I Married a Monster (1998)

Rating:

USA. 1998.

Crew

Director – Nancy Malone, Screenplay – Duane Poole, Based on the Film I Married a Monster from Outer Space Written by Louis Vittes, Producer – Stu Segall, Photography – Geoffrey Schaaf, Music – David Shire, Art Direction – Bill Brownell. Production Company – Paramount

Cast

Richard Burgi (Nick Farrell), Susan Walters (Kelly Drummond Farrell), Tim Ryan (Steve), Barbara Niven (Linda), Richard Herd (Dr Paul Drummond), Vaughn Armstrong (Sheriff Collins), Barney Martin (Pop), Tim De Zarn (Pete)


Plot

In the small town of Blue Falls, Kelly Drummond is preparing to marry her childhood sweetheart Nick Farrell. On the night before the wedding, Nick goes for a walk in the woods only to come upon an alien ship, which swallows him up. He turns up for the wedding the following day apparently unharmed. Soon after the wedding, Kelly comes to notice a change in Nick – he is no longer interested in going out drinking with his buddies and appears intent on getting her pregnant as soon as possible. Kelly then notices that several of Nick’s friends are also giving up their partying ways to get married. She comes to the realization that Nick and the men in the town have been replaced by aliens who have come to Earth to repopulate their species by breeding with Earth women.


I Married a Monster is a made-for-tv movie remake of the minor 1950s science-fiction classic I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958). Someone must have seen the original playing after midnight on a tv channel somewhere and realized that it was about the only science-fiction film from the 1950s not to have been remade in the 1980s. Certainly, it is possible to imagine that I Married a Monster from Outer Space could have lent itself to a modestly effective cinematic remake around that time alongside other 1950s remakes such as The Thing (1982), The Fly (1986), Invaders from Mars (1986) and The Blob (1988). Alas, by the mid-1990s, interest in the 1950s science-fiction film remake had dwindled until they were only being conducted for cable – the likes of Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman (1993), It Came from Outer Space II (1995), How to Make a Monster (2001) and Teenage Caveman (2001). It is probably this that consigned I Married a Monster to being an indifferently conducted remake. Symptomatically, it was given to director Nancy Malone – a former actress whose work as a director had been limited entirely to episodes of tv series – and cast with largely unknown tv actors.

I Married a Monster follows all plot points of I Married a Monster from Outer Space reasonably closely, even down to the dog attack at the climax. The scenes of the alien husbands adjusting to human ways are brought to the fore and played with much more humour than they were in the original, while the point-of-view is now placed much more with the wife than it was in the original. Alas, Nancy Malone has little grasp or insight into the nature of the 1950s science-fiction movie – the idea here of one’s husband being taken over by something alien has little of the deeply paranoid frisson that it did in the original; this is a film that coasts by on the familiarity of the alien body snatcher film and merely regurgitates what has gone before. The way it comes out here is less an insidious variant on Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), as the original was, but more like a glossy daytime soap opera with aliens.

The film does benefit from some modest modern special effects but Nancy Malone does little in the way of generating suspense. The update does allow the film to become a little more explicit when it comes to discussing matters like aliens wanting to have sex with human women – unfortunately the essential idea of human-alien interbreeding has been stolen by the recent Species (1995) and such PG-rated discussions here seem tame in comparison.

In a cute aside, Tom Tryon and Gloria Talbot, the actors who played the husband and wife in the original, make cameo appearances as the parents of the groom, while several clips of the original film also play throughout.



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