• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

It! The Terror From Beyond Space

TITLE: It! The Terror From Beyond Space

YEAR: 1958

GENRE: Science Fiction

It is important for die hard movie fans to watch some older movies purely because of their influence on future endeavors. When Ridley Scott was looking for influence for a new science fiction horror-style offering he reached back to the 1950’s for the creation of Alien. One of the major influences would be the 1958 low budget production It! The Terror From Beyond Space, and at times it appears that Scott literally lifted the plot from this movie and simply modernized the finished product. This is not the greatest entry in Eisenhower era film making, but It! The Terror From Beyond Space is a quality yet low budget offering that uses suspense and an eerie atmosphere to create an interesting and fun offering.

In the future year of 1973 the first manned mission to Mars has lost contact with the United States Intergalactic Exploration Office and a rescue team is sent to investigate. Upon arrival, the crew discovers that Colonel Edward Caruthers (played by Marshall Thompson) is the sole survivor of the mission and he is accused of murdering the rest of the crew. Caruthers insists that his crew was killed by an unknown entity of superhuman size and strength and that it sucked out all of the crew’s bodily fluids. None of the rescue crew believes the story until they discovers a couple of their own crew members deceased and drained of blood on the spaceship on the way home. The monster Caruthers warned about is now on their vessel, and the quiet ride home is now a race for survival against a malevolent creature impervious to bullets. Will the crew make it home alive?

It! The Terror From Beyond Space definitely has its roots in the 1950’s as the technological effects and social rules display. The two women members of the crew are more housewives than anything else, picking up after the men and doing the dishes, so some of today’s liberated women may be offended but remember that this was a typical attitude back in that day. The special effects are also very typical of low budget 1950’s film making and are laughable by today’s standards. What makes It! The Terror From Beyond Space a good product is that the film uses a lot of suspense elements and creates a build-up to the action and subsequent tame kills that makes the film a satisfying and good viewing. Thompson does a fairly standard job with his performance and the rest are pretty forgettable, but then again the monster is the story here and western legend Ray Corrigan (The Range Busters and The Three Mesquiteers movies series) does a great job in his dastardly looking Martian rubber suit. There are a few situation in the film that are completely unbelievable and detract from the picture: first all, Caruthers is not kept captive on the returning spaceship, is allowed to roam wherever he wishes, and even operates controls which would never happen to an astronaut accused of multiple murders; in addition, the crew throws hand grenades at the monster on a couple occasions which is downright insane considering that one hole in their interstellar tin can would kill everybody.

This was the last film for Corrigan, as his days as a western star were long over and he was only playing monsters and gorillas in movies due to his 6’2” size and willingness to perform dangerous stunts; he later created Corriganville, a Western-themed tourist attraction used for Hollywood productions ranging from “The Lone Ranger” to “Star Trek: TOS” during the day and a tourist trap at night. While there, fans could meet the original Rin Tin Tin and Chief Thundercloud (an Indian in over 90 westerns), drink at an actual working saloon complete with sarsaparilla and beer, and watch stuntmen in wild west gunfights. Corrigan owned the operation until 1965 when he sold the business to Bob Hope. It! The Terror From Beyond Space may not be the greatest of the 1950’s science fiction movies, but its influence on modern sci-fi is difficult to discount. In addition, the suspense build-up and the quality man in the rubber suit does make this film a quality viewing, and if one can forgive the cheeseball special effects are errors in realistic film making It! The Terror From Beyond Space is a good amount of fun for a Saturday afternoon viewing.

* * *

–Mark

 

 

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