It! The Terror From Beyond Space

Year Of Production: 1958
Running Time: 69 Minutes
DVD Released By: MGM Midnite Movies
Directed By: Edward L. Cahn
Writing Credits: Jerome Bixby
Filming Location: Unknown

Starring: Marshall Thompson, Shirley Patterson, Kim Spalding, Ann Doran, Ray Corrigan, Dabbs Greer

Tagline 1: IT! ... Reaches through space! ... Scoops up men and women! ... Gorges on blood!

Tagline 2: The revelation shocker of things to come!

Tagline 3: It Breathes.. It Hunts.. It Kills!!

Tagline 4: $50,000 by a world renowned insurance company to the first person who can prove that "It" is not on Mars now!

Alternate Titles:
It! The Vampire from Beyond Space (1958)
The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)

Interesting Bits of Trivia:
There was a continuity error in the film. The talking used to distract the monster included talk from dead characters.

Cast Of Characters
Col. Ed Caruthers: Ed was the captain of the first rocket that crashed on Mars. All of his people were killed by the creature, and he got blamed for it. He eventually hooks up with Ann. It's cool too because they're both pretty boring so they make a good couple.

Col. Van Heusen: He's the captain of the rescue rocket that was sent to rescue Ed and his crew. He starts out being kinda jerky, then mellows out, then gets an alien infection and goes kinda psycho. He don't have much luck with women either. Ann was supposed to be his woman, but she decided that Ed was the biggest stud on this rocket, so she rolled him over and hooked up with Ed. Poor guy. He really kinda got screwed over in this movie.

Major John Purdue: He was a pretty worthless character who gets injured early on and then becomes totally worthless after that. He spends about two-thirds of the movie with a stupid looking bandage on his head.

Eric Royce: I guess he's supposed to be Mary's brother or her husband or something since they have the same last name. He helps out quite a bit, but he doesn't do anything that they couldn't have done without him. He was another pretty worthless character.

Dr. Mary Royce: Or as I like to call her, Waitress #1. She's the ships doctor, but she spends more time waiting on everyone than she does being a doctor. At least she did before the excrement hit the cyclical air motion instigator blades.

Ann Anderson: Here's Waitress #2. I guess she's supposed to be some kind of a scientist, but she really doesn't ever do anything scientific. The only thing she ever really does is wait on the crew and make goo goo eyes at Ed. She would be a worthless character if she didn't have that little angle where she hooks up with Ed.

Lt. James Calder: This is the schmoe who forgot to close the airlock that the creature entered the ship through. He's a good guy though and does his best to help out. At least, he was helping out until he busted his ankle and got trapped between a couple of induction pumps by the monster.

Bob Finelli: This guy actually has various moments where he speaks, but generally he seems to have just been put in this movie to be a victim. At least he lasted longer than the other two victims in this movie.

Gino Finelli: Gino is Bob's brother and he's the second guy to bite it in this movie. Unfortunately for him, the monster spends half the movie dragging his body around and draining out all of its bodily fluids. He only has like one real speaking part, so it was really no big loss when he bit it. I would have put the first guy to bite it in this section as well, but he had even less of a speaking part, and he never really got any face time on camera, so I didn't bother.

It!: This is the famous It! Not very impressive is he? He looks almost like some kind of a South American pagan god statue or something. He's big and he's pretty slow most of the time. Bullets, radiation, and fire all have little to no effect on him, and he just generally walks around acting like a big brute in his eternal quest to beat people to death so that he can drain them of all their bodily fluids. Hey! I just thought of something funny. How about this? It! Meets The Three Stooges Wouldn't that be funny? I think it would be!

The Plot
A rocket ship is sent to Mars to rescue the crew of an earlier ship that crashed there. Only the captain of the first ship survived long enough to be rescued. When he told his rescuers about how a monster had killed off the rest of his crew, they all assumed that he had murdered them in an effort to extend his own chances of survival, and were ordered by the authorities on Earth to bring him back to stand trial for the murder of his crew. Due to the carelessness of one of the crew on the rescue ship, an airlock was left open through which the creature entered the ship. When first one crewman, and then another disappear, the rest of the crew starts believing Ed's story, and they suddenly find themselves all in a battle for their very survival. Will they be able to destroy the monster before it manages to feed on them all? Will they ever see the Earth again? Will we ever see any character development in this movie? There's only one way to find out...

