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Edward L. Cahn
An earthquake in the Salton Sea unleashes a horde of prehistoric mollusk monsters. Discovering the creatures, a Naval officer and several scientists attempt to stop the monsters, but they escape into the canal system of the California's Imperial Valley and terrorize the populace. Written by
Jeremy Lunt <email@example.com>
The Monster That Challenged the World is about some prehistoric molluscs who were in some dormant eggs that got themselves hatched. They are spreading death and destruction through their abilities to come out on land and feed, usually on unsuspecting humans.
The special effects are a might better than some of the science fiction cult classics from the Fifties. The story does bog down a bit in the personal part. Tim Holt's character is introduced to us as a by the book navy commander who softens with no real reason why.
When he did this film Tim Holt had been off the screen for five years after the B picture western disappeared from the big screen and on to television. Why Holt didn't go the way of television in his career is a mystery.
Tim Holt had one of the strangest careers in Hollywood history. He was a very good actor, gave good performances in both western and non-western films like The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Stella Dallas, Stagecoach, My Darling Clementine, and The Magnificent Ambersons. Yet he consistently went back to doing B westerns for RKO. His westerns were above average in the B film market, but they did nothing to advance his career. Another guy who replaced Holt in B westerns at RKO went on to a mega career, that being Robert Mitchum.
So in 1957 while Mitchum is doing critically acclaimed stuff like Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, Tim's doing The Monster That Challenged the World. Insisting on being a B picture cowboy finished him for anything else. So sad.
Holt did do two subsequent films that I've not seen, but the description makes them sound worse than this one.
You can watch The Monster That Challenged the World and still enjoy it. But if you liked Tim Holt and his screen performances and persona you will have a twinge of regret.
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