The police ignore the youngster’s complaints, but with help from a female doctor and an astronomer, the boy discovers that an invasion is underway as aliens with big heads have housed themselves in the nearby dunes.
And I recall how I later sadistically encouraged my sister, three years younger than I, to watch the same episode without warning her of the surprise ending, not-so-loving older brother that I was.
A Bucket of Blood (1959): You laugh and then you shudder.
And that’s the joy of Roger Corman’s made-on-pennies companion piece to The Little Shop of Horrors.
Then I insisted that my friends’ parents do the same. Target Earth (1954): The idea of a large city being abandoned—ala The World, the Flesh and the Devil, The Omega Man, 28 Days Later…, The Quiet Earth, and I Am Legend—has always touched a nerve in me.
Because the film centers on a little kid with a vivid imagination, I could relate to his trauma—and so, apparently, could many other folks my age who talk about watching Invaders from Mars for the first time and being genuinely frightened out of their minds. It’s probably because of this Cold War sci-fi parable in which a large city—presumably Chicago—is mostly people-less, and robots from Venus are roaming around the streets.