It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958)

Rating: **
Review Date: 11/16/14
Cast: Marshall Thompson, Shirley Patterson (Shawn Smith)

"Mars is almost as big as Texas, so there might be monsters on it."

The premise is pretty ridiculous: The first manned mission to Mars results in tragedy, so a rescue mission is mounted just so they can court-martial Captain Edward Carruthers (Marshall Thompson) for the death of his crew. Carruthers claims he's innocent, and that some awful creature wiped out the others. Of course, no one believes him, until that same creature starts taking out the crew of the rescue ship. Immune to bullets, grenades, gas, radiation, and electrical shock, the situation becomes increasingly desperate as the survivors run out of time and ideas for combating the creature. But that doesn't stop romance from blooming between Carruthers and a hot young nurse named Ann (Shirley Patterson). The love triangle between Ann, Carruthers, and the captain of the ship is awkward and absurd, but resolves itself when the captain is infected by alien bacteria and goes insane. It's a fun sci-fi horror film full of tension and dread, as the humans are trapped in a spaceship with an unstoppable force that's out to get them. In many ways, the film is reminiscent of "Alien" (1979), and it ends with an ominous warning: "We should bypass this world. Another word for Mars is Death."