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The Film Crew: Killers from Space


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Amazon.com: 34 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
"Wee Hoo. I am happy as a clam." Aug. 7 2007
By j.wade.g - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
As was the case with the first Film Crew disc, "Hollywood After Dark," the second release also seems slightly out of practice in terms of the riffing. While there may be fewer 'clunkers' in the jokes, as some reviewers have commented, there are also fewer direct hits. However, this second release is a slight step up. The 'host segments' are significantly funnier, and the riffing itself is improved, eliciting a number of full throated laughs from this particular viewer. Not to mention, of course, that the film is an abysmal piece of '50s sci-fi trash starring Peter Graves, and featuring some typically terrible editing and camerawork. The story goes nowhere...and it goes there slowly. In short, the film would've been a classic episode of Mystery Science Theater, and it is used admirably here as well. If only there were a silhouette, this would be virtually indistinguishable from MST3K.

And yes, for those who are wondering, the riffing is still at a slightly more 'mature' level than MST's standard 'saturday morning cartoon' rating. Nothing overbearing, but a few sex based jokes and a few weak swear words. Most viewers will barely register the elevation in 'adult content.'
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
MST3K is back, sort of, and still hilarious! Aug. 9 2007
By Valnastar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is the second DVD from Mystery Science Theater 3000 veterans Kevin Murphy, Mike Nelson and Bill Corbett, now calling themselves "The Film Crew" and it's great to hear them working together again. The synergy is still there when these guys get together to make fun of a bad movie and the results are both really funny and entertaining.

Killers From Space is a 1954 black and white science fiction movie directed by W. Lee Wilder, the brother of the much better director Billy Wilder. If you've seen any of W. Lee's work before (e.g., The Snow Creature) you know you're likely in for a dull, hilariously bad film, and Killers From Space does not disappoint! From the dull opening filled with narration over stock footage to the goggle-eyed aliens in jump suits, to scenes of Peter Graves endlessly running away from rear projections of "giant" lizards and insects, this film will alternately make you howl with laughter and nearly doze off to sleep. It is also interesting to note that this is one of the first films wherein a human is taken by aliens, has medical work performed on him, and then has "missing time" and can't remember what happened. It is the only lasting significant, if dubious, contribution to our popular culture this film has to make.

The Film Crew commentary is sharp and funny throughout most of this clunker of a film, although when the film slows to a crawl in the middle there does seem to be a lull in the commentary as well. It's as if the film was so vacuous at that point that it was hard to generate jokes about it. However, once action commences again as the hero races to save the world the jokes pick up too.

The host segments are funny, especially the one in the middle of the film called the "lunch break" and the closing sketch is quite good as well. There is a brief sketch included as an extra feature that is also worth watching. Please note that the jokes on this DVD are intermittently a bit more PG-13 style than what was done on MST3K, so you might want to screen it yourself first before sharing it with younger children.

I definitely recommend this entry from The Film Crew, it is just as enjoyable as their first DVD, "Hollywood After Dark" and I'm looking forward to the next couple releases from them, Wild Women Of Wongo and Giant Of Marathon. Any comedy fan would enjoy this, but it's especially recommended for fans of MST3K and old B-grade SF movies. Mike, Kevin, Bill, it's great to have you back in our living rooms riffing away at new material!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"Chase Music Or Atonal Nightmare?" Oct. 17 2007
By Robert I. Hedges - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As a longtime "Mystery Science Theater 3000" fan buying the Film Crew releases is an easy decision. Like many others I miss the silhouettes in the corner, and generally find the host segments to be weaker than MST3K due to the loss of tension between the imprisoned filmgoers and the mad scientists. Despite these relatively minor critiques, I still enjoyed the film, and hope for many future Film Crew releases.

The film itself is an early horror film starring Peter Graves against aliens and the military industrial leadership. Given the era, it's obvious that nuclear energy plays a key role in the film, hilariously represented here by either stock footage of very lame special effects. While I like Peter Graves, in this he is totally wooden, which makes him an easy target for skewering. Obviously Graves is eventually vindicated in a climactic scene that is as humorous as it is ludicrous.

This isn't my favorite B-movie, but it is a classic of the genre, and the Film Crew do an admirable job on the commentary track. I recommend this release to any MST3K fan, any fan of comedy, or any fan of B-movies from the black and white era.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Is there something in my eye? Aug. 23 2007
By McGillicutty - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Not content just to leave us with a bad movie about "stripping", The Film Crew hits us between the "Eyes" with their second release, "Killers From Space".

One of the eight Ka-zillion cheaply made sci-fi movies produced during the 1950's; the plot is rather typical. Peter "Don't Mention My Brother" Graves is a noted, if not notable scientist who's plane drops like a rock after circling an atomic blast. He shows up days later in a confused state, which seems fairly normal for him, despite a large L-shaped magic marker stain on his chest passing for a scar. Seven hours into the movie (or so it seems), Pete "remembers" that he ran into some optically challenged aliens sporting cumber bunds after his plane crash who want to "take over" or "kill something" or maybe just fiddle with some dials. Whatever, they have to be destroyed if only for the sake of good taste and Pete figures that turning off the electricity will do it...and so it does.

