American Title: The Crawling Eye
European Title: The Trollenberg Terror


Year Of Release: 1958
Running Time: 84 Minutes
DVD Released By: Image Entertainment
Directed By: Quentin Lawrence
Writing Credits: Peter Key (story), Jimmy Sangster
Filming Location: Unknown

Starring: Forrest Tucker, Laurence Payne, Jennifer Jayne, Janet Munro, Warren Mitchell, Andrew Faulds, Frederick Schiller, Stuart Saunders

Tagline: It's Looking For You!

Note: The film being used in this review is the American DVD of the widescreen European version.  The DVD is titled The Crawling Eye, but the titles in the film call it The Trollenberg Terror.

Alternate Titles:
The Trollenberg Terror (1958) (European Title)
The Crawling Eye (1958) (USA)
Creature from Another World (1958)
The Creeping Eye (1958)
The Flying Eye (1958)

Interesting Bits of Trivia:
During his career, Forrest Tucker appeared in over one hundred films and nearly fifty television shows including Rawhide, Gunsmoke, Daniel Boone, and The Love Boat.  He died of lung cancer on October 25, 1986 in Woodland Hills, California.




Cast Of Characters
Anne Pilgrim: Oh man this girl's cute.  And she's a psychic which makes her pretty interesting as well.  Unfortunately for her the monsters want her dead.  Too bad they never explained why.

Sarah Pilgrim: Ann's sister and her partner in their psychic stage show.  She's not too hard on the eyes either, but she's not as interesting as her sister.  She seems like she's there more for that big sister support kinda thing than for anything else.  Aside from that she really doesn't have a very important part in this movie.

Alan Brooks: This guy is always offering someone a drink or a cigarette.  He bravely takes on the monsters on the mountain and lives to tell the tale.  It's just too bad he damn near put me to sleep before he did it.  Man this guy is a bore.

Phillip Truscott: He's a slick newspaper man but he kept that a secret until later in the film.  He was always hangin' around eavesdropping on people and I never knew why until he actually said what he does for a living.  And here I thought he was just some kind of a creep.  Doesn't he look like he should be selling shoes or something?

Professor Crevett: Yes, here we have the classic stereotypical scientist with some kind of an indeterminate European accent.  At least he's got a good head on his shoulders and knows what he's talking about.  I wouldn't want to be him though when it came time to clean up the lab after the end of this movie.  Sheesh, what a mess.




The Plot

In the Trollenberg mountains, there's a radioactive cloud sitting on the summit of a mountain.  When mountain climbers start having horrible accidents and winding up dead and usually decapitated, Professor Crevett calls in his old friend and scientific investigator, Alan Brooks.  Alan and the professor had seen this same situation years earlier in the Andes mountains, only that time, they weren't able to get any hard evidence to back up their story of what happened there.  On his way to Trollenberg, Alan meets Ann and Sarah Pilgrim on the train.  Ann is a psychic, and as they pass the Trollenberg mountains, she goes into a psychic trance and then passes out.  When she awakens, she insists that her and her sister, who were on their way to Munich, stop in Trollenberg instead.  What mysterious force is drawing this beautiful young girl to this place?  Will Alan finally find what he's been searching for lo these many years?  Let's watch and see...




