4 Stars

It! The Terror from Beyond Space Blu-ray Review

1950s sci-fi ran the gamut from outer space sagas to monstrous aliens and radioactively formed creatures capable of destroying all in their paths. Edward L. Cahn’s It! The Terror from Beyond Space combines the outer space and alien terror plots into a B-movie programmer of not much distinction. (Ridley Scott would decades later milk far more out of the scenario with his masterful Alien.) Competently made on an obviously low budget with a host of familiar faces from television and minor movie roles, It! doesn’t even offer the campy fun of something awful like The Giant Claw, but rather it goes through its predictable paces barely running a bit over an hour.

Cover Art

Studio: MGM

Distributed By: Olive

Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: English 2.0 DTS-HDMA

Subtitles: None

Rating: Not Rated

Run Time: 1 Hr. 9 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray

keep case

Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)

Region: All

Release Date: 05/19/2015

MSRP: $29.95

 

The Production Rating: 2/5

When the first manned landing on Mars in 1973 ends in death under mysterious circumstances for nine of the ten astronauts aboard, a rescue ship lands and takes the sole survivor Col. Edward Carruthers (Marshall Thompson) into custody on suspicion of murder. He claims a Martian monster somehow managed to kill the landing party, but with no evidence to prove his assertions, no one believes him. On the four-month journey back to Earth, crew members begin to go missing before leader Col. Van Heusen (Kim Spalding) and his remaining staff figure out the Martian alien (Ray Corrigan) which resembles a sharp-toothed ape has stowed away on the ship and is systematically killing men to live off of their bodily fluids and bone marrow. Bullets, gas, and electricity have no effect on the creature, and before any more of them are killed, the crew must think of something to save themselves before getting back to Earth.

Jerome Bixby’s screenplay isn’t lacking for suspenseful potential, but many of the possibilities for thrills and terror are thwarted by substandard special effects and some naïve notions about space travel. The spaceship is lavish in its size and scope (many levels deep and very wide to accommodate the size of its crew), but the members think nothing of firing off many rounds of ammunition inside the hull, setting off a wreath of grenades, and opening the door to an atomic generator without fear of contamination to the humans in the room. When a couple of the crew go outside the ship on a rescue mission to gain outside access to another level, the production doesn’t bother with wire work to simulate a lack of gravity; director Edward L. Cahn simply tips the camera on its side and shoots the men walking upright down the side of the ship in the later style of TV’s Batman. The first real look at the monster comes some twenty-five minutes into the movie, and it’s a disappointing sharp-fanged mask they’ve given their creature without any expression or generating any sense of dread. The movie just never seems to ratchet up the do-or-die aspect of their predicament so that the audience would be on the edges of their seats with suspense, and the solution finally achieved to thwart their adversary doesn’t really make much sense at all.

Two TV veterans give the best performances: Marshall Thompson as the man under suspicion of murder and Dabbs Greer, one of the scientists on board the ship who’s far more open-minded about Carruthers’ guilt or innocence than his commander, Col. Heusen. Kim Spalding underplays the colonel for most of the film but makes a series of bone-headed moves later in the movie that show him to be ill-equipped to be running the ship, never even restrained by the other members of his crew whom he could have killed with his recklessness. Shawn Smith (later billed as Shirley Patterson) is the uninteresting love interest for Heusen and Carruthers while Ann Doran as the ship’s doctor doesn’t get nearly enough opportunities to show what she can do. Richard Benedict as one of the crew whose brother is an early casualty shows some emotional peaks early and then rather fades into the background.

Video Rating: 3.5/5  3D Rating: NA

The film’s theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio is faithfully reproduced in this 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. (The liner notes claim a 1.37:1 aspect ratio, but that’s only used for the enclosed trailer.) At its best, sharpness is excellent, but there are several scenes which seem to have been taken from earlier generations proving to be soft and free of detail. Grayscale is quite impressive with deep blacks and clean whites, and contrast has been consistently maintained. However, there are dust specks here and there, once in a while heavy but most of the time not present. The movie has been divided into 9 chapters.

