Published on November 30th, 2012 | by Chris0
Invasion, U.S.A. (1952)
Not to be confused with the Chuck Norris destruction-fest of the same name, 1952's Invasion USA takes a look at what might have happened if the Soviets had tried to take over the USA, in the early days of the atomic age. Let's consider this a precursor of sorts to the Red Dawn twins....
We start our story in a bar in New York City. A mysterious stranger, Mr. Ohman (Oh, man! Dan O'Herlihy) swirls his Brandy and asks the other patrons to stare into his glass. They are treated to a dark vision of a world over run with communism, with red spies infiltrating every part of our society. Bombers approach from the Northwest, nuking key airfields along the way, eventually taking over San Fransisco. No place is safe, as the bomb finally drops on New York!
But it was all just a fantasy. Or was it?! I found it particularly humorous that a lot of the language and rhetoric used to combat the communist menace can still be found in use today, by certain political elements trying to tie it to socialism and... well, I'm not going to go down that road. But suffice it to say I chuckled heartily.
Really this is a marvelous piece of anti-red propaganda. With the memory of World War II still fresh in our memories, and a current war in Korea that we don't really understand, films like these served to remind us that we are never safe so long as the scourge of tyrannical communism still graces the earth.
I watched this after seeing both the new, and 1984 versions of Red Dawn, and came to a realization. That the general consensus was there would be no fighting back. That the end would come with such immediate nuclear destruction that there was no hope of it. Contrasted with the "never give up" emotions of the Red Dawns, and its a little more interesting.
But if I might for a minute. Holy crap, I can't believe somebody let this movie out the door! The "War" footage in this movie is a terribly conceived and horribly executed mish-mash of stock footage from World War II into Korea. Nothing about it makes sense. I suppose you could argue that its painting an "abstract portrait" of war using said stock footage as an impressionist brush.... But I'd go so far as to say it was just thrown together by people who really had no clue what they were looking at. Jet fighters over Korea one minute, then F6's over the Pacific the next, followed by different jets over someplace, then another scene from WWII Pacific..... Pretty laughable. The miniature effects were good for a laugh, too. Too bad the Soviets got their hands on an entire fleet of B-29s!!
And of course, the romance, lets not leave that out.
Well, at the end it turns out to be an interesting study in anti-Soviet propaganda, and a study in how not to make a movie. The Rod-Serling beginning and end were a much appreciated touch, but the meat of the sandwich left a lot to be desired. Something for Mike, Crow, and Servo to do on a Sunday afternoon. Oh, hey, look at that, they did it already!
Rating for Invasion USA? I guess I'll give it a 4/10. If for no other reason than it was a fun, albeit highly cheesy, trip through the wayback machine.
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The exploitation masterpiece INVASION USA begins when a mysterious stranger (Academy Award ® nominee Dan O Herlihy) engages a diverse group of Manhattan bar patrons in a discussion on the best way to beat Communism...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audience Rating: Unrated (Not Rated)
Manufacturer: Synapse Films
Original Release Date:
- Gerald Mohr
- Peggie Castle
- Dan O'Herlihy
- Robert Bice
- Tom Kennedy
Summary: it turns out to be an interesting study in anti-Soviet propaganda, and a study in how not to make a movie.