Friday, October 27, 2023

Invaders from Venus!

Origin Story

Frank Mosley's 1997-through-to-2003 high-school era "backyard movie" Invaders from Venus! is really something to behold. It's one of those video films when we were a particular type of younger, made around the same era, but to which we never had access to digital editing software — we had to cut in camera. Frank is a couple years earlier in age than me, I think, and he had access to the tools that didn't quite exist around '97, which makes Invaders from Venus! all the more impressive because aside from the early existence of 'non-linear' software, he knew how to put a sequence together. No offense to compare to Dave Skowronski's outsider Halloween Party (which I wrote about a few days before this post), but Mosley's 'amateur' effort surpasses HP in all degrees; his natural cinema instincts at such an early age are truly impressive. From shot continuity and overlap of audio across cuts — and a progressive zoom-in on the aliens' human captive during his monologue, Invaders is if anything else a document of an era, which for a certain demographic, might remind an audience of its very self. Kids play sheriff (the little girl in the role is always looking for more drops from her essentially empty booze bottle); one plays the goddamn President of the United States.

It even sports one of the funniest lines I've heard in any movie I've seen, in the final act, as the Texas-based hero breathes a sigh of relief after the invaders have supposedly been eradicated: "I feel really bad that Oklahoma and Arkansas didn't get obliterated." 

Frank is one of the best actors and filmmakers going right now. Invaders from Venus! stands as the evidence that the kid's got talent. You can watch the film here through Split Tooth Media. 

As if that weren't enough, Frank holds his equal own to the generational talent Lily Gladstone in 2020's Freeland by Mario Fuloni and Kate McLean, available to view currently on MUBI.


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