Audio Rating: 4/5

The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono sound mix is typical of a low-budget film of this era. Dialogue, music, and sound effects have been blended skillfully without one overpowering the others. Age-related anomalies like hiss and crackle are not present making the aural experience much better than one might have expected.

Special Features Rating: 1/5

Theatrical Trailer (1:09, HD)

Overall Rating: 2/5

Not nearly as much fun as such 1950s era alien-focused classics like The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Thing, or Invasion of the Body SnatchersIt! The Terror from Beyond Space will likely only satisfy collectors of second tier sci-fi titles of that era. The Blu-ray release certainly offers the film its greatest chance to shine.

Reviewed By: Matt Hough

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JeffT.

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This film could have been so much better if Ray "Crash" Corrigan hadn't been selected to play the Martian monster.

The creature's designer Paul Blaisdell created the outfit for his own physical contours in the mistaken belief that he was going to play the part.

This posed all sorts of problems in having to accommodate the taller (and certainly stouter) Corrigan. Originally the Martian creature had larger lustrous green reptilian eyes which were removed and abandoned once Corrigan took over.

Corrigan was very difficult and uncooperative in taking directions at one point even refusing to wear the actual head appliance for a shadow silhouette shot.

If Paul Blaisdell had been assigned the part it is certain that he would have depicted the creature as intended in the shooting script with swift agile movements rather than some lumbering slow moving monstrosity.

It is a testament to Mr. Blaisdell's craftsmanship that it works at all.


:rolleyes:
 

Reed Grele

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Because I saw this in the mid sixties on WPIX CH 11 NYC's Chiller Theater (September 28, 1963 at 7:30pm to be exact) at the tender age of 7, it has very special meaning to me.


Back then our family had one TV (B&W 19") with a roof antennae, that, if we were lucky, would pull in 4 channels clearly. No home video, No internet. You wanted to see something, you had to be in front of the TV when it was on.


This film gave me nightmares! But I'd always watch next weeks show. Didn't matter what it was. My parents hated it, so naturally I couldn't get enough of it. I even had to hide my Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines lest they be confiscated and never seen again.


You have no idea what a traumatic experience it was when one day my Mom found out that I had spent part of my allowance on a FM 1967 Yearbook which was promptly ripped in half, and thrown in the trash before my eyes!


I hope that more of these fifties cult SF / horror classics make it to BD soon.


Here's a short list, in no particular order, of some titles that scared the pants off me back then:


She Demons

Horror Hotel

The Neanderthal Man (Now on BD)

The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake

The Cyclops

The Hideous Sun Demon

Frankenstein's Daughter

Daughter of Dr. Jekyll

The Monster Of Piedras Blancas

Giant From The Unknown
 

Reed Grele

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JeffT. said:
It is a testament to Mr. Blaisdell's craftsmanship that it works at all.


:rolleyes:
In some scenes you can see Ray "Crash" Corrigan's chin sticking out of the bottom of the face mask.
 

Brent Reid

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I don't get the reviewer's hostility towards this film. I have 200+ 1950s sci-fi movies on DVD and Blu-ray and this one of the very best.


It's patently obvious that Alien, which I also love, heavily copied it. Indeed, without It! there would be no Alien.


It's also unfair to compare this B-movie, which does a great job on its limited budget, to other longer, non-B-movie classics of the genre.


In short: why bother reviewing a film if your main agenda is to demonstrate your disdain for it? That simply undermines the credibility of the reviewer. This film has been around plenty long enough for us to make up our minds whether we like it or not. I, like most others here I suspect, simply clicked on this review to see if it was worth upgrading my open matte MGM DVD or not. Thankfully, DVDBeaver was able to supply the answer:
A resounding 'yes', if you're wondering. Yet another winner from Jerome Bixby; I've yet to see anything less than brilliant from him.


I'd urge anyone who hasn't done so to check out his final produced screenplay, The Man from Earth (2007). Almost uniquely though I'd recommend the DVD over the BD: The film was shot at 480p SD so it has the same quality image. The DVD also has the same lossy Dolby Digital audio as the BD and it has two audio commentaries and four featurettes, as opposed to the vanilla BD!
 

hanshotfirst1138

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It's pretty striking just how much this resembles a low-tech version of Alien.
 

