Thursday, January 27, 2011
THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD
THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD (1957). Director: Arnold Laven.
In the Salton Sea prehistoric mollusks -- or "krakens" -- that resemble giant caterpillars and suck all the fluid out of their victims arise from a new fissure and present quite a problem. Commander Twillinger (Tim Holt) of Naval Intelligence is assigned to hunt down and eradicate the beasts even as he carries on a romance with a pretty widow and lab secretary named Gail (Audrey Dalton). Hans Conreid is oddly cast as a scientist and Gail's boss, although he is quite effective, as are Holt and Dalton. The cadaverous Milton Parsons shows up as an historian named Lewis Clark Dobbs. The creatures are very well-designed mechanical beasties who perform better than you might imagine, and there's a creepy climax in the lab when one breaks out of its container and pursues Gail and her little daughter. The script is flavored with some interesting characters and touches.
Verdict: One of the better creature features of the period. ***.