What The Hell???
1. Pretty terrifying 1950's lookin' opening on this one. During the opening credits we see a crashed space ship on the surface of Mars while some creepy Twilight Zone sounding music plays in the background. As the credits end, we hear a narration begin. It's a man who says that this is the planet Mars as he and his crew came to know it. The only thing they found alive here, is something they came to know only as Death. They've been crashed there for six months, and he goes on to say that they crashed there in January of 1973. It's Colonel Edward Caruthers doing the narration. He says that it felt like an eternity had passed before the rescue ship finally came, and that he's the only one of his crew left alive. Now he has to go back to Washington and face his superiors, and perhaps there too, he will find another kind of death. I don't think he has anything to worry about though. It's not like they're gonna tie him to a chair and force him to watch Barbara Streisand movies or something. They only use that particular method of torture for the most heinous of criminals. You gotta do something really bad before they'll subject you to the Barbara Streisand treatment.

2. Now we're back in Washington, and some guy is holding a press conference. He's talking about Colonel Caruthers and how he was the first man in space and about how when their ship crashed on Mars and they lost communication with it, they assumed that everyone had been lost. Then he says that the rescue ship has found Colonel Caruthers alive on Mars, and they're bringing him back to face a court martial for the murders of the rest of his crew. Now tell me something, because I really don't understand this. Why the hell would they put him on trial for the murder of his crew just because he happened to be lucky enough to be the only survivor? And especially after he survived for six months alone on Mars. That brings up another question too. Where'd he get enough air to breathe? The air on mars is way too thin for humans. And what about food and water and medical supplies? Did all this stuff just miraculously survive the crash? And toilet paper!!! Oh my god what about the toilet paper??? And obviously he wouldn't have had enough extra water to bathe, so you know that he had to be pretty damn ripe after six months with no deodorant and no toilet paper. I'm surprised the rescue ship crew didn't just take off again and leave him there just so they wouldn't have to pack his stinky butt all the way back to Earth. Yeah I can see that conversation, "Uh, yeah Mission control, this is the rescue ship. *giggle* We've landed on Mars but we haven't found any survivors around the crash site. *giggle* We're comin' back to Earth now." Meanwhile the stinky guy is outside bangin' on the door. "Hey let me in!" He'd all have his nose pressed up against the porthole window and be lookin' all pathetic and they'd just ignore him and kick on the rockets. Those rotten bastards! But anyway, since we're only about four minutes into the movie at this point, I can't see that happening. It'd be a pretty damn short movie if it did.

3. Narration again now. Ed Caruthers is saying how he has to spend the next four months with a crew who's only purpose is to get him back to Earth so he can face a firing squad. So think about how crappy that would be. It takes four months to get to Mars. Then he was crashed there for six months. And now it's going to take another four months to get back. So by the time this guy gets back, he's going to have been gone for fourteen months. Man, I don't like being away from my house and my stuff for even just an overnight trip. I can't imagine how bad it would suck to be gone for fourteen months.

4. So now we're finally gettin' down to the meat and potatoes of this movie. We're inside the rescue ship now. There's a guy workin' some controls and he notices that the airlock has been left open. He radios down to Lt. Calder who admits that he was the one who left it open when he was dumping some crates overboard. So they get that closed up and then have a head count to make sure everyone is there and secure. Yeah, everyone's there all right. Including the monster that came in through the open airlock and is now creeping around in the storage area. All we've seen of the monster at this point is a shadow and a foot. Don't worry though. We'll get to see more of it soon enough. I can say that because this is one of the few times that I'm reviewing a movie that I've already seen before.

