It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)

When one watches a 50’s space movie, it’s very easy to make fun of how outdated they are. Of course, now that we know how to travel to space it is easy to say it, but in those movies, they had to imagine how would it be to do that. It’s unfair to judge them with the knowledge we have now.

With that said, I think that “It! The Terror from Beyond Space” is one of the best 50’s space horror b-movies that was done in those long lost years. Sure, under our conception of sci-fi the movie is seriously outdated, but judging it in its time frame, it was a very good movie in its day.

The story is as follows: In 1973, the first mission to Mars failed, so another spaceship was sent to rescue the crew . Only Col. Edward Carruthers is found alive, and thus is the only suspect of the murders of the rest of his crew. But Carruthers claims that he was not the killer, something else did, and now it is inside their ship.

Suspense and mystery are handled very well in this movie, with a script that later was used as inspiration for the highly influential “Alien” more than 20 years later. Sci-fi writer Jerome Bixby creates a very well thought plot that, while it has typical 50s odd one-liners, it still moves straight-forward and both the plot and the characters are developed to a good level.

Certainly, the acting is not the best, and maybe this is were the film lacks quality. Nevertheless, Marshall Thompson as Col. Carruthers, carries the film with grace as the main suspect of the killings.

The SFX are of mediocre quality even for its age, nevertheless, director Edward L. Cahn does the intelligent thing and keeps the creature in the darkness, making the menace of what lurks in the shadows a more powerful presence. Black and White photography helps with the task, and gives the film a noir beautiful look that in color would not had worked that good.

To summarize, it is a very outdated film, but if you want to know how were space horrors in the years before Apollo 11, you will be surprised at how good it is. Also, this film is a MUST see for fans of the “Alien” series. Among the best 50s B-movies.

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