Monday, November 19, 2012

It! The Terror from Beyond Space



1958 **1/2

"I didn't steal Alien from anybody. I stole it from everybody!" -- Dan O'Bannon

This showed up in my Netflix search when I looked up the other It!. Normally I wouldn't double up on exclamation point flicks but the plot of this one was too familiar not to check out: a spaceship crew must fight for survival as they are stalked in their own ship by an alien creature they picked up on a strange planet. Sound familiar?

Some of H.R. Giger's lesser-known early designs...

In the far off year 1973, the first mission to Mars crash lands. Two months later the rescue ship arrives to find Colonel Edward Carruthers is the only survivor. He is immediately accused of killing all the others to extend his survival, predicated on the idea that he didn't know how long until help would arrive (how could he not know that?) and that the supplies would last a lone man ten whole years instead of one. While this is being discussed somebody leaves the rocket's garage door open and a humongous alien sneaks in and hides in the basement.

"Science me up some of that coffee, dollface."

The crew heads back to Earth and the female doctor and science officer serve the boys food. The brunette listens to Col. Carruthers tell his version of the story and suddenly they're dating. Pretty soon a couple of corpses show up having been completely drained of moisture, because living on Mars makes monsters thirsty. The rest of the movie is a slow chase scene straight upwards, because this is an old-timey rocket ship with one floor hatch on each level, as illustrated by this surprisingly simple blueprint.

"Why did we fill this level with bees again? I forget."

Since the movie was made in 1958 the astronauts have free rein to fire guns and lob grenades all over the ship. Nothing fazes It!, however, and they must grab what supplies they can and flee to the next level.

"I SAID 'LET'S JUST BLOW UP ONE OF THESE LADDERS'... oh, never mind."

On principle I won't blow the ending but it's something they should have thought of right away. I will mention that they find a bazooka and fire it in the rocket's control room, which is an undeniably badass act of stupidity.

I can't really give It! The Terror from Beyond Space the three star pat on the back. It is charming in its way but ultimately suffers from too much padding. Of particular note is the "let's walk outside and sneak up on him!" scene, which seems to take as much time as a real life spacewalk might take. It's like those wall climbing scenes in Batman but without the rope, the cameos or the fun. And also they're going down.

But can you really get enough of THIS?

3 comments:

Octopunk said...

Hey everybody! I caught up on comments again, down to JPX's Ringu 3D review.

I also re-posted my Forbidden World review just below this one, in a thinly-veiled attempt to get more attention. My thin veil is as follows: A few hours after I posted it the other day, I realized I'd parked it above Cat's wrap-up post, so I moved it down to give the wrap-up due exposure. Now I'm afraid people might have missed it and it's my Hidden Gem this year.

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I like the idea of a *** rating equaling a pat on the back. This movie sounds like fun despite the padding!

I am still behind on reading your last review but I'll get to it post haste!

Catfreeek said...

I wish there really had been a level full of bees, wouldn't it be hilarious watching the monster swatting away.