5. Now that the rocket has taken off, Colonel Van Heusen, comes down and finds Ed in the observation deck. He starts giving him this whole rash of crap about how he doesn't believe Ed's story about the monster that killed his crew and about how it's only logical that faced with the option of starvation or survival, that it was only a natural conclusion that he killed his crew. That explains why they're taking him back for a court martial. He's already told them about the monster and they didn't believe him. No one ever believes anyone who says they've seen a monster in these movies. You know, if these people would learn to just listen once in a while, a whole lot of cast members lives could have been spared over the years. Think about all those no name guys in Star Trek that bit it just because they didn't listen to me when I was yelling at the screen, "Don't go in there! There's a monster in there! It's gonna get you! Nooooooooo!!!!!" All those guys could have been alive today if they had just listened to me. I just told the people in this movie that there's a monster down in the cargo hold too. But do they listen? No! Stubborn bastards. Serves them right then if they bite it.

6. Van Heusen brings up all this painful stuff and then pulls out a skull of one of Ed's Crew. Now mind you, through all this he's not really being a total jerk. He's just talking to Ed like he knows he's guilty. Anyway, he's saying that they brought the dental records of the first crew from Earth. The skull belonged to Frank Kenner. It's got what looks like a bullet hole in it, and Van Heusen says that there's only one kind of a monster that uses bullets. Things aren't looking too good for Ed right now are they? He doesn't say anything as Van Heusen walks away. I mean, why bother. There's not much he could say right now that Van Heusen would believe anyway. Sucks to be him, don't it?

7. It's dinner time now, and the crew is all gathered around the table. The two female crew members are waiting on all the men. It just looks so right somehow. Even when a woman is a doctor like Mary, there's still a little mother in there somewhere wanting to take care of the little boys. Anyway, they're all sitting around talking and laughing and having a good time. Apparently Van Heusen has the hots for Ann and she's pretty much his staked out property so the guys start kidding around with her about that and a good time is had by all. That is, until Ed came down the stairs. Eric was just saying to Van Heusen that Ed made himself believe that story about the monster and that he'd have gone insane if he hadn't. Ed hears this as he's coming down and doesn't take too kindly to it. He just wants to get a cup of coffee and then go back to the upper deck. As he goes back up, Van Heusen says to the Eric that by the time they get back to Earth, he's going to have Caruthers' confession on tape. Man, it would totally suck to be totally innocent of something and have no one believe you. It happened to me a lot when I was a kid. I was always getting blamed for stuff I didn't do. At least I said I didn't do it. Why didn't they believe me? I just wanted to be loved. No mommy! Don't spank me again! Nooooooo!!! Oh, uh... Yes, well I guess I'll move on to the next part now.

8. Later on in the evening, Ann brings Ed a little snack. She tells him that she's heard the story through Van, but that she hadn't actually heard it from him. He starts telling her about how they were out cruising around in their jeep when suddenly a sand storm blew up and forced them to go back. The sand was so thick that they could hardly see. They were almost back to the ship when Cartwright just disappeared. One minute he was there, and the next minute he was gone, as if something had just plucked him out of the jeep like candy out of a box. They heard a weird sort of sound, and they thought they saw a dark shape running near the jeep. They started shooting at it. Moments later, Kenner and all the rest were gone. He was the only one who made it back to the ship. He went out searching for them after the storm let up, but he couldn't find them. He was the only one who survived. Ann asks him how she can explain the bullet hole, and he says that they were all shooting and that maybe the one that got the bullet was lucky. He says, "You don't believe me, do you?" and she says that she doesn't disbelieve him. He asks the lieutenant if he believes him, and the lieutenant says, "Mars is almost as big as Texas. Maybe it's got monsters." Now, there's a few things that don't make sense in this part, and being the type of person that I am, naturally I'm going to have to point those out. I don't know how much of a sand storm could get blown up on Mars because the atmosphere is so thin and you need a good strong wind to blow up a sand storm like the one he's talking about. Another thing is, In a thin atmosphere, sound wouldn't travel real well, and about the only thing he would hear, if he was able to hear anything at all through his space helmet, would have been the jeep. Now realize, they get a pass on this kind of stuff because it was 1958 and we hadn't even been into space yet much less to Mars.

