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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge #1,283. Teenagers from Outer Space (1959)

Dave's 2,500 Movies Challenge


Posted: 19 Feb 2014 03:30 AM PST

Directed By: Tom Graeff

Starring: David Love, Dawn Bender, Bryan Grant



Tag line: "Before - A Beautiful Girl. One Moment Later - A Skeleton!"

Trivia: The filmmaker was on such a tight budget that the film's ultimate weapon, the "focusing disintegrator", was actually a Hubley's Atomic Disintegrator toy cap gun, bought for a dime, with a flashbulb added as a beam.





Teenagers from Outer Space is an odd little film from 1959 about a kindhearted alien named Derek (David Love) who comes to earth with his colleagues looking for a planet to house the Gargons, a giant, lobster-like race that’s also the aliens’ chief source of food. Because of their size and the fact they multiply at an alarming rate, the Gargon have a tendency to take over as the dominant species on whatever world they occupy, and from the looks of it, earth is a suitable habitat for the creature. Even still, Derek, fearing for the safety of the planet’s current inhabitants, tries to convince his fellow aliens to continue the search in another part of the galaxy. This doesn’t sit well with the others, and before he knows what’s hit him, Derek is being chased away by Thor (Bryan Grant), the most violent of the group, who, with his trusty ray gun, is sent to track Derek down and, if necessary, kill him to protect the security of their mission.

While on the run, Derek meets Betty Morgan (Dawn Anderson), a pretty teen living with her grandfather (Harvey B. Dunn). Luckily, Betty and her grandpa have a room available, and are more than happy to rent it to Derek (despite the fact he doesn’t have a cent to his name). While Derek is getting to know his new human friends, Thor continues to search for him, leaving a trail of skeletons in his wake (the ray gun Thor wields is so powerful that it vaporizes its victim’s flesh, leaving only the bones behind). While eluding Thor, Derek also tries to warn Betty and the others that, unless they do something about the Gargons, their world will soon come to an end.

Bottom line, Teenagers from Outer Space is not a good movie. For one, Derek and his compatriots have an unusual way of talking, using very few contractions when they speak, which makes for some clumsy dialogue (shortly after they arrive on earth, Thor shoots Betty’s dog with his ray gun, which doesn’t sit well with Derek. “It had life”, he tells Thor, “And that life you had to take to satisfy your endless hunger for killing“). This, of course, is just the beginning; the film also features poor special effects (aside from the scenes where Thor reduces his victims to skeletons, which is a cool concept, the effects are practically non-existent, especially when it comes to the giant Gargon, which we only see as a shadow on the wall), and the performance of Harvey Dunn as Grandpa has to be seen to be believed (he’s arguably the goofiest senior citizen ever to inhabit a sci-fi film).

Yet, even with its many deficiencies (or, more than likely because of them), I had fun watching Teenagers from Outer Space. The story itself, about an alien race looking for a planet to house its food supply, is a clever one, and the scenes with Thor had a definite energy to them (did I mention how awesome it was that he could turn people into skeletons?). There’s no denying Teenagers from Outer Space is a bad film, but, in my opinion, it fits neatly into the “so bad, it’s good” category.







Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Andersonville Prison



On Sunday, February 16, 2014 7:04 PM, Fold3.com <team@fold3.com> wrote:
TMIH: February 1864 Andersonville Prison

February 1864 Andersonville Prison

Save 25% on All-Access Membership Limited time.The most infamous Confederate prison of the Civil War was at Andersonville, Georgia. It was known as Camp Sumter when the first Union prisoners arrived in February 1864. The original stockade was built to house 10,000 men, but as hundreds of captured prisoners arrived every day, the site quickly reached its capacity and exceeded it. Six months later, over 32,000 men lived in deplorable conditions inside the prison. In its 14 months of existence, 45,000 men came through the gates. Nearly 13,000 are buried there.
There were 150 prison camps on both sides in the Civil War, and they all suffered from disease, overcrowding, exposure, and food shortages. But Andersonville was notorious for being the worst. Some men agreed to freedom and fought for the South as galvanized soldiers, fearing the dangers of imprisonment to be greater than those of the battlefield. Eventually, General Sherman's occupation of Atlanta forced officials to move prisoners to other camps in Georgia and South Carolina.
The only official executed for war crimes in the Civil War was Captain Henry Wirz, the Confederate commandant of Andersonville Prison. He was charged with conspiring with others to "injure the health and destroy the lives" of Union soldiers. While no conspiracy was ever truly proved, public opinion forced a guilty verdict and his execution by hanging.
The National Park Service maintains the prison site, its museum, and the Andersonville National Cemetery. Information about the 150th anniversary of Andersonville Prison is available here.
Despite the terrible death toll, thousands of men survived Andersonville and related their stories. If you had an ancestor confined to Andersonville, or any other Civil War prison for that matter, their tales may have been passed down over the last century and a half. The military records of the men who survived Andersonville Prison can be found in the documents on Fold3. One survivor, R.K. Sneden of the 40th New York Volunteers, was a prisoner there until April 1864. He drew several colorful maps of Camp Sumter and its vicinity that include captions and details of interest.
Save 25% on All-Access Membership Limited time.

150th Anniversary (1864–2014) This Month in the Civil War: Battle of Olustee

Civil War Collection 150th Anniversary
The largest battle fought in Florida during the Civil War was the Battle of Olustee, also known as the Battle of Ocean Pond. On February 20, 1864, about 5,000 troops from each side fought in Baker County, Florida, 50 miles west of Jacksonville. Although it was a small battle, fought mostly in the woods because of the nearby Ocean Pond, it was costly with a large number of casualties.
Union General Seymour wanted to occupy Jacksonville to disrupt transportation and supply lines. On the Confederate side, Brigadier General Finegan took a position at Olustee and was joined by Brigadier General Colquitt and his troops. What started as a skirmish grew into a full-blown battle with Union troops from as far north as New Hampshire and Connecticut, plus three regiments of U.S. Colored Troops. The proportion of casualties to men who fought made it one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. An annual reenactment of the battle takes place at the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park.
Visit Fold3 to read the report of battle, described as "the engagements with the abolitionists near Ocean Pond," by the commander of the 2nd Brigade, George P. Harrison, and view his brigade's casualty report here.
Find your Civil War ancestors on one of the largest Civil War collections online. Explore now »

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Fwd: The Tea Party Conservative Daily is out! Edition of 18 February 2014



What could be MORE Retro??


 
The Tea Party Conservative Daily
*"We must educate ourselves and inform others"*
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18 February 2014
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