19 April 2007 | bensonmum2
The rating for The Space Children is as puzzling to me as any I've run across
I've seen a lot of weird things on IMDb, but the rating for The Space Children is as puzzling to me as any I've run across. 2.1?!?! I couldn't disagree any more. 2.1 is getting close to Manos territory. The Space Children may not be the best movie I've ever seen, but it doesn't deserve a 2.1. Why the low rating? I blame MST3K. I enjoy the show, but as I've argued any number of times, some of the movies that they lampooned didn't deserve it. Take a look at the reviews on IMDb. You can split them into two wildly divergent groups - those users who appear to only know The Space Children because of MST3K and those who have seen it on its own. The comments from the MST3K crowd always seem to mention Uncle Fester (Jackie Coogan) in a bathing suit as if it's one of the most important moments in the film. In contrast, many of the comments from non-MST3K viewers reminisce about seeing The Space Children during their childhood. Maybe it's not just an MST3K thing but an overall generational thing as well. Whatever, I tend to side with those who enjoy the movie for what it is.
And what is it? The Space Children is a nice little cautionary 50s sci-fi film that speaks to the dangers of nuclear proliferation. Jack Arnold, one of the best genre directors of the 50s, does his usual workmanlike job with the movie. It's not flashy, but it certainly looks good. The Space Children obviously was made on a limited budget. As a result, the special effects are also limited and Arnold focuses more on the people. A lot of what happens is implied. But that's not necessarily a weakness. Too often, low-budget sci-fi films from this period look ridiculous because of the desire for elaborate special effects (i.e. monster and aliens) that outstripped the funding it would require. The acting, while not outstanding, is solid. Even the kids, who can be annoying at times in this kind of movie, come off looking pretty good. The cast will be familiar to many who grew up watching television in the 60s. Overall I've got no big complaints with The Space Children. Not a bad way to spend just over an hour.