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I was 4 or 5 when we saw this. It would be another thirteen years or so
before it would be shown again on television, but my brother and sister
and watched it that night back in the mid-70's. What a hoot!
Around that same time acquired a full-sheet poster of the movie from a now-defunct movie warehouse in Philly. Wished now I would have kept it, but I traded it for some awesome old western lobby cards.
The "Tobonga" is one of my favorite childhood monsters. I remember the next day after watching it the first time I rode my tricycle up over the hill beyond where we lived to join another group of kids. My brother pointed to a stump that was part of a fence post and warned me about the tree-monster! I turned and pedaled all the way home as fast as I could! That old stump is still there! That was in '64 or 65'.
Loved the quicksand! Always been a fan of jungle flicks, so I must credit this awful little film for that!
Oh, sorry....that was the tree in Wizard of Oz. However, another
malevolent animated tree is on the loose, but this time it's the
dreaded Tabonga, who wanders around an island scaring guys in Hawaiian
Actually, the plot shows some originality (even if the production quality is a laugh riot). A tribal chief on a tropical island somewhere commits the Unpardonable Sin by being friends with some American scientists who are studying....um, something, not sure what. So, some members of his tribe conspire together and kill him. Something about nuclear power resurrects him as a tree. Yup, a tree. Or at least, the stump of a tree, with a scowling face painted on. It appears to be inked by the same artist, with the same black magic marker, that did the alien's face in "It Conquered the World."
Anyway, the tree goes on a vengeful rampage and starts to get even with his murderers, one by one. Since guns and other typical weapons are (like always) useless against this thing, it's up to the scientists to find a way to stop this wooden creature before he wipes everybody out. Tension mounts to excruciating levels as Tabonga hobbles around, chasing and terrorizing horror-stricken islanders at about the velocity you would expect a tree to move at.
One of the all-time so-bad-it's-good classics from the golden age of drive-ins, right up there with Plan 9 and Robot Monster. It really is fun to watch, if nothing else than certainly for the laughs it provides. Best watched with friends; you can have a MST3K style "bark jokes at the screen" party.
I won't go into the plot, which was told by previous posters. All I can say is this movie is a blast from the past. My brothers and I used to catch this and many other movies of its kind on a local Saturday night horror show called WEIRD. FROM HELL IT CAME and the Tabanga are old, dear friends. I own a DVD of it as well as a lobby card featuring a "terrifying" climactic scene of leading lady Tina Carver being abducted by the tree monster. The Tabanga is one of 50's monster maker Paul Blaisdell's best and most imaginative creations--right up there with the "cucumber monster" Beulah, from IT CONQUERED THE WORLD. He worked with all these cheapie movie producers and made some of the most memorable beasts of the 50s. This movie is highly recommended for bad cinema buffs or lovers of nostalgia!
...in this turkey! This stinkaroo rates in my personal 10 Worst Movies of all time. Lame plot,wooden(Ha-ha!)acting by all concerned,fake natives(complete with "New Yawk" accents)running around in shower curtains they must have swiped from the local motel,dialogue that makes "Me Tarzan,you Jane" sound like Masterpiece Theatre,the lamest catfight in cinematic history,I could go on and on. A couple of scenes really stand out in my mind: The tree drops the girl into the quicksand,upon which she obligingly pushes herself out deeper into the bog(so she can sink quicker and get the hell off the set ASAP?)Next,how in hell does the witch doctor manage to throw his spear completely over the Tabanga at a range of only 3 feet? However,if they decide to do a remake of this clunker,I know who can play the Tabanga-Vin Diesel! He'd be perfect for the role-he has all the acting ability,charisma,and facial expression of a tree!
In the 1950's, we had giant bugs, animals and dinosaurs, so it was a matter
of time before somebody came up with the idea of a killer tree. Here is the
On a South Seas island, a man is wrongly accused of murder and vows to get revenge. He does in the form of a killer tree known as Tabanga, a local native spirit. A pair of American scientists, a man and a woman first notice something strange coming up from his grave, which turns out to be Tabanga. After uprooting him, they take the tree back to their lab for tests and they discover a heart beat and the following morning, the tree has escaped. The tree is also radioactive. It then starts to kill people and an attempt to burn the tree to death by natives is unsuccessful and the tree continues to kill people until one of the Americans shoots it and it falls to its death into a swamp and sinks. Through all this, the two American scientists fall in love with each other.
The cast is mostly unknowns, including Tod Andrews and Tina Carver as the scientists.
Despite the cheap looking tree monster and low budget, this movie was rather enjoyable and also unintentionally funny, especially some of the walking tree scenes. I taped this when it came on Channel 5 during the early hours of the morning.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5.
This movie is ultra low budget, has ultra low budget acting, and ultra low budget special effects, even for 1957. And the storyline is perhaps the most ridiculous in the history of the cinema. Why then would I grace this movie with an "average" five star rating? Quite simply, it is hilarious! Come on, you have to admire any filmmakers nerve when he makes a movie about a walking killer tree stump! The only thing that comes close in my mind is the killer bulldozer aka "Killdozer" from the mid seventies. Watching the murderous tree stump lumbering across a field in search of prey is about the funniest thing in my movie memory. I first saw this film sometime in the seventies on one of those late night horror film festivals, and I'll never forget it! How can something so bad feel so good?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
How can you go wrong? A walking tree monster on a South Seas island
with kookaburra birds crying in the background (they are from
Australia....do they even inhabit the South Sea atolls??), pine trees
growing in profusion on the atoll (uh??), oak trees (I ain't no
botanist, but I can't recall if oaks grow there, either), the maiden
who betrayed the Tabonga literally swimming herself out to the middle
of the quicksand, and the Tabonga threatening to throw the good doctor
into the quicksand, despite she's the one who revived the dying tree (I
thought the myth of the Tabonga was a creature of revenge....what's he
upset with her for? The acting in this film?).
