‘World panic as UFOs approach Earth…’
The Eye Creatures is a 1965 American science fiction horror film about an invasion by a flying saucer and its silent alien occupants.
While the military ineptly attempts to stop the invasion, a group of young people, whose reports to the local police are dismissed as pranks or wild imagination, struggle to defend themselves against the menacing monsters.
The film was produced and directed by Larry Buchanan (Zontar: The Thing from Venus; It’s Alive; The Loch Ness Horror) from a screenplay written by Paul W. Fairman, Robert J. Gurney Jr. and Al Martin. It is a colour remake of the 1957 black and white AIP film Invasion of the Saucer Men intended to fill out a package of AIP films released to television. It was edited by future director S.F. Brownrigg (Don’t Look in the Basement).
The movie stars John Ashley, Cynthia Hull and Warren Hammack.
The Eye Creatures is an odd little movie. It begins, as so many bad sci-fi movies do, with Peter Graves narrating about how the government has been keeping an eye on a flying saucer that’s apparently been hovering over the Earth for quite some time. However, a quick visit to Project Visitor reveals that the soldiers assigned to protect us are more interested in using their monitoring equipment to spy on teenagers making out in their cars! Agck! Total invasion of privacy!
Of course, what’s particularly sad about the whole thing is that you know that’s totally what would happen in real life as well. Give a group of people the power to spy on anyone in the world? Of course, they’re going to end up spying on people fooling around in cars! That’s one reason why Earth is just as doomed today as it was in 1965.
Anyway, the flying saucer does eventually land. Unfortunately, our government is too incompetent to do anything about it. The aliens inside turn out to be …. well, not that impressive. For one thing, they don’t speak. There are none of the grandiose threats to conquer the world that we’ve come to expect from aliens. At the same time, we also don’t have to hear about how the rest of the universe is disappointed in us for polluting our planet and blowing each other up so that’s a good thing. So often, intergalactic visitors can be so judgmental! Anyway, these aliens are lumpy and grey and they’ve got several eyes. They don’t really look that impressive.
So, the government turns out to be pretty useless when it comes to battling the aliens and the local police are sceptical that any intergalactic visitors would bother to land in their crappy little town. Fortunately, as always happens whenever the controlling legal authorities fail to do their job, there are teenagers and they’re willing to do what needs to be done to protect the world!
Of course, if Stan (John Ashley) and Susan (Cynthia Hull) are going to rally the troops against the aliens, they’re going to have to borrow someone’s phone. That’s going to mean convincing the local old man to let them use his phone. The old man, who has had enough of those crazy kids with all their kissing and the jazzy lingo, is more interested in using his shotgun to keep people off his lawn.
Meanwhile, two drunks decide that they want to get in on all this alien business. They both later die and no one in the movie seems to care. That’s just the type of movie that this is….
…and if it sounds familiar, that’s probably because you’ve seen the 1957 drive-in classic, Invasion of the Saucer Men! Basically, in the mid-60s, American International Pictures commissioned Texas filmmaker Larry Buchanan to remake some of their most successful drive-in films. Apparently, the plan was to sell them to television. So, Buchanan took the script for Saucer Men, tossed in some scenes of the government spying on people (Buchanan was a noted conspiracy theorist who previously directed The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald), and called his film The Eye Creatures!
Yet, while Invasion of the Saucer Men was a genuinely clever sci-fi satire, The Eye Creatures is done in by Buchanan’s inability to keep his story moving at a steady pace and it doesn’t help that the iconic Saucer Men have been replaced by men who appear to be wearing trash bags. The Eye Creatures is an unfortunate remake and one that should be viewed only after you’ve watched Invasion of the Saucer Men and maybe every other public domain sci-fi film that’s currently on YouTube.
Lisa Marie Bowman, guest reviewer via Through the Shattered Lens
“The costumes are a remarkably varied bunch. To begin with, only a few of them have the multitudinous eyes that we see on the first alien— not a trivial concern in a movie called The Eye Creatures. But worse still, the majority of the extras portraying the monsters are outfitted only with the headpieces of their costumes! From the shoulders down, they’re just wearing black tights and f*cking tennis shoes!!!!” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting
” …since this is a remake, it needs to find a way to improve upon the original or offer a fresh take on an established idea and this does no such thing. The acting is terrible, the photography is flat and ugly, the effects suck and the direction is leaden. The only new scenes grafted on (the goofy peeping tom military guys) are horrible. Worst of all, the creatures aren’t even any good.” The Bloody Pit of Horror
“It is worth watching for its thorough shoddiness. Like the supposed night-time setting that flickers back and forward between day and night because someone clearly either couldn’t afford day-for-night processing or simply forgot. There is the dismembered hand, which never extends into the shot beyond the wrist and does the remarkable job of tiptoeing (or tip-fingering) up vertical surfaces on two fingernails.” Moria
” …the footage of the saucer in space – which looks like a hamburger in a McDonalds ad – does not in any way resemble the flying saucer we see on the ground (it has even turned green). It is sporadically amusing, with a few okay bits and the same goofy “headlights” ending as the original film.” Rivets on the Poster
“When Buchanan tries to be serious he is hilarious. But when he tries to be funny he is boring. The bumbling soldiers… the cranky old man… the wisecracking teens… nothing works.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers
“The monsters here have white, lumpy heads (much like the Michelin Tire Man in those old TV commercials) with a bunch of little eyes all over, and a large open mouth cavity. Some of the actors playing the aliens didn’t have full body suits, so their black clothes and white sneakers are conspicuously on display in some shots!” DVD Drive-In
“A big problem is that the entire story takes place at night, and Buchanan uses a thoroughly unconvincing blend of day-for-night, night-for-night, and soundstage photography, with the day-for-night footage looking so especially bad many scattered shots look like mid-day. The performances in The Eye Creatures are mostly terrible, and Buchanan’s sledgehammer approach to comedy is painful.” DVD Talk
” …there’ll be a moment here or there that actually doesn’t seem all that bad, and you start thinking that maybe Buchanan had some talent, but then you’ll see a hopeless muddle of scenes that show either gross incompetence or gross carelessness, and you suspect the good scene was a fluke.” Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings
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