Another good pairing in the MGM/Fox Midnight Movies series
Brucifer | Boston, MA | 08/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thanks again to MGM and Fox for resurrecting this DVD line. Here we have a couple of extremely low budget American International Pictures films (back when they were still known as American Releasing Corporation - in fact, I think these were the first two sci-fi/horror films put out by the legendary studio) that go perfectly together. Is either film great, even good? Not by a long shot in conventional terms, but these should be judged on a different standard than your average A movie. The point is, they're both a lot of fun in that way only drive-in movies from the era could be, and these two are an inspired pairing, rightly aimed directly at those of us who either saw the movies at drive-ins back in the 50s, who (more likely) saw them Saturday creature features matinees on TV, or who have recently discovered the wonders of cheap 1950s horror and science fiction and are rabid for the opportunity to finally see them. Fox and MGM, great work and please keep these Midnight Movies coming until you've exhausted your libraries. Two that you might consider (both available elsewhere on DVD, but they need the quality treatment): Dementia 13 and The Terror."
Excellent double feature.
Trevor William Douglas | Gorokan, NSW Australia | 10/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Superb prints of two 'classic' 50s 'B' features. Both have excellent B/W photography and haunting scores. The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues - I love Kent Taylor's character's name 'Ted Baxter' (as soon as he introduces himself, you think of Ted Knight from The Mary Tyler Moore Show!). The Beast With A Million Eyes is also very entertaining. The ever reliable Paul Birch heads the cast which includes an early performance by a very young Dick Sargent. Buy this double feature today."
"Phantom" in wrong aspect ratio
WESS | Spanien | 01/04/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"You can't even trust the "Midnite Movies" these days ... "Phanton" (the movie I bought this DVD for) is in wrong aspect ratio - 16:9 instead of 4:3! A comparison with a (much worse) other DVD version reveals, that on THIS DVD the movie is chopped of on top and bottom!!! "
Cheap sci-fi thrills, one with surprising family dysfunction
Brian T | Canada | 05/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two very cheap black & white ARC (later AIP) alien invader movies, but the cheapest of the two, BEAST, is by far the most interesting (though possibly because I'd never seen it). The alien in it is housed in an espresso machine that crash lands in the desert and plots world domination by utilizing the eyes of insects and animals surrounding a failing guest ranch run by a weary Paul Birch, his bitter, unfulfilled wife (convincingly played by Lorna Thayer, who more famously refused Jack Nicholson his toast years later in FIVE EASY PIECES), their perky daughter (Dona Cole), whom mom secretly resents (nice touch!), and a hired hand they all call "Him" who lives in a tiny shack in the yard with girlie magazine cutouts all over the walls and who spies on the daughter when she goes swimming! Also on hand as alien bait is silent screen legend Chester Conklin, who does a little warmed-over pantomime before "the beast" possesses one of his cows. Cheap beyond belief, and statically directed with an early Paul Blaisdell creature design that leaves a lot to be desired--a jiggling puppet with double-exposure "giant eye" to offset its mediocre appearance--but there's a sincerity to the performances, notably Thayer's, that makes this a keeper.
PHANTOM, the better quality film print here, has long been available in PD versions, but this is by far the best it's ever looked, although the "widescreen" presentation gives me pause. Basically another science-gone-wrong flick in which a shady oceanographer (Michael Whalen), keen on exploiting an underwater uranium vein to create a death ray, unleashes the titular sea critter, while his sexy and somewhat oblivious daughter (Kathy Downs) romances the Fed (Kent Taylor) assigned to the case. The "phantom" bears a strong resemblance to the Creature from the Black Lagoon, only less mobile."
Pleasing 50's horror
Albert M. Kapustar | oregon,ohio | 07/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this tape for the Beast with a million eyes.It was made on a very low budget but the acting is solid and the plot entertaining.Don't expect a great looking monster,the poster is the best thing about the monster.From what i have read in horror books the director took a coffey pot and added scratches to the film to make it look like rays,plus a sock puppet was added.This said,it is still an interesting low budget feature about a creature who lands in the dessert and starts controling the animals minds and the minds of the people living on an isolated date farm ranch.a subplot is about the wife who feels her life is wasted living on a broken down farm.The plot comes together when it is discovered love can beat the mind control when the farmers daughters mind is taken over.It sounds hokey but i enjoyed it.For those expecting lots of blood forget it,it is more of a psychological horror-sci fi movie."