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It! The Terror from Beyond Space

USA 1958
produced by
Robert E. Kent for Vogue Pictures/United Artists
directed by Edward L. Cahn
starring Marshall Thompson, Shawn Smith (= Shirley Patterson), Kim Spalding, Ann Doran, Dabbs Greer, Paul Langton, Robert Bice, Richard Benedict, Richard Hervey, Thom Carney, Ray Corrigan (= Ray 'Crash' Corrigan) as monster, Pierre Watkin
written by Jerome Bixby, music by Paul Sawtell, Bert Shefter, alien suit designed and built by Paul Blaisdell

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Mars: Captain Carruthers (Marshall Thompson), commander of the first expedition to the red planet, seems to be marooned on Mars after his ship crashed and his crew has been killed by ... something. 6 month later, a second Mars mission arrives, commandeered by Van Heusen (Kim Spalding), and Carruthrs is promptly arrested for the murder of his crew. During the trip back, Van Heusen tries to get a confession out of Carruthers, also because Ann (Shawn Smith), the ship's pretty girl, tends to believe Carruthers' monster story, and Van Heusen feels Ann was meant for him.

Eventually, two crewmembers disappear, and turn up dead, murdered, and since Carruthers' alibi is air-tight, it must have been something else ... like a Martian monster (Ray 'Crash' Corrigan) who somehow sneaked onto the ship when nobody was looking and who now hides in the air shafts and feeds on the crew.

Carruthers, Van heusen and his men now throw everything at the monster they've got, but it not only seems to be invulnerable to everything and kills one crewmember after the next, it also dares to go out into the open more and more and eventually takes one compartment after the next, strong enough to rip through steeldoors and the like. And the fact that it doesn't take the whole ship all at once is only because he sees no reason to rush things - after all, the monster's not stupid and figures keeping these humans alive keeps them fresh longer.

After much to and fro and many casualties, the remaining crew, now commandeered by Carruthers after Van Heusen was heavily injured, figures the creature needs an extra amount of oxygen - so everybody puts on his spacesuit, the oxygen is pumped out of the ship ... and the creature finally dies.

 


Obviously a major influence on Ridley Scott's Alien some 20 years later, It! The Terror from Beyond Space is not so much a trailblazing movie but a charming yet slightly routine 1950's monster feature with space opera undercurrents. And it's also a pretty likeable movie, if you like that sort of thing, with all the shocks and the clichées in the right places, fun if not wholly convincing special effects, a typical 1950's pulp style monster, and of course a happy ending. Fun!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD