Terror in the Midnight Sun/Invasion of the Animal People (R) product details page

Terror in the Midnight Sun/Invasion of the Animal People (R)

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The first sci-fi monster movie ever produced in Sweden, Rymdinvasion i Lappland ("Space Invasion of Lapland") delivers a fairly typical 1950s "giant beast" tale, though its use of the country's unique climate and topography makes it worth seeing for genre enthusiasts. Swirling snowstorms and avalanches figure heavily in the plot, and the presence of Lapland villagers in authentic costume is rare to see in any film, let alone one with space aliens and reindeer mutilations; the climactic scene of a Laplander mob chasing the creature with torches blazing is like seeing Frankenstein translated into Swedish. The monster itself is a goofy Yeti-like creation with an ape's body and a wild boar's pitiful snout, not terribly convincing, but certainly unforgettable. Though director Virgil Vogel does a good job finding tension and suspense in the vast arctic wastes, he has trouble keeping the proportions of the monster accurate, as the beast seems to change height depending on where it stands. The cast is serviceable, though genre vet Barbara Wilson's character degenerates from spunky feminist to shrieking victim as soon as the Swedish Bigfoot appears, thus managing to irritate in two totally different ways. A surprising ****** scene (rare for a sci-fi film of its era) is artfully staged to simultaneously reveal and conceal everything, but a buff stand-in is used instead of Wilson, who also opted for a double to perform her character's figure-skating routines. When offered for American distribution, schlock specialist Jerry Warren got hold of Rymdinvasion i Lappland, added numerous unrelated scenes, and gave himself co-director status with Vogel, renaming the whole mess Invasion of the Animal People. The genre archivists at Something Weird Video have released both versions to the public, finally letting American audiences see Vogel's original work alongside Warren's incoherent chop job. Fred Beldin, All Movie Guide