I saw this as a kid and recently picked up a DVD of it. Still a hoot, a wonderful romp in Saturday afternoon "B" sci-fi movies. Dig this, it will grow on you....
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Hollywood sci-fi story lines from the 1950s generally featured invaders
from outer space ("The Thing", "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers", "War of
the Worlds") or man-made experiments that had gotten a little out of
control ("Monster on the Campus", "The Colossus of New York", "The
Magnetic Monster"). This movie broke away from the pack and featured a
monstrous walking tree-monster that had sprouted from the grave of a
murdered South Seas island chief. At least THAT part was creative.
The movie opens with the execution of Kimo, the chief who had been a little too friendly with the American scientists who had established a base on the island (in a small shack in the jungle). The tree-monster rises from Kimo's grave and wreaks merciless havoc on--surprise--Kimo's enemies before the hero (Tod Andrews) shoots the monster, which falls into a sawdust-covered pond--oops, I mean quicksand--whereupon it sinks out of sight.
Mixed in with the story is a subplot with the sex-starved (and older) Mrs. Kilgore, a love story (Andrews and Tina Carver), lots of expository (and very dumb) dialogue, the most ridiculous fight between women ever captured on film, and a tense "chase" scene with the monster, who walks about one-half a mile per hour.
You really have to watch this movie to appreciate it. The plot is certainly original, although the action on screen is ridiculous and laughable. You've been warned.
Atomic fallout in the 50's had been blamed for many destructive forces, generally in the form of huge giant animal mutations such as ants in Them!, a Praying Mantis in Deadly Mantis, and the penultimate live wrecking machine Godzilla himself. But in this film - From Hell It Came - the atomic fall out causes a tree-like creature to wreak its revenge on a small island and its natives. This is a tree that has grown from a human corpse buried in a wooden casket...a casket that somehow germinates into this killing sapling called Tobanga. This film is a classic of its type. It has very poor production values, and the natives all have thick New York accents(being sure to lend the proceeding a complete air of unreality). Add some very unbelievable special effects and a far-out story - and of course a group of lead actors that would make ed Wood proud, and you have the core of this film. Despite its many shortcomings, the film is highly enjoyable as a piece of Le Bad Cinema. The most annoying aspect is the actress playing Mrs. Kilgore. After hearing her Australian accent and corny dialogue for what seemed an eternity....I was ready to get an axe!
Huge, waddling, grimacing tree trunk menaces fake "natives" on a "Pacific Atoll" (looking suspiciously like Southern CA...), reaking havok and revenge. Unlike the silly stumps in "Navy VS The Night Monsters", the Tabonga is actually a full-grown man-tree. Well, grown in 2 days: moost have od'ed on those Miracle Grow spikes...Anycow, it comes not from Hell, but from the grave of a fake native, Kimo(Greg Palmer, "The Zombies of Mora Tau"), murdered by the native elders for hanging out with those awful American scientists. The scientists include Dr. William Arnold (Tod Andrews, "Hang 'em High", "Beneath the Planet of the Apes") and Professor Clark(John McNamara,"War of the Colossal Beast"). Rounding out the cast is Linda Watkins("The Parent Trap") as the obnoxious Mrs. Kilgore, the obvious comic relief spurting out an obvious fake "cockney" accent. A stellar cast indeed!! Anycow, because his doughy, vacant wife, Korey, played amateurishly by Suzanne Ridgeway("Love's A-Poppin'"), helps set him up, Kimo declares his revenge on her and all of the elders. Then, the dopey American scientists uproot the tree, bring it back to life "in the name of science", & allows it to SLOWLY amble about the island, killing off everyone who has done him wrong. Of course, we all know that evil monsters carry off fair maidens, so the Tabonga grabs plucky female scientist Dr. Terry Mason(Tina Carver, "Hell on Frisco Bay") & waddles off with her. Vine-ally, a good shot with a Remmington hits a knife lodged in the Tabonga, and it falls over dead into the quicksand. This laughably foolish cowncept is one of the all-time cheesy howlers. The Tabonga is arguably the slowest monster in moovie history, right up there with the clanky, over-built robot from "Robot Monster vs the Aztec Mummy" and the perversly slow carpet monster from "Creeping Terror". Try not to laugh as you watch the Tabonga toss fake natives down hills & into quicksand, dodge spears, and lumber slowly about the "island". Shady writing, wooden performances, and sappy direction all point that this pulpy fertilizer has far mooore bark than bite. This tepid pile of wood chips was the last hurrah from long-time editor-turned-director Dan Milner, who quickly vanished into well-deserved obscurity following this film. You herd it through the grapevine from the MooCow first: "From Hell it Came" is a compost classic!! :
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