Film (1958). Corinthian Productions/American International Pictures. Executive Producer Samuel Z Arkoff. Directed by Bruno VeSota. Executive director Roger Corman (uncredited). Written by Gordon Urquhart, based without permission on The Puppet Masters (September-November 1951 Galaxy; 1951; text restored 1990) by Robert A Heinlein. Cast includes Alan Frost, Cornelius Keefe, Joanna Lee, Ed Nelson and Leonard Nimoy (misbilled as Leonard Nemoy). 60 minutes. Black and white.
Insectile parasites (see Parasitism and Symbiosis) from the Earth's interior arrive in a small Illinois town by means of a conical earth-boring vehicle which resembles a Spaceship. They begin taking people over by attaching themselves to their spinal columns at the base of the neck in a covert Invasion. Dr Kettering (Nelson) realizes something is wrong, but cannot get many to believe him until some of the parasites are found inside their deceased victims. The invaders are soon stopped when their vehicle is electrified with the help of a high-voltage transmission line, along with Professor Cole (Nimoy in an early sf role), who has been helping them either because taken over or in the belief that they are benevolent beings who offer humanity a "long sought Utopia".
Following the release of this rather minor sf Horror film, Robert A Heinlein learned of the obvious plot and theme similarities to The Puppet Masters and sued the makers for plagiarism, asking for $150,000 but settling out of court for $5000 with the stipulation that he should receive no screen credit for this inadequate presentation of his story. [GFi]
see also: The Puppet Masters.
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