Killers from Space


1h 11m 1954

Brief Synopsis

Atomic scientist Doug Martin is missing after his plane crashes while on an investigatory mission after a nuclear test. Showing up at the base later, he is given sodium pentathol after being caught in espionage activities. He is not believed as he relates how he was captured by aliens who plan on conquering Earth by using giant animals and insects.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Man Who Saved the Earth
Release Date
Jan 23, 1954
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Planet Filmplays, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Bronson Canyon, California, United States; Bronson Cavern, California, United States; Los Angeles--Bronson Canyon, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
6,421ft (8 reels)

Synopsis

In Soledad Flats, Nevada, moments after the test detonation of an A-bomb, scientist Dr. Doug P. Martin flies in a jet near the mushroom cloud and spots a bright light flashing on the ground below. The plane then goes into a nose dive and crashes. Later, at the military base where Doug and his partner, Dr. Kurt Kruger, conduct their scientific work, Colonel Banks informs Doug's wife Ellen that Doug could not have survived the crash. Soon after, however, Doug stumbles back to the base, dazed but uninjured. When base physician Major Clift examines Doug, he notices a fresh L-shaped surgical scar around his heart. Doug does not remember anything about the crash and cannot explain the scar. Baffled, Clift and Banks keep Doug in the base hospital while FBI agent Briggs determines whether the scarred man is an impostor. After Briggs confirms Doug's identity, Clift and Banks release him, but advise Ellen to keep him distracted. At home, Doug awakens in the middle of the night and sees a pair of large eyes floating in front of him. Agitated, Doug calls the base and tries without success to find out when the next atomic bomb test is scheduled. Ellen calms Doug down, but the next morning, after reading about the previous night's bomb test, Doug becomes distraught and races to the base. There Banks and Clift inform Doug that because of his mental state, he cannot resume his work. Doug nonetheless hides in his office until Kruger leaves for the day, then sneaks into the vault in which their secret papers are kept and examines some files. Doug's subterfuge is discovered moments after he drives off the base, and an all-points bulletin is issued by police. Near the plane crash site, Briggs apprehends Doug as he is about to place a note under a rock. Tormented by visions of eyeballs, Doug slugs Briggs and eludes capture at a gas station, but crashes his car while fleeing. Later, surrounded by Clift, Banks and Briggs, Doug awakens in the base's hospital and, yelling hysterically about "stopping them," tries to get out of bed. Doug is subdued, and after Clift gives him a shot of truth serum, he recalls what happened following the airplane crash: Doug revives and discovers he is lying on a table in a cavern, as humanoid aliens with bulging eyeballs hover around him. The aliens then return his heart to his chest and, using an odd-looking instrument, "sew" him back up. Now sporting the L-shaped scar, Doug meets the aliens' leader, Deneb Tala, who explains how Doug was retrieved, dead, from the crash site, taken to the nearby cavern via an "electron bridge" and brought back to life. Aided by video images on a monitor, Deneb Tala tells Doug that his people, the Astronians, abandoned their solar system when their sun died and came to Earth after humans began experimenting with nuclear fission. Noting that they gather the energy that is released during A-bomb testing, Deneb Tala admits that the Astronians' objective is to conquer Earth and that Doug is needed to pass on information about upcoming bomb tests. Panicked, Doug tries to escape the cavern, but finds himself in a pen filled with enormous fighting insects and lizards. Deneb Tala rescues Doug, then explains that the Astronians can cause genetic mutations in animals, rendering them huge and extremely destructive, and that they plan to let the creatures loose on the world in order to take control. When the alien shows Doug the area in which their energy is stored and turned into gamma rays, Doug deduces that their operation runs on electricity passed directly from the surface to the cavern. Deneb Tala then hypnotizes Doug and orders him to retrieve the bomb test information. Back in the present, Doug concludes his recollection and declares that they must overload the aliens' power source. Although Clift, Kruger, Briggs and Banks are far from convinced by Doug's fantastic story, both Briggs and Kruger go to the crash site to look for the cavern entrance. Doug, meanwhile, is haunted by the eyeballs, but resists their hypnotic pull. When Kruger returns, an excited Doug asks him for a slide rule and calculates how to destroy the aliens through a disruption of electricity. Doug escapes the base and races to the nearest power plant, finding the main control room just as Ellen, Briggs, Kruger and the others catch up to him. At gunpoint, Doug forces a plant worker to turn off the main power for ten seconds. As Doug had predicted, the disruption causes a chain reaction in the aliens' power source, and the Astronians are wiped out in the ensuing atomic blast. Having saved the world, Doug is embraced by Ellen.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Man Who Saved the Earth
Release Date
Jan 23, 1954
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Planet Filmplays, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Bronson Canyon, California, United States; Bronson Cavern, California, United States; Los Angeles--Bronson Canyon, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 11m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
6,421ft (8 reels)

Quotes

This is RIDICULOUS!
- Dr. Douglas Martin
Well haven't you heard? I'm a mental case! Can't even be trusted with my own work! AHH!
- Dr. Doug Martin
Those eyes! Those HORRIBLE eyes!
- Doug Martin

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was The Man Who Saved the Earth. The film opens with footage of an A-bomb test, accompanied by voice-over narration. The title card appears briefly, superimposed over the bomb footage. The remaining credits appear at the end of the film, beginning with W. Lee Wilder's producing and directing credit. Mack V. Wright is credited onscreen as production supervisor, but in the Hollywood Reporter production chart as assistant director. It has not been determined whether he worked in both capacities. The Hollywood Reporter chart also incorrectly listed actress Barbara Bestar as Barbara Starr. Modern sources note that scenes featuring the aliens' cavern hideout were shot in Bronson Canyon in Los Angeles.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter January 1954

Director W Lee Wilder is the brother of Billy Wilder.

Released in United States Winter January 1954