What The Hell???
1. We start out with a couple of dorky looking mountain climbers sitting on a ledge on the side of a mountain.  Their buddy is up a little ways higher.  He yells down to the two sitting on the ledge that it's foggy and that he can't see anything.  Then he says that someone's coming and a strange noise can be heard from up above.  He asks who's there several times and then all of a sudden starts screaming and drops off the side of the mountain, falling past his two buddies, only to end up suspended below the ledge by the link rope he was wearing.  His two buddies try to pull him up but when they get him up close to the edge, one of them sees that his head has been torn off his body.  The guy freaks out and the other guy tries to hold on but finally the rope breaks and their buddy falls down the mountain.  I only mention all this because one of the two guys sitting on the ledge was wearing a really stupid looking pointy hat that looked more like one of those french clown hats than anything else.  What a dork.  Incidentally, he was the one that freaked out too and let his friends body drop down the mountain.  If I was the other guy there, I'd have tossed him right off the mountain behind the other guy, if for no other reason than the fact that I couldn't stand to look at that stupid hat anymore.  Some people just have no fashion sense whatsoever.  Sheesh...
2.  After the opening credits we find Ann and Sarah traveling on a train together.  Ann is sleeping, but when she wakes up Sarah tells her that they're passing the mountains.  Ann stands up and has a look.  As she does, she gets a weird look on her face, her eyes roll back in her head, and she passes out and falls backwards into the lap of the gentleman who's traveling in the train car with them.  You know, that same thing happens to me when I stand up too fast too.  Ann's pretty cute.  I sure wouldn't have minded being the guy who's lap she fell into.
3. The guy's name is Alan Brooks.  He, along with Sarah helps Ann back to her seat.  The first thing he does is whip out a flask of booze and offer it to Ann saying that a spot of it would bring her color back.  First of all, I don't think anything's gonna bring her color back considering that this is a black and white movie.  Second of all, how smooth is this guy?  Alone in a train car with two attractive women and he just happens to have a flask of booze in his pocket.  I see where this is goin'.  He just wants to get 'em all liquored up so he can...uh...nevermind.  Alan get's five bonus points for smoothness though.
4.  Ann takes a drink and makes the face.  Any of you who've ever had alcohol know what the face is because guaranteed you've seen it or made it yourself a bunch of times.  Sarah doesn't take a drink from the flask.  I can definitely tell which one is the fun sister here.
5. Ann insists that she can't go any farther.  She says that they have to get off in Trollenberg and that they can stay at the Hotel Europa.  Sarah wants to know how she knows about the hotel Europa.  Well gee let's see here, I think I can answer that one for you Sarah.  You're only presently in scene two here, and if you don't get off in Trollenberg then you're not only not going to be in the rest of the movie, but you're not going to get paid for much either.  So if you wanna get paid more than a buck ninety-eight for being in this movie, you better get your inquisitive little keister off the damn train and go with the nice man to the Hotel Europa.  Kapisch?  Good, now we understand each other.
6. The proprietor of the hotel Europa, Heir Klein, comes and meets Alan at the train station to pick him up.  Alan arranges with him to have the ladies put up at the hotel as well.  Turns out business isn't so good right now.  Why?  Well Ann pops out with the reason why as they're all driving back to the hotel.  Turns out she's psychic and she starts spewing out all kinds of good info about all the so-called accidents that have happened on the mountain recently.  Hope she doesn't pick up on that thing with Alan and that chick with python in that bar in Bangkok.  I mean it's was so long ago and he was young and naive and...  Well anyway, if she picks up on that, he'll never score with her, which is probably a good thing considering he's old enough to be her grandfather.
7.  Now, Ann's picking up on all the stories about maintain climbers disappearing into the mists and never being seen again.  Heir Klein is trying to pass it off as superstitious stories.  You know, and let me be blunt here.  We need more people like Mike from the movie There's Noithing Out There.  For those of you who've never seen that movie, here's Mike in a nutshell.  He's paranoid as hell, he sees everything that's going on around him for what it really is, tries to warn everyone about it, no one listens to him and they all end up dead, except for Mike of course and the two other friends of his who had enough brains to listen to him.  Unfortunately for Heir Klein, he's one of those types of people who wouldn't listen to someone like Mike and would end up dead because of it.

8.  Jeez, what is this?  The Dead Zone?  Ann's picking up on all kinds of stuff now that she's in Trollenberg, and she don't even have to touch people to get it.  Christopher Walken, eat your heart out.

9. Now Phillip Truscott comes up and introduces himself to Alan and the ladies.  He's all using that, "Haven't we met somewhere before?" line and Sarah just gives him the ol', "Nice to meet you, you're full of crap," look.  At least she's polite about it.
10. Man this is creepy.  They're up in their room now and Ann's looking out the window at the mountains again doin' her Dead Zone thing.  I feel seriously sorry for this girl's future husband someday.  He ain't gettin' away with squat.  He won't even be able to leave his socks on the floor without her yelling at him from the other side of the house to pick them up.
11. Alan heads down stairs and meets up with two mountaineers who are going to head up the mountain to figure out what's going on with all the accidents.  Sarah and Phillip are there as well, and Phillip gets the bartender, Hans, to tell them what happened to the climber that was just recently killed up there.  Now personally, I wouldn't go anywhere near that mountain.  At least not without some seriously heavy weaponry.  I gotta wonder how much weaponry you'd really need though.  I mean come on, it's a giant eye.  Throw some dirt in it and then kick the crap out of it.  Shouldn't be all that difficult.
12.  The professor tells Alan about the radioactive cloud that never leaves the mountain.  He shows Alan the radiation from the cloud using some kind of a scanner/geiger counter kinda thingy.  His equipment starts making fart sounds as it scans the cloud.  You don't need high priced equipment just to make fart sounds.  All you really need is some good mexican food.
13.  The two climbers that Alan met at the hotel have reached the base of the mountain now and are staying in a hut for the evening.  The fog's rolling in.  I don't think it takes a psychic like Ann to see what's coming.
14.  Back at the hotel, Ann and Susan are doing their psychic act that they do professionally apparently.  She's gotten everything perfect so far, but now she's picking up on something else...the two guys in the hut.  Uh oh...  Maybe we'll actually get to see the monster now.  Nope, all we get to see is Ann passing out again.  I guess this psychic stuff takes a lot out of you.  Anyway, the climber named Brett got this hypnotic look on his face and wandered on out of the hut.  Alan calls the hut from the hotel on a hokey little phone they got rigged up and wakes up Dewhurst, he realizes that Brett is gone and wants to go out looking for him.  I mean that's nice and all, but what if Brett's out coppin' a squat or somethin'?  I mean, it's not like they have indoor plumbing in that little hut.