9. Van walks over to where Ann is running a few experiments. They start talking about Ed and Van explains that he's trying to crack Ed's story before they get back to Earth because he owes it to the crew of Ed's ship to try to get to the real story. Ann finally convinces him to ease up, and since she's a woman and he's just a big softy, he agrees to.

10. Eric and Ed are playing Chess. Eric's losing. Joe Keinholz, who is not in the character shots because they never really introduced him as a real character, is sitting at a desk downstairs by himself when suddenly he hears a noise. We see the monster's hand opening this little space between a couple of metal boxes on a shelf. One of the boxes falls and then the other one falls and there's some other general banging around downstairs in the cargo area. Now Joe hears this from three levels up, so you know it's loud. So he goes down two levels and he can hear the gang in a closed room playing chess. So he hears more banging around, and goes down one more level to the cargo hold. He wanders around in there for a bit, and then he screams and we see a shadow of the monster giving him an overhead press slam. You wrestling fans out there will know what that is. The monster pretty much tears him apart after that. So, again with the questions now. If Joe could hear this banging around down in the cargo hold from three levels up, and if the door of the room was so thin that he could hear the guys inside talking and having a good time, then why the hell didn't those guys hear any of what was going on? I mean, finally with Joe screaming and the monster growling and all the banging around, they finally hear it just a little bit, and Ed's all, "What was that?" and he had this look on his face like he was really straining to try and hear something. Naturally no one else heard anything.
11. So Ed and Lt. Calder get up and go out to see what's going on. Ed goes to the bottom of the ladder and calls to Keinholz and asks him if he heard anything. Naturally Keinholz doesn't answer. Van says that Keinholz isn't gone and that he's probably just turned in. Ed keeps calling to Keinholz and even gets in the intercom and calls him. There's no answer. Royce gets on the intercom and calls to him too and again there's no answer. Finally they figure out there's something wrong and they all start searching the ship. So two guys are searching the cargo hold now. I can't make out who is it. There's a few characters in this movie they didn't really introduce properly. One of them is Bob Finelli. I don't know who the other guy is. Bob says that he isn't here and tells the other guy to come on. The other guy doesn't come though. He just meanders on over to this cabinet and grabs a cigarette out of it from his secret stash. Just as he's about to light up, the monster comes out and what happens is pretty much left to the imagination because they don't show you anything. You just hear this loud growl and the guy gets this terrified look on his face and then they cut to the next scene. So I guess what they say is true after all. Smoking is bad for your health.

12. So we cut to a scene of the rest of them searching now. Ed asks Bob where his brother is and Bob says he's comin'. That explains who the smoker is then. It's Bob's brother Gino. Bob starts calling to Gino, but there's no answer. Now they're realizing that something's wrong here. They go back down to the cargo hold and find Gino's cigarettes on the floor. They look around a bit and they keep calling to him but there's no answer. Ed is looking around next to this air generation and moisture recovery vent and finally just gives up and leans against the wall next to the vent grid. Just then a hand drops down behind the grid. Ed spots it and then everyone spots it and they all rush over to get grid cover off the shaft. It's Keinholz, he's dead. The monster shoved him up the vent pipe, and now Major Purdue is crawling into the vent system to see if Gino is up there as well. He just found Gino who's just barely alive. He looks like crap. The monster just appeared out of nowhere and grabbed at Purdue. He managed to get away, but just barely. They got him out and sealed up the shaft. Ed knows now that the monster got on board. In fact, they all know it. I hope Calder realizes that this was all his fault for leaving the airlock open.

