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It! the Terror from beyond Space

Film (1958). Vogue/United Artists. Directed by Edward L Cahn. Written by Jerome Bixby. Cast includes Shawn Smith, Kim Spalding and Marshall Thompson. 69 minutes. Black and white.

In this largely mediocre film there are some 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 generally reminiscent of A E van Vogt's (uncredited) "Black Destroyer" (July 1939 Astounding) and, even more so, "Discord in Scarlet" (December 1939 Astounding). [JB/DRL]

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Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 01:34 am on 23 January 2022.
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