It! The Terror from Beyond Space can be enjoyed on two levels. On the one hand, science fiction vet Jay Bixby (story credit for Fantastic Voyage, episodes of Star Trekand The Twilight Zone) has penned a tight screenplay... more » that clocks in at less than 70 minutes. In the action you'll see precursors to Alien and other modern science fiction classics. On the other hand, you've got the pleasures of The Future As Envisioned in 1958 (Hey look! Female crew members! Wait a minute, they're serving the men coffee...) and, of course, a rubber-suited space monster. A rescue ship picks up Colonel Carruthers, sole survivor of an expedition to Mars. Carruthers is accused of killing his crew, but he maintains that they were picked off by a mysterious monster. Guess who's right? Keep an eye out for charming details such as analog instrument dials, crew members smoking in flight, and mysteriously large amounts of loose paper flying around the ship. --Ali Davis« less
"If, after you view this movie, the story seems oddly familiar, you must have seen "Alien" (or Alien 2 or Alien 3). I don't know how Alien didn't get sued for copyright infringement from the producers of this movie. It's the same story, even the way they dispose of "It". A spaceship inadvertently picks up an unwelcome visitor from another planet that seems to survive and thrive on Human Blood. The visitor slowly and efficiently picks off the crew one by one and each attack seems to be more gruesome than the one before. The crew pits itself against this beast and finally disposes of it. I personally liked Alien, but to me this original version was a much better movie. I like the old Sci Fi stories better than the remakes. They films from the 50s don't rely on special effects and "realism" to scare you, they do it the old fashioned way (the Alfred Hitchcock way) by suspense. This movie is very suspense filled. That it is filmed in black and white only adds to that suspense. The acting isn't academy award quality and the special effects and costumes won't win awards either, but the story is excellent and it is scary in a fun sort of way. The movie is entertaining to watch. It's amazing how all the good Sci Fi movies from the 50's seem to get remade. "The Thing", "Invaders from Mars", "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", "The Blob", "The Fly", "Godzilla" "War of the Worlds" (that remake was "Independence Day" - it even took a computer "virus" to stop the alien invasion in this War of the Worlds remake) etc. etc. etc. And it's also amazing how all the remakes (although technically superior) fall short of the original versions for fun and excitement. (I apologize for waxing nostalgic). Do yourself a favor and rent or buy this movie for an entertaining evening. You won't be disappointed."
When it comes to terror, this one's got IT!
Daniel J. Filice | 03/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"...The movie sounded way too scary to miss ... "It! The Terror From Beyond Space." I wasn't disappointed. To enjoy this film today as an adult, you really need to watch it in the context of its time. Yes, the dialogue is dumb. Yes, the acting is stilted. Yes, the women scientists serve coffee to the male crew. Yes, the monster's a guy in a rubber suit - albiet a very scary looking rubber suit. You wouldn't want to run into this guy in a dark hallway during a break in filming. It's typical '50s sci-fi stuff: Humans encounter mean, nasty alien who goes about devouring the crew one by one until they finally figure out how to kill it. Where "It!" and it's soul mate "The Thing From Another World" leave the rest of their '50s sci-fi genre behind is in the intense, edge-of-your-seat building of suspense. In the case of "It!" first you only see the monster's lizard-like feet, as it prowls the ship undetected. Then we see the shadow on the wall, as "It!" breaks one of the crew members in half like a twig. Then there's the close encounter with "It!" in the darkened air shaft. Or the guy trapped behind some boxes in a corner with just a dying blow torch between him and an extremely cranky monster. You get the point. It's no wonder the creators of "Alien" used this film as their template. So, slide this sucker into your DVD player, turn out the lights, and pretend it's 11:30 on a Friday night back in the early '60s. Time for "Nightmare Theater" and "It!" Pleasant dreams."
It gave Birth to Aliens
Daniel J. Filice | Burbank, CA United States | 05/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great '50's Sci-Fi movie. It's relatively unknown. I don't know anyone who has seen this movie until I've let them see my copy. My theory is that the movie "Alien" is based on this film: A space ship returns home from visiting a far-off planet (to pick-up Marshall Thompson who is under suspicion of killing all of the expedition memebers) but not before accidently picking up extra "cargo"...an alien life form that hides in the storage room that systematically kills one crew member after another. It was the same creature that Marshall Thompson knew about that killed memebers of his expedition but he can't prove it, and now the same creature has joined their flight home.There are two things that make this film great: 1.) A pretty decent story that keeps the "monster" out of sight until you really need to see it. The mystery builds as we only see shadows of the creature on the wall as it kills crew members. We are given little hints though that something is wrong on board, like unusual oxygen consumption, that keep the story moving along. 2.) This is a '50's movie so it's great fun to watch and make fun of what was considered to be space travel back then. Take for instance the interior of the space ship. Heavy metal WWII-era cabinets, stairs, primitive controls, etc. Then (and here's the best part) there is the means of trying to kill the "creature". Grenades are used in an attempt to kill it and the crew, equipped with 45cal. automatics, fire randomly at the creature. Keep in mind, the crew is INSIDE a space ship in space! Oh well, I guess it wasn't known that space was void of oxygen or what the perils of shooting holes throught the walls of the ship were back then. If you can forget the bit of '50's silliness, the storyline holds together through to the end of the film and one cannot help but see the parallels to many of the newer space/creature/sci-fi movies of late."
