A Swedish science fiction movie that was reconstructed into a rather different American monster movie.
Jerry Warren was an American film distributor who couldn’t leave well enough alone. His reputation was built by picking up European films and – ahem – ‘tweaking’ them into new, not always superior versions. Weirdly, Warren’s reworkings are all quite entertaining in their own right, even if they have often made seeing the rather better original versions of the films that they started out as all that harder. Ideally, we’d have both versions to enjoy.
Such is the case with the 1962 film Invasion of the Animal People, which began life in 1959 as Rymdinvasion i Lappland in its native Sweden and Terror in the Midnight Sun around the world. Although mostly shot in English and pitched at the international market, the film proved a little difficult for Warren and his perceived audience. A nude shower scene that was inserted into the Swedish cut clearly had to go, along with a great deal of other footage, reducing the 73-minute film to 55 minutes; Warren then shot new material, including a prologue and epilogue with John Carradine. When the film was sold to TV, even more footage had to be added to bring it up to the required running time. The final film bore only a passing resemblance to the more thoughtful original movie.
Luckily, both versions are available for a fascinating compare-and-contrast experiment. Enjoy!
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