Cosmic Monsters

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COSMIC MONSTERS showed Eisenhower he was right to beef up the Army’s budget after they did such a wizpoor job fighting maxi-locusts in the battle for Chicago because at the same time, 1957, across the Atlantic, our allies in Great Britain were also dealt a sticky wicket with giant insects.  Their problem came from outer space, via ‘cosmic rays’ that break through an ionosphere weakened by another foolish scientific experiment. This time the scientist is Forrest Tucker, whose fiddling has allowed the beams in, driving some people homicidal and causing bugs to enlarge and assorted villagers to go missing. Then a strange visitor (Martin Benson) shows up and lays down some intergalactic warnings.

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Directed by Gilbert Gunn, in England the 75-minute goofiness was known as THE STRANGE WORLD OF PLANET X, but neither title snagged crowds. Like Beginning Of The End, this goes the cheap route and the munchers—-centipedes, a mantis, beetles, a spider and a grasshopper—are again magnified and process-shot matched against the screaming mammals. Done at night, in the woods, some of it looks fairly creepy. The acting and writing, however, are not so polished. “But awoman? This is preposterous. This is highly skilled work.”

With Gaby André, Alec Mango, Wyndham Goldie (‘Brigadier Cartwright’) and Richard Warner. Composer Robert Sharples starts it off with some OK use of a theremin. One of a trio of Tucker’s ’57-8 excursions into Brit thrillers, along The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas and The Crawling Eye.

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