IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE!

HOME FEO'S STORE REVIEWS INTERVIEWS FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
FEO FEED BACK?
NEWS?
SUBMISSIONS?
Read:
SUBMISSION
GUIDELINES

MOVIES
FEO AMANTE THEATER
My Short Films
LAST CALL

THE NIGHT MY MONSTER DIED
SCIENCE MOMENT
TOP TEN SCARY MOVIES
UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
RACIAL CLICHÉ RESPONSE
INTERVIEWS

STORY TIME

COMICS
Movies E.C. McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
It! The Terror From Beyond Space
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE - 1958
USA Release: AUG! 1958
Image Entertainment, Inc.
Rated: N/A

When IT came out in 1958, it bore the rather disingenuous statement,

$50,000 Guaranteed By A World Renown Insurance Company To The First Person Who Can Prove "IT" Is Not On Mars Now!

Now despite the fallacious command of telling someone to prove a negative, this movie never-the-less managed to frighten at least one young boy. I'll get to that child in a moment, but first, what about the movie?

IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE, is actually a misnomer since the movie starts right off by telling us that IT! is from Mars. Which is hardly beyond space now is it?

IT! starts off with voice over exposition. Lots and lots of voice over exposition.

When the movie actually begins, its a trick. What we think is the movie beginning is some important Washington D.C. wonk telling a group of reporters, basically, the same thing that the voice over narrator just told us.

The Same Thing!

Sheesh!

Finally, we get shot of the spaceship on Mars and then a guy sitting at his microphone while someone else over the speakers tells him to shut the damn door to the space craft already.

They just Left the Door Open? On Mars?!?

Now why in the hell would a disciplined space crew leave the door open anyway? They aren't a bunch of kids running in and out of the house. I mean, this is a rescue operation and they just spent the long months flying to Mars in the first place. I guess they just got sloppy. Too bad really, because guess what snuck in?

That's right! IT!

But that's not all the extra cargo they are carrying. See, there was this crashed derelict ship on the planet. The astronaut's bosses also sent them to Mars to retrieve... I'm getting ahead of myself, and yet...

Sound familiar?

So the rocket takes off.

Then more unnecessary voice over exposition.

From all of the exposition thus far, we discover that there is only one survivor of a previous mission to Mars. Col. Edward Carruthers (Marshall Thompson: THE SECRET HEART, MYSTERY STREET, CULT OF THE COBRA, FIRST MAN INTO SPACE, WHITE DOG, BOG) is that survivor, that narrator, and is believed to have killed off his entire crew so there would be enough food and oxygen for him to live for three months until the rescue ship could arrive.

Wait a minute! There's no oxygen on Mars and they just Left The Door Open?!? How the hell did they not die?

Now you've gotta wonder: If they knew the crew couldn't survive for the three months it took to get a rescue ship there, why would they send a rescue ship? If they were convinced that Carruthers killed his crew and he was signalling for rescue, why didn't they just leave him there? It's pretty obvious that Carruthers will go through a kangaroo court martial and be executed for murder. It's obvious because the captain of the rescue ship, Col. Van Heusen (Kim Spalding: THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL), doesn't mind rubbing that fact in Carruthers' face.

So what possible point was there in going after Carruthers in the first place?

Still, they let Carruthers have run of the ship because, after all, where is he gonna go?

Well where the hell was he gonna go when he was trapped on Mars and allegedly killed off his entire freaking crew?

I mean, if you honestly believe that this guy is a psycho who thinks nothing of killing his crew to save his ass; and everyone knows he is facing the death penalty anyway, why the hell would you let him have the run of the ship?

Duh?!?

The crew is mixed with six men, two women, the prisoner, and the monster of course. No surprise there.

What is surprising are the women. Doctors Ann Anderson (Shirley Patterson: BATMAN [1943], WORLD WITHOUT END, THE LAND UNKNOWN) and Mary Royce (Ann Doran: THE SHADOW [1937], FLYING G-MEN, ELLERY QUEEN'S PENTHOUSE MYSTERY, THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS, FEAR IN THE NIGHT, ONCE YOU KISS A STRANGER, WEEKEND OF TERROR) seem to be there for no good reason other than they are also the ship's scientists (yet from the outset, this isn't an expedition). And not just scientists, but the ship medical doctors as well. They and the ship are even fully capable of doing autopsies.

IT! 01
Glad you liked the meal, boys. If it kills you, we can also perform the autopsy!
Ahem ... starting with you, asshole.

And when the Ph.D's who are ALSO Medical doctors aren't busy being smarter than everybody else? They serve the men meals and clean up after them.

Well what the hell are the men there for?

The men are basically the pet cats of the ship.

So everybody thinks Carruthers killed off his crew. That is, until the very first crewman gets attacked by IT! Then their tune changes BUT quick!

The creature is hiding in the ship's lower decks.

Sound familiar?

Then IT captures IT's victims and drags them into the ventilation shaft without actually killing them.

Captain
The Captain will save us!
He'll go into the ventilation shaft to flush that alien right out into space!

Sound familiar?

