It! The Terror from Beyond Space

Year: 1958

Production: Vogue / United Artists

Director: Edward L. Cahn

Starring: Marshall Thompson, Shawn Smith, Kim Spalding

Screenwriter: Jerome Bixby

69 minutes; B/W

In this largely mediocre film there are good, tense moments. The crew of a spaceship returning from Mars discover that "something" has stowed away: a monster which attacks crew members (for their blood and soft parts) and stores their bodies in the ship's ventilation system as future snacks. The survivors are slowly forced to retreat, section by section, as the seemingly invulnerable creature takes over the ship. An effective build-up of suspense takes place so long as the monster is kept vague and shadowy. The ending (the crew don spacesuits then asphyxiate the monster by draining the craft of oxygen) is one of several plot similarities to the later Alien (1979), but It! The Terror from Beyond Space itself cannot claim great originality, being reminiscent of A.E. Van Vogt's (uncredited) "The Black Destroyer" (1939).

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

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