Directed by: Tom Graeff
Starring: David Love, Dawn Bender, Bryan Grant

A few years back I was rummaging around in a dvd bargain bin and ended up scoring a bunch of Bela Lugosi films for super cheap. I also spied another movie which I’d never heard of before. That movie was TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE. Everything about the dvd case indicated that it would be a terrible movie of Ed Wood-like proportions but I bought it anyway. The only reason I bought it was because it reminded me think of that Misfits song ‘Teenagers From Mars’ and I wondered if maybe it was what the song was written about. And besides, even if it was shit I’d only wasted 2 bucks on it.

Unfortunately the movie seemed to have nothing at all to do with the Misfits song (the song never mentioned lobsters or ray guns) but on the bright side it ended up being one of the most (unintentionally) hilarious movies I have ever seen. I've watched it at least 4 or 5 times by now and it is still as enjoyable as it was that first time.

TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE follows a crew of humanoid aliens who land on Earth with plans to colonize it with ‘Gargons’ which seem to be the aliens’ main ‘cattle’ and food supply. Apparently nobody involved in this movie had a single creative bone in their body because in place of the Gargon they have simply used what looks like an ordinary, everyday lobster. Oh the horror!
As the aliens land a dog wanders along so of course one of the aliens – the cruel Thor - blasts it with his ray gun. Noticing the writing on the dog’s collar tag, soft-hearted alien Derek realizes that the planet seems to be inhabited by intelligent creatures and questions whether they should really endanger the native inhabitants by raising their Gargon herds here.

An argument between Derek and the others ends with Derek running off. After a communication from the leader of their home planet the remaining aliens discover that Derek is the leader’s son! So Thor will need to find him and bring him back until the other aliens return with the Gargon herds. Meanwhile the Gargon specimen is hidden inside a nearby cave so that nobody stumbles across it. Since the Earth’s atmosphere will let the creature grow to millions of times its original size it is restrained with expandable leg bands so that it will not escape.

Derek arrives in town and tracks down the address on the dog tag he picked up. He runs into Betty and her grandfather but Thor is hot on his heels.

Now let’s talk about just what makes this movie so bad and so incredibly funny. We’ll start with the ray guns.
Basically they look like toy guns with mirrors glued onto the end so that when they are pointed at a camera at the correct angle they reflect sunlight which I assume is supposed to represent a laser… or something. And when a human is hit by one of these rays it blasts their flesh of, leaving only a (obviously plastic) skeleton. Maybe in the 50s this was considered gruesome and terrifying but nowadays it’s just laughable.
I won't even go into how ridiculous some of the dialogue is, or the acting. But I really do need to talk about the 'horrifying' Gargon.

The most hilarious part of this movie comes when you first see the Gargon after its massive increase in size. Although technically you don’t even see it, you only see a silhouette. I guess after spending half of the budget on plastic skeletons, plastic toy guns and futuristic v-stripe jumpsuits there wasn't enough left over for a real monster so the filmmakers just had somebody hold a lobster in front of a projector so that its shadow appeared on screen, making it look colossal. You really need to see it to know how ridiculous it looks.

As much as I’d love to give this movie a good rating I honestly can’t. Maybe in the 50s it was a decent film but even back then I can’t imagine it being anything particularly good. It’s a terribly made film, the acting is bad, the dialogue is horrible, and the fact that they used a lobster for the monster is laughable. And the teenagers from the film’s title don’t seem to make an appearance at all, as the aliens here are all clearly much too old to be teens. But don’t let that discourage you. If you’re into Ed Wood’s work or 50s sci-fi then you should be able to find room for this terrible but incredibly entertaining flick.
I'm giving this 4 stars purely for the entertainment factor.

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