They Came from Beyond Space (1967)
They Came From Beyond Space is the first British film reviewed in the Million Monkey Theater, though it hopefully won't be the last. A clear rip-off of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, this film's flavor is fairly common of cheaply made sci-fi in the 1960s. It's not the best movie by any account, more of a made-for-television quality show with some low-rent actors and as little costly special effects as possible. I kind of liked it, and the music was fab!
And now on to our show...
Let's talk about the music first. This is the late 1960s in England, remember, so the soundtrack for this movie is full of groovy lounge beats and funky organ-based jazz numbers. The music is similar to early Yardbirds stuff, or Herbie Hancock in his most swingin' days, and has probably been sampled by everyone from Dee-Lite to Beck by now. The Austin Powers movies have brought a lot of this back into fashion recently, especially with the tragically hip wannabees. Mod on, dudes!
We open in Cornwall, England, a rural area of wooded valleys and wide farms on the edge of England's southwest peninsula. Cornwall is to London as Kansas is to New York City, if that helps set the scene any at all. We see that a farming couple is out in the fields working, the man on a tractor, his wife bringing him a snack in a Land Rover truck (The Land Rover is a mid 1950s 88 two-door model with the open top, back when Rovers were strictly utilitarian rough-country vehicles and not suburban ego wagons. This same truck will be seen throughout this movie, being driven by a number of different people).
Suddenly, they see a formation of glowing objects in the cloudy darkening sky. Strangely, they seem to be flying in a V formation across the sky, nine bright dots moving fast from left to right. They watch them come closer and then crash into one of their fields!
Sometime later, at an astronomical observatory some distance "north of Cornwall" (the only geographical clue I could find), we see a man from the British Ministry of Space Research come to see a world-renown expert on the search for extraterrestrial life named Doctor Curtis Temple. Curtis will be our movie's hero and all events and action flow through him. Curtis is played by 47-year old American actor Robert Hutton, who was never quite able to get over the hump into the Big Time, and mostly toiled in lesser-quality and b-movies. He was pretty popular in those, getting top billing in such features as The Slime People, Trog, Naked Youth, and The Vulture.
While on the surface a mild-mannered scientist, Curtis has a hard edged action hero vein to him. He fights much younger men, runs like a gazelle, leaps over high fences, shoots sniper rifles with skill, drives like Mario Andretti, fathoms alien technology at first sight, and woos all the ladies. Perhaps he was once a Commando before becoming a scientist? He's about the right age to have been in WWII or Korea, maybe he has some military training? I hope so, because it's a stretch to make us believe that he can do all these things without some background explanation. The script was clearly written with a much younger and spryer actor in mind, someone who could be just as intelligent and dashing, but also physically capable of doing the numerous stunts. Why they went with Hutton, at near 50 with gray hair and a paunchy gut, and not some 30-year old, is a serious question. It's not like England wasn't rife with younger leading men who would gladly take the role, I think it was just a case of the producers needing a "recognizable" name to put on the marquee.
Anyway, the Ministry man tells Curtis about the rock fall in Cornwall and how the strange circumstances (that they fell in a V formation) have gotten people's knickers all twisted. Curtis and his team of scientists is being asked (well, officially requisitioned by the government apparently) to go down to the farmstead and check out the meteors.
The problem is that Curtis was in a nasty automobile wreck recently, one where he suffered a severe head injury. He had a silver plate stuck in the back of his skull during surgery and he's still recovering (though his hair seems to have grown back nicely over the section of skull that they replaced and he shows no scars at all). Curtis' physician orders him to stay put, too much running around and stress is not recommended. Curtis objects that he's feeling fine, but the physician won't budge.
If I were Curtis (and thank God I'm not) I'd just go anyway and the physician can just rot. This is potentially tangible proof of alien intelligence and I cannot fathom why Curtis would let some overprotective doctor keep him away from the find of the millennium. Mulder would have gone. Anyway, Curtis has to back out of the trip, and instead turns the leadership of the team over to his fellow scientist, and girlfriend, Lee Mason.
