“Killers from Space” invade the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in a movie billed as “the last word in science-fiction thrills!” And that word is “AHHHH!” Don’t miss other memorable quotes and mind-numbing action when this month’s Natural Horror Picture Show takes center stage on Friday, October 2 at 7 pm. (Free.)
“Killers” (1954) tracks the fate of atomic scientist/pilot Doug Martin, who crashes his plane following a nuclear test. He returns to the base under his own power but with a crazy story about monster aliens determined to conquer Earth. Martin then takes on the impossible mission (foreshadowing) of thwarting their evil plans.
Martin is played by Peter Graves, who appeared in movies ranging from Billy Wilder’s “Stalag 17” (1953) to Roger Corman’s “It Conquered the World” (1956), but eventually made his mark as team leader Jim Phelps of the action-packed television series “Mission: Impossible” (1967-73). Soon after, Graves’ career really took off with the role of Captain Clarence Oveur in “Airplane!” (1980) and the cleverly named sequel “Airplane II: The Sequel.” (Who knew? “Mission: Impossible” actually returned to television in 1988 and ran for two seasons.)
Colonel Banks is played by ubiquitous character James Seay, a familiar figure in “B” sci-fi classics, notably “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951), “When Worlds Collide” (1951), “The War of the Worlds” (1953), and as the ill-fated officer who is fatally pierced by a humongous hypodermic needle in “The Amazing Colossal Man” (1957). He was also the benign old folks home doctor who expounds on Kris Kringle’s mental condition in “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947).
“Killers” was directed by W. Lee Wilder, brother of director and multiple Oscar winner Billy Wilder. Another brother, Myles, apparently survived the stigma of having written “Killers” and went on to have a fairly prolific career penning television episodes of everything from “The Flying Nun” and “Get Smart” to “The Dukes of Hazzard.” (Who can forget Enos and Daisy’s wedding?)
The Museum stays open from 5 to 9 pm on the first Friday of every month. Arrive early and wander through eye-catching exhibits highlighting the natural beauty of North Carolina, enjoy snacks and beverages from the Acro Café, and groove to live music from Hercules Mulligan.
Additionally, the Museum Store offers after-hours shopping and an opening reception (6:30-8:30 pm) for Fred Johnston and Carol Gentithes, whose pottery show “To Prey or Not to Prey” appears in the Nature Art Gallery October 2–November 1. All exhibited art is for sale.
The NC Museum of Natural Sciences is located in downtown Raleigh at 11 West Jones Street. Parking is available on the street and in surface lots along Wilmington and Edenton streets.
For more information, contact Steve Popson at 919-733-7450 x379.