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Teenagers from Outer Space

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Teenagers from Outer Space In "Teenagers From Outer Space" (1959), a group of aliens come to evaluate Earth's potential as pasture for herds of gargon, the chief food source back on their home planet. Believing the gargon would destroy human civilization, one alien named Derek attempts to thwart his compatriots' effort with the help of a human teen named Betty.

Also called "Killers From Outer Space", the film was written and directed by Tom Graeff, who served as Roger Corman's assistant on the film "Not Of This Earth" (1957). Reportedly, it was this experience that inspired Graeff to write this sci-fi story about a youth who sacrifices his own life to save the lives of others.

"Teenagers" was a huge hit in drive-in theaters. Invented by a Camden, New Jersey man named Richard Hollingshead Jr. in the early 1930s, drive-ins exploded in popularity in the Fifties and Sixties, with as many as 4,000 across the country at their peak. Technical and economic issues plagued the drive-in concept, however. Providing reliable audio with good sound quality to each car was a challenge, and business owners struggled to generate revenue with an operation that really couldn't kick in until after dark. Despite inventive solutions to these problems, drive-ins by and large could not profitably compete with other entertainment venues and now only a handful of the theaters remain.

Valy Vardeny
Physicist Valy Vardeny of the University of Utah discusses lasers and the film "Teenagers From Outer Space."

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