Invasion of the Star Creatures is a low-budget spoof of equally low-budget science fiction films. Just to make sure everyone is in on the joke, the credits open with, “R.I. Diculous Presents An Impossible Picture.” It is filled with silly situations and corny jokes, but it is rather amusing, if you are in the mood for this sort of thing.
On an army missile base, Private Philbrick and Private Penn are normally in charge of such things as washing the garbage cans, but are assigned by Colonel Awol to be part of a team investigating a cave that opened up as the result of a nuclear test explosion. The team discovers seven-foot-tall plant-like extraterrestrials, sort of like the alien in The Thing from Another World (1951). However, these plant creatures are just slaves, their masters being two tall, beautiful women, reminiscent of movies like Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) and Queen of Outer Space (1958).
The two privates are captured by the vegetable monsters and brought before the two women, Professor Tanga and Dr. Puna. Philbrick wonders aloud what Space Commander Connors would do, an allusion to such radio and television characters as Captain Video and Captain Midnight, or the television show Space Patrol (1950-55). The women tell Penn and Philbrick they plan to return to their planet, after which Earth will be invaded and conquered. Then they show the privates the room where they grow the plant men. We see flower pots, most of which have a hand sticking up out of them. When they prepare to leave the room, Philbrick says goodbye to the plant hands, one of which waves bye-bye.
Although there are warrior men back on their planet, the women don’t seem to know anything about love, so Philbrick teaches Dr. Puna what “kiss” means. She swoons, allowing Penn and Philbrick to escape. They return to base and tell Colonel Awol that he must stop the spaceship from blasting off. Awol does not believe them and orders them to be thrown into the guardhouse, assuming them to be drunk. But when Philbrick swears on his Space Commander Connors’ secret ring, Awol asks to see the ring. When Philbrick shows it to him, Awol shows Philbrick his. They utter the secret code words and do the hand signal. Then they discover they both belong to the same stellar squadron, and it turns out that whereas that Awol is only a junior flight leader, Philbrick is a senior flight leader, which means Philbrick is now in command.
The three of them head back to the cave. Penn says the three of them will not be enough to stop the space broads from taking off. Just then, a bunch of Indians come along, whereupon it turns out that they also are members of Space Commander Connors’ flight squadron, only one of the Indians is General flight leader, and proves it with a badge pinned to his bare chest. So now, the Indian is in command.
But they all have a pow wow, during which the Indians and the colonel get drunk. Penn and Philbrick go back to the cave and manage to blast the rocket ship off into space, marooning the two women. But Dr. Puna gets Penn to teach Professor Tanga what “kiss” means. They all get married and live happily ever after.
I saw this movie a couple of times in the 1960s on the late show, and I liked it so much that I bought my own copy on DVD recently. I was looking forward to one of my favorite jokes in the movie, when Penn and Philbrick try to get telepathic control of one of the plant men. The way I remember it, Penn says, “Focus on his eye.”
But as the eyes of the plant men are spaced really far apart, Philbrick asks, “Which one?”
“The one next to the carrot,” Penn replies.
Imagine my disappointment when I found it was not on the DVD. Then I noticed that IMDb says that the television version is ten minutes longer than the theatrical version.
I guess I’ll have to wait for the director’s cut.
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