Produced and directed by Maury Dexter
Starring Kent Taylor, Marie Windsor, William Mims, Lowell Brown
In the late 50s, Lippert Pictures made a slew of low-budget, black-and-white, widescreen films for 20th Century-Fox — released under the name Regal Films, with CinemaScope renamed Regalscope. The arrangement continued into the 60s under the name Associated Producers, Inc.
The Day Mars Invaded The Earth (1962) is one of the better ones, I think. Made on a shoestring, Maury Dexter makes sure we see more on the Scope screen than the budget would have you expect, thanks largely to the use of Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. It’s an odd take on the whole alien invasion thing, with some creepy moments that continue to haunt those of us who saw it as a kid.
Maury Dexter (in Tim Weaver’s I Talked With A Zombie): “…On this one I was keenly aware of wanting to try to get… a weird feel, if that’s the right word. Something a little different, a little eerie.”
Dexter got what he was aiming for. It’s a creepy little movie. And we can get it April 7 from Fox’s Cinema Archives collection. Released the same day is API’s Hand Of Death (1962) starring John Agar.
I recommend another one of Dexter’s API films, House Of The Damned (1963), which also makes good use of Greystone Mansion.