Movie Review: It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1958 science fiction film that stars Ray Corrigan as a blood-thirsty alien from Mars.

Synopsis: The commander and only surviving member of the first manned Mars mission rescued and accused of murder. While transporting him back to Earth to face a court martial, the rescue crew discovers a seemingly indestructible alien stowaway with a thirst for blood. With months of travel until they reach Earth and no place to escape to, the crew must find a way to kill the alien before it manages to kill all of them.

Who's In it?

Samsung DVD-E360 DVD Player (Black)

Samsung DVD-E360 DVD Player (Black)

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Campy and Low Budget But Surprisingly Good

My daughter and I picked out this film for our weekly father/daughter movie night because we had recorded it some time ago and figured we should get caught up. Prior to watching it, I had heard of the movie but really didn’t know much about it. As it turns out, it exceeded my expectations.

One thing I learned a long time ago is just because a film has a low budget and sub-par special effects doesn’t necessarily mean it is a bad movie. And, this movie is a perfect example of it. It was a bit campy and the monster (Corrigan) was obviously someone in a costume (though, albeit, a creepy costume). However, it still managed to be surprisingly entertaining.

This movie, in particular, had a couple of things going for it. The first was the fact the crew didn’t have any way of escaping. They were in the middle of space in the confines of a small ship and all they could do was move upwards to the control room every time the creature easily ripped through one of the doors.

I also liked the fact the creature could kill someone (via a bacteria that had leukemia-like effects on a human body) simply by scratching them. This added an extra level of danger for the crew because simply escaping the alien wouldn’t necessarily be enough. And, assuming the bacteria affected the creature in a similar way, it also explained its thirst for blood.

The fact the alien continued to be unharmed by the arsenal of weapons they inexplicitly carried on the ship (what does a spaceship on a rescue mission need a crate of hand grenades for?) only increased the element of hopelessness for the crew too, especially as each of their various ideas failed one by one (though some did cause some minor discomfort).  As a result of this, when they came up with their final attempt at killing the creature, it was hard to tell if that would actually work or if the movie would have some kind of tragic ending. And, it was that lack of predictability that kept me watching.

Final Opinion

This is a movie that has some obvious weaknesses, including very weak special effects. However, it is also very deceptive. If you have an opportunity to watch this movie, I do recommend taking the time to see it because it will surprise you.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 01/14/2016, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 02/08/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for product lines, pretty pictures and practical information.
It interests me that with a humaned Mars mission perhaps as early as 2024 to read and see all the Mars-related information possible.

Would this film make it into any collection with the likes of, for instance, The Martian?

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