Captain
O HAI!

What doesn't sound familiar is the fact that the spaceship is loaded to the kills with all manner of guns, grenades, even a bazooka for crying out loud. What the hell kind of a rescue mission was this? They don't believe there is life on Mars? This ship is fully loaded to have a land battle on a planet devoid of life. What the hell?

IT! 03
Hey Pal! Careful with this Bazooka right next to the ship's FREAKIN' CONTROL PANEL!
"Don't tell ME how to do my job."
This is your JOB?!?

In case you haven't guessed it yet, this is the movie that inspired writer Dan O'Bannon to re-write the entire flick - the film that scared the hell out of him as a kid - and fix every problem he saw with it. In other words, Dan O'Bannon thought the concept was good, it was the execution that stunk. Alien movie poster

Apparently he was right. With a better director and a better story, the movie ALIEN became the bar to which all other Science Fiction and Horror movies must aspire. And this - THIS - was the movie that inspired it!

Director Edward L. Cahn (CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN, THE SHE-CREATURE, THE ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU, INVASION OF THE SAUCER MEN, CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) was renown in his time for grinding out one feature film after the next. At the age of 61, he directed 10 feature films in one year (1960). At the age of 62, he directed 11 movies. Edward then directed two feature films in 1962 and promptly dropped dead. Clearly Eddie died doing what he loved: making cheesy Scifi movies that would be revered by nerds for decades to come.

Speaking of revered, Science Fiction writer, Jerome Bixby (CURSE OF THE FACELESS MAN, THE LOST MISSILE, FANTASTIC VOYAGE, TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE) wrote IT! and movies like this and he became revered more for his literature in books than his movies, though Trekkies have a soft spot for him.

One more mention must be made and that's IT! itself. IT! was played by actor Ray "Crash" Corrigan, whose career in creature features largely centered on him playing the uncredited creature. He had a 20 year career in monkey suits! -
TARZAN THE APE MAN [1932 - Ray as the Ape],
TARZAN AND HIS MATE [1934 - Ray as the Gorilla],
MURDER IN THE PRIVATE CAR [1934 - Ray as Naba the Gorilla],
DANTE'S INFERNO [1934 - Ray as the Devil],
DARKEST AFRICA [1936 - Ray as Bonga the Gorilla],
FLASH GORDON [1936 - Ray as the Orangopoid],
ROUND-UP TIME IN TEXAS [1936 - Ray as the Gorilla],
THREE MISSING LINKS [1938 - Ray as Naba The Gorilla],
THREE TEXAS STEERS [1937 - Ray as Willie the Gorilla],
THE APE [1938 - Ray as the Ape],
THE STRANGE CASE OF DOCTOR RX [1942 - Ray as Nbongo the Gorilla],
DR. RENAULT'S SECRET [1942 - Ray as The Ape],
CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN [1943 - Ray as Cheela the Ape],
SHE'S FOR ME [1943 - Ray as Gorilla Man],
NABONGA [1944 - Ray as Nabonga the Gorilla],
THE MONSTER MAKER [1945 - Ray as the Gorilla],
THE MONSTER AND THE APE [1944 - Ray as the Ape],
THE WHITE GORILLA [1945 - Ray as The White Gorilla/Narrator],
WHITE PONGO [1945 - Ray as the Gorilla, White Pongo],
UNKNOWN ISLAND [1948 - Ray as The Monster],
CRIME ON THEIR HANDS [1948 - Ray as the Gorilla],
ZAMBA [1949 - Ray as Zamba the Gorilla],
BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA [1952 - Ray as the Brooklyn Gorilla]. Ol' Ray was the Ron Perlman or Doug Jones of his era.

See, Ray was a powerful athlete and could really deliver the one thing all of these movies needed, a scene where the gorilla or monster goes convincingly apeshit. Ray could bring the scary ferocious power such scenes required. Ray also had a long successful career in shit-kickers as Tucson Smith and playing himself: Ray "Crash" Corrigan. IT! was his last movie and wouldn't you know it? This is the one that had the pop-culture cinematic staying power!

IT! 02
IT! Thoughtfully ponders IT'S! options.

IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE is good cheesy fun, but MAN is it ever bad. How bad is it? IT! is so bad IT! is GOOD!

I give it 3 Negative Shriekgirls

Negative Shriek GirlNegative Shriek GirlNegative Shriek Girl
This review copyright 2004 E.C.McMullen Jr.

It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) on IMDb
CHANGE YOUR SHIRT
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE
It It Came From Outer Space It Conquered The World
IT CAME FROM
BENEATH THE SEA

MOVIE REVIEW
IT CAME FROM
OUTER SPACE

MOVIE REVIEW
IT CONQUERED THE WORLD
MOVIE REVIEW

Return to Movies

FEO AMANTE'S HORROR THRILLER
Created by:
E.C.MULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME @
Amazon
ECMJr
Feo Blog
IMDb
Stage32
Twitter
YouTube
Zazzle Shop
I will take you home...Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and
Copyright © 1997 - 2019 by E.C .McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C. McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.