Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In the 1950s They Can Hear You Scream

Tightly paced and rather to the point, It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958) was clearly one of the influences on the 1979 classic Alien. Some aspects of this movie were definitively used in Ridley Scott's movie, particularly a scene where someone goes into an air duct to hunt down an alien creature. The idea of a killer stowaway on a ship flying through outer space isn't new, however back in the 1950s it was particularly original. The poor captain accused of murder has to spend a third of the movie convincing the crew that rescued him that he is innocent of killing his crew, and this is finally borne out by the ugly and strangely hostile monster that proceeds to start taking out people in rapid fashion.

Due to being smartly made and also quite entertaining, this is one of the best of the 1950s sci-fi/horror hybrids. The horror genre was forced to go underground, and films such as this one were the norm until Hammer Studios revived the classic style of horror, giving it a more modern twist and featuring more violence and gore. It! The Terror From Beyond Space actually does feature a few shocking moments, and has the astronauts being forced to use all means at their disposal to try and best a creature not of this world, born of the desolate planet known as Mars. Furthermore, this film started the now famous trend of space based horror movies where random planets harbor terrible and harmful secrets. Unfortunately for those who venture outside of Earth, on the big screen our universe is more scary than wonderful. 86

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