Sunday, December 26, 2010

It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)

An alien gets aboard a spaceship, starts killing of the crew members one by one, uses the ventilation shaft to move around and in then end gets sucked out through the airlock! That’s the storyline in Ridley Scott’s Alien, but also in Edward L. Cahn’s 1958-classic, It! The Terror from Beyond Space! It! is a very simple movie, which also is the strength of it. Its set, 98 %, in a spaceship and the four or five floors (obviously the same set, just with different light and furniture) it’s built around.

Directed with a lot of imagination by legendary b-movie maker Cahn, this is a very competent movie with some extremely smart set-pieces. One of the best is when we see the monster for the first time, the whole monster and not a hand or something like that. He’s crawling out from a ventilation shaft and the further he crawls the more smoke appears around him, with almost perfect timing. Just to not let us see him to clearly this first time. Brilliant. But of course, like all good “b-movies”, the rest of the movie is monster-galore with full shots of the monster, in his rubbery glory.

One fresh take on this movie is how the crew works together to stop the monster, because this isn’t the first time the monster killed. One in the crew, Carruthers (Marshall Thompson), is actually a prisoner because he’s suspected to have killed his other crew – but its the monster who killed them, but no one believes him. So when the monster starts its rampage again, all of Carruthers team mates instantly believes him and there’s no boring story of them suspecting him again for new murders or something like that. That would slow down the movie, and would have destroyed the excellent frantic pace.

The kills is of course not graphic at all, except for one shot of a bloody foot, but it’s still very violent and quite brutal, but only shown with shadows and editing. You can almost imagine the close-ups of those big monster-claws ripping off some human flesh!

Not much more to write about this wonderful monster-classic, except I can recommend it to everyone that loves sci-fi movies from the fifties and aggressive rubbermonsters!

1 comment:

Phantom of Pulp said...

One of the first films to truly scare me as a kid. I agree with you; it's a really effective film.