Although I have not had the opportunity to watch a lot of the great sci-fi flicks of the 50’s, I am well aware of the impact they have had on the science fiction and horror genres. Thanks to Olive Films, I am now glad to say that I own one of these space flicks from yesteryear in my collection with one of their latest releases, Edward L. Cahn’s It! The Terror From Beyond Space.
Believed to have killed his entire crew, Col. Edward Carruthers is being escorted back to Earth by rescue crew lead by Col. Van Heusen. Carruthers insists on his innocence and tells the rescue team of an alien being that is the true culprit and cause of his team’s demise, but to no avail. That is, until members of Van Heusen’s crew start to go missing, as well. It appears as though the creature has made its way onto the ship and it is up to the entire crew to destroy the monster before it is too late.
Unable to compare this film to any other 1950’s space monster flick, I can’t say for sure, but I would assume what you get with It! The Terror From Beyond Space was pretty common fare for a film of this nature. While the acting was very good and the story itself was suspenseful and intense, it is quite difficult to get past the cheesiness that is the creature.
The “It” that is at hand here is really just a man, Ray Corrigan to be precise, in a rather silly looking humanoid suit. I will say, however, that even though the majority of the suit looked rather simplistic and bland for today’s standards, I would imagine it was pretty terrifying and rather effective for 1958. With its sharp claws, brute strength, and reptile-like facial features, “It” certainly had what it takes to haunt children’s nightmares. I also want to make note of the fact that director Edward L. Cahn was a pretty clever fellow, utilizing his lighting crew perfectly by creating his creature-mauling-the-crew scenes using silhouettes and shadows. This helped create the illusion that the creature was really tearing these poor folks apart.
The cast consisting of Marshall Thompson, Shirley Patterson, Kim Spalding, and Ann Doran, among others, all did a wonderful job throughout the film’s entirety. The acting chops portrayed by all performers is what really helped move this sci-fi along nicely, helping distract from the man in a silly lizard suit!
If you’re a fan of the oldie but goodie black and white sci-fi flicks of the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, you’re definitely going to want to check out It! The Terror From Beyond Space. It is available now on DVD and for the first time ever on Blu-ray from Olive Films.
I give this film 3 smoke grenades out of 5.