Lee is played by 35-year old English actress Jennifer Jayne, a minor b-movie scream queen with lead roles in such gems as The Crawling Eye, Hysteria, and The Blood Suckers. Her love affair with Curtis is a bit icky, as she looks ten years younger than she is and you end up with that whole Entrapment Connery/Zeta Jones sort of headscratcher. Lee is a very unattractive, anorexically thin, hawk-nosed woman with the singularly most ugly beehive hairdo I've ever seen. She also has flaming red hair, which only makes the beehive worse, like a big red poodle sitting on top of her head, snarling and snapping at passing children.
We follow Lee and her team now, as they go to the farm and start investigating the meteors. The rocks are all irregular rocky chunks about four feet in diameter. Most strangely, they seem to be barely stuck in the ground, certainly not what you would expect from the opening shot of them smashing into the field at great velocity. There are no craters, no debris, no expelled dirt or anything that might suggest they crashed down from space.
The team is doing some basic tests when a dude tries to hit one of the meteors with a rock hammer. Suddenly, a bright light flashes, the music gets all up-tempo spacey and all the humans in the area (the five team members, the Ministry of Space dude, some policemen, and the farmers) collapse to the ground in obvious pain, holding their heads and thrashing around dramatically.
Be careful with those rocks.
Within a few seconds, however, they all rise, seemingly physically fine but clearly mentally changed. They start talking in a strange detached alien voice and their faces have become overly passive and stiff, devoid of nearly all emotion. I'll give it away here, because you'd be a fool not to have already figured it out, but there were aliens in those meteors, beings made of pure energy who are looking for hosts. They are now inhabiting the minds of these humans, using their bodies to move about and do things that pure energy beings cannot accomplish.
Alien-controlled blank stare (I see this look at home a lot...)
So they set about containing the farm, taking over more local people and such. They're going to use this isolated farm as a base of operations, though they have no plans to expand beyond the borders of the farm. I might as well tell you now that they're going to use these human bodies, and their skills and minds, to build a rocket base to make trips to the moon and back. A deeper explanation later on.
Lee then goes to a local bank to get one million pounds to finance all this construction. This is helped by her bringing along an alien-in-a-hunk-of-meteor to take over the bank president. Now they have a ton of money to hire people to come work at the farm (and take them over as they arrive) and buy the equipment they need. They also start calling in needed scientists from all over England, asking them to come down to the farm (also to be taken over).
Curtis is a smartyhead scientist, so the Ministry of Space dude (whose name is Arden) comes to see Curtis back at the observatory, looking to take him and his last remaining assistant back to the farm. Arden is played by 39-year old Bernard Kay, a low to mid-level talent who has been working in minor films and television for close to 50 years now. I know he's big in the Doctor Who community, but I have just never gotten into Doctor Who. Arden will play the role of Key Supporting Lackey in our movie, the muscle behind Lee's nefarious plans.
Arden has a hunk of asteroid in the car and when the assistant sits down, he is taken-over quickly. Curtis, however, seems unaffected by the meteor! Arden looks surprised at this, but reacts quickly and drives off, leaving Curtis sprawled in the dirt.
Curtis then runs to get his keys for his roadster to give chase. However, he oddly gives up this idea when the phone rings while he's in his office. It's his Boss, who wants to see him about some strange requisitions coming from Lee at the farm site. Curtis goes to talk with his Boss about them in his office (note the screaming hot secretary on the right, the perks of upper management).
Lee is teletyping in requests for all sorts of raw building materials (lumber, cement, steel, electrical equipment, heavy duty cable) and construction equipment, as well as small arms (!). The Boss has also discovered that all the scientists working down there have closed out their bank accounts to the last penny. Despite the Boss's confusion and reluctance, he seems to be signing off on these purchases as we see later that Lee and her crew have all they need down at the farm. The Boss does tell Curtis to go down there and find out what's going on.
