Edward Garea | Branchville, New Jersey United States | 04/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's always a pleasure when the B-movies of our childhood are released onto DVD. We don't see these little gems anymore on television (even though we have over 100 channels), mainly, I think, because they are in black and white and this is a color TV world.
But these are the films we stayed up on countless Saturday nights to see and they remain with us psychotronic fans as a most pleasant memory. This MGM Midnite Movies entry is a perfect example, as we find that we enjoy these films all over again. Now, if we can only get the kids to sit still for black and white.
The first movie "The Monster That Challenged the World" (1957)is an intelligently thought out little picture. Mysterious disappearances are occurring in the Salton Sea. Tim Holt (Remember him from "treasure of the Sierra Madre"?) and scientist Hans Conreid (Uncle Tounoose from "Make Room for Daddy") investigate and discover that an earthquake has freed prehistoric mollusks. If not stopped, they will overrun the environment. The movie moves at a brisk pace and has several good chills. Look for character actor Milton Parsons in a small role as the county archivist.
"It! The Terror from Outer Space" (1958) is a better movie than one would suspect from the title. In the year 1973 (!) a ship is sent to Mars to rescue the survivors of a previous manned excursion. Of that original crew, only Marshall Thompson is left alive. Circumstantial evidence has him pegged as the killer, but as the crew soon learns, a Martian stowaway is responsible and will kill this crew if nothing is done to stop it. Intelligently scripted by Jerome Bixby (who wrote a few "Star Trek" and "Outer Limits" episodes in the 60s), the picture always keeps us involved. The acting is also solid, with Thompson, Dabbs Greer, and Ray "Crash" Corrigan in the monster suit. It may be of some interest that the film was remade by Ridley Scott in a fashion as "Alien."
All in all, a most pleasant evening at a bargain price. "
IT! The Terror From Beyond Space
M. F. Lane | Hockessin, DE United States | 12/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Edward Garea did an excellent review about this wonderful old film on April 4th, 2006. There is not much I can say, but I just want to share my thoughts. To start, this is a wonderful old black and white "B" horror film from the 1950's. I can not understand why we never see these old films on TV. I see many old black and white films on AMC and really enjoy them, but most I've never heard of. I recall when growing up, sitting up to the wee hours of the morning, waiting with anticipation, for these wonderful movies to come on. In our area, Double Chiller Theatre came on at 11:30 each Saturday night and I begged my mother to let me sit up and watch these movies. Two movies would be shown and I recall my favorites were, "House On Haunted Hill". "War of the Colassal Beast", "I Was A Teenage Werewolf", "The Werewolf" and "It,The Terror From Beyond Space". In my opinion, it is sad that the kids of today do not care for, or appreciate these wonderful old films. I only hope that more of the "B" horror films are released soon on DVD. Let's face it, once our generation is gone, nobody will care about these wonderful old films."
Excellent 50s sci-fi, quite scary if clunky effects
Robert J. Crawford | Balmette Talloires, France | 02/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These were two of the scariest films I saw as a kid, genuine late-night TV fun at sleepovers. I was totally engrossed in them, tho on re-viewing them I didn't quite feel the same as I did 40 years ago. While Monster is a pretty typcial, well, monster flick, it has lots of funny twists - mutunts (with radiation thorwn in), good heros, and a suspenseful plot. The one that really got me was IT, this mysterious alien that sneaks on a rocket. It duels with the crew, picking them off one by one: in many ways, it is almost the same film as Alien, but much scarier to me at the age I was if less slick. There are really wonderful films, with memories from my past. Thus, I wd recommend them for 50s nostalgia and xcellent on their own if you can get beyond the old-style effects."
The Caterpillar That Ate L.A.
C. A. Luster | Burke, VA USA | 07/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although I have other old SciFi movies I may enjoy a little more, this set is entertaining. The first movie, "The Monster That Challenged the World", is quite well done with some interesting character development. It kept my interest with all the different types of odd people and the story was good as well. The special effects on the caterpillar looking Giant Sea Mollusks wasn't bad. The story centers on an earthquake opening a fissure to an underground cave that possibly caused eggs to come out of dormancy and hatch. They must search all the waterways to stop the creatures from killing people and livestock.
The second movie, "It! The Terror From Beyond Space", has a group of astrounauts going up to recover the lone survivor of another crew that went to Mars. They don't believe his story of aliens that killed his entire crew. They are ready to begin court martial proceedings followed by a firing squad. As they start their journey back to Earth they find out that he wasn't lying, and there is indeed a horrible creature that will kill them all if it can. One of the creatures has slipped aboard the ship and is hiding in vents and dark areas. A little like an older version of "Alien". Both DVDs are in decent condition. If you enjoy old SciFi monster movies, you will probably find these two worth owning. I don't regret buying them a bit."
Two great B's
C. Courtney Joyner | L.A. | 09/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Midnight Movie DVD's always serve up nice double-feature discs, but this one is special because BOTH movies are quintesential 50's flicks. MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD features one of the best on-set created monsters of the decade (the ending is a classic), with some nice support work by Hans Conried and Phillip Coolidge, underwater scenes with giant snails and a great shot of the monster getting its eye poked out. IT! is a 50's perenial, that was (arguably) the basis for ALIEN. Solid Jerome Bixby script, and decent, atmosphereic direction from old hand Edward L. Cahn. Add nice photography, solid work by Marshall Thompson, Dabbs Greer and Ann Doran (all great 50's thesps) and one of Paul Blaisdell's best monster suits, and you have a great monster-on-the-spaceship flick. The transfers here are beauitful, so this disc is a great bargain for the sci-fi geek in all of us."