ChromeJob

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I'm presuming our reviewer's text is meant for someone who's never heard of or seen this film, so I think your perception of hostility is biased personal appreciation of the film. Frankly, $20 (amazon) for a barebones BD of a 70 minute film is kinda steep. I'd want a candid, objective description of the film.

If it looks a lot like a low budget ALIEN, no surprise. It's well known that Dan O'Bannon borrowed heavily from this, Planet of the Vampires, and other genre gems for his "reimagining" screenplay for Alien. Ridley Scott's brilliant use of H.R. Giger's artwork, and Howard Hawks' style dialog overlap, made the film much better than it would've been in someone else's hands.

Jerome Bixby's always been an underrated writer. Wrote one of the better episodes of the original Star Trek, and possibly one of the scariest SF short stories you'll ever read, "It's a Good Life" (interpreted many times for TV and film, but never the equal of his original text).
 

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hanshotfirst1138 said:
Presumably the basis for the famous Twilight Zone episode?
... And the movie (Joe Dante style). Still, the story is absolutely chilling in the way a TV show with Billy Mumy couldn't touch.
 

John Sparks

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Can't wait to buy this and hoping some other Mr. BIG movies are on the way!!!
 

Dans Hands

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Some reviewers have bashed the transfer, but I think it looks decent. It is NOT the disaster some have claimed. Very happy to add this to my slowly growing collection of the sci-fi classics in HD. Keep 'em coming!
 