Ok, Curtis has this wicked cool vintage open-wheel two-seat V-8 roadster that he always drives around in. I don't know what kind of car it is (if you do, email me!) but it looks like a 1920s or 30s rich man's plaything. A Bentley 3 Liter, I think, based solely on the "B" on the front grill. This car gets about as much screen time as most of the actors, and I wonder if it belonged to the director or maybe whoever cut the checks for the production.
So Curtis takes his roadster down to Cornwall to check on the farm and see Lee. Along the way, he asks for directions at a small gas station (sorry, petrol station, forgot we were in England). There he's hit on by a Blonde Biker Chick-looking girl half his age (ick). Curtis just smiles at her offer and drives off down the road.
The Blonde Biker Chick.
He's further surprised to see that a tall electric fence has been built all around the perimeter of the farm, and the one road into the property has a newly-built guard post and a gate now. Several Sten gun and pistol armed men are standing watch and will not let Curtis enter.
After Curtis threatens to ram his roadster through the gate, they call up to the farmhouse for Lee. She comes down in the Land Rover and basically tells Curtis to go to hell. You can tell Curtis is distraught that his girlfriend is now a cold disinterested bitch with a hidden agenda, and leaves in a huff.
He decides a bit later to go back to the farm and see what he can see. This is the first of numerous times that Curtis takes the matter into his own hands. Instead of phoning the police or the government about his suspicions (and copious evidence), he goes all Rambo on us, preferring one-man action hero missions. You know, I wonder if the first draft of this screenplay had the setting somewhere in the Third World. Somewhere where all this could go on without anyone in the local government taking notice or even caring, like the Sahara or way out in the Outback or something. Because it just seems a stretch to say that all this alien activity is happening in well-populated England, even if it's in Cornwall.
Curtis is now lurking out in the woods near the farmhouse (where's the extended perimeter security?), when he spies Lee leaving in the Land Rover. He chases her a bit in his roadster, and then pulls out in front of her, forcing her to stop. But as he gets out to confront her, Lee pulls out a fancy space ray gun (looks like a knock-off Star Trek phaser) and zaps him with a light beam. Curtis falls painfully into a short-term coma as Lee drives off and leaves him in the middle of the road (with all the trouble Curtis has been causing them lately, I'd think she would call to have someone come pick him up and keep him captive). And what's with the phaser, anyway. These aliens came to Earth as disembodied mental energy blobs, right? So did they have their human hosts make these phasers here on Earth, they must have. Makes no sense when they have bought perfectly good pistols and submachineguns.
Curtis awakes sometime later in the gas station, tended to by the suspiciously-helpful Blonde Biker Chick. He shakes off the aftereffects and heads off with barely a "Thanks for dragging my ass off the road and even towing my car back here." Selfish bastard.
Once again, Curtis is out in the woods near the farmhouse, doing a little recon work. He's surprised by a man who walks up to him and introduces himself as an "Internal Security" agent. He has been out here for a while observing the farm and wants to get Curtis' input on what's going on. First, he has Curtis drive him into town so he can call his superiors and make sure it's ok to let Curtis in on the lowdown.
The IS man.
So the IS agent goes into a telephone booth and zips off to another time and dimension...whoops, wrong movie. He does, however, suddenly, and most unexpectedly, come stumbling out covered with red blood spots! He falls to the ground and dies quickly, even before Curtis can reach him. A small crowd gathers, and a local doctor comes by and checks the body. In one of the better perspective shots of the entire movie, the camera pans to his hands as they, too, are now covered in blood spots, and then slowly up to his face, which is also covered in them. The doctor thuds heavily to the ground dead as the rest of the people run screaming. The don't get very far, however, and they all fall over dead with the same symptoms before they can run ten yards.
The blood spots!
Oddly (and, in light of later information, completely illogically) Curtis is unaffected by this fast spreading plague and is able to drive away from the area. As we later learn that even the aliens have to take a serum to protect themselves from this plague, we really wonder how the hell Curtis is immune. At movie's end, this nagging inconsistency is still not resolved.
