CANNON MONTH 2: Strange Invaders (1983)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally on the site on May 17, 2022Cannon did not produce Strange Invaders, but they did release it on video in Germany on the Cannon Screen Entertainment label. Cannon did, however, produce the similar 50s science fiction style Invaders from Mars

Directed and co-written — with Bill Condon and Walter Halsey Davis — by Michael Laughlin, Strange Invaders was to be the second part of a trilogy that started with Strange Behavior AKA Dead Kids. The third film was going to be The Adventures of Philip Strange, a World War II spy adventure mixed with science fiction.

1958: Centerville, Illinois (shot on location!) is invaded by aliens, transforming humans into blue orbs and taking over their bodies.

1983: College lecturer Charles Bigelow (Paul Le Mat) learns that his ex-wife Margaret Newman (Diana Scarwid, Mommie Dearest) has disappeared after last being seen in Centerfield. Along with journalist Betty Walker (Nancy Allen), he heads to the town to find her and protect their daughter Betty Walker (Lulu Sybert, who was the daughter of production designer Richard Sylbert and writer Susanna Moore, who left Sybert for Laughlin), a half-human, half-alien being that the aliens want to bring back home.

Along with June Lockhart and Mark Goddard from Lost in Space and Kenneth Tobey from the original The ThingStrange Invaders also has Louise Fletcher (Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Wallace Shawn, Fiona Lewis (who was also in Strange Behavior ), Bobby “Borris” Pickett (the maker of “Monster Mash”) and Dey Young (Kate Rambeau from Rock ‘n Roll High School).

Strange Invaders is a movie that tries to remind audiences of the Cold War science fiction of the 1950s. Audiences weren’t really all that into it — I mean, even The Thing struggled — but it remains a movie I watch every few months and always enjoy.

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