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20 Million Miles to Earth Reviews

Page 1 of 9
Phil H

Super Reviewer

May 24, 2013
Now you'd think judging by the lizard-like monster running around that this is yet another nuclear experiment gone tits up by the Americans. But no, this time its actually a captured alien from the  planet Venus that has been set free by some stupid little Italian kid with a cowboy fetish.

So in this film there is life on Venus and man has been there!, some strong imagination there considering the intense surface heat, unsavory atmosphere and atmospheric pressure. The creature in question also seems to have a slightly aquatic look about it too, almost like the 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' or the Kraken, similar scaly appearance, but living on Venus is quite out of the question I'm afraid.

Anyway realism aside this is your typical bog standard beastie runs amok affair really with very little on offer. I know that sounds really harsh but by this point we've had two good Harryhausen monster flicks and this does feel a bit of a rehash. We've had a giant four legged dinosaur-like lizard and a giant octopus, so this creature doesn't really feel very original, a bipedal dinosaur-like lizard creature. It still looks terrific of course, the usual high standards of Harryhausen.

To be honest there is only one truly great sequence in this film for me and that's the fight against the elephant. Not only does it visually look excellent but the detail and animation for the elephant is some of Ray's best work for me, much better than the creature. Watch its movements and even the way he's captured the thick heavy skin...even around the elephants legs, the saggy skin.

The other highlight is actually the old 50's footage of Italy and the Colosseum (yes the film is set in Italy). The film really gives a wonderful panorama of this ancient Roman architectural feat, truly superb, makes me wanna go see it asap ha!. Love how the Italian military are happy to shoot bazooka's at their priceless ancient ruins.

Another slice of monster rampage that is fun in places but is bogged down with a lot of planning dialog and the usual romantic side plot. Glad they have changed the general storyline from nuclear weapons but end of the day the film is still a bit of a cookie cutter fan film. Shame we never find out more about the alien race from Venus or how they captured one, what was that jelly stuff they had it encased in? I think it was a baby, who knows.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

February 14, 2013
Apart from the many unanswered questions, the awkward, forced and frankly unnecessary romantic scenes and the fact it feels like the film starts half way through the story, it is absolutely brilliant. Nathan Juran deserves big credit, not only because his directional skills are second to none but because Ray Harryhausen always seems to steal his thunder. Both deserve praise for their work here. Alien vs. Elephant, what's not to love about that!? As is custom in all my Ray Harryhausen related reviews I will again point out that I met him once and he was an interesting character.

Super Reviewer

December 28, 2011
The biggest misconception about "Ray Harryhausen movies" is that people are under the impression that he was the sole creative driving force behind them when all he did was the special and mechanical effects. There are very few times when a film he works on turns out to be good. 20 Million Miles to Earth falls somewhere in between and winds up just being mediocre. The story itself is pretty silly and boring for the most part, mainly because there isn't any real tension for the characters other than the fact that there is a monster on a rampage. In other words, a lack of drama. Actually this movie reeks of King Kong, without being quite as good. There's some excellent camera work and some very good stop motion (as per usual), but the boring story doesn't save it. See it to see Harryhausen's work on display, which goes back to my original point about why people remember these films. His work is the most impressive thing about them.

Super Reviewer

September 5, 2010
A strange creature comes 20 million miles to Earth, obviously. This movie was okay, it has some great clay animation, but the story is kind of silly.

Super Reviewer

February 3, 2009
A great watch, not so much for the story as for the fantastic animation compliments of legendary Ray Harryhausen.
Cindy I

Super Reviewer

January 13, 2008
One of the better giant monster movies to come out of the 1950's, with truly excellent work by Ray Harryhausen. An egg is brought back from a space mission to Venus. It hatches out a creature that's part man, part lizard and growing at an alarming rate, from the size of a house cat to the size of a full-grown gorilla overnight. It eventually becomes Godzilla-sized, and begins terrorizing Rome, and the military is forced to take action. Performances by the cast are just standard, but some good action sequences.
Byron B

