Reputedly one of Andy Warhol's favorite films.
In the opening scene where they go through the the progression of robotic design, the robot shown as R1 is a prop left over from the 1956 movie "Earth vs the flying saucers". It's the same outfit worn by the invading aliens who piloted the flying saucers.
Makeup artist Jack Pierce participated in the 1962 publicity campaign by giving interviews and by making up Los Angeles TV movie host Wayne Thomas as a humanoid, complete with silvery contact lenses, during a live broadcast. Progress in the application of the makeup was televised during commercial breaks in the unrelated film being shown. The live segments were temporarily saved on videotape and rebroadcast several times in the following days.
After running its theatrical course in drive-ins, low-end suburban theaters, "kiddie matinees" and urban theaters specializing in exploitation films, the film was released to television, where it was being shown by late 1964.
The Creation of the Humanoids is normally dated to 1962, the year of its general release, but one screening in 1961 is documented by an advertising flyer and the film itself displays a 1960 copyright date (MCMLX in Roman numerals), indicating that it was a complete film before the end of that year. Short items in contemporary trade publications indicate that it was being filmed in the summer of 1960 under a working title variously reported as This Time Around or This Time Tomorrow. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences lists August 1960 as the completion date.
Unlike most film posters of the time, which were printed by a four-color process that allowed a full range of eye-catching colors to be used, the posters for this film were two-color printings limited to black, white, red, grays, pinks and browns. The use of a two-color poster for a small independent black-and-white film was not uncommon, but it was unusual when one of the selling points of the film being advertised was the fact that it was in color.
The film's running time is often listed as 75 minutes. The Dark Sky DVD release runs 84 minutes and is presented in anamorphic 16:9 widescreen, which approximates the matted aspect ratios most commonly used for 35 mm projection in the United States in 1962. The earlier videocassette releases are not pan-and-scan versions of a widescreen image, but simply unmatted full-frame 1.33:1, revealing areas at the top and bottom of the image not normally seen in a theater.
The film's theatrical run was apparently not commented on in the mainstream press. The public reception as measured by theater attendance and profitability is unclear, but one 1962 item in the trade paper Variety notes that "Creation of the Humanoids and Invasion of the Animal People at the Fox shape to a sock $10,000", "sock" being a favorable term in that publication's show-business jargon and $10,000 the week's box office receipts at the Fox theater.
The film also features Dudley Manlove, of "Plan 9 From Outer Space."
Though very low budget, producers obtained the services of two top-tier behind-the-camera talents, albeit in the twilights of their careers: Cinematographer Hal Mohr and Universal makeup artist Jack Pierce. Mohr had a very extensive Hollywood career and two Academy Awards to his credit. Mohr used lighting and camera angles to make the best of the sets and add some visual interest to the long, actionless talking-head scenes that make up nearly all of the film. He sometimes used classic Hollywood "glamor lighting" techniques when photographing the normal-looking "human" characters, giving some scenes a degree of visual polish seldom seen in a low-budget exploitation film. Jack Pierce was Universal Pictures' master makeup artist during all of the 1930s and most of the 1940s and created the iconic Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein makeups among many others. The most unusual features of Pierce's makeup design for this film are the large reflective scleral contact lenses that give the humanoids the appearance of having metal ball eyes. The lenses were furnished by Dr. Louis M. Zabner, an optometrist who pioneered the use of contact lenses to change actors' eye color and is credited in the film for "special eye effects". At that time, scleral lenses were made of a hard plastic. Wearing them was uncomfortable and they had to be removed frequently. Pierce had used similar silvery lenses in 1957 for brief close-ups in The Brain from Planet Arous. Most of the considerable time and effort it took to apply the rest of the humanoid makeup was spent on hiding the actors' hair, which it would have been unthinkable to expect them to actually shave off for a few days' work in a low-budget film. Latex rubber "bald wigs" were glued on, eyebrows were stuck down flat, then putty was carefully applied to cover rough textures and blend in tell-tale edges. Finally, the actors' heads were painted all over with blue-gray greasepaint and they were given rubber gloves of the same color.
The film's limited budget is most apparent from its rudimentary sets, which consist mainly of a few blank flats, floor-to-ceiling drapes, or other simple elements set up in front of a painted background scene or a black void, as well as from its costumes, most of which are either generic jumpsuits or a uniform composed of stock costume rental items such as Confederate Army caps. Yet the producers opted for the added expense of filming in color at a time when black-and-white was still being used for many major-studio productions and was readily accepted by audiences.
Producer-director, former child star and Hollywood area native Wesley Barry's Genie Productions was located in Hollywood, and the cast and crew credits are populated by Hollywood personnel, but no information about the actual filming location and other specific details has yet come to light.
A general theatrical release through Emerson Film Enterprises was launched with an official opening in Los Angeles on 3 July 1962. An advertising campaign was begun, including the broadcast of short TV spots.
It was released on Beta and VHS videocassettes by Monterey Home Video in 1985 and was later available from Something Weird Video. The first licensed DVD release came in 2006 on a double-feature disc from Dark Sky Films.