A spaceship with an alien monster aboard (sound familiar?)
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 11/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just to make sure, "It! The Terror From Beyond Space" is the 1950s science fiction film with the monster from Mars. "It Came From Beneath the Sea" is the giant octopus, "Them!" is the giant ants, and "The Thing From Another World" is the carrot monster. "It! The Vampire from Beyond Space" is just "It! The Terror From Beyond Space" with a slightly alternative title, whereas "The Terror From Beyond Space" is the same movie with the "It" dropped. You will be responsible for this material on the final examination and you can get bonus credit if you can figure out which classic science fiction film featuring a chest bursting alien with acid for blood follows pretty much the same plotline as this 1958 film.
The story is set in the year 1973 when Challenge 141, the first manned mission to Mars ends up with everybody but its captain, Colonel Edward Carruthers (Marshall Thompson of "Fiend Without A Face"), killed by an alien. After six months the rescue ship, Challenge 142 commanded by Colonel Van Heusen (Kim Spaldin), arrives to take Carruthers back to Earth. But Van Heusen does not believe Carruthers' story about a killer alien and puts him in custody pending a court martial back home. However, the Martian (Ray Corrigan), a sort of reptilian creature of apparently indeterminate gender given the gender neutral pronoun in the title, sneaks aboard the rocket ship before it take off and starts killing the crew on the return voyage by absorbing the blood of its victims. Since Carruthers is locked up and does not have the ability to absorb the blood via osmosis, it seems he was telling the truth.
Besides the killer alien aboard there are a couple of women to protect. Dr. Mary Royce (Ann Doran) and nurse Ann Anderson (Shawn Smith). The latter is the only one to give Carruthers the benefit of the doubt, so he likes her. But things do not look good for the Finelli brothers, Bob (Richard Benedict) and Gino (Richard Hervey), and you just know one of them has to buy it so that the other can get mad. Unfortunately all of the obvious ways of killing the alien do not work, which means they are going to have to get creative. You might be disappointed in the ending, not to mention the less than adequate special effects of the ship traveling in space, but then keep in mind that this film came out in 1958 and that it was out decades before "Alien" and the special effects are way better than "Plan 9 From Outer Space." The acting is standard for such movies and you have already made your peace with such limitations by now or you have given up on this genre.
"It!" was directed by Edward L. Cahn and it is far and away the best of his B sci-fi films, which includes "The Creature with the Atom Brain," "Invasion of the Saucer-Men," and "The Invisible Invaders." The difference is clearly the script by Jerome Bixby, who is best remembered for his story "It's a Wonderful Life" that was adapted as one of the most memorable "Twilight Zone" episodes. Bixby knows that he has a limited number of sets to work with and figures out how to maximize the use of the claustrophobic sets. The story takes place over a time frame of only a few hours so things move right along in this 69-minute film. The crew keeps coming up with ways of killing the alien and when one does not work, which usually means another crew member is dead, they discuss things some more and keep on keeping on.
As was the case with "The Thing," the monster is rarely seen directly outside of the shadows so you get to focus more on the suspense and less on whether Paul Blaisdell's monster costume passes muster (pretty much a combination of "The Thing from Another World" and "The Creature From the Black Lagoon"). There was also an interesting gimmick for this release with a "world renowned insurance company" offering $50,000 to "the first person who can prove that 'It' is not on Mars now!" But this film really did not need to stoop to such nonsense because "It" is an above average representing of the genre at that time in movie history."
Stands apart and above most of its 50's Sci-Fi peers
Lawrance M. Bernabo | 10/22/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie at a Saturday Matinee theater when I was ten years old in 1958. As a particularly astute viewer of monster movies, I left with a great sense of satisfaction that I had seen a grippingly good movie. Imagine my surprise when I saw Alien for the first time on the big screen some 35 yrs later and told everyone that it was a remake of a movie that I enjoyed in my youth. No one recalled seeing the movie except me, and I think they seriously doubted that such a 50's science fiction flick could have been so good. Now I can't wait for some imaginative producer to come up with a superb remake of something like "The Tingler.""