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It Conquered the World
Horror, SciFi, Favorite

1956 | 4:3 | Black & White | Quality: Very Good

Lee Van Cleef, Peter Graves, Beverly Garland


Here we have a hilariously horrendous schlock picture howler from the master of the genre, Roger Corman. Lee Van Cleef, looking very young and sporting a full head of hair, stolidly portrays a brilliant but disillusioned scientist who contacts a malevolent cucumber-shaped extraterrestrial from Venus over his private ham radio station. Van Cleef helps the creature come to Earth so it can take over the planet. Through the use of uproariously hokey mutant bat things which are propelled on obvious wires, it turns hapless humans into mindless slaves. Peter Graves, acting particularly starchy, plays Van Cleef's sole friend who decides to stop Van Cleef and the monster. Beverly Garland as Van Cleef's long-suffering wife spouts lots of hilarious lines ("So, that's what you look like; you're UGLY -- HORRIBLE!"). Dick Miller and Jonathan Haze, the latter affecting a ridiculous Mexican accent, supply gut-busting comic relief as a pair of eager soldiers. Corman's strangely inept yet brilliant direction, the silly, but sincere script by Lou Rusoff, Paul Blaisdell's wonderfully absurd vegetable monster design, the hilariously bad dialog ("The world is full of fatheads -- full to overflowing"), the spartan sets, a typically moody score by Ronald Stein, wooden acting, several heavy-handed stabs at philosophical introspection and general all-pervasive air of madly overreaching poverty-row desperation clinch this film's status as one of the all-time great ludicrously lousy 50's science fiction exploitation nuggets perfect for laughing yourself silly!

For those of you who like to watch cheesy Black and White movies from the fifties, this is one of the best. The writer is Lou Rusoff, the director is Hollywoods' most recognized creator from the 1960s; Roger Corman. He gave us other films like Barbarella and Frankenstein Unbounded. In this movie we have Lee Van Cleef inviting a creature from the Planet Venus to colonize the Earth. For an early Corman film, this movie is extremely interesting and fun to watch and despite it's poor visual monster and flying bat-like helpers, it does it's best to hold the audience. For those of you interested in Extras, there is Dick Miller, star of many B-pictures as well. Check it out, you might like what you see... if you aren't laughing too hard.

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