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The Crawling Eyes were antagonists in the British serial and later the film version of The Trollenberg Terror, also known as The Crawling Eye, when shown in the US, where it was the first film given the treatment by Mystery Science Theater 3000 when the show went national.
In actuality, these creatures neither crawled, nor were they eyes, but these alien invaders vastly resembled gigantic, disembodied Human eyeballs, down to their retina-like tentacles. Operating in secret, they plotted to change Earth's overall climate to one more habitable for them, killing some humans who got in their way and enslaving others. Wherever they set up shop, they did so in a remote, inaccessible region or one that was easily isolated, creating mists and fog that, combined with their gruesome murders of locals, made these areas seem cursed and unapproachable. Their favored method of killing Humans seemed to be by decapitation (the film and series took pains to only show the horrified looks of those who found the victims). They had a deep fear of Humans with psychic abilities, who could sense their presence and possibly offer insight into how to oppose them. When these psychics would hole themselves up to avoid the aliens, the creatures resorted to killing and then resurrecting as their monomaniacal slaves Humans who they would then send out to kill them. Except for cannibalism, these Humans were now, in effect, undead zombies for whom only catastrophic cranial trauma proved a final release.
When they did just this near their base in the Andes Mountains, a maniac ended up beheading an elderly psychic woman. This attracted the attention of United Nations at-large problem solver Alan Brooks, but since Brooks could prove nothing of why these events had occurred or were even connected, he was forced to back off his assertions (limited as they were) in order to keep his job. About a year later, he was invited to the Swiss mountain town of Trollenberg by a friend and associate, a noted scientist who took notice of the aliens' radioactive fog and mist, as well as several gruesome murders by beheading. Knowing Brooks had raised these concerns in a similar circumstance, Professor Crevett hoped his old friend could give what insight he had. Brooks became very concerned when a young psychic woman named Anne Pilgrim first insists on stopping at Trollenberg and then seems to sense the sinister presence of the creatures. Protecting her life becomes ever more problematic as the murders increase, and efforts to investigate only lead to more deaths, including one transformed Human assassin who tries to kill Anne repeatedly.
Brooks and the others gain their first look at the creatures as the fog descends down the mountain, prompting an evacuation of the townspeople to Crevett's fortified mountain-top observatory. The aliens, perhaps knowing they've been found out on a large scale and still desperately wishing Anne dead, stage an all-out assault on the now-cramped observatory. After using such crude methods as molotov cocktails and axes to barely keep the monsters outside, the trapped townspeople are finally rescued when Brooks uses his military contacts to call in a military air strike around the observatory compound, once communication with the outside is briefly restored. The aliens burn and die to a one. While concerns about other nests of these aliens are raised, their absolute secrecy, their real prime weapon, is done with.
Due to the low budget and primitive effects of the era, the aliens are never shown truly attacking or transforming a Human. It can be speculated that their retina-looking tentacles are used for these purposes, but again, nothing is ever shown, save an attack on the observatory in which retina-tentacles busted down a wall keeping Anne safe. No reason for the aliens' bizarre physiology is cited, save for the fact that, with such large exposed membranes, they would need a much more warm humid atmosphere to live in, perhaps to the point of Venus's atmosphere, something that would rapidly end Human life.
- This 'cheesy movie' was actually in two episodes of MST3K, the second being the final broadcast episode, where in a now-free Mike and the Bots start watching it on TV, finding it oddly familiar.
- Alan Brooks was played by actor Forrest Tucker, who played Sergeant O'Rourke on F-Troop and Jake Kong on the 1975 Filmation Saturday Morning kids show, The Ghost Busters.
- Again, owing to the low budget, the aliens are never truly seen in the same scene as the actors, only in green-screen insertions and localized shots of tentacles attacking.
- They are sometimes known as "Trollenberg Aliens".