What is the film about? It is standard fare for the B-movies of the period, and does not come anywhere near the best of the generation, but it the filmmakers obviously have a love for those films.
It begins with scratchy, black and white newsreels telling of the world at that time, much like what you may have seen at those Saturday matinees. We then cut to a small town in California, everyone is going about their business, all appears normal. Then a meteor shower lights up the night, culminating with a spectacular crash just outside town. This once quiet town is about to be upended by visitors from another world!
A local scientist named Ted Lewis (McCormack) goes to investigate, while a couple of kids from town also decide to check it out. Ted arrives and is immediately captured by a strange alien man in a silver suit, all while a tentacled, rubbery critter with one giant eye runs amok in town.
Soon enough, Ted shows up back at home to his worried wife, Lana (Jody Thompson), but something is different. Ted doesn't seem like Ted — he is acting very strangely and does not seem to know much about the common items around him. You see, the silvery alien needed a body to borrow, in order to blend in and recapture the rubbery critter, called a Ghorta.
What follows is a series of chases, misunderstandings, and alien attacks as the kids try to convince the police that they have seen a monster, the cops try to retain some sort of order, Ted wanders around acting strange, and pretty much everything you would expect from a 1950s sci fi movie.
Director R.W. Goodwin has done a fine job of recreating the look and feel of the era with authentic costumes and set design. He has also chosen to use primarily practical effects — the creature is actually there, and while he is a bit goofy with that waggling tentacle, I like it. It is a much better choice than going with some sort of computer effect.
The performances are not great, nor are they supposed to be. They all have a certain stiff quality to them as they deliver dialogue that is not very natural in the least. Again, it is not supposed to be. This team truly went all out in making it feel like an old movie.
Audio/Video. The video is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and it looks really good. Aside from the scratchy newsreels, the image is spotless. The colors are a bit over saturated, but it is most definitely on purpose. Everything is crisp and clear. It doesn't look like the latest Hollywood blockbuster, but it is not supposed to. This is a transfer meant to evoke a bygone era with a movie that doesn't need to be restored to look pretty. As for the audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and sounds fine. It gives us all the center-driven dialogue and a nice presentation of Louis Febre's score (which opens with the sweet sounds of a theremin). It is not a very active surround track, but it does the job well.