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Monsters in the MachineScience Fiction Film and the Militarization of America after World War II$
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Steffen Hantke

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781496805652

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2018

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496805652.001.0001

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Military Stock Footage

Military Stock Footage

(p.47) Chapter One Military Stock Footage
Monsters in the Machine

Steffen Hantke

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter focuses on the recruitment of the audience into the “military metaphysics” that C. Wright Mills decries as a symptom of America's Cold War mentality. More specifically, it reads attempts at recruitment made by science fiction films of the period through the use of military stock footage. Pilfering the public domain for footage to be inserted into one's own film was a standard device of inexpensive filmmaking that found one of its most extreme expressions in Alfred E. Green's Invasion U.S.A. (1952). Generally dismissed as a hack job and mercilessly lampooned by Mystery Science Theater 3000, Invasion U.S.A. is a prime example of a politically engaged film using one of the common stylistic devices of 1950s low-budget filmmaking.

Keywords:   science fiction films, American films, military metaphysics, military stock footage, Alfred E. Green, Invasion U.S.A.

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