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<body><b><font size="6"><font color="1a466a">It&#33; The Terror from Beyond Space Blu-ray Review</font></font></b><p>1950s sci-fi ran the gamut from outer space sagas to monstrous aliens and radioactively formed creatures capable of destroying all in their paths. Edward L. Cahn’s <em class='bbc'>It! The Terror from Beyond Space</em> combines the outer space and alien terror plots into a B-movie programmer of not much distinction. (Ridley Scott would decades later milk far more out of the scenario with his masterful <em class='bbc'>Alien.</em>) Competently made on an obviously low budget with a host of familiar faces from television and minor movie roles, <em class='bbc'>It!</em> doesn’t even offer the campy fun of something awful like <em class='bbc'>The Giant Claw, </em>but rather it goes through its predictable paces barely running a bit over an hour.</p><BR><img src="http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uploads/3a0ec95b3e97da7acd8d6d9898108fff.jpg" alt="Cover Art" HSPACE=10 VSPACE=20 align="left"><p><BR><b>Studio:</b> MGM</p><p><b>Distributed By:</b> Olive</p><p><b>Video Resolution and Encode:</b> 1080P/AVC</p><p><b>Aspect Ratio:</b> 1.85:1</p><p><b>Audio:</b> English 2.0 DTS-HDMA</p><p><b>Subtitles:</b> None</p><p><b>Rating:</b> Not Rated</p><p><b>Run Time:</b> 1 Hr. 9 Min.</p><p><b>Package Includes:</b> Blu-ray</p>keep case<p><b>Disc Type:</b> BD50 (dual layer)</p><p><b>Region:</b> All</p><p><b>Release Date:</b> 05/19/2015</p><p><b>MSRP:</b> &#036;29.95</p><p><b><BR><BR><BR><font size=4>The Production Rating:<font color="006699"> 2/5</b></font></font></p> When the first manned landing on Mars in 1973 ends in death under mysterious circumstances for nine of the ten astronauts aboard, a rescue ship lands and takes the sole survivor Col. Edward Carruthers (Marshall Thompson) into custody on suspicion of murder. He claims a Martian monster somehow managed to kill the landing party, but with no evidence to prove his assertions, no one believes him. On the four-month journey back to Earth, crew members begin to go missing before leader Col. Van Heusen (Kim Spalding) and his remaining staff figure out the Martian alien (Ray Corrigan) which resembles a sharp-toothed ape has stowed away on the ship and is systematically killing men to live off of their bodily fluids and bone marrow. Bullets, gas, and electricity have no effect on the creature, and before any more of them are killed, the crew must think of something to save themselves before getting back to Earth.<br /><br />Jerome Bixby’s screenplay isn’t lacking for suspenseful potential, but many of the possibilities for thrills and terror are thwarted by substandard special effects and some naïve notions about space travel. The spaceship is lavish in its size and scope (many levels deep and very wide to accommodate the size of its crew), but the members think nothing of firing off many rounds of ammunition inside the hull, setting off a wreath of grenades, and opening the door to an atomic generator without fear of contamination to the humans in the room. When a couple of the crew go outside the ship on a rescue mission to gain outside access to another level, the production doesn’t bother with wire work to simulate a lack of gravity; director Edward L. Cahn simply tips the camera on its side and shoots the men walking upright down the side of the ship in the later style of TV’s <em class='bbc'>Batman</em>. The first real look at the monster comes some twenty-five minutes into the movie, and it’s a disappointing sharp-fanged mask they’ve given their creature without any expression or generating any sense of dread. The movie just never seems to ratchet up the do-or-die aspect of their predicament so that the audience would be on the edges of their seats with suspense, and the solution finally achieved to thwart their adversary doesn’t really make much sense at all.<br /><br />Two TV veterans give the best performances: Marshall Thompson as the man under suspicion of murder and Dabbs Greer, one of the scientists on board the ship who’s far more open-minded about Carruthers’ guilt or innocence than his commander, Col. Heusen. Kim Spalding underplays the colonel for most of the film but makes a series of bone-headed moves later in the movie that show him to be ill-equipped to be running the ship, never even restrained by the other members of his crew whom he could have killed with his recklessness. Shawn Smith (later billed as Shirley Patterson) is the uninteresting love interest for Heusen and Carruthers while Ann Doran as the ship’s doctor doesn’t get nearly enough opportunities to show what she can do. Richard Benedict as one of the crew whose brother is an early casualty shows some emotional peaks early and then rather fades into the background.<p><br><b></b></p><p></p><p><b></b></p><p></p><p><BR><b><font size=4>Video Rating:<font color="006699"> 3.5/5</b></font></font>&nbsp;&nbsp;<b><font size=4>3D Rating:<font color="006699"> NA</b></font></font></p> The film’s theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio is faithfully reproduced in this 1080p transfer using the AVC codec. (The liner notes claim a 1.37:1 aspect ratio, but that’s only used for the enclosed trailer.) At its best, sharpness is excellent, but there are several scenes which seem to have been taken from earlier generations proving to be soft and free of detail. Grayscale is quite impressive with deep blacks and clean whites, and contrast has been consistently maintained. However, there are dust specks here and there, once in a while heavy but most of the time not present. The movie has been divided into 9 chapters.<p><BR><BR><b><font size=4>Audio Rating:<font color="006699"> 4/5</b></font></font></p> The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono sound mix is typical of a low-budget film of this era. Dialogue, music, and sound effects have been blended skillfully without one overpowering the others. Age-related anomalies like hiss and crackle are not present making the aural experience much better than one might have expected.<p><BR><br><b><font size=4>Special Features Rating:<font color="006699"> 1/5</b></font></font></p> <strong class='bbc'>Theatrical Trailer</strong> (1:09, HD)<p><br><b></b></p><p></p><p><b></b></p><p></p><p><BR><b><font size=4>Overall Rating:<font color="006699"> 2/5</b></font></font></p> Not nearly as much fun as such 1950s era alien-focused classics like <em class='bbc'>The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Thing, </em>or <em class='bbc'>Invasion of the Body Snatchers</em>, <em class='bbc'>It! The Terror from Beyond Space</em> will likely only satisfy collectors of second tier sci-fi titles of that era. The Blu-ray release certainly offers the film its greatest chance to shine.<p><BR><span style="font-weight:bold;">Reviewed By:</span> Matt Hough</p> <p><BR><span style="font-weight:bold;">Support HTF when you buy this title:</span> <BR> <iframe src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=htfreviews-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=B00UOYIW6G" style="width:120px;height:240px;" scrolling="no" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <!--<br />-->
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The Monster was reused in The Movie The Invisible Invaders as the Aliens, but it's hard to see.
 

