I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958)

I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958), produced and directed by Gene Fowler Jr.

The night before his wedding, the groom is abducted on a lonely country road by something alien. After a year the new bride is increasingly concerned: why can't she get pregnant? Why does her husband seem like a stranger, how is it he can see in the dark, and why do dogs suddenly hate him?

His friends change too and they have a secret cabal hiding in plain sight. When alone they talk about the coming takeover and how the human body, although poorly constructed, does afford some pleasures. Our bridegroom is troubled: stirrings of love are unsettling to an alien invader.

After so many lies, it is finally a relief when the husband and wife come clean and tell the truth. She knows and he tells her the plan.

Low budget but much better than it's cheezy title would suggest. Efficient at only 77 minutes: we get right to it. It was actually pretty well liked at the time and since.

I love the 50s ambiance, with the convertibles, country supper clubs, men in sport coats and women with those hefty armored brassieres (or maybe that's all Gloria Talbott).

Bullets won't stop the glowing invaders, but the dogs know just what to do and are eager to tear at that exposed anatomy, as if they've been waiting for this moment. The aliens die ugly.

This is a surprisingly rich story because of several themes running in parallel:

Leading man Tom Tryon said the critics never forgave him for being in a movie with this title. He was happier as a novelist, for example writing both the book and the screenplay for The Other (1972).

The town bartender is "Slapsie Maxie" Rosenbloom, a boxer who had a second career playing comical palookas for Hollywood.

Available on DVD. [Later: on Blu-ray from the Australian Imprint label].