Movie Review: The Day Mars Invaded Earth (1962)

Synopsis: After successfully landing a robotic surveyor on Mars, a NASA scientist ,Dr. Dave Fielding, travels to California to spend time with his long-neglected wife and children. Shortly after arriving, he and his family begin to experience strange occurrences involving doppelgangers, which he believes might be related to his Mars mission.

Who's in it? The movie stars Kent TaylorMarie WindsorWilliam MimsBetty Beall and Gregg Shank.

Review: I came across this movie a couple days ago and decided to add it to my watch list. Since I had some free time this evening, I decided to check it out and, after watching it, my opinion was a bit mixed.

I am going to start out by saying, as far as alien invasion movies go, this one is a bit on the dull side. Other than one incident involving the daughter's boyfriend (Lowell Brown), there really isn't a whole lot of action. The bulk of the movie consists of Dave (Taylor) and his wife (Windsor) trying to figure out why they keep seeing duplicates of both themselves and their kids but don't even bother making an investigation until near the end.

That being said, there were some things I did find I liked about this film. One of the main ones was the overall mystery surrounding the doppelgangers. Based on the title, it wasn't hard to figure out they were alien-related. Heck, even Dave figured that out on his own. But, at the same time, it was unclear what the aliens were hoping to accomplish. Were they really invading? Or, was there another motive behind the imitation?

The fact they could mimic humans so convincingly also did make me wonder if maybe one (or more) of the people Dave was interacting with were really human. This was especially true of his colleague, Dr. Spencer (Mims). Since he wasn't around for part of the movie, I wasn't totally convinced he wasn't one of the aliens committing some deception.

I will also admit, the ending did surprise me a bit. It wasn't anything completely unexpected, but it wasn't quite how I thought the movie would end. That surprise did score a few points with me.

Final Opinion: If you like alien invasion movies with a lot of action, this is one you'll want to avoid. However, if you are looking for a film with an OK plot and a decent mystery, it's worth watching once.

My Grade: B-


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