Mind Blowing Movies: Invaders from Mars (1953), by Douglas Rushkoff

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23 Responses to “Mind Blowing Movies: Invaders from Mars (1953), by Douglas Rushkoff”

  1. As I recall, there were different endings for this movie.  One included the boy waking up only to spot the Martian ship landing for real (which they used for that horrible remake)

    • fredh says:

      Yeah, it was the UK ending that was more grim. A trend, I hear, in 60-70′s UK sci-fi. See “Quatermass and the Pit,” or “Village of the Damned” for more pessimistic storylines in the same vein.

  2. P says:

    That movie scared the shizzle out of me when I was a kid. I sneaked a furtive look at the back of my parents’ necks for days afterwards, terrified that I’d see a little round mark. What blew my mind was that one by one, the people the boy trusted most including the authority figures who should have protected him were turned into aliens, a pretty scary thought for a kid. The ending was pure nightmare, when he looks out his window and sees the alien ship landing. Yep, that movie did it for me, too.

  3. woodly says:

    With so many mindblowing movies being listed so frequently on BB, at what point does it become more interesting to post about non-mindblowing movies?

  4. John Spencer says:

    One of my most favorite movies as a kid. I remember the martians ran like they had shit in their pants!

  5. Lemoutan says:

    It was the quicksandily thereminny stuff which did for me. And the underfoot rug removal as – one by one – the people you trust become turncoats. It also kind of undermines those warnings you’re given against accepting gifts from strangers, since you can’t even trust your ain folk.

  6. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Creepiest eyebrows in film history.

  7. Vanwall Green says:

    The alien in the fishbowl – still creepy as hell.

  8. Brian Kiesel says:

    The part that freaked me out as a kind was when they got sucked into the sand.   That scene gave me nightmares as a kid.

  9. Finnagain says:

    I’ve never seen this one, but this is still a good policy:

    check the back of his neck to see if he had been changed.

  10. robcat2075 says:

    Pretty good stunt work by the kid when he takes that backhand in the face from his dad.  

    He’s going down just a hair too soon but that shot freaked me out more than the soldier getting sucked into the sand.

  11. Stefan Jones says:

    I was a teen when I saw Invaders from Mars, so it wasn’t terrifying . . . but it was still creepy. There was a wonderful dream-like air to it.

    One shot stands out. A little neighbor girl gets “turned,” and starts a fire. It might have been her own house, I forget. But I remember this LOOK on her face, the most amazing evil smirk, when she is asked if she knows anything about the fire.

    Trivia: The wall of boiling bubble-like stuff was made of inflated condoms.

  12. Finnagain says:

    Alright already! I’ll watch it.

    Trivia: The wall of boiling bubble-like stuff was made of inflated condoms.

  13. catdance says:

    I wasn’t allowed to watch scary movies of any sort when I was a kid.  No Outer Limits, no Twilight Zone — not even Abbot & Costello Meet Frankenstein.  To this day I recall peeking into the living room from the stairs, watching a movie in which people had marks on the back of their necks (barbed wire was given as an excuse at some point?) and there was an underground room with warty surfaces.  It scared the hell out of me and gave me bad dreams, which I couldn’t run to my mother with since I’d been watching something I shouldn’t have. I think that is one of the very few times I ever thought my mother just might be correct about one of her rules.  At least now I know what the movie is, and I can FINALLY watch all of it, more years than I’ll admit to later.

  14. Scott Bryson says:

    I’ve got the horror story to beat everyone re this film. At 5 y/o my parents had just been in LSD tests with some MK-Ultra related doctors and in my mom’s case she was turned loose to wander L.A. and never recovered–she was in her room crying much of my childhood and remained pretty stressed out constantly while ignoring us–so we were glued to Outer Limits & the Twilight Zone every day, along with seeing this movie.

    But around the same time, one night my brother told me to wake our parents and come in the living room (they were out stone cold) and look across the canyon.

    Above the house of my best friend, whose dad Gene Barry had recently starred in War of the Worlds, was a UFO the size of a full moon, except it rose up, hovered a few minutes and then disappeared behind the hill.

    So when my parent’s behavior had dramatically changed and I saw this movie, I suppose another conspiracy theorist was made for life. And for some odd reason my friend seemed to fade out of my life at that point too.

    Still trying to comprehend if this was all a synchronistic accident or a contrived experiment…

    • miasm says:

      and the Tavistok institute might really be manipulating popular culture to manufacture mindless consumer zombies.
      Man! I want to believe but…. Names!
      Name and shame these damn Doctors. The whole first (truly modern) generation of attempts at mind control seem to be like attempts at micro-surgery with a chainsaw. The damage they did to some people was indefensible and as much as the history is maligned in relatively mainstream sources we are still left with stuff like Scientology and advertising, Pop and Paul is Dead.

  15. miasm says:

    Rushkoff, you glorious kook!

  16. Outtacontext says:

    The 1950s version of Invaders from Mars was THE scariest movie I had ever seen. In Los Angeles we had the Million Dollar Movie where they showed the same film every night for a week. And, of course, I watched it every night. I was so scared at the end of the week I couldn’t go to sleep. I never walked through a vacant lot again without looking at my feet to make sure the ground didn’t suddenly open up. Years later, I made a photograph about it. 

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