Monday, June 18, 2012

20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH / Columbia Pictures - 1957

It's Monster Monday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. Our feature is one that I was lucky enough to see at the theater at the time, and, I loved it! The first monster movie I ever saw at a theater was BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS in 1953 at age five, another Harryhausen masterpiece. Above is a British card where the tagline seems a little misleading... It was a manned mission to Venus, not just a satellite shot into space, which would be either IT CONQUERED THE WORLD or ZONTAR, THE THING FROM VENUS!

Soooooo, wif'out any further adieu, lets get this boat a rollin'... You can push the big red 'GO' button there next to the little green arrow, NOW, Ralphie The Tarantula! Here's our scientifically informative soundclip (with screams) for... 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH!

> What a great beginning, where the huge rocket crashes into the sea off the coast of Italy and the local fishermen are able to rescue the two survivors. Harryhausen space hardware was always top notch!

Then, we watch as the thing sinks beneath the waves...

Thomas Browne (THE BRAIN FROM PLANET AROUS) Henry plays General McIntosh. Here, he watches this contraption awkwardly simulate how the inner planets orbit the Sun. I remember those silly things, our school had one!

There has always been a lot of button pushing and switch flipping going on in sci-fi movies. The trick is to make it seem as if you are actually doing something real! The panicked look is helpful.

Little Pepe finds a container washed up on the beach, and, it has what looks like a giant maggot inside!

Unfortunately, this poor crewman (Arthur Space) contracted a bizarre flesh-eating disease while they were on Venus!

In the meantime, Pepe has sold the Ymir egg to a travelling American scientist and his daughter, Marisa, played by Joan Taylor. Joan also played Carol Marvin in EARTH vs THE FLYING SAUCERS and was in the MEN INTO SPACE TV series.

Just study this still for a moment and notice how awesome it is!

Harryhausen's original design for the Venusian creature was a giant cyclops, similar to the one he later used in THE 7th VOYAGE OF SINBAD.

A helicopter is brought in to drop this big net over the monster!

It's then drugged, transported and hooked up to that scientifical apparatus there.

The devices keeping the Ymir unconscious blow to high heaven, allowing it to awaken and bust out of the joint!

William (THE DEADLY MANTIS) Hopper plays Colonel Calder. Here, he makes a gutsy move by crashing his car into the growing Ymir in an attempt to slow it down! William was the son of Hedda Hopper, and, died of a stroke at age 55.

Ymir leaps out of the way just before the bazooka shell hits!

It's a bit of a 'feel good' flick at times...

Sadly though, we all know what happens next... Goodnight, sweet Ymir!

What a great classic pulp novel this is from AMAZING STORIES!


Douglas McEwan said...

You do know that "Little Pepe" grew up to be the TV actor Bart Braverman, who co-starred on Vegas with Robert Urich, don't you? Of course you do.

Exeter said...

This is one of my all time favorites!
I even bought (!) a Harryhausen DVD box set with this in it!

Dr. Theda said...

Great review and Really Great images....
Yours was one of the first "blogs" that I ever became a follower of and you do some Wonderful Posts.... Keep up the Great work Thanks...The Doctor

warewolfboy said...

there's a colour version out now on DVD by legend films and the results are amazing!
you should buy it.

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