We now get a little interlude where a Dan Rather-type newscaster tells us, the television audience, that the plague has killed off nearly everyone in this town (He states he's now walking down the empty streets, which seems pretty damn dangerous considering they don't know how this plague is transmitted yet. Give him a Pulitzer!). The newscaster hands it over to a smarty head doctor, who tells us that the government is taking the plague victims to the farm (!) for disposal. He says he can't tell why yet, but everyone is really scared that this plague will sweep England and the world if not contained here.
Sometime later, a strange man comes to visit Curtis (where is he anyway, looks like in a hotel. Maybe in a hotel in the nearest town to the farm? But wasn't that one evacuated after the plague?). This man tells him he's also from Internal Security and they have decided that Curtis is too big a security risk to let in on the Big Secret. He tells Curtis to pack up and go back home before he gets hurt. He then leaves, and Curtis watches out the window as he gets in a car driven by...the Blonde Biker Chick from the gas station! What the hell? Ah, I see, both the IS agent and the Blonde Biker Chick have been taken over by the aliens and this was an attempt on their parts to get Curtis to keep his nose out of this.
Well, that doesn't work, of course. He drives back to the farm, first getting into a lame fist fight with two taken-over dudes at the gas station (he was looking for that mysterious Blonde Biker Chick). He then drives up to the main gate again, where the guards are in no mood to deal with him again. They even fire a line of bullets at his feet to convince him that they're serious. Curtis barely flinches as the 9mm bullets tear up the ground in front of him! Clearly he has seen some combat in his life, he has nerves of steel. He gets in his roadster and drives off for now.
But Curtis is not about to give up. He goes back late at night and hides in the woods with a pair of binoculars. As he watches a gantry with a large rocket on it rises out of the pond! The wiggly plastic model rocket blasts off into the sky, clearly running along a fishing line tied to the top of the sound stage. Curtis looks down at his watch, looks up at the moon, and somehow figures out that the rocket is headed for the moon (sure, like it's that easy).
We later see him yet again drive within a hundred yards of the main gate unseen. He gets out, takes a hunk of metal (that looks like a coffee bean grinder or maybe a tire jack) and sneak up to a section of the electrified fence. He tosses the grinder at the fence, which sparks and flashes and apparently overloads. I don't know a lot about electrified fences, but is this really how they work? Can you blow out all the circuits just by tossing something metal at it? If so, then the electrified fence is the biggest paper tiger defensive method ever invented. And what's he doing anyway, testing the fence? Did he think they were lying about the whole 10,000 volts of killing power thing?
Anyway, the guards start blasting away with their Sten guns, forcing Curtis' stunt double to run very fast as squibs pop all around him. He jumps in the roadster and squeals off as more bullets zing all around him. He didn't think that one through, eh? Nearly got his ass shot off. Next time he might want to consider hitting a section of the fence further away from the main gate.
Next we see Curtis up on a grassy knoll with a sniper rifle (hehehe...hmmm? What do you mean you didn't get that?), overlooking the power transformers recently set up to power all that construction. Taking careful aim, he fires three shots, hitting the ceramic power couplings on the tops of two of the transformers, blowing them up in a shower of sparks. The guards below start to run around, firing their prop Sten guns into the woods at random.
Having caused the needed chaos, Curtis ducks and runs. He finds an isolated part of the fence and tosses his rifle at it. Nothing, no zaps, no burns. So by shooting the transformers, he just shut off the electricity to the fence. His stunt double then climbs up the twelve-foot high chainlink fence and drops down to the ground inside the wire like a gymnast. Notice that he leaves the sniper rifle (looks like a Lee Enfield) on the other side of the fence, which just seems stupid to give up your firepower advantage over people trying really hard to shoot you.
Despite the fact that the place must have been crawling with armed men by now, Curtis is then somehow able to sneak up to the main farmhouse and slip inside. There, in the living room, is a large cylindrical elevator shaft (!), which leads down to an underground complex recently built below the farmhouse.
He's surprised now by a taken-over scientist with a phaser. Curtis' stunt double then gets into an impressive fist fight with the scientist's stunt double. There's a lot of tossing, punching, throwing and lunging, and the two stuntmen really go out of their way to give each other some serious rug burns and bruises. Perhaps these two men disliked each other off the set, and decided to take out their negative feelings in front of the camera. In the end, the scientist is bested and knocked out.
