I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958)

Genres - Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Alien Film  |   Run Time - 78 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Donald Guarisco

This smart, tidy little sci-fi effort is deserving of its cult reputation. I Married A Monster From Outer Space works primarily because it never tries to outdo the outrageous hard-sell of its title. Instead, Louis Vitte's screenplay builds the story up in a subtle manner, allowing the troubled marriage of its two leads to drive the story and building its alien-invasion plot around the edges of that main narrative hook. This approach also allows the filmmakers to offer some interesting thematic commentary: the film could be seen as a metaphor for how marriage can "change" a relationship. The film also benefits from strong, adult performances by a pair of leads who take the offbeat story seriously and play it straight: Tom Tryon never overplays the alien mannerisms of his character and withholds emotion to show the character's disconnection while Gloria Talbott makes a strong, resourceful heroine who is easy to root for. Finally, Gene Fowler's artful direction seals the film's appeal: he doles out shock effects where need be (mainly during the finale) but mostly concentrates on creating an atmosphere of paranoia through subtle performances and shadowy photography. All in all, I Married A Monster From Outer Space is a fine addition to the canon of 1950's sci-fi and well worth the time for cult film fans interested in this genre.