The Slime People (1963) - After a few newer movies lets go back to the year I was born for the completely inept and utterly not entertaining The Slime People. There are movies that are not great but have personality, and those that have an idea but fail to execute, some that look good and have decent scripts but have low budgets and really just lacked the money to do it right. Then there is this film which has a horrible script, poor production values, dreadful acting, and a total lack of logic.
The problems with this film are many including the choice to make the fog in the script so muddled that sometimes you can not see anything on the screen. Rubber suited monsters with spears that seem to have no problem beating the US army but are incapable of dealing with two men alone. A 50 mentality where the women in the film are only good for two things, screaming and kissing. A total lack of coherency in the script from beginning to end. Stupid fight scenes where monster and men struggle over spears in the California hills. Finally a conclusion which is absolutely predictable and could have been reached twenty minutes earlier. Uugh! This one was a total turkey.
We join the film in the small plane of Tom Gregory (Robert Hutton) as he flies into Los Angeles and seems to have a problem for a few minutes. Was it turbulence or something else? He can't seem to reach anyone on the radio in LA but the tower in Santa Barbara says to stay away from there before they too stop talking. Too far into landing Tom sets down to find the tiny airport abandoned and it seems we have a cool little film starting up here. No though this is just the best scene in what will turn out to be a whole lot of bullshit. Starring Robert Hutton is also directing although from the performances of the actors you could argue he failed at that. Very quickly the Galbraith family pulls up in there car and tell Tom to get in. No explanations other than they will explain what is happening while they drive, so of course he is all in.
The family consists of Father Prof. Galbraith (Robert Burton), and daughters Bonnie (Judee Morton) and Lisa (Susan Hart). They have been up in the hills outside LA listening to the news from the city and are happy to relay to Tom what has been going on. You see creatures from below the earth have come up and invaded LA and are killing people. Most people evacuated as the military failed to stop the threat. Then the slime people who only come out in a fog they generate somehow created a wall out of the fog doming the city and surrounding area. Now trapped the Galbraith's and now Tom need to figure out how to break through the wall while surviving the dangers of the wandering slime people soldiers.
There is so much ridiculousness in this film that it is hard to remember it all. Early on there is sage advice from father to daughter.
Lisa: "Dad why did all of this have to happen to us?"
Prof: "Lisa, the important thing is to keep calm and not lose our heads. Now lets watch this film and see if we can learn anything about their mysterious wall."
When did the film full of news reports get made? Why was it film and not just a broadcast?
There are a couple uncomfortable scenes where the girls have romantic conversations with the men, first Bonnie with the marine they join up with Cal (William Boyce) who which is possibly the worst acting interaction I have seen this year. The later Tom and Lisa take a few minutes in the middle of the crisis to express feeling for each other. Prof. Galbraith is a man of action, not with his daughters but with wanting to test the fog wall. So he breaks the group up to find ingredients.
The reason for the wall is the Prof area and he has this winning explanation for it. "You see Tom, this wall that they have thrown around the city, is evidently some sort of dome like affair, otherwise we would have military planes bombing us from above." When asked how they made it. "With some sort of machine or mechanism, They probably inject some sort of element into a controlled air mass. Now this combine chemically with and element in our atmosphere, probably nitrogen. Thereby forming a solid compound." Wow thanks Prof genius!
Adding to the fun is rambunctious neighbor Norman Tolliver (Les Tremayne) who because he lives up in the hills thinks the whole thing is a hoax. It all culminates in the hills where the group tries to get through the wall but to no avail. There is this scene where they head out to the wall through the fog but nothing about the plan works. The film itself is filled with fog making it hard on the viewers and all the decisions of the group are pretty stupid.
When they finally find the machine that is creating the fog it is a long drawn out plan to try to stop it. If you have not left the film by this point you really are a glutton for punishment. So much of this film is just plain bad. One thing you do have is men who fought in WWII and they at least appear to have the courage to get through this crisis, its just they are all so damn stupid. Always charging forward and then retreating because they are ill prepared. It a wonder that the film finishes with them winning. Oh did I give it away? In fact it was not 40 seconds after they broke the fog machine that all the monsters just fell down dead and the army flew planes over the area. Oh what a bad film.
Rating (1.5) 5.0 and up are recommended some just more recommended than others.