Scientists investigate what appears to be a meteorite that crashes into the ocean. After a few days and nights of mysterious lights and noises, a giant machine comes out of the ocean. The machine is the creation of an alien race, that is trying to syphon energy from earth. A true classic, in that it is so different from anything in the time period. To this day, nothing else has come out like it. Written by
Made in 1957, this ultra weird science fiction movie "Kronos" is a product of the then unknown UFO phenom and the Soviet Union's nuclear threat of the time. Before I describe this film, I have to tell you, seeing it first, at a very young pre-teen ager, this movie gave me sweaty nightmares of world destruction's dreams constructed by odd and powerful machines for many nights and many years to come that made me hide under the covers. These dreams of mine were terrifying to the extreme, and when I watch this film today, I can finally understand this.
A strange movie, made by "Regal Films" and distributed by 20th Century Fox, it adds genuine sci-fi terror with the combination of some very effective and occasional cheesy effects, and generally good acting. The story is just weird enough to be believable, which is the mark of a good sci-fi movie. It is a sort of a "War of the Worlds" film in a way. The new DVD widescreen video transference by "Image Entertainment" is very good considering the lack of quality of the original film's input. The sound is true and clear.
The film is in black and white and incorporates many stock footage shots of the era. Some of those shots include the proverbial rocket launches of a German V2. And then there are some very beautiful shots of the elegant first Strategic Air Command's swept wing atomic jet bomber the B-47 StratoJet in flight. Finally there is very rare stock footage of the first supersonic fighter in experimental form, the XF-100 Super Saber soaring. Interesting.
To summarize, a giant flying saucer, mistaken for an asteroid, crashes off the coast of West Mexico. Bubbling out of the Pacific a few days later is this giant metallic multi stepped cube. The cube's goal is to suck up all the energy in the earth for it's home world. The more energy it absorbs the more fantastically large the machine becomes. Bizarre side stories are how this cube's energy affects certain humans for it's aid. You have to watch the movie as this oddness is hard to describe.
The imagery of the alien machine is often really scary, as in some scenes the monster takes upon an electric greenish tint in the wide screen display and it's electric lightning is the stuff of bad dreams. But other images are a bit cartoonish. Those cartoonish images if left out of the film would have made it a much more effective a movie.
Nevertheless on a 1950's level this sci-fi movie is most effective in it's ability to evoke true paranoia. It frightens the beegeezuss out of me every time I watch it and I can guarantee that I will have a nightmare about the giant and massive cubic Kronos, the ravager of worlds, vampire of energy, tonight as I slumber. As Kronos makes it's way on the earth sucking up energy it makes this crushing high pitched pulsing noise as if metal upon rock. Very eerie.
The film stared perennial B-movie star Jeff Morrow as the scientist that figures out how to destroy Kronos. He reverses Kronos' polarity! Didn't Scotty do that on the Enterprise once to save the ship? The obligatory cheese cake 1950's sci-fi actress in this film was the very lovely Barbara Lawrence as the wasted film technician Vera, the ever ignored girl friend of Morrow.
For it's genre, this movie is recommended, for it's unique story, eclectic acting, decent script, terrifying and very spooky imagery.
It still gives me the heebeejeebies.
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