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Image Entertainment presents
Teenagers From Outer Space (1959)

"You will take me to a man of surgery to remove the metal pellets from my flesh!!!"
- Thor (Bryan Grant)

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: September 26, 2000

Stars: David Love, Bryan Grant, Harvey B. Dunn, King Moody
Other Stars: Ursula Pearson, Dawn Anderson
Director: Tom Graeff

Manufacturer: Warner Advanced Media Operations
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (focusing disintegrator ray action)
Run Time: 01h:25m:00s
Release Date: September 19, 2000
UPC: 014381869125
Genre: sci-fi


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ DA-B C-

DVD Review

In the annals of film history, Teenagers From Outer Space is certainly in the class of movies that are so astoundingly bad, they're good. Director Todd Graeff only made this one film, but it was enough to cement him into the minds of cinema lovers around the world. Much like other filmmaking devotees of the era who never had enough cash or support to make anything decent (Ed Wood Jr., Ted V. Mikels, Roger Corman, William Castle), Graeff's obsession with completing Teenagers was a labor of love. He filled practically every technical role on the project, then put himself in a minor role. In the end, hardly anyone got paid and the film never really made any money, at least not until it's cult value went up over time. While the technically fanatic Tom Graeff gains respect for the love of completing this film, the movie itself is one of the most inept of the period.

The havoc begins when an astronomer sees a strange, screw-shaped craft approaching the Earth. Of course, he is assured he's only seeing things. Yeah, right. The spaceship screws into the Earth (which we won't comment on) and, almost immediately thereafter, strange, uniformed weirdos start popping out. They don't look like aliens, they certainly don't look like teenagers, and one of them decides to fry a small dog with his beam gun. The "alien" captain proudly proclaims that Earth will be the new grazing world for hordes of giant, vicious creatures called Gargons. These aliens eat Gargons, but allowing them to flourish on their own planet is, I guess, a bad thing. With that, the dilligent teenage aliens begin scanning the environment with devices like a multichannel sound mixer (which is labelled as such), complete with volume knobs. A tender, sensitive, and caring alien named Derek refuses to participate in the process, saying that the dog's tag is a sign of intelligent life that might be threatened by the Gargons. No one listens, so he flees off to warn Humankind. One of his comrades, Thor, is sent after him with orders to kill anyone he comes in contact with. Meanwhile, the Gargon specimen is brought out of the ship!! Too bad it's just a lobster in a cage.

So begins the story, if you can call Teenagers From Outer Space a "story." As Derek wanders into a nice, all-white community, he searches for the owner of the dog's tag. He eventually comes into contact with a friendly girl and her live-in grandpa. Thor is on his tail, though, and eventually his short trip into the heavenly world of 50's era suburbia must end. Thor's "focusing disintegrator ray" (a toy gun) will turn anyone into a skeleton and the police only have bullets! On top of all this, a huge lobster...I mean, Gargon, is growing inside a cave near town! Will Derek stop Thor? Will the Gargon destroy town? Will Joe get his hot scoop for the local paper? Tune in and find out!!!

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: D

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: An excellent transfer adorns this disc and has restored Teenagers to a prominence above all previous releases. There are very few compression problems, and those appear to be a result of poor sections of film. The majority of the movie is clear, and its sharp black-and-white image comes with good black level. The source print is obviously a bit old, but it's actually not that bad off, with only small amounts of scratches and grain. Image Entertainment takes tender loving care of this old film.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: A single channel Mono mix provides the audio here. It's clear and nicely presented without excessive noise or analog hiss. There's some surprising bass in the LFE channel, and most of the weird stuff (theremin score, laser effects) comes across with wide frequency response.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 16 cues
1 Original Trailer(s)
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Plan 9 from Outer Space, Jail Bait, Bride of the Monster, Destination Moon, Rocketship X-M
Packaging: Snapper
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: The original (and hilarious) trailer is the only real extra here. There are other trailers from Image releases, including the entire Ed Wood Jr. collection so far (Plan 9, Jail Bait, Bride of the Monster), Destination Moon, and Rocketship X-M. The menus are nicely designed and, for a split second after you select something, you can see a silhouette of a giant lobster at the edge of the screen. The "snapper" case packaging contains a fold-out with a lengthy history of the film written by Richard Valley, editor of Scarlet Street magazine.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Teenagers From Outer Space is a true classic of atomic-age science fiction stories. Of course, it's also really dumb, but humorously so. This would make a good Halloween viewing if you're looking for a movie that lots of people can enjoy trashing together. Highly recommended.

 


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