Three hundred years ago, an alien life form traveling through space falls to the Earth and ends up at the bottom of the ocean.  The life form is a glowing fireball that rolls over a Native American reducing him to ashes.  It then rolls into the ocean and kills a shark.  

Current day, Dr. Iane Thorne (Marvin Howard) is an entomologist doing ecological research.  Iane lives in an old lighthouse near the ocean.  While working one day he finds some unusual stones in the tidal pool next to the lighthouse.  The stones have a green and blue iridescence to them.  Curious about the stones he takes them home and packages some up to send to a colleague, Dr. Willy Seppel (Eric Allison), hoping he can identify them. 

Iane gives the package to the letter carrier who heads off in his postal car with his dog, Millie.  The rocks in the package begin to glow.  The glowing appears to be a signal to the larger entity.  The fireball alien comes out of the ocean and rolls over the postal car cremating the man.  Millie the dog manages to escape, for a time.  A drifter finds one of the rocks and strikes a match on it.  The entity rises from the ocean and cremates him. 

The police are stumped, but Iane and Dr. Seppel begin to form a hypothesis on what is happening.  Iane believes that the entity is the mother of the smaller rocks and that they were separated from the mother when it crashed into the Earth.  Now, when the smaller rocks begin to glow, it signals the mother to save them.

“The Cremators” was released in 1972 and was directed and co-written by Harry Essex.  It is an American science fiction horror film produced by an uncredited Roger Corman.  The film was based on the short story “Dune Roller” by Julian May.

One of the visual effects guys, Doug Beswick, went on to work on “Star Wars IV” 1977l, “Terminator” 1984, “Ghostbusters” 1984 and “Aliens” 1986.  Maria De Aragon, who plays Iane’s love interest Jeanne, also played Greedo, the green alien from “Star Wars Episode IV” that was shot in the cantina by Han Solo. 

The basic premise of the film is totally ridiculous.  A mother fireball has glowing rock babies.  It certainly is a new one.  Director Essex is the same guy who co-wrote “Creature from the Black Lagoon” 1954 and “It Came from Outer Space” 1953.  What happened here, I have no idea.  Still, there is a cult for everything, and this is no exception. 

I didn’t really hate the movie but as watched it with my head cocked to the side, I realized that I was confused about it.  There were lots of leaps of logic and explanations that weren’t based in any facts, but science fiction isn’t necessarily logical.  In addition to the cockamamie plot, the acting was bad and the editing choppy.  I was also confused as to what happened to the cat and the dog that died.  How did they get rocks in their stomachs?   I may never know.

Iane is pronounced the same as Ian.

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