It! The Terror Beyond Space

Year: 1958

Synopsis: The lone survivor of the first manned mission to Mars warns of a hostile alien creature to the rescue crew, and find themselves fighting that creature on their way back to Earth.

Pros:
• An ultimately engaging story of survival against an unknown creature.
• The actors effectively portrayed desperation after numerous failures to kill the creature.
• The creature had a lot of personality, in spite of the rubber suit, and was genuinely fun to watch. It was clearly fighting for its own survival as well.
• Had a surprising attention to detail, even if all the details of space travel were clearly not known. Likely as realistic as was possible into the 1960s
• Provided a strong basis for later sci-fi monster films like Alien and The Thing.

Cons:
• Has not aged very well, visually or culturally. The women’s portrayals often went from vague to downright sexist. Cooks, waitresses, and medical personnel!?
• Their almost elaborate set of weapons was probably never realistic to flying through space in a metal cylinder.
• Though the desperation was vivid, the crew sometimes came off as cavalier idiots early on.

Discussion:
In space, your screaming just annoys they hungry alien. In spite of its low budget, independent nature, this film provided something rather fresh for the time. Yes, monsters and interconnected “atomic age” themes were incredibly popular in the 1950s, but mixing that with a game of survival in space was certainly less common. In fact, a near invulnerable monster on your space ship is probably one of the most horrifying concepts. There is literally nowhere to go or hide. There is no neighbor to run to or police to call. You are automatically trapped in a corner with some kind of make-shift weapon, if you are lucky. You might find yourself lucky enough to survive and destroy the creature. If not, screaming may never have even mattered. It! gave us a blueprint, no matter how dated some elements, of what was to come in the realms of SciFi-Horror.


Rotten Tomatoes — 69%

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