13. So they look around now and spot a box of grenades. Ed gets the brilliant idea that they should wire up the hatches with them so that if the monster comes out, it'll blow him up. Now seriously here folks. They're booby trapping these hatches with about eight or nine grenades each. Even just one of those booby traps going off is enough to blow a massive hole in the side of the ship and kill them all. Yeah, good thinkin' there folks. Hell, even one grenade might be enough to do that. Anyway, they get those hatches all rigged up and then they get out all the weaponry they have on board. There's lots of pistols and a rifle and plenty of ammo to go around. Now why were these people so heavily armed just to go on a rescue mission? I mean besides the grenades and the guns, they even got a freakin' bazooka that's gonna be coming into play later on. Sheesh! They got enough hardware to take over a small country. Anyway, The two women patch up John's head and tell him that it wasn't his fault and that no one blames him. Mary calls him Jack when she's talking to him. Now who the hell ever decided to use Jack as a nickname for John? It's two completely different names! Jeez people, come on now.

14. Mary and Ann walk over to Keinholz's body and look at it under the blanket. Ann asks Mary if she has any idea what killed him. Mary says that it looks like every bone in his body is broken but she's not sure that that's what killed him. Well Mary, that may not be what killed him, but it sure as hell was a good start. Mary is wondering why Keinholz has a shriveled up look to him. Well gee Mary, maybe the monster was doing some dishes and using Keinholz as a pot scrubber. Who the hell knows? All you need to concern yourself with right now is getting these guys some coffee. Fighting monsters is thirsty work.

15. The monster is trying to open the vent now. They hear it through the intercom. The grenades are going off all over in the cargo hold, but the monster just keeps on banging around and growling. Man, that monster is really ticked off now. He's goin' nuts down there in that hold. The crew all have their guns out and they go downstairs to the cargo hold door which is now totally full of dents. They open it and there's smoke all over the place. Calder is the first one through it, and the monster comes up and grabs his rifle out of his hands and bends it in half. The other guys drag him out of their and then run back upstairs to the next level. They're shooting at the monster, but the bullets are having no effect at all. Now think about this. If this thing was only ticked off by like fifteen grenades going off in it's face, then what the hell did they expect bullets to do to it? The monster busts its way through the cargo hold door as the crew makes their way up the ladder like a bunch of chickens runnin' from a farmer with an axe.

16. They're all up on the lab level now. Mary just remembered some gas grenades that Gino made up just in case they met up with any dinosaurs up there on Mars. Eric grabs them out of the cabinet and Van Heusen says that they'll use them as a last resort and asks Calder to get out the gas masks. The scene changes and they all got their gas masks on and they're ready to toss the grenades down to the next level. Now...huh? Didn't Van Heusen just say that the gas grenades were going to be a last resort? I just realized something else. How come they got gravity on this ship? Man, I feel like I'm on some kind of an antacid trip here.

17. So the guys raise the hatch. The monster is still down below and they start tossin the gas grenades down at it. The monster starts climbin' the ladder, so they close the hatch. Everything gets quiet for a sec, so they open the hatch to have a look. Yeah, brilliant. The monster reaches through the hatch and grabs one of the guys by the leg and tears his boot all up and everything. So what do they do after they get the hatch closed? They wait a few seconds and open the damn think up again. How smart is that? Well at least the monster wasn't waiting for them this time. This time they see it dragging Gino's body around in the cargo hold and walking out of site with it. They close the hatch again and we go to the next scene.

18. Mary just got done doing the autopsy on Keinholz. She comes out and starts telling Eric about her findings. Seems that every drop of consumable fluid in Keinholz's body was gone, right down to his bone marrow. She couldn't find any marks on the body, so they're assuming that the monster did it through some form of osmosis. She also says she's worried about Van because infection's set in and she doesn't know how to stop it. So apparently Van was the one the monster grabbed when it reached through the hatch. So if Van got an infection from that, then why didn't John get an infection in his head when the monster clawed his face? Anyway, the monster is breaking his way through the hatch on the lower deck now, and they pretty much realize they're in serious trouble, because that means that they have no way of keeping it from getting in to where they are. I'm not sure why bullets and stuff wouldn't affect this thing. I mean, if you found a creature on a planet that had super high gravity, you'd expect it's body to be really dense and resistant and for the creature to be super strong. Mars doesn't have as much mass or gravity as the Earth though, so they should be able to just tear this thing a new one.
19. In the lab now, Ed is talking to Ann while Van Heusen lays on the medical table between them. Ann is saying that he's been infected with some sort of an alien bacteria that our drugs don't even touch. Ed walks away and starts thinking. Ann and Ed hold hands and she tells him that he was right and that they were all wrong. Then they start making goo goo eyes at each other. Van Heusen calls Ann back over to the table with him. Now isn't that pretty cold blooded to be flirting with another guy while the guy you're supposed to be hooked up with is laying on a table dying of some kind of a bizarre infection? I mean jeez Ann, at least wait till the guy's dead.
20. So they got this plan now. They're gonna scale down the sides of the ship and come in one level below where the monster is while the rest of them make noise to distract it. Ann helps Ed get his suit on and then after a little more of the goo goo eyes, Ed and I think Jim go through the airlock and start scaling down the side of the ship. Well, not really. Actually they got their magnetic boots on, so they were just walking down the side of the ship. It looks like some kind of a weird music video from the 80's the way they're walking.

