John Putnam is a writer and an amateur stargazer with a new home out in the beautiful Arizona desert, which he enjoys with Ellen Fields, his girlfriend and a local schoolteacher. John is not trusted by the people of the small town near where he lives, certainly not by Sheriff Matt Warren, who feels protective of Ellen, and perhaps something more. One night, John and Ellen see a meteorite crash in the desert. John drags his friend, Pete, out of bed to take him over to the crash site in his helicopter. Once there, John climbs down into the crater. Unfortunately, he does so alone, as Pete and Ellen wait for him. John is the only one who sees the spaceship before a landslide covers it. And John is the only one who catches a glimpse of the hideous thing inside. At first John's story seems mad, until some of the townsfolk begin acting strange - as if they aren't really who they seem to be. Written by
Fantastic Something, a Hellenic pop duo with a minor UK hit in 1983 (If She Doesn't Smile), adopted their name from a line heard in the movie ("That fantastic something!") See more »
The voice in off at the beginning of the film says it is early spring, but the calendar on the wall of the sheriff's office reads February 11. See more »
This is Sand Rock, Arizona, of a late evening in early spring. It's a nice town, knowing its past and sure of its future, as it makes ready for the night, and the predictable morning. The desert blankets the earth, cooling, resting for the fight with tomorrow's sun. And in my house near the town, we're also sure of the future. So very sure.
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The credits are at the end rather than at the beginning. They include shots of the characters with the cast names, and the pictures would mean nothing if seen before the film. See more »
One of Arnold's best (even though it's not his favorite).
Jack Arnold directed this screen version of Ray Bradbury's short story, `The Meteor', about a crashed spaceship in the mid-western desert. The alien crew kidnaps several inhabitants of the local town and assumes their form. A writer of science articles (Richard Carlson) who lives on the outskirts of the town witnesses the crash, although he thinks it's just a meteorite. When he goes down into the smoking crater, he sees the open hatchway of the spaceship and an alien creature within it, but when the alien closes the big hatch it starts a landslide in the crater which covers the ship. Afterwards none of the local authorities will believe Carlson's story about a buried spaceship filled with alien invaders.
A moody and beautiful movie, with fine music by Henry Mancini. Many fans of Jack Arnold's sci-fi films consider this one his best (although personally I prefer `The Space Children' -- and so did Jack Arnold, according to his own statement).
Charles Drake (`Tobor the Great') is the skeptical sheriff. Russell Johnson plays both a human and an alien (a treat for genre' fans). The supporting cast includes Joe Sawyer and Kathleen Hughes. Special effects by David S. Horsely and the great Clifford Stine. Makeup by Bud Westmore, of the famous Westmore family who contributed much to all the `Star Trek' spin-offs.
Originally released in 3-D. A 3-D tape was available a few years ago, but the quality was not good . . . sad to say.
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