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Grindhouse Review – It! The Terror from Beyond Space!

Posted on September 16, 2012 at 11:00 am by AGouff

Starring: Marshall Thompson, Shirley Patterson, Kim Spalding, Dabbs Greer, Paul Langton, Ann Doran

Director: Edward Cahn

It’s time once again for another Grindhouse Review, so come with me down the strange and interesting journey that is IT! The Terror From Beyond Space!, the movie so nice, they titled it twice. For the sake of simplicity, from here one out we’ll just call it IT though.

IT, as the monologue will tell you during the opening panorama of Mars, is set in the futuristic time of 1973 – a full 15 years in the future from the date of its release. Hope springs eternal doesn’t it? The main character, Col. Carruthers (Marshall Thompson), also goes on to say that he’s the last remaining member of his crew.

We then cut back to Washington D.C. and a pre-CNN era press conference for a little more exposition on the story. Here we learn that Earth had lost contact with the crew and assumed they were all lost, and so sent a second ship to find out what happened to them.

This new crew finds Carruthers and assumes he murdered the rest of the crew after they crash-landed. While they are preparing for takeoff, an airlock is left open (thereby negating the need for an airlock), and the terror from beyond space sneaks aboard. A crew member hears a bang and a roar from the storage room and goes down below to check the sound out; clearly this couldn’t turn out more badly if he was a naked coed.

The ensuing scream and crash rouses the crew, and another one is picked off. The remainder of the journey plays out somewhat predictably as the crew is picked off as they investigate their comrades’ demises and attempt to kill the alien being that’s feeding on their moisture.

One question you will constantly be asking yourself throughout this film is: why in the name of Neil Armstrong are these people carrying a small arsenal of firearms and grenades?!? I’m not sure if this is the Jayne Cobb school of space travel, or if they were expecting a war with hostile Martians, but these people came alarmingly well-armed to a supposedly uninhabited planet. Terrifyingly, the crew actually uses their arsenal of grenades to set booby-traps on the duct work for the alien. Ignoring the fact that explosionsonboard your vessel while travelling through the vacuum of space is universally considered a bad idea, don’t forget this is in the area of their ship clearly labeled as where their oxygen is coming from. Fragmentation grenades are not noted for their ability to discriminate between things you want to blow up and things you don’t.

All in all, IT! The Terror from Beyond Space! is good fun in an era when we have multiple missions to Mars that have yet to turn up any evidence of aliens – moisture consuming or otherwise. Though it does beg the question, isn’t Mars in space, rather than beyond it?

I give IT! The Terror from Beyond Space! a resounding 8 flying paper plates out of 9. The classic 50’s space travel sensibilities combined with bizarre plot devices and classic guy in a rubber suit special effects make this film a true classic.

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