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Atomic Brain Invasion 
Written by: on August 5th, 2012

Theatrical Release Date:
USA, 2010
Director: Richard Griffin
Writers: Richard Griffin, Guy Benoit
Cast: David Lavallee Jr., Sarah Nicklin, Michael Reed, Daniel Lee White, Colin Carlton, Ruth Sullivan, Alexandra Cipolla, Alexander Lewis, Rich Tretheway, Brandon Luis Aponte

DVD Released: October 2nd, 2012
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78.1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Camp Motion Pictures / Pop Cinema
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99

Synopsis: Aliens invade Earth to capture Elvis Aaron Presley.

This is a very broad 50’s sci-fi comedy/spoof from director Richard Griffin (Splatter Disco) and shares much of the same cast as Nun Of That. Sarah Nicklin as Betty is the lead romantic interest and enjoys the attentions of both nerd David Lavallee Jr. and juvenile delinquent Michael Reed. Lavallee’s casting and performance are both misfires as he has zero chemistry with Sarah and is the worst offender in the cast for overacting. Reed pretty much steals the show as the wannabe hood from the right side of the tracks. His performance seems patterned after Jeff Conaway’s Kenickie in Grease.

Practically every aspect of the film is ‘borrowed’ from somewhere, such as Elvis Presley fighting monsters from Bubba Ho Tep. And there are lots of homages sprinkled throughout, such as the ‘tip of the hat’ with a loaded gun scene fashioned from Plan Nine From Outer Space. There is good attention to detail in sets, vintage cars, clothing, and especially nice to see are the AIP movie posters in the Regent theater. Most prominently displayed is the Invasion Of The Saucermen one-sheet, the indirect source for the design of the brain monster creatures.

BEM’s (Bug Eyed Monsters) had long been a staple of pulp sci-fi magazines and EC comics, but it is undoubtedly the Mars Attacks bubble gum card images and/or the Tim Burton film adaptation that prompted the creature designs. They are actually pretty effective, on a small scale, and well framed, lighted, and presented. There is also a simultaneous second alien invasion also intent on kidnapping ‘The King’ consisting of three teenaged cheerleaders from space, including sultry Ruth Sullivan. But, atypically for Richard Griffin, this is a mild and mellow film in keeping with the fifties sci-fi film landscape and there’s no more violence or sex here than can be found in The Blob (’58).

The DVD:

Nice widscreen anamorphic presentation, but no subtitles. The B&W introductory sequence is presented with ‘Grindhouse’ style aging, as are some films on view at the theater. The animated menu is a nice touch.

If you are a fan of fifties sci-fi films and can forgive the rock bottom production values for some of the original titles (‘Missile To The Moon’ comes to mind), then you are certain to enjoy this fun and funny reprise of the genre.

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