Teenagers from Outer Space (1959) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Teenagers from Outer Space (1959) Review

Horrorific content by TE Simmons on February 18th, 2022 | Movie Review | Cult Classic, Classic Sci-Fi, B-Horror

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It’s about a handsome, young alien who falls for an Earth gal – but they’re from different worlds!

Teenagers from Outer Space was directed (and edited, composed, produced, and written) by Tom Graeff (The Noble Experiment). Along with the multi-tasking director himself, it stars David Love (The Orange Coast College Story), Dawn Bender (The Actress), Bryan Grant (Border Patrol), Harvey Dunn (Bride of the Monster), King Moody (from television’s Get Smart), and Helen Sage

Can uptight aliens recast the Earth as a feedlot for their lobster-Gargon-herds?

Teenagers from Outer Space Review

"Teenagers from Outer Space" opens with the corniest whining an astronomer could possibly voice: “How desperately alone the Earth is. Hanging in space like a speck of food floating in the ocean, sooner or later to be swallowed up by some creature floating by.” 

Then we cut to a dog (Sparky) howling at an approaching disc. Its diameter is about two meters. 

It sets down. The title credits roll. And out tumbles a helmeted alien who vaporizes Sparky, leaving only bones and a dog tag. Three other young men follow the first in matching jumpsuits and white shoes, carrying suitcases. 

The teen alien among them, a handsome chap who goes by “Derek” pulls a sidearm on his commander and insists that, given evidence of intelligent life preserved on the dead mutt’s dog tag, they ought to find an uninhabited planet for grazing their Gargons.  The commander overrules him. He snatches Derek’s ray gun back and lectures him about the “supreme race” – and their “supreme weapons.” But when the commander isn’t looking, Derek slips away. 

A clever lad, Derek locates the address from Sparky’s tag and rents a room there. Soon, he develops a crush on his landlord’s granddaughter, Betty.  But Derek’s crewmates and their Gargon herds are on his trail.

The girl next door who falls for the cute misfit from out of town is a well-worn tale. The alienation of youth is underscored by society’s rejection of the sweet-faced nonconformist. Only Betty recognizes his true value. 

With nothing but a ridiculously miniscule budget and grit, Tom Graeff crafted an awesome, sensitive film. He used masking tape to suggest stripes on the alien uniforms and those white sneakers – on closer inspection – turn out to be black shoes covered with white socks. Sadly, when the film bombed, Graeff had a mental breakdown, claimed he was Christ, and was arrested.

Worth Watching?

As one of the world’s most spectacular B-films, yes. Yes. A thousand times, yes. It’s a cult film well worth watching.

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