Movie Review-Atomic Brain Invasion

Welcome to the 1950’s, on the weekend of Elvis Presley performing in a small town in New England they are invaded by brain creatures. It is up to the town’s high school kids to save them. The film opens with a black and white monologue by a Dr. Oxford Frank which seems very inspired by the Mold People. After this intro, we witness two high school kids name Suzy and Steve Nelson, as he is trying to get to lucky she throws a fit, when she gets up to leave an object falls from the sky and crashes on her. From there, this object seems to have a goo that when exposed turns people into these brain creatures. As with most end of the world alien films, this tragedy takes place on the big weekend and the annual event, in the case of this film it is the town’s pie baking contest which will have Elvis Presley perform live. The three main characters in this film are Betty, who seems inspired heavily by Lea Thompson from Back to the Future when she was a teenager, and Lucas who is the local greaser/tough guy who loves to bully and pick on the third character who is the nerdy Sherman. Sherman so happens to have a crush on Betty, who Lucas thinks, is going steady with him.

Elvis comes to town while this alien brain invasion is going on, and goes into Jake’s diner where it seems like everyone in town goes to. Inside the diner, they seem to break out into a very inspired rockabilly song that was hilarious and provided one of the funniest moments of this film. Films like these are hit and miss and the hit ratio is greater if you ever watched these 50’s sci fi films to get the parody. The humor in this film was subtle and little jabs here and there, like the part where Betty makes fun of the notion that Ronald Reagan could be the mayor of a town. This film also plays heavy into the fears that our grandparents and parents remember like the fear of the communists taking over, the atomic weapons and the huge impact music was having on our teens at that time, when it was all called devil’s music. Eventually a second spaceship lands on earth and out of it is two guys and one girl who are here to stop the brain aliens from abducting Elvis, and the three want to see Elvis play live.

The negatives for me, while I had fun for the majority of this film, the novelty eventually does start to wear thin. While people may be shocked to know that this film is not your typical Richard Griffin film, this was more inspired by MST3K then trying to push boundaries. I like the change of pace, and this film also shows that Richard is very passionate about what he does, when a fan creates a film it just comes across so well as opposed to someone who just is out to make a check. The actors really had fun and it showed in this film, the script was well written and the dialogue for the most part was tongue and cheek Naked Gun inspired silliness. I just feel at almost 90 minutes that it wears thin and it seemed like they were just scraping for ideas to finish.

All in all, if you are new to Richard Griffin and his cast and crew, this would be a fun start and maybe his most accessible film, as this is appropriate for almost any ages and would be a fun film for the whole family. Now that is a statement I did not think I would ever make about any film from this man. Richard Griffin is a fan’s director and it seems like he is making films of genres he is a fan of, to introduce us into his world. To tell you the honest truth, his world is very fucked up but has a lot of talent.

7.5 out of 10