21. Everyone on the ship is making noise and talking and what not and it's keeping the monster focused mostly on the ladder up to their level. Down below, Ed and Jim get back into the ship and start hooking up these electrical wires to the ladder coming down from the level above. One of them says that the current in those circuits is enough to kill thirty humans. So they finish up their work and open the hatch. The monster comes down to see what's going on, and gets himself electrocuted. Unfortunately, that didn't have any more effect on him than the bullets did. Ed runs into the airlock to get away from the creature, but Jim is trapped behind the induction pumps. His ankle got broke when it got hung up between the legs of the pump. The monster can't get to him without reaching down behind, and every time the monster reaches for him, he gives it the ol' torch right in the eyes. The problem is, the torch is only good for three hours, so they have to figure out a way to get him out of there before then. Judging by the past successes of this crew, I'd say we can pretty much write Jim off at this point.

22. Back up in the lab, Van is laid out on the table with an iv in his arm, John is laid out in a chair with an iv in his arm, and Ann is using a Q-tip to clean the scratch on Ed's head while she tells him about how her first marriage was a bad marriage and how after that she didn't want anyone, and then Ed's all, "Until Van came along?" and she just gets all quiet. Ed starts kinda hittin' on her at that point. Man this is so not cool. Apparently Van and John have been going through tons of plasma because the bacterial infection is attacking their bone marrow. They need a constant supply of fresh blood if they're going to survive. Van Heusen is going all mental at this point and starts accusing Ed of being a coward and asking him how come he always gets away without a scratch. He's like totally delirious at this point. So Ed, Eric, and Bob are all going to make a blood run. They all take off their boots, and get ready to go just as Jim comes on over the intercom and tells them that the monster just took Gino's body into the reactor room. Ed says he's going to close the reactor room door and he wants Jim to tell him what the monster does. Jim says the monster isn't doing anything, so they all head two levels down to where Jim and the monster are. Eric goes for the blood while Bob goes down to get Jim. Van Heusen goes really nuts now and un-shields the reactor. The women try to stop him but he un-shields it anyway. The monster get's ticked off and breaks through the reactor room door. Jim remains trapped down there with all that radiation, and the monster comes out and grabs Bob off the ladder and beats him to death. The rest of them run up to the upper control level and seal themselves in. While Ed and the others prepare for battle, Van Heusen starts talking to Ann how he's got good ears and how he knows that Ann and Ed are together now. Jim is still alive, but I'm not sure for how long with all that radiation down there. He's telling them that he's finally figured out how that thing got into the ship and that it must have come through the open airlock. Gee...ya think?

