To study a rogue planet heading for a near-miss with Earth, Prof. Elliot sets up an observatory on the foggy moors of a remote Scottish island, with his pretty daughter and Dr. Mears, a former student with a shady past. Soon after arrival of reporter John Lawrence, a ship from Planet X just happens to land near the observatory. Is the visitor (who actually looks alien) benevolent? What are Mears' real motives for trying to communicate with it? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When the alien's gas regulator begins to malfunction when he first confronts Lawrence and Elliott, he tries to turn the knob on his suit while standing up. But the close-up of him trying to turn the knob is an insert shot of a scene late in the film, when he is lying on the ground and again attempting to turn the knob back on. See more »
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Terrifically awful, but just awful enough to attract cult and camp fans only
The Man from Planet X (1951)
Edgar G. Ulmer is one of those B-movie directors who has a bit of a fan club based on a couple of key films--in this case "The Black Cat" and "Detour." Both are great--unqualified, compromised, odd, vaguely daring, and vaguely cheap.
I wish I could say the same for this one. This just looks like a step, or half a step, above "Plan 9" and that ilk. The acting ebbs and flows, the props are embarrassingly cheesy, and the plot is plain old simplistic and dumb. Of course, that's giving it no credit for pushing some boundaries the way Jules Verne did in fiction, because "Planet X" is an early space film. It's set on earth, but it deals with that big one--what if an alien lands. In fact, it isn't that far off from Ed Wood's "Plan 9 from Outer Space," which came out 7 years later. So Ulmer is cutting edge! But wait, what about "The Day the Earth Stood Still," which for all its cheapness is totally fabulous, and came out in that same year, indeed six months earlier, in the summer of 1951? Yes, something was in the air.
There's no sense dissecting this film, but just be warned it's not a high quality flick, and as a cult flick it lacks some of the idiosyncrasies and brazen edges of a film like "Detour," which is a paradigm of great and awful B-movie ingenuity.
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