Super Reviewer

April 21, 2008
The opening and hence the reason for the title is kind of lame. Ray Harryhausen's effects are impressive throughout, however, as are several of the Italian set pieces. The Venusian Ymir is the sympathetic sort of monster, like Frankenstein's Monster or King Kong, who is mistreated by man. In fact, this film's plot is highly influenced by the 1933 King Kong with visual effects by Harryhausen's mentor Willis O'Brien. The ending, in particular, is a near copy of the end faced by the giant gorilla. The worst part was the forced romance between the lady doctor (Taylor) and the Colonel (Hopper). As the only woman with a speaking role, Joan Taylor's character is written in a confusing manner. She's a strong-minded woman in the medical profession, who inexplicably changes her mind and falls for the domineering Colonel, besides being your run-of-the-mill creature feature scream queen.
Eduardo T

Super Reviewer

March 13, 2012
A wise man once told me that you should rate classic films as if it was back then. Well, back then this still was horrible. Even thought it's no longer intense and thrilling that doesn't mean It was good back then just because of intensity and thrills. What about the other techs like acting and writing. This film had a weak script. There was no character development or dept. It started off to fast. I felt nothing for the characters and they where put in the film just to have an excused to have a monster terrorize the town. The plot was also really weak. They added a romance but did absolutely nothing with it. Why not just take the romance part out. The action scenes where really boring and unrealistic. I know this was made in the late fifties but that's no excused. I did like the stop motion especially between the monster and the elephant. But the extra thrills just where missing. If you like these types of films then just watch the classic King Kong, after all this was inspired by it.

Super Reviewer

March 1, 2009
Five words: Venusian having a post-menstrual syndrome.
June 24, 2013
Featuring awesome Ray Harryhausen animation, 20 Million Miles to Earth is fun--if rather derivative--piece of 50s sci-fi. There is nothing overly new or original here other than Harryhausen's always fun special effects.
January 17, 2012
A blast from the past. One of the better monster films and if you might notice on the first run through that all the Earth creatures attack the monster first that starts out rather benign but ends up getting angrier and angrier by the end of the film it's fighting everything to just stay alive.
June 6, 2011
This is on because it's October, OMGosh, how Fakey is this Alien Monster?I see all these Flixteronados giving it 4 Stars & I just don't get it, I guess I'm not the Bad B Movie Type, sorry, it did make me laugh because it's soooo ridiculous.
January 29, 2010
Wonderful Ray Harryhausen stop motion animation makes this a classic despite an obviously low budget and so-so acting.
October 11, 2009
I found this to be an entertaining and kind of imaginative 50's science fiction film about an mysterious spacecraft that is found by fishermen.
July 1, 2009
The quintessential Harryhausen showcase. Plot is absurd and the acting is horrendous but you have to love the FX. The extras on the disc are a must see for fans of early sci-fi and stop-motion.
June 3, 2009
Doesn't hold a candle to the story of King Kong, but the stop motion animation is top notch. I'm hereby renaming it stop-motion imagination. It makes me giddy. The battle between the alien and the elephant was so much fun! Harryhausen is some sort of supreme being.
January 7, 2008
This is one of the first Sci-fi horror flicks from the 50's I ever saw on Saturday morning. Classic campy B-movie stuff.
October 4, 2007
This is a classic for me. The creature alone dictates that. Is the Ymir not one of the coolest looking creatures/monsters ever?

I haven't had a chance to see the new colorized version yet, and I hear mixed opinions on it. Some say it looks great and natural, while others say it's just not meant to be. I guess Harryhausen wanted for it to be in color originally, so he himself endorsed the update.

Not only that, but color versions of 'It Came Beneath the Sea' and 'Earth vs. The Flying Saucers' are on the way, too!
February 26, 2007
Jason is my favorite Harryhausen. I met him at Lincoln Center two years ago and have an autographed copy of his book. They showed Jason and the 7th Voyage. Don't you hate me even more now?
February 17, 2007
My favorite of Ray Harryhausen's work. The man is an Artist. Be sure to save some time to view the DVD extras, for more samples of Ray's stop motion work.
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