“I didn’t steal Alien from anybody. I stole it from everybody!”
In previous Open Threads I have inspected some of the films Dan O’Bannon liberally plucked concepts and plot points from for his screenplay for Alien (Queen of Blood on September 11 2019 and Terrore nello Spazio on June 10 of this year, if you’re interested). Today’s movie is the 1958 B-Movie It! The Terror From Beyond Space.
Set in the year 1973, a spaceship is sent to Mars to retrieve the sole survivor of the first manned mission to the Red Planet. Colonel Carruthers is accused of murdering his fellow crewmembers, though he claims an unseen force was the real killer. On the journey back to Earth he is proved to be telling the truth when an alien, having snuck aboard before takeoff, begins a new rampage.
Investigating strange sounds in one of the lower decks, one man is dragged into the air ducts where he is later found, drained of blood. When the alien, a eight-foot tall humanoid, is finally revealed, the surviving crew try bullets grenades, gas, electrocution, and fire, to kill it, to no avail. Sounds pretty familiar, huh?
Other than the Alien connections however, this film is eminently avoidable; in fact it’s hot trash. The characters are all strictly stock (the two women crewmembers are there to serve coffee!), and the details generally dumber than rocks. The alien itself is a cliched 50’s rubbery “Man in a Suit” – in fact, the costume designers didn’t have the stuntman’s exact measurements so the head piece didn’t fit him correctly. His chin stuck out of it’s mouth and they were forced to paint him to make it look like a tongue!
Have a great day, and remember to take care of yourselves and everyone close to you, Avocado!