Friday, 1 September 2017

THE CAPE CANAVERAL MONSTERS












d. Phil Tucker (1960)


For all its power and wealth and air punching bravado, America is a frightened country: scared of infiltration, scared of domination, scared of difference, scared of dissent, scared of being unable to follow the manifest destiny invented to give them the excuse to do whatever they want. In The Cape Canaveral Monsters the Americans come up against aliens who share this self-centred obsession, but rather impudently have a manifest destiny of their own: to own and rule Earth.

The aliens take the form of hyperactive balls of light whose jittery movements are accompanied by discordant, disorienting music. They have the ability to live in human corpses, and live in human corpses they do, starting their invasion by causing a fatal car crash and casually moving into the male and female victims. Both are hideously disfigured, and the male corpse has his arm ripped off, but the aliens reason that they're not entering any beauty contests and there are lots of spare arms out there and, besides, the bloke alien can always stick his clearly not missing arm down the side of his trousers and hope for the best.  

Their mission is to disrupt missile tests at Cape Canaveral using some sort of magnetic ray gun. Whatever it is, it works. The idea is to destabilise the space programme and prepare the way for an alien invasion. Only a sex obsessed young scientist and his put upon girlfriend can save the Earth and after 70 minutes of fairly uneventful narrative, they do. It ends on an ambiguous note, so the Americans stay scared and angry, their default position. 

Not a bad film, but that doesn't make it a good one. It's okay, and I'm okay with that and so should you be.       

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