They Hide Among Us (2015) – By Philip Smolen


Richard Marcus (Joseph Mascort) and his new bride Nancy (Tara Jenkins) are having a picnic out in the desert when they see a small flying saucer fly by. They follow it and watch go through a strange dimensional portal and disappear. The couple decides to go through the portal as well and find a parallel world ruled by the awful Zongon. The alien uses the dimensional portal to travel to Earth and kidnap important earthlings and replace them with his obedient slaves. Richard and Nancy are terrified, but they know that unless they fight back, Zongon will have his way and take over the Earth.

“They Hide Among Us” is a 16 minute short film from writer director Daniel Ziegler and it’s a bright and silly salute to those goofy 1950s sci-fi flicks that we all love so much. Ziegler happily tries to recapture the look and the feel of an Ed Wood or Eddie L. Cahn spectacular and his black and white photography does indeed recall those films. Several of his compositions made me think of such cheese classics as “Robot Monster” (1953) and “Invisible Invaders” (1959). Zielger even riffs further on Ed Wood by trying to pretend that everyday objects are really scientific devices. My favorite is using a drum machine as Zongon’s control panel.

Unfortunately, this no budget wonder is let down a little by the level of acting. While it’s true that the acting in most 1950s low budget sci-fi was pretty bad, better acting here would have helped sell the obvious satire better. Still, this is a fun and charming send up of low budget 1950s sci-fi. If, you’ve got a thing for spoofs of 1950s sci-fi cheese wiz, then “They Hide Among Us” is just what you’ve been waiting for.

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