The Cosmic Man (1959)
Directed by Herbert S. Greene
More or less a rip-off of The Day The Earth Stood Still, minus the talent, suspense, special effects, and pretty much everything else.
A ball-shaped UFO arrives in a canyon, and the military, led by sourpuss Colonel Paul Langton, investigate. They are joined by Bruce Bennett, who plays an astrophysicist from Pacific Tech. The producers should have gotten a running back from Georgia Tech. There is an immediate clash between Langton and Bennett, due to the usual debate between military and scientific methodology. Eventually, we discover that Bennett was responsible for the creation of the A-bomb; now, we can partially blame him for participating in this bomb. While they spar, local innkeeper Angela Greene drives up with her wheelchair-bound son, which should tug at your heartstrings, but instead, gives you heartburn. Langton tries to impress Greene’s son with football talk, while Bennett tries to impress the kid with astronomy talk. Yet, no one in his/her right mind would believe either of these clowns has a shot at Greene. But hey, you never know in science fiction.
Langton’s men and Bennett take turns playing with the giant ball, getting nowhere fast. Meanwhile, a shadowy figure is seen wandering around the neighborhood, resulting in women screaming, police cars speeding down streets, and audience members heading for the exits.
Shortly thereafter, John Carradine shows up at the inn and asks for a room. Carradine wears glasses that would make Marvin Kaplan envious. Greene gives him a room in the back of the inn, and forgets about him.
Bennett and his associate, a character oddly named Dr. Rich Richie (you can’t make this stuff up) collaborate on a plan of action:
Bennett: “And suppose this phantom atom contains particles of a mass of m minus vibrating along the axis x under a force of kx towards the origin. You know the equation, Rich.”
Rich: “Got it.”
Bennett: “If left alone, those particles should vibrate with a constant amplitude and frequency of six minus forever, right?”
I’m no astrophysicist, but this is actually the correct equation for generating bulls***. I’ve tried it, and it works.
Greene finally remembers there is a stranger at the inn. Now the shadowy figure shows up (with John Carradine’s voice … surprise, surprise) and we get the obligatory alien warning to grow up, stop fighting, use contraceptives, eat your spinach, etc. He also says he will be taking off soon (assuming he is not flying Air Tran). So Langton and his imbecilic General devise a plot to stop the alien. But Carradine snatches Greene’s son and heads for the big ball. Will the boy be rescued? (yes) Will the boy be miraculously cured? (yes) Will Carradine get attacked? (yes) Will either Bennett or Langton score with Greene? (don’t make me nauseous)
Greene, who was wasted (her talent, not her physical condition) in Night of the Blood Beast, at least has something to do here, and looks pretty good. Bennett looks tired, old, and uninspired; he must have needed a paycheck. Carradine is only onscreen for a few minutes; I doubt that was also him as the shadowy figure, which looked like Zorro in a tutu.
How Peeping Toms get their start.
“Hmm… so pi r square … but wait, pi r round, aren’t they??”
“Hello, Beijing Buffet? About these chopsticks you sent with my order … I can figure out the square root of two.”
“Bad news, dear. Blake Edwards hired that @#$%^$#@ Mickey Rooney to play the part.”
“I can’t be certain, but my best guess is that it’s from Oz.”
I knew giving that kid a telescope was a bad idea.