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A misguided scientist enables an alien from Venus named Zontar to come to earth in order to help solve man's problems. However, Zontar has other ideas, like disabling the power supply of the entire world and taking possession of important officials with mind control devices. Written by
Jeremy Lunt <email@example.com>
This remake of Roger Corman's low budget It Conquered the World (1956) was one of a series of films shot in 16mm and color and was used to pad out one of American International's television syndication packages. See more »
As Curt and Ann discuss the worldwide power failure that has shut down their car, two cars drive by in the background. See more »
He knows exactly what he wants and he's about to make a move to get it. And although his name is untranslatable to any Earth language, it would sound something like Zontar.
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Endearingly loopy shenanigans from the mighty Buchanan, minor Z grade gem
If cinematic quality was determined by quality of name, this would be one of the all time genre classics. It certainly has an instant hook, for trash sci-fi aficionado could possibly resist the promise of a being from Venus named Zontar? Not I, that's for sure and so I was immensely pleased to finally find time to sit down to this one. Plus, with the shaky but enthusiastic talents of the legendary Larry Buchanan helming things, it's a perfect recipe on paper. You'd think I'd be leading up to a fall with this one, but on the whole this is actually pretty danged righteous as far as Z grade made for TV oddities go. I've never seen the original film on which this is based, but apparently it's a fair ways superior. Still, there's plenty of good stuff here, plus it moves like a rocket and clocks at a trim 80 minutes, with dead time at a minimum. Genius oddball Keith Ritchie has been getting in touch with the titular sinister Venutian via ham radio, and offers himself as strategic adviser when it comes to Earth, good old fashioned world domination in mind. With a flock of mind control parasite bearing bat creatures to ensure compliance, Zontar and Keith set about their fiendish business, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance A taut screenplay from Buchanan and Hillman Taylor raise the tension rather nicely and thankfully Zontar's scheme turns deadly at times, so there's a real feel of danger. Creature effects are kept to a relative minimum, building through the film to a couple of occasions where they go on full display, shonky but made with love they certainly entertain, especially the imposingly monstrous Zontar. Acting is spread across the map, but the key players do pretty well. Buchanan regular Tony Huston puts on an inspired show of growing obsession, shot through with full on madness and malevolence as things take a turn for the worse, he also maintains a base sympathy that gives the character a rounded appeal. B movie notable John Agar brings the heroism as Kurt, Keith's concerned buddy who finds himself with the fate of the world on his shoulders, tough, driven and likable he comes over as just the sort one would like to deal with such a menace. Susan Bjurman gives the best performance though, as Keith's devoted wife desperately trying to keep him on the side of sanity and humanity she crackles with strength and striving, providing a surprisingly emotional heft to her later scenes. Some loopy edits and ill advised humour hold affairs back from full engagement and the film also falls down in its climax, but for the most part it's a tasty dish, it grips, it excites, it's even moving at times. There will always be those who view this sort of thing as nothing more than fodder for laughter, but for the small segment of people who eat these films up with relish this is a pretty swell time. Recommended if its your sort of thing in other words.
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