Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Monday, June 16, 2008

KRONOS


KRONOS (1957). Director: Kurt Neumann.

An asteroid approaches the earth and lands in the ocean off the coast of Mexico. But wait a minute -- didn't it veer and turn direction at the last moment? Scientist Dr. Gaskell (Jeff Morrow) senses that there's more to this "asteroid" than meets the eye and wouldn't you know he's right. Before too long the ocean is boiling and up from the depths comes a 100 foot high, robotic "energy assimilator" which Gaskell christens Kronos after the monster of mythology. Sent by an alien race to steal energy supplies, Kronos tears across the land sucking up power from atomic plants and causing general mayhem. This is an entertaining science fiction "monster" flick with a fairly able cast. Morrow is as professional and enthusiastic as ever. John Emery is another scientist whose mind is taken over by an alien intelligence. Barbara Lawrence, who played herself in The Star as a young rival to Bette Davis' character, is cast as Vera Hunter, Gaskell's assistant and lover. Morris Ankrum is a doctor who discovers what's wrong with Emery, and George O'Hanlon is another nerdy scientist who has a computer nicknamed "Suzie." The score by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter is effective at increasing tension and the movie is well-photographed by Karl Struss (it's best to see it in wide screen format). Marjorie Stapp of The Indestructible Man has a small role as a nurse. The best scene has the scientists landing on top of Kronos in a copter as it makes unnerving noises and begins to open up ... Creepy.

Verdict: Maybe not a classic, but it has its moments. **1/2.

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