Far Out Marriage

If I Married a Monster from Outer Space happened in the ‘90s, Marge Farrell (Gloria Talbot) undoubtedly ends up on the Jerry Springer show, trying desperately to make an audience believe her husband was actually an alien. Sitting next to her, a guy who likes wearing diapers at age 56. Marge was screwed.

She didn’t do much better in 1958 either, the police and bar patrons rejecting her pleas for help. Most probably checked out Invasion of the Body Snatchers a few years prior and figured Marge did too. Of course, Body Snatchers wasn’t the only aliens-among-us film from the era, but while the title sounds like a Springer episode or z-grade tabloid headline, I Married a Monster isn’t the worst of them.

I Married a Monster is dripping in space age paranoia

As a vintage Red Scare warning movie, I Married a Monster is different in that the aliens don’t want to consume or control humanity, but impregnate the women to keep their species alive (at least, that’s what they tell those who figure out their plot). It’s a low-brow concept, but mingling with real world circumstances during the era, it’s comically fearful.

Because their goal is inseminating women, the invaders treat their women well, but unavoidably seem distant. A Communist, according to I Married a Monster, is a man who refuses alcohol, hates dogs, and sneaks around at night to join with other like minds. As their desperation grows, they bring others into their ranks, and further, begin killing to protect their cover.

Like Body Snatchers, I Married a Monster is dripping in space age paranoia. Director Gene Fowler Jr., spending much of his career as an editor, directs the material with care, casting deep shadows on his actors. Often, Marge is cloaked by her awkwardly postured husband Bill (Tom Tyron), the tension expertly handled visually.

Aside from communism, I Married a Monster takes a feminine viewpoint, especially as Marge projects guilt at her inability to conceive children. It’s as if the pressure from a social standpoint bothers her more than her husband’s obviously changed demeanor. Rare is the ‘50s sci-fi movie willing to discuss bearing children or sexual innuendo of any kind. That doesn’t make I Married a Monster an outright classic, but does differentiate enough to carve out its own niche (and become a better movie than the title suggests).

Video

Sadly hit with the digital clean-up bug, it’s obvious from the outset I Married a Monster from Outer Space loses much of its detail to the mastering process. Smooth faces and barely-there grain reduce the visual fidelity on what appears to be a fantastic print. There’s hardly any damage to speak of. Ringing and edge enhancement both play a role too.

Gray scale performs exquisitely, black levels precise, gray scale clean, and contrast bright. It’s difficult – even impossible – to know whether the visible chunkiness and artifacts are part of the encode or the noise reduction process. Since this disc is shared with Conquest of Space and that encode looks perfect, it’s more likely the mastering process.

Audio

Crisp and precise, DTS-HD presents a stable mono track. Stock sound effects aside (with their evident age), the smooth score blends well with the slightly rough dialog. I Married a Monster from Outer Space isn’t a premiere example of ’50s audio, but it’s sufficient.

Extras

Scream Factory brings in historians Troy Howarth and Rodney Barnett for a commentary. Trailers and images follow.

I Married a Monster from Outer Space
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
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Movie

From cinema’s frenzied Red Scare era, I Married a Monster from Outer Space finds body snatching aliens in lust – for Earth women.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 33 full resolution, uncompressed HD screen shots ripped directly from the Blu-ray:


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