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They Came From The Ether (2014)

They Came From The Ether

They Came
From The Ether

My screener copy of They Came From The Ether arrived in a clear plastic CD case with no artwork, so I watched the movie without having any visual references beforehand.  The movie is 100% influenced by the old black & white, low-budget, Sci-Fi films from the 1950s.  The obvious reference would be Plan 9 From Outer Space, but in reality this movie is probably more like a 1950s Sci-Fi movie that wasn't made by Ed Wood.  The movie is presented in black & white.  They used lots of great props from the period including a beautiful vintage car and truck.  The attention to these details went a long way in making the movie fun to watch.  Aside from the computer generated interior shots of the space ship and a few minor set and costume details, they did an excellent job of recreating the feel of the movies that clearly inspired this film.  Even the script was written to feel like something from the 1950s.

After watching the movie, I opened up the press materials disc and was surprised by the images that I found.  None of the press materials were designed to look like old 1950s movie posters or lobby cards.  Almost all of the images were in color and looked very modern.  Seeing screen shots and promo photos in color taken with the sharp focus and rich contrast of today's digital cameras doesn't represent what this movie offers at all.  I'm sure that you're familiar with the old adage, "You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover."  That statement is all too true with They Came From The Ether.  Unfortunately, that's exactly the point of the cover!  If a cover is done well, you SHOULD be able to judge a book by its cover.  I realize that this should be a review of the movie itself, but I just feel like the producers are missing the target completely with their promotional materials.  I think that people who would love this movie may not give it a chance because the promotional material doesn't represent the film well at all.  These guys obviously spent a lot of time and effort making this movie look as authentic as possible without much of a budget and they did a great job!  If I had seen the press materials before watching the movie, I probably would have thrown it in my 'to watch' pile and forgotten about it.  My point is that despite the promo materials that don't look remotely 1950s, these guys actually did deliver with the film itself, so if you're into 1950s Sci-Fi, please DO give this one a shot!

On to the movie:  This looks like it was a no-budget, amateur project by a couple of guys who don't have much film making experience, but they did their homework and hit it out of the park!  After seeing the color stills, I realize just how much presenting the movie in black & white helps the overall look of the film.  Writer / Director James Pronath delivers a goofy tale about  a down-on-his-luck vacuum cleaner salesman who stumbles upon an alien that helps him build his business by giving him alien technology that makes his vacuum cleaners better.  Despite the corny premise, the dialog of script is pretty solid and stays true to the style.  Most of the actors probably aren't actually actors, but they all did at least a decent job of playing their parts.  The two main guys, Christopher Fisher and Paul Gibson, actually are actors and they both did an excellent job.  There were a couple of great cameos by 80s scream queen Linnea Quigley and Judith "They're coming to get you Barbara" O'Dea from Night of the Living Dead.  If you understand going in what you're watching, it's all very true to form.

Without a doubt, the most impressive thing about this movie was the score by Steven Grove.  This guy absolutely nailed it!  If you are at all a fan of (or are even aware of) the background music that plays during a movie, it's worth watching They Came From The Ether  just for the score!  I've seen movies with a good score before, but I've never seen a movie with a score that was good enough to carry the film until now.  If I rated this stuff, I'd give the score a 10 out of 10.

I understand the use of computer graphics, but some of the computer backgrounds really took away from the authenticity of this movie.  There are interior scenes in a spaceship that just look completely modern.  They used a green screen behind the actors and then threw computer backgrounds in there.  I would have preferred badly made sets that were actually in camera, but I know that would have taken a lot of time to make.  Since this project was created at a very home made level, I can understand why they chose to go this route.

Despite the green screen spaceship sets, They Came From The Ether succeeds in delivering a fun, campy adventure in the style of the classic Sci-Fi movies of the 1950s.  If you enjoy that kind of movie, I highly recommend you check this one out...but don't let the promotional materials scare you away, they really did do a much better job of making the movie look vintage than the promotion would suggest!

Visit the Six Foot Hamster Films website for more info.:


Gore-o-meter rating: 0 out of 5
(This isn't that kind of movie.)

Skin-o-meter: 0 out of 5 (This REALLY isn't that kind of movie!)