15.  So Ann comes to again in her room, just barely, with Sarah, the professor, and Phillip hovering over her.  The first thing the professor wants to do is give her a sedative.  I don't know what the hell for.  I mean, how much more relaxed can you be than passed out?

16.  I'm not sure why Phillip is such a snoop.  He's always eavesdropping on people.  If I caught someone like him eavesdropping on me I'd beat the snot out of 'em.
17.  Hey, Janet Munro who plays Ann is not only really cute, but she's a really good actress.  She's doing her freaked out psychic vision thingies really good.  I still say you wouldn't want to marry someone like her though.  Could you imagine having a wife with PMS and psychic ability???  What a nightmare.
18.  Well apparently the creature only likes to eat people's heads.  It leaves the rest of the bodies behind.  I don't blame it.  I always though that monsters that eat the whole body must have a pretty strong stomach to get past the intestines.  Ick!  No wonder monsters always have bad breath.
19.  Sarah told Ann they were going to leave Trollenberg that day and get her away from there.  So what does Ann do?  She throws on an overcoat and sneaks outside so she can stand in front of a movie screen with mountain village footage running on it in the background.
20.  Oh my god!  The spotter plane is calling these two guys on the ground on the radio.  The hand held radio they got is massive.  It has to weigh at least twenty pounds.  These two guys are standing in front of a background scene too.  At least this one looks a little more real than the one Ann was standing in front of.
21.  One of the two guys just found Brett's bag with the other guys head in it.  Incidentally, he just found Brett as well.  Brett kills him with a climbing pick and then when his buddy comes along, Brett kills him too.  Why?  Because they were big ol' cowards and didn't even try to fight back.  At least they won't have to pack that radio around anymore.
22.  Now we find out why Phillip is eavesdropping on everyone.  He's a newspaper man who's been following Alan around since something similar happened in the Andes mountains.  I don't know why the hell he didn't just tell him this all up front?  He'd have probably gotten a lot more information out of everyone if he had.
23.  Just a note here.  I have a lot more fun watching these kinds of movies when we actually get to see the monster once in a while.  Right now, I'm fifty-two minutes and six seconds into the movie and I have yet to even see a tentacle.  Creature From The Haunted Sea had the same problem.  You only got to really see the monster during the last three minutes of the film.  I know these movies had a limited budget and maybe they're just trying to build suspense, but when a movie is called The Crawling Eye and we don't get to see a crawling eye, then that's like false advertising.  Just a pet peeve of mine.  I'll get back to the review now.
24.  Ok this doesn't make any sense.  The creatures hypnotized Brett and made him kill those three guys, but now he just walked back into the hotel.  He's out of the trance now but doesn't remember anything and his coordination is all shot to hell.  Ann just came down the stairs and when he saw her he pulled out a knife and tried to kill her.  Alan popped him a good one and he fell onto a statue and got a major gash in his head.  The weird thing is that no blood came out of the gash.  I guess he wasn't as out of the trance as I thought.
25.  The professor and Alan are telling Phillip now about how the same thing happened in the Andes.  There was a woman who was psychic and a man who had been lost in the mountains showed up and killed the woman with a meat axe.  The man who killed her had already been dead for twenty-four hours.  That's why there was no blood.  Now this is just me personally, but I'd get the hell out and call in the military.  Then again, I guess I just have this little thing about self preservation that these people seem to lack.
26.  Well Brett's gettin' up again and wandering around in the room where they got him locked.  He just heard someone coming and hid next to the door.  For some reason he's got this Popeye look on his face.  The someone he heard is Klein, or should I say was...  Brett just reached through the window on the door and strangled him.  Now he's got this gnarly looking knife and he's going after Ann again.  Man these people need to watch more B-Movies.  When you got a zombie on your hands, you decapitate it and then burn the body, or if you're looking for a quick kill, you just shoot it in the head.  Where's Roger Corman when you need him?  He could set these people straight.
27.  The observatory reported that the cloud was moving down towards the village.  Alan and the professor get everyone together so they can head up to the observatory in the cable cars. Hans, the bartender decided that he wanted to risk driving through the cloud that was blocking the road.  I guess we all know what's going to happen to him.  I just realized something.  How the hell does an eyeball eat anyway?
28.  Of course naturally there's the standard stupid little girl who had to sneak away from mommy so she could go back for the ball she dropped in the hotel.  And naturally the monster had to be at the front door with his tentacles reaching in trying to grab the kid.  And naturally Alan came in just in time.  And naturally he had a pickaxe and was able to sever the tentacle and rescue the little girl.  At least we finally got to see the monster though.  It's big and has an eyeball right in the center of a big bulbous head and lots of tentacles.  Pretty cool lookin' actually.  Too bad that's all we've seen of it so far.
29.  They all made it to the observatory and something just happened that I don't understand.  They just barely made it up to the observatory in the tram car because the cold from the monsters cloud was making the machinery fail.  Well, Hans just showed up at the door to the observatory and they let just him right in.  That was stupid wasn't it?  But not only because they let him in.  Think about it...  Where the hell did he come from?  If everyone else had to ride a tram car up the mountain to get to the observatory, and the tram wasn't functioning because of the cold, then how the hell did he get there in the first place?  Naturally he tried to kill Ann and naturally they saved her.  There's a lot of those naturally things in this movie isn't there?
30.  They're watching the monsters from the observatory cameras now.  They're pretty slick lookin'.  They finally figured out that they have to fight these things with fire.  They're throwing molotov cocktails at the creatures and when they do, the creatures make really bizarre spaceship noises.  How goofy is that?
31.  The creatures are all over the top of the observatory now and the bombing raid they called in in dropping fire bombs all over the top of the building.  Creatures torched, ending happy.  You know the drill.  I'm kinda surprised they were so easy to kill though.
32.  Philip takes Ann outside for a breath of fresh air.  How come they're so cozy all of a sudden?
33.  So the movie's over now.  Isn't that nice.  No tension, no nothing.  Drop a few bombs on the monsters.  All dead.  Phillip gets the girl with no buildup to it at all.  He scores.  I feel so used...



