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

Thursday, June 18, 2009

THE MONOLITH MONSTERS


THE MONOLITH MONSTERS (1957). Director: John Sherwood.

Sheriff Dave Miller (Grant Williams) has a serious problem. There are these silicon-based black rocks scattered all over his town, and anyone who comes into contact with them is headed for trouble. His deputy is found dead, in a petrified state, and another family suffers the same fate after their house is crushed. The one survivor, a little girl, has an arm that is slowly turning to stone. What's worse, Miller learns that these weird "rocks" have the power to expand, multiply, and grow to staggering heights whenever they touch water, falling over and crushing everything underfoot when they grow too large. And a rainstorm is on the way ...

While big rocks are obviously not as compelling as giant insects or dinosaurs on the rampage, The Monolith Monsters holds the attention and works up some minor suspense. It doesn't hurt that the dramatic score from Deadly Mantis embellishes each scene. Grant Williams is the low-key star; it's easy to see why this handsome actor never jumped into the big leagues (perhaps with the exception of The Incredible Shrinking Man) although he's competent enough. Lola Albright is an appealing leading lady, and Les Tremayne is fine as the dissatisfied newspaper man. Richard H. Cutting, who plays Dr. Reynolds, had a small role in Monster on the Campus and was also in Attack of the Crab Monsters.

Verdict: You don't have to have rocks in your head to watch this. **1/2.

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