20 Million Miles to Earth Reviews
It concerns a Venