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Friday, August 31, 2018

It! Terror from Beyond Space (1958)




Its Friday so that means another killer movie from that fabulous decade that brought us cars with giant fins, atomic horrors, and creatures from outer space. This time around I chose some creepy alien action as we see what happens when mankind decides to step foot on Mars.

The story kicks off with an expedition/rescue team getting ready to leave Mars. They were dispatched to find out what happened to the first rocket that landed there. They find only one survivor and he has an unbelievable story about a creature that came out of nowhere and carted off his crew one by one. They are taking him back to Earth to face justice for what they think are his crimes. They take off and on the way home realize that they aren’t alone. The creature has snuck aboard and is killing them off while sneaking around the air ducts. Nothing will stop the creature including bullets, grenades, a bazooka, and poison gas. What will kill it? I guess they could blow the airlock.

I have to mention the obvious. People trapped on a spaceship with an alien that is immune to their weapons. It sneaks around the air vents attacking them. Nothing stops it until they blow it out of an airlock. That sounds familiar right? Well this is the movie that many old school fans say inspired Alien. I’m not so sure that is the case, but it does seem awfully familiar. As for the movie itself I’m a big fan of this one. The plot is solid and paced quickly. We jump right into the action with the monster showing up quickly and dispatching the first crewman just a few minutes in. From there on we get to watch the crew forced into an ever-smaller section of the ship as they are forced to flee the creature. This leads to a claustrophobic feeling as they are trapped and just killing time until the creature reaches them because they have nowhere else to go.

This creature is awesome!
This is the fifties, so the creature is just a guy in a rubber suit, but it is a decent looking one. The body is nothing special, but we do get to see an alien face that is sort of disturbing. I know that to today’s audience it doesn’t have much of an impact, but I remember a younger me being terrified by it. Sometimes you can’t be so jaded by all the new monsters and have to get in touch with your inner kid to enjoy the old stuff. This is one of the better creature designs from the fifties. The deaths are pretty tame, but we do get a cool gag with a rifle being bent and the creature tearing thru the hatches is also great.

What can I say? I love these old movies and It! Terror from Beyond Space is one of the best you will see. It has a great setup, a cool monster, and a plot that gets to the good stuff and never lets up. If you like old horror and sci-fi this is the movie for you. But then if you like these flicks I imagine I’m preaching to the choir. Consider this one highly recommended.


© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer

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