Curtis now takes the elevator down, which opens up to a large lobby of sorts with doors leading off at intervals. He wanders around a bit, before some guards force him to seek shelter in one of the smaller rooms off the side. In here he's shocked to find a cold storage vault of sorts, filled with dead plague victims! They're all tagged and many are wrapped in clear plastic, one is even the Blonde Biker Chick (!). As he checks the bodies out, the door opens and he's cornered by some guards. They zap him with a phaser set on stun.
He awakes "48 hours later" in a cell (though even though out for two days, he's still cleanly shaven with every hair in place). Arden comes to talk with him through a slot in the cell door. He tells Curtis what we already know, that they're aliens who have taken-over the minds of many humans to do manual labor on rocket construction projects here at the farm. When asked about the plague, Arden tells him that they have a serum, but only enough for them and no one else. It seems the aliens bioengineered the plague to get manpower (though Arden is pretty vague about it here).
So, left alone for now, Curtis begins to look for a way to escape. For some dumbass reason, there's a bright spotlight in the cell, that seems to follow him around. He soon discovers, however, that the light is pegged to a small metal disc that was loosely attached to the back of his jacket. When he takes the jacket off and lays it on the bed, the light stays with the jacket and not with Curtis as he walks away. This gives him an idea.
Back in the control room, we see Arden and Lee talking about Curtis and what an annoying fuck he has been lately. They decide to just kill him now and not risk anymore trouble. Arden goes down to the cell with his phaser "set on three". Looking through the peephole, he sees that the cell is empty! So, being an intelligent alien, he calls for a squad of submachinegun-armed guards to go in with him to check it out. No, wait...he doesn't? He opens the cell and walks in alone? He gets jumped from behind by Curtis who was hiding behind the door out of the peephole's view? He gets knocked out and Curtis escapes? How stupid are these aliens? Haven't they ever watched a movie before?
Curtis beelines for the control room (though how he knew where it was is a mystery), where he runs into Lee. She pulls a phaser on him and threatens him with all sorts of nasty things. Curtis, formerly being a highly trained SAS commando (I hope), jumps her. Lee, despite standing there with her phaser pointing at him, allows Curtis to take several running steps towards her, leap into the air and tackle her around the waist without pulling the trigger once! Curtis then gives Lee a right cross to the chin (!) and knocks her out. Don't hit girls, even alien ones.
Dragging her out of the way just in time, another taken-over scientist walks into the room. For a second, the man walks between the hiding Curtis and some sort of bluish transparent glass object. In that fleeting second, Curtis can see a faint wobbling blue fuzzy thing on the back of the man's head (!), which he later guesses is the alien presence that has entered the man's brain.
Hmm...could that be a clue?
The scientist then sees Curtis and pulls a weapon. This is a small automatic pistol (looks like a Baretta), mind you, not a phaser (which is weird, why do scientists deep inside the complex carry pistols, or phasers, for that matter?). He banters a bit with Curtis, before Curtis raises the phaser that he took from Lee and zaps the scientist. Again, the scientist has about two seconds there where he could have pulled the trigger several times before Curtis could bring his own weapon to bear, but he doesn't.
So, Curtis picks up the unconscious Lee and carries her to the elevator shaft (I assume that after each take, the elderly actor had to take a nap after lugging that heavy girl around). He goes back up into the farmhouse, easily avoiding a group of dumbass guards who run right by him.
Out in the driveway, he's able to stick her in the Land Rover (watch as the supposedly unconscious Lee shuffles herself into a more comfortable position after Curtis plops her in the seat) and they drive off. Heading for the main gate, Curtis steps on the accelerator, smashing through the barrier and roaring off.
"Damn, woman, you're fat! I need a smoke."