And I thought "Hollywood After Dark" was dirt cheap, this piece of work makes a Roger Corman film look like "Ben Hur". Peter "Next on Biography" Graves is pretty bad, unless you compare his performance to the sets, special effects, & every other actor in the film. In which case, he deserves an Oscar just for surviving this mess.

The Film Crew is again in top form, though they really pound the "Biography" aspect into the ground. The two skits are really good, especially the one after the film and they won't disappoint any MST3K fan out there. The "Special Feature" tops the one in "Hollywood After Dark" and while I won't give it away, I will suggest that you don't immediately choose a topic and just watch Kevin Murphy.

Once again, I was not pleased with the limitations of the DVD and would suggest that they add scene selection to the menu and perhaps an alternate audio channel that just has the film dialogue. But these are fairly minor nits that won't stop me from purchasing the next release from The Film Crew.

Tidbits:

- Hard to believe, but two years after this debacle was released, Peter Graves turned in a very good performance in "Night of the Hunter".

- The final explosion seen through the window is from one of the many atomic bomb tests performed in the Pacific Ocean just after WWII. And judging from the view, the power plant must be 25,000 feet above sea level.

- Although they don't have the robots, it is interesting that The Film Crew falls into the same patter. Mike still seems to be the leader, Kevin's comments are very similar to what Tom Servo used to say, and Bill has the same short fuse with movies like this as his counterpart Crow T. Robot.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Peter Graves vs. The Ping Pong Eyed Aliens July 13 2009
By Roman Martel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I ended up getting the final round of Film Crew discs after enjoying "The Giant of Marathon" and "Hollywood After Dark". The first one I popped in was "Killers From Space" starring frequent Mystery Science Theater 3000 actor, Peter Graves. Was I prepared for more references to "Biography"? You better believe it.

"Killers from Space" has all the hallmarks of a classic bad movie just asking for the riffing treatment. It's a black and white 50's sci-fi thriller that contains not only aliens from another world but atomic mutations! That's right two genre clichés in one film.

Peter Graves is a scientist who is popped into a jet fighter and sent to monitor an atomic test blast from above. While flying above the blast zone he notices something shimmering in the desert. As the jet moves to investigate, things go horribly wrong. The jet is downed and the blast occurs.

But fear not, Graves miraculously shows up the next day unharmed except for a surgical scar on his chest. His doctor and co-workers are baffled by his condition, and Graves discovers that his dreams are plagued by visions of men with ping pong ball eyes. Could it be that Graves is controlled by some unknown force!?!

I've actually made the movie sound much more interesting than it turns out to be. The basic idea is actually good solid sci-fi pulp fodder. With the right approach a nifty little movie could have been made. Instead, turgid direction, slow ponderous acting and some really bad editing sucks all the joy from the film.

In particular this movie suffers from a saggy middle section. The opening scenes with the jet and atomic blast are actually pretty good and goofy enough to provide lots of laughs. The ending with Graves running around trying to stop the aliens (or is he controlled by them?) is also pretty solid. But that middle portion with Graves sneaking around and lots of long pointless conversations between grey lumpy faced men just slows the film to a halt.

Even the big moment of the alien reveal and the appearance of giant mutated desert beasts doesn't do anything more than annoy the viewer with a very long, very pointless chase scene with poor special effects.

Fans of bad movies will enjoy a nice game of spot the actor. Most of these guys have shown up in a Mystery Science Theatre film at some point. I recognized one man from "The Atomic Brain" and another who was in "Miracle on 34th Street". And keep an eye on one of the workers in the power station - could it be Coleman Francis (of "Red Zone Cuba" and "Sky Divers" fame)? Some mysteries were never meant to be solved.

So where does that leave Mike, Bill and Kevin? Well this type of movie works pretty well for them. The bookends are great material and they really roll with it. The whole atomic test/jet sequence is riffed perfectly and I was laughing pretty hard. The finale was also really funny. But that middle section, especially the talky scenes was tough. They did their best, but it was a bit of a drag. I was actually thankful that the lunch break popped up when it did.

Speaking of host segments there are three. The first is the introduction to the movie with Bob Honcho talking about male body parts and funerals. Then Kevin goes a bit crazy and won't let Mike and Kevin eat their lunches, but insists on discussing some bit of trivia. The final segment deals with a little known film technique that involves reaction shots provided by actors who are completely devoid of any living spark. Are they dead, or are they acting?

The extras include a bit about the alien language used in the film. It is followed by outtakes from the film in which the alien language is translated.

Not a bad outing all together. Once again the movie itself seems to be the major hurdle here. The saggy middle slows the laughs down, but the bookends are definitely worth seeing. Basically I give it the same score I gave the previous two Film Crew discs.

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