Rex (Johnny Walker) and Mary Jane (Eleanor Herman) are out in the country drinking and necking in their parked car when Rex is pulled through the window and killed. When they are found by Sheriff Bert Cinder (Tom Griffith) Rex is dead and Mary Jane is in shock. An autopsy is done on Rex by Dr. Ruth Sherman (Anne Frith). All she can determine is that Rex was killed by some large animal. Ernie (Don Dohler), Richie (Dave Ellis), Clay (Christopher Gummer) and Susan (Margie Van Tassell) go looking for the animal. All three men are killed and Susan is found in shock babbling something about a monster. The killings continue.

Ben Zachary (Don Leifert) shows up at the home of Mayor Bert Wicker (Richard Dyszel). He tells the mayor that he works at the nearby observatory and that a few nights ago he observed a meteorite that landed somewhere in the hills. Mayor Wicker (Richard Dyszel) and Zachary investigate the area where the meteorite was supposed to have landed. What they find is a crashed spaceship and a dying alien. Zachary does a Vulcan mind meld with the alien pilot and learns that it was transporting zoological specimens back to its own planet when the ship crashed. The alien was mortally wounded and its cargo escaped. On board it had three creatures it captured from different parts of the galaxy. The specimens are deadly and a danger to everyone in the area.

Zachary convinces the mayor to let him try to kill the aliens. The mayor gives him two days. If, by then, the aliens are not killed he will bring in the government to help. Sheriff Cinder is not thrilled with this plan and he is also very suspicious of Zachary and why he is involved.

“The Alien Factor” was made in 1972 but released in 1976 or 1978. It was written, produced and directed by Don Dohler. It is an American low budget science fiction horror movie.

During the seventies there was a rash of low budget bad “B” science fiction and horror films. Unlike the ones from the fifties and early sixties these films were missing something that made the older ones fun. They lacked charm. To find out that director Dohler meant it as homage to movies from the fifties made things a little better. Granted it’s not a great movie but not as bad as I expected. It also has one redeeming factor to it. Some really cheezy fifties style monsters.

Dohler uses guys in suits, miniatures, forced perspective and stop motion photography to bring the monsters to life. The three titular monsters are an insect like creature called an Inferbyce played by Larry Schlechter, an 8 or 9 foot tall fur bag called a Zagatile, played by John Cosentino and a stop motion creature, called a Leemoid, that was created by Ernest Farino. “Alien Factor” was Farino’s first film. He would later go on to work on films such as “Galaxy of Terror” 1981, “The Thing” 1982, “The Terminator” 1984 and “The Abyss” 1989.

What is lacks in technique, style, acting and dialogue it makes up for in enthusiasm. The credits boast an impressive list of fans and friends that assisted in getting the movie made as well as some local actors using their not so great talents. I liked it in spite of myself.

No comments

Leave your comment

In reply to Some User