The four guards at the gate immediately raise their Sten guns and fire constantly at the rapidly departing vehicle. This is one of my all-time pet peeves in movies, people firing ineffectually at fleeing vehicles. Where did all those bullets go? The range wasn't that far, did those four guys miss completely while emptying their clips? Even the large back windshield of the Land Rover isn't damaged.
And no one thinks to chase after Curtis either, they just let him go! With Lee, the head of the project! He then drives to his roadster (which is now parked far out in the woods) and transfers the limp form of Lee to that car.
While sticking her in the back seat (under the snap-down tarp covering the convertible top), she wakes up. She orders him to untie her, but he says that she better watch it because he's willing to kill her to keep her quiet (I think he's bluffing). They're going to a "friend" of his, the "only man who will believe him".
This turns out to be fellow scientist named Farge, played by 34-year old Pakistani actor Zia Mohyeddin. I just saw Mohyeddin in the great "fictional documentary" Death of a Princess on PBS (a movie I highly recommend for anyone interested in women's roles in Arabic culture). He's the best actor in the entire movie, by far.
Curtis tells Farge all he knows, and Farge accepts it at face value immediately. Curtis then tells him that he suspects that the silver plate in his noggin has prevented his alien take-over. He suggests testing that by making a silver cap of sorts and seeing if it will keep Farge from being affected. They melt down some of Farge's silver riding trophies (who the hell keeps a smelter oven in their house? Perhaps Farge is a metallurgist by trade?) and stick it on an overturned colander!
Thus "protected", Farge goes up to Lee, who's still tied up in the back of the roadster (she's been in there quite a while, hope Curtis brought her some snacks). The alien inside Lee attempts to "leap" from her to Farge, but the silver hat prevents this. Terrible risk there, what if the silver had to be just millimeters from the brain to be effective?
Anyway, now that they know how to protect themselves, they need to find a method of fighting the alien entities. Curtis and Farge have time to go through a variety of experiments in both detection and elimination equipment. How much time passes here is unknown, but certainly some days at least. In the end, they perfect an alteration to the captured phaser that makes it able to either kill or drive out the alien entity within a human and restore health to that person.
They try this on Lee and she's back to normal! They make much ado about how they tested it on Curtis first to make sure it was safe, at which Lee gets all mushy and lovey at him. Still a big risk, I say, since they didn't really know how the death of the alien within her mind would affect her. But she's ok, and that's all that matters.
So Curtis, Farge and Lee make plans to raid the farm. They get two motorcycle helmets, put silver linings inside them, for Lee and Farge. They also have made at least two "alien detectors" which look like low-light vision goggles used by Rangers. These seem like a neat idea, but are never actually used in the coming action. If you think about it, they're useless for the raid as anyone encountered there almost certainly has to be taken-over.
Since the aliens might not know that Lee is human again, the plan is to have her drive up to the gate with the two men hidden. Note that she drives up in the Land Rover, which we last saw left in the woods when Curtis transferred Lee to the roadster. Was the truck sitting out in the woods this whole time?
So Lee bluffs past the main gate and gets to the farmhouse, where the ruse fails. Do the aliens have a way to "sense" when a normal human is near? Despite having to punch out a guard, the three of them manage to very easily rush the farmhouse and get inside. Looking very much like the Tinfoil Hat Brigade, they take the elevator down, and Lee vaguely remembers the door that leads to the rocket launch area.
To think, they all got paid for this.
They sneak into that huge room, and watch as the rocket is loaded with all the taken-over scientists. Just before it takes off, Curtis, Farge and Lee run up and jump through the hatch before it closes. Now inside the rocket, they try and find a way into the control cabin to stop the launch. Before they can, however, the rocket takes off for the moon! While you would think they would be pulverized and crushed by the massive g-forces and acceleration, they all survive quite well after some over-dramatic panting and face-contorting.
Their presence is detected and they're surrounded by armed guards and brought up into the cabin by Arden, who tells them that they are nuisances but are now well and truly trapped. They're going to the moon to meet the "Master of the Moon" (really, that's what he said) who will decide their fate.