23. As they're getting ready for the final battle, Ed noticed something. The oxygen consumption is way up on the ship. He and Eric figure out that the monster must have enormous lungs to deal with the thin air on Mars, and then they get an idea. They all get their space suits on so they can breathe, and then they're going to empty all the air out of the ship and suffocate the thing. Brilliant! Too bad they didn't think of that before. They could have stuck Ed in the same room with the creature before he had a shower. That would have been enough to suffocate anyone.
24. The creature is breaking through the hatch now. He's got his body half way through it, and either Eric or Ed fires a bazooka at him to drive him back down through the hole. It's stupid and funny at the same time. It's stupid, because the backfire from the bazooka would have blown out all of the equipment that was directly behind him, and it's funny because when the shell comes out, you see it hit the floor and skip along like a flat rock on water. Anyway, Van Heusen breaks loose and opens up the side door on the ship. The monster is stuck in the hatch and everyone else is holding on for dear life. Van Heusen and the monster both both die at this point, but for different reasons. They seal the doors back up and then Ed and Ann hold hands again. Jeez, these people have no sense of decency at all, I tell ya.
25. The movie finishes with that guy who was doing the press conference at the beginning. He's got all the reporters back now and he's giving them further information. He says he just talked to them yesterday though. I can't believe that with everything that happened in this movie, only a day has passed. Anyway, he reads a statement that was sent by Eric. It says that of the nineteen people that have set foot on Mars, only six will return. He also says that Mars is so dangerous a place, that man may find it necessary to skip over that planet in his future space endeavors. The last thing he says is, "Another name for Mars, is death." Ok yeah, real creepy. The movie's over now.'s over. Yeah...

Best Quote

Bob: "You know, even when I was a kid, I could never stand being cold."
Joe: "How did you ever win the Oddmore Fellowship in low temperature physics?"
Bob: "I wore long underwear."

- Bob and Joe having some witty banter at the dinner table. - (Reviewer's Note: It's actually kind of a funny scene, because all three of the guys sitting here in this one little group talking all end up biting it at some point during the movie.)

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It! The Terror From Beyond Space
Space Travel Rule #1: Never irritate a monster that you can't kill. You'll only end up making things worse for yourself.

The Conclusion

Although this movie is one of the more famous of the flood of sci-fi movies that came out in the 1950's, it also has the unfortunate quality of being somewhat forgettable. I think part of the problem with this movie is the distinct lack of character development. What it comes down to, I believe, is that there were just too many characters in this movie. I mean sure, you gotta have some lesser characters to beat around and kill off, but they could have gotten rid of John and Mary and probably Eric as well, and it wouldn't have hurt the movie one bit. They would still have Joe, Bob and Gino to kill off, thereby cutting the cast down even more. It would have given us more concentration on the character development, and then maybe stupid things like Ann and Ed hooking up for no apparent reason might not have played out the way they did.

Another problem I have with this movie is that the monster is rather boring. Half of the time he seems more clumsy, lumbering and disoriented than he does anything else, and there's no real excitement when you see it on the screen because of that. There were also a lot of things in this movie that didn't make a lot of sense. Like, how could a box full of grenades go off in a rocket ship without blowing the whole ship all to hell? Or how come they had so many weapons and stuff on the ship? What did they think they were going to need the bazooka for? Why didn't the bazooka blow out all the equipment behind it when they shot it at the creature? What happened to Jim when they sucked all the air out of the ship? I mean, his faceplate was broken, so he wouldn't have been able to just put his helmet on like the rest of them when they de-pressurized the ship. At the end, they said that six of them were coming back. I only count five, because there's no way in hell that John was gonna make it back. He had the same infection that killed Van Heusen.

Ok, that's enough of focusing on the bad things, now let's talk about the good things. This movie isn't really all that boring. There's always this sense of urgency in the air because nothing seems to affect the monster and they have to keep thinking of new ways to try and kill it. The part where Jim gets trapped down behind the induction pumps becomes really tense because you're left wondering if he'll survive.

The acting in this movie was actually quite good and the people did the best job they could with what they had to work with. This movie was short, coming in at only sixty-nine minutes. I think if they'd have added about ten minutes to this movie and gotten rid of the excess characters, they could have really had something good here. As it is, it's a decent movie that you'll probably enjoy watching. It's not one of my favorites, but I did like it enough to give it...

B-Movie Central's Rating: 3 Bees

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Unseen Things: Origins

My series of contemporary fantasy / sci-fi novels, Unseen Things is now available through the official website, Amazon, Smashwords and other online retail sites.

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