’s first film, and it is clear that he was learning as he went.” Bad Movies for Bad People

“Extremely cheap-looking, amateurishly acted, poorly edited and filled with continuity errors, awful dialogue and cheesy SFX, this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. For others, however, it’s going to be a fun and charming no budget creature feature.” The Bloody Pit of Horror

The Alien Factor is undeniably bad, but it does have a certain energy to it, credit for a guy who went out and just did it. I would not really recommend you go out of your way for it. It is not a good movie, just admirable for the conditions under which it was made.” Critical Outcast

” …incompetent-at-best Dohler’s amalgamation of a standard 1950s aliens on the loose plot line with diverse elements of Jaws and TV’s McCloud thrown in, has become a known entity for aficionados of bad, bad moviemaking thanks to repeated cable showings and a well-received skewering from Cinematic Titanic.” DVD Drive-In

” …of special interest to his small-but-loyal legion of fans simply for the fact that it came first and pretty much set the blueprint for all that was to follow, minus a small handful of tricks that he decided not to try again. It’s 80-or-so entertaining minutes of homemade-monster-movie nonsense, and around these parts that is hardly a derogatory description.” Trash Film Guru

Buy Blu-ray:

“The special effects for the cosmos are well done, but it’s the monster make-up that’s the highlight. The Alien Factor is fun in fits and starts, but the amateur cast pretty much sinks the flick. Their flat line readings and awkward screen presence makes even the simplest of scenes seem interminable. And because of that, it’s a long 79 minutes.” The Video Vacuum

“Executed with a genuine affection for the genre, this is a fine film for fans of both regional and amateur filmmaking. Worth a view, even if you’re not.” Videohound’s Complete Guide to Cult Flicks and Trash Pics


Cast and characters:

  • Don Leifert … Ben Zachary – Crawler; Blood Massacre; The Galaxy Invader; NightbeastFiend
  • Tom Griffith … Sheriff Cinder – Nightbeast; Fiend
  • Richard Dyszel … Mayor Wicker
  • Mary Mertens … Edie Martin
  • Richard Geiwitz … Pete
  • George Stover … Steven – Killer Campout; Camp Blood 666; Sociopathia; The Galaxy Invader; Nightbeast; et al
  • Eleanor Herman … Mary Jane Carter
  • Anne Frith … Doctor Ruth Sherman
  • Christopher Gummer … Clay
  • Don Dohler … Ernie
  • Dave Ellis … Richie
  • Dave Geatty … Man in Bar
  • Margie Van Tassell … Susan
  • Tony Malanowski … Ed Miller – director of Curse of the Screaming Dead; Night of Horror


The Alien Factor was released in the USA on 12 May 1978.


The budget was reportedly just $3,500.

Not to be confused with the 1989 movie of the same name.

One Comment on “The Alien Factor – USA, 1977 – reviews”

  1. Always have and always will have a place in my heart for Dohler’s films. And this may top the list. Love how with little resources he was able to pull off something pretty ambitious. Flawed? Certainly. But it has heart, guts, some great creatures, and ambitious ideas. Thank you Don, may you rest in peace.

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