They're taken to a complex of some sort (well, more likely the damaged spaceship) and led in under guard. There are two classes of people here, a small group of old men wearing long flowing pastel robes, and a number of "imperial guards".
The old men are the presumed leaders of the aliens here, though remember that they're just husks taken-over by the energy aliens. Why are they all old white dudes? Did they pick people that were wise and full of knowledge (and thus older) when they were sorting through plague victims? And are these bodies from the plague, or did they come to Earth at some point before and take some humans back to act as homes for the leaders?
And what about those imperial guards, who are big burly (and fat!) dudes wearing nothing but red spandex pants and boots. That's not nice to see. And assuming these are captured humans, what does this tell us about the class society and civilization of these aliens? These are clearly oligarchs who are used to having control over lesser species.
The Master of the Moon is played by 50-year old Michael Gough, an ugly old English dude best known for playing Alfred the butler in all four of the Batman movies from 1989 to 1997. I also thought he was excellent a the leading role in the King Kong rip-off Konga from 1961 (but I have weird tastes).
The Master of the Moon!
He tells them that they are energy aliens from a galaxy far, far away, whose ship crashed on the moon. They have been using humans as labor and brainpower to fix their ship so they can go back home. They don't want to conqueror the Earth, they just want to get back to their own planet.
After some bluster and threats, Curtis makes a show of conciliation, which is met with a sneak attack as an alien off to the side zaps him with a phaser! Farge makes a move at the closest guard, taking his phaser and running for the nearest door. Despite having several seconds to shoot him, the aliens just let him go! And then they pretty much just let him run around their ship unchecked, with seemingly no concern for this armed human on the loose. They deserve what they are about to get.
The Master of the Moon then tells the stunned Curtis that they're taking him straight away to an operating room where they will remove that troublesome silver plate and make him a slave. The Master himself will do the operation, as the body and mind he took-over was once a surgeon on Earth.
Star-shaped operating table?
Still running about unpursued, Farge makes it to a part of the ship where a bunch of guards are forcing some humans to lift heavy things and such. These are presumably former plague victims revived and put to work. The "slaves" for lack of a better word, are all dressed in shabby, dirty, raggedly clothes for some reason (probably because since the early days of film, this is how slave laborers are supposed to look) and most oddly appear to not be taken-over by alien entities. Down on Earth, around the farm, the aliens took-over the minds of all the workers and laborers, so why would they not have done the same for those up here on the moon? Why keep them natural humans, so you have to expend resources guarding them?
Ah, so you can have Farge lead a slave revolt, that makes sense. After Farge jumps in and zaps a guard or two, the slaves see their opportunity for freedom and start attacking the other guards. In short order, they're in control (though still stuck on the moon in an alien ship) and rush down the hallways.
Farge and a group of slaves reach the door to the operating room (how did they know where that was, before we saw all the doors were unmarked!) and try to get in. The door is locked, but Farge reaches into his pants pocket and pulls out...a hand grenade! What the hell! Did he bring this from Earth? If so, then didn't they search them for weapons when they captured them in the rocket? If he took it from one of the guards a minute ago, then why the hell do they need to carry hand grenades up here?
Anyway, with the grenade he blasts open the door and they rush in, getting the drop on the Master of the Moon and the rest of them. Farge orders Curtis released and the aliens have no choice but to comply.
(This movie is killing me, got to wrap it up soon...)
Now we finish up with Curtis telling the Master that "all they had to do was ask" and they would have helped the aliens fix their ship and leave in peace. The Master of the Moon pauses noticeably and says sadly, "All we had to do was ask?" Curtis speaks for the entire human race and all national governments when he says that they will help the aliens fix their ship and leave.
Bonus! Some handy statistics for you:
3: Number of cigarettes smoked by our cast.
2: Number of Volkswagen Bugs seen.
0: Number of humans who are actually killed in this movie, keeping in mind that the "plague victims" were not really dead.
8 minutes 50 seconds: Amount of time that Curtis' hotrod roadster is on-screen, fully 9.5% of our entire movie.
Written in November 2005 by Nathan Decker and edited by Darci Sharver.
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