The Day Mars Invaded Earth (1963)

The Day Mars Invaded Earth 
Directed by Maury Dexter
Written by Harry Spalding
!963/USA
Associated Producers
First viewing/YouTube

 

Dr. David Fielding: It’s not every day we make a successful landing on Mars.

This was a solid little sci-fi story but the execution could have been improved.

Dr. David Fielding is the heart of the U.S. Mars program.  It has managed to land a probe on the planet, which transmitted for only six minutes.  Amid his busy day, Spencer begins to feel and act peculiar.  He goes to California for the weekend to reunite with his wife, who is becoming estranged from him, and two children.  Things are tense at first but soon the whole family must pull together to combat similar strange attacks and eventually sightings of doppelgängers.

It’s a nifty plot, a bit reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode, and the acting is pretty good. The ending is quite satisfying.  On the other hand, the whole thing is subject to a shaking, swaying camera.  I’m sure that at least some of this was meant to indicate the presence of aliens or something but it was very off-putting as was the jerky editing.  It was nice to see Marie Windsor – still Queen of the Bs in 1963!

Trailer – spoilers

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