Movies From the Black Lagoon: Galaxy Invader
Movies From the Black Lagoon
Galaxy Invader-1985, Unrated
A benign alien survives a crash landing, in rural Maryland, only to find itself hunted by a drunken mob in this creature feature from the late Don Dohler.
I've covered Dohler before and he's a real treat. This guy loved monster movies and managed to craft enjoyable creature features despite budgetary limitations. He may not have garnered the reputation of notable Baltimore talents like John Waters and Barry Levinson, but he always delivered on the brain candy.
This one starts out like "The Blob" as a young guy named David, tooling along a country road at dusk without his headlights on, spots an object come crashing to earth. Rather than investigate, or call the police, he opts to contact a professor he hasn't seen in years and invite him over to explore the scene.
Said professor is all too happy to come but he lives five hours away. Meanwhile, we are introduced to the Montague family. This bunch is so dysfunctional they don't even require a Capulet clan for strife. They have their hands full with a drunken dad who rules the roost with a gun in one hand and a bottle of ripple in the other. A typical family breakfast ends in tears as daughter Carol gets chased out of the house by the dad, who's toting a shotgun, after she summons the gall to imply that he's a drunken bum. Dad loses interest in the chase when he observes an alien creature that has emerged from the forest. He immediately shoots at the being, which then panics and drops a glowing ball before darting away.
Papa Montague decides he needs help if he's going to capture the alien and sell it to a carnival (he may not be bright but he's at least ambitious) so he contacts the local hood, Frank Custer. The thug decides they'll need more men so he heads out to the local watering hole (around noon) and finds it filled with gun toting dudes who have time on their hands. They accept his vague offer to hunt a mystery critter after dark (I guess they couldn't get away before happy hour) and show up totally plowed. Meanwhile, David and the professor befriend the alien. Turns out the E.T. will need all the help he can get but the professor turns out to have a major weakness - he can't out run bullets fired by drunks.
Before you know it the alien is in deep trouble even though it manages to wipe out most of the posse with some fancy shooting it must have picked up at the "Laser Academy". It all comes down to a duel between the Montagues as they finally decide to unseat their tyrant father. Unfortunately, they pretty much put off this action until everyone else is dead.
This one is a lot of fun and you have to give props to the late Mr. Dohler for getting it made in the first place. He knows what audiences want and delivers a decent alien suit. The actors are mostly amateurs but they don't flub their lines and seem to be having a good time. Most of them sport the same last name as the director so it's pretty clear this is a family affair. Despite the fact that this has an incredibly lame last shot (which involves tossing an obvious dummy off of a mountain) there are some good bits here and Dohler keeps the action at a lean 70 some odd minutes.
Best Line: "We found this green man in the woods. Pa shot at him and he dropped this white thing."
Tom Doty occasionally emerges from the Lagoon to check his e-mail. If you'd like to get a message to him, write to: email@example.com.