review for Strange Invaders on AllMovie

Strange Invaders (1983)
by Donald Guarisco review

This modest, low-budgeted throwback to the alien invasion films of the fifties is likable and ambitious but sometimes lacks the craftsmanship to realize its ideas. The script for Stange Invaders blends ideas from sci-fi films old (I Married A Monster From Outer Space) and new (Close Encounters Of The Third Kind) to create a clever premise but unfortunately suffers from an awkwardly structured first half and characterizations that are often more clever than they are well-crafted. Michael Laughlin's direction is stylish but unfortunately lacks the kinetic touch of the films he pays homage to here: as a result, the film lacks the snappy pacing that would have pushed it from diverting to enthralling. Despite these serious problems, Strange Invaders remains worth a look for sci-fi fans because its special effects are quite good (especially the creepy alien-to-human transformations), the film is littered with cameos by sci-fi favorites like Kenneth Tobey and June Lockhart and the second half of the film offers enough action and surprises to keep the viewer hooked. Best of all, the film has a wonderful cast that offers inspired performances throughout: Paul LeMat is an amusingly unconventional hero and Fiona Lewis steals a few scenes as an alien who disguises herself as 'The Avon Lady.' In the end, Strange Invaders is a bit too inconsistent for a general audience but is smart enough to warm the hearts of genre fans.