Blast From The Past: 1950's Sci-Fi
Giant heads, giant eyes, and giant beasts ruled the screen
By SFMZ Webmaster
The fifties ushered in some of the most cheesiest, yet glorious alien creatures in the history of
sci-fi film. Some hold the opinion that the popular onslaught was in part spawned from military
air and naval personnel reporting strange sightings during World War II. QTM.net's article
'History of UFO's During World War II' states . . . . .
"During world war II the accumulation of sightings of mysterious celestial objects, finally started
to worry the military authorities. In both camps, high-ranking officials of the intelligence services
started to study these strange objects and investigation committees composed of military and
scientific personnel were set up in various countries.
They had a double purpose: first of all to determine the nature of these flying objects and then
to see if they constituted a threat to the security of the nation. During World War II, the Allies,
just like the Germans, noticed the presence of these enigmatic flying objects above their
secret bases. The first reaction of each side was obviously to suspect espionage on the part
of their enemy."
The QTM.net article continues with the point that when the Germans and the Allies resolved
that it was not their opponent responsible for the mysterious craft and sightings, each camp
explored the numerous reports drifting in, such as a luminous object described by a pilot as
an "aerial whale - not a machine made by man." The preceding decades were peppered with
alien narrative, so the fifties were clearly not the birth of our beloved fictional entity. However,
the World War II sightings combined with the dawn of the atomic age, set in motion a grim
reality humans had never faced before.
We now have the capability to destroy our entire species (and most likely all the other species
of Earth). Perhaps our own egos nurtured the 50's sci-fi film explosion. After all, surely we
wouldn't destroy ourselves, would we? If mankind were to meet it's demise, it would have to
be at the hands (or purple tentacles) of beings not of this planet. Only those other-worldly
space monsters were inhumane enough to perpetrate such a heinous act.
Such possible armegeddon level scenarios like above is a rich harvest for the
narrative-creating minds. Authors surfaced from every literary and cinematic corner
with fantastical stories of alien invasions and galactic wars. Regardless of
what influenced the fifties explosion the most, the outcome produced a variety
of obscure and some now humorous visuals that no doubt held the movie
audience of that period in cosmic awe.