In 1973, the first manned expedition to Mars is marooned; by the time a rescue mission arrives, there is only one survivor: the leader, Col. Edward Carruthers, who appears to have murdered the others! According to Carruthers, an unknown life form killed his comrades during a sandstorm. But the skeptical rescuers little suspect that "it" has stowed away for the voyage back to Earth...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Carruthers switches on the intercom to find Keinholz, he puts the switch up to talk and down to listen. Later, when the crew listens to the grenades going off, the switch is down. Yet, when Eric Royce tries to make Keinholz answer his call, he never puts the switch down. See more »
Spokesman at Press Conference:
Ladies and gentlemen of the press: As you know, the first attempt to send a spaceship to the planet Mars was made six months ago. We knew that that ship, the Challenge 141, had reached its destination, but that's all we knew. Teleradio communication with Mars ceased immediately and we were forced to assume that the ship and crew had been lost. The man in charge of this expedition was a man who had become known to the world as the first man to be shot into space, the man who ...
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Back in the fifties no one could hear you scream in space, either
The "Fun Facts" section on the back of the Midnite Movies DVD proudly exclaims that this film formed the main inspiration for Ridley Scott's film "Alien". I find this quite a remarkable little trivia detail, as "Alien" is generally and deservedly regarded as one of the greatest and most legendary milestones of Sci-Fi cinema and, if the premise of such a classic is inspired by a cheap and typically 1950's monster mania flick, than it means that this source of inspiration must be an underrated and overall very decent film. Of course, being the blueprint for "Alien" has to be put into perspective just slightly. I think we can all safely agree that the rudimentary plot of Scott's film is the least impressive aspect about the entire production. Hideous and invincible extraterrestrial monster gets aboard a spaceship and kills off the astronauts one by one. That's basically it and that's also all that "Alien" has in common with "It! The Terror from beyond Space". "Alien" promptly became an immortal classic thanks to the Ridley Scott's unique talent of building up claustrophobic suspense, the titular creature's nightmarish design and the flawless acting performances of the entire cast (including Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt and Ian Holm), whereas "It!" simply stayed a charming but nonetheless fairly insignificant 50's monster movie. Still, I wouldn't hesitate recommending this movie to fans of nostalgic Sci-Fi, as the action is fast-paced, the characters are likable and the guy-in-the-rubber-monster-suit is highly memorable. The story opens with a sinister voice-over intro I love that spoken in by Colonel Edward Carruthers; sole survivor of the very first manned mission to planet Mars. He awaits the arrival of a second spaceship that will take him back to earth AND to court marshal. Nobody believes Carruthers' story about an unconquerable Martian killing off his crew and he will have to stand trial himself. The nine-headed crew of the second mission will soon be able to defend Carruthers' story, as the unnamed monster sneaks aboard and turns the voyage back to earth into a deadly ordeal. Obviously almost every aspect of the film has dated severely by now (not just the special effects but also, for example the role of women in science) and the script is crammed with hilarious improbabilities (the monster dodges bullets and even grenades, but it's petrified of a tiny little flame?) The acting performances are way above average for that time, with particularly Marshall Thompson and Shirley Patterson shining like stars. Recommended
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