It Conquered The World Review

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A scientist, Tom Anderson, paying attention to radio signals from space invites a Venusian who promises to help him create a utopian world but actually plans to conquer the Earth.


The wildest of Roger Corman's '50s rubber monster features (with only Attack of the Crab Monsters offering real competition) features a squat, snarling Venusian monster who resembles a giant turnip with teeth whose invasion is abetted by bat‑like devices which enslave sundry human tools.

'It' beams down to Earth via radio waves and hides in a murky cave where the weird creature is kept in the shadows, and causes worldwide panic by shutting off all power a la The Day the Earth Stood Still, though we only get to see what's going on in the small town near the cave. Staunch Peter Graves is the earnest hero scientist, swarthy Lee Van Cleef the misguided villain scientist and gutsy Beverly Garland the gutsy girl who goes after 'It' with her handbag.

Despite the ludicrous menace, it has some very eerie moments, and the script notably refuses to go along with the cliches of the form, killing off the wrong characters - when Graves's wife welcomes him home in cheery 1950s sit-com fashion, she tosses a mind-controlling bat at him and is shot dead - and allowing for a heroic act of self‑sacrifice on the baddy's part ('I invited you to this planet and you made it a charnel house!').

Corman, an engineer, reasoned that the inhabitant of a high-gravity planet like Venus would be squat and powerful, but Garland gave the Paul Blaisdell-created creature a solid kick on the set that convinced the producer-director that in all future films he would make the monster taller than the leading lady.

Fun and occasionally genuinely spooky.