Friday, June 24, 2016

20 Million Miles to Earth A.K.A. The Beast from Space (1957/2007)

An American science fiction directed by Nathan H. Juran, starring William Hopper, with special effects by Ray Harryhausen.
A space ship from Earth crashes in Italy on it's return from Venus. A boat of fishermen save two men and a boy finds a strange item that he sells to a biologist. The item turns out to be a creature from Venus that grows rapidly. Beset on all sides by violence, it counterattacks.
This was an early masterpiece of compositing by Harryhausen. The plot was extremely simple and the characters stereotypical, but it's all about the monster. I watched the 2007 colorized version, so the video that I saw was pretty good quality. The audio was probably cleaned up as well. A quick note about compositing: The actual monster model would have been only a few inches tall and animated by stop motion, yet we see it on-screen with people, fighting an elephant, etc. I know that would be easy to do in After Effects now, but they didn't have Adobe software in 1957. A wonder of visual effects, but a crappy movie otherwise. Weird pink rating.

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