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Didn't know that, will have to review my copy. I saw this as a kid at a matinee when it first came out...scared the crap out of me. hence, one of my all time favorites, along with THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD! At 8 years old you're easily scared, so you carry those scares like a badge of courage.
 
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Matt Hough

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Didn't know that, will have to review my copy. I saw this as a kid at a matinee when it first came out...scared the crap out of me. hence, one of my all time favorites, along with THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD! At 10 years old you're easily scared, so you carry those scares like a badge of courage.
Absolutely true. I hid under the seat during Target: Earth! I must have been four or five watching it on its second time through theaters, and my fear lasted through decades of remembering. When I finally was able to buy Target:Earth on VHS and watch it again, it was so tame as to be laughable.
 

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I've told this story many times and I enjoy telling it. I'm watching THIS ISLAND EARTH with my mom at a theater on Sunset Blvd at Alvarado St. I don't remember much, other than sitting next to her and when the Mutant dissolves, I jump into my mom's lap, because it scared the crap out me. Then I tell her to tell them to turn the sound down...that's it.

Now, as the years go on, I always wondered what that movie was until cable. It sure didn't play on regular TV back in the 50s/60s.

Now, fast forward 22 years and I'm on the Los Angeles Fire Dept. working an overtime day at Fire Station 20, which is directly across the street from the theater. I'm telling the firefighter next to me my story and he says, "Such a small world.."

When I saw TARGET EARTH at a kids matinee, I thought I had died and gone to heaven...what an awesome movie for a young kid that just loved sci-fi.

Last story, I remember I had to sit through I WANT TO LIVE to be able to see the second feature.....THE LOST MISSLE. Still hate that movie (I WANT TO LIVE) because of the torture my parents made me endure to see what I really wanted to see...awe, the joys of youth.
 
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Johnny Angell

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I don't get the reviewer's hostility towards this film. I have 200+ 1950s sci-fi movies on DVD and Blu-ray and this one of the very best.


It's patently obvious that Alien, which I also love, heavily copied it. Indeed, without It! there would be no Alien.


It's also unfair to compare this B-movie, which does a great job on its limited budget, to other longer, non-B-movie classics of the genre.


In short: why bother reviewing a film if your main agenda is to demonstrate your disdain for it? That simply undermines the credibility of the reviewer. This film has been around plenty long enough for us to make up our minds whether we like it or not. I, like most others here I suspect, simply clicked on this review to see if it was worth upgrading my open matte MGM DVD or not. Thankfully, DVDBeaver was able to supply the answer:
A resounding 'yes', if you're wondering. Yet another winner from Jerome Bixby; I've yet to see anything less than brilliant from him.


I'd urge anyone who hasn't done so to check out his final produced screenplay, The Man from Earth (2007). Almost uniquely though I'd recommend the DVD over the BD: The film was shot at 480p SD so it has the same quality image. The DVD also has the same lossy Dolby Digital audio as the BD and it has two audio commentaries and four featurettes, as opposed to the vanilla BD!
The purpose of a review is to give an opinion on the quality of the film. I’ve read many reviews that the reviewer didn’t like. I didn’t take that to mean the reviewer was hostile. IMHO, this is a poor film. 1st and for most you’ve got one of the worst monster costumes ever. Someone else posted why it was so bad, but that doesn’t change what is up on the screen. I can’t think of any reason to recommend this film.

However I still pop it in at halloween time and enjoy wallowing in the mud.
 

ahollis

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Yep, at a young age it scared the beegees out of me when I saw in our den on TV at midnight with the lights out. Now it’s just a guilty pleasure to watch and reminds me when the world was a better place.
 
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Clayking38

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I don't remember when I originally saw the film on TV although I was an adult at the time. I remembered it as a suspenseful 'B "monster is loose" sci-fi film, a feeling that was upheld when I watched the blu-ray. The original reviewer should review just what a 'B film is... and isn't.