Best Quote

"I want you to slam this door behind me, and wait for me to knock to come back in.  If I don't knock, don't open it.  Right?"

 

- Alan talking to one of the villagers right before he popped out the door to throw a molotov cocktail at one of the creatures. - (Reviewer's Note: The creature was right outside the door.  I'll be DAMNED if I would walk out that door right in front of the monster, and then have some idiot villager slam it behind me.  What kind of a moron is this guy anyway?  I thought he was supposed to be the smart one?)




Video Clip
When prompted, enter bmovie for the username and central for the password.

The Crawling Eye
This thing is actually kinda cool. Too bad the same can't really be said for the movie it got stuck in. If I was this creature, I'd use that eye to look for a new agent.



The Conclusion

When I first saw this movie for sale I bought it thinking it would be really cool.  I mean, how cool is the concept of a big eyeball monster with tentacles that goes around killing people?  On paper it probably sounded pretty sweet, but ultimately, the execution was somewhat lacking.  There's not really a lot of major stuff to complain about in this film.  The acting was generally quite good throughout the film, and the story was definitely there, but there was just something about it that made it a bit boring.

Ann is really cute and although it's a pleasure to watch her just on that level, the really nice thing about her is that she's a good actress and handles all of her scenes, especially the ones where she's using her psychic abilities, quite well.  Alan on the other hand comes off as a boring old fart who acts more like someone's wise old grandfather than the scientific investigator that he's supposed to be.

The monster, who really could have been the star of this film had they given it the chance, was extremely well done, which makes me wonder why we didn't see more of it.  When I watch a classic monster movie, or any monster movie for that matter, I don't want to have to wait until the last ten minutes of the movie before I finally get to see the stupid thing.  What's the point in going through all the trouble to make a really neat looking monster if that's all we get to see of it?

Something they never really explained, was why the monsters wanted Ann dead just because she was psychic.  I spent the last half of the movie wondering that and they never really explained why.  All they ever really said about it is that it had happened before in the Andes mountains where Alan and Professor Crevett had dealt with something similar years before.

The problem with having the creatures show up so late in the film is that it totally misses the opportunity to build up the tension leading up to the end of the film.  They don't have the chance to try to kill them in various ways, fail, and then have to try out other ideas.  There's no time for stick and move type interactions with the creatures either.  Basically, it was just, call in the bombers, drop some fire bombs on the creatures, burn them up, movie's over.  It's very disappointing to sit all the way though this film, only to end up with such a weak payoff at the end.

The whole thing of Phillip and Ann hooking up at the end too just came out of absolutely nowhere and had no lead up whatsoever.  It was almost like an afterthought.

Basically, the long and the short of it is this...

The acting was good, the story was good, albeit somewhat poorly executed and the monsters were cool looking even though we didn't get to see much of them until the very end.   If you're looking for a good monster movie to watch on a Saturday night, there are better ones out there.  If you're looking for a decent movie with good acting that has a cool monster in it, then this would probably be a pretty good choice.  

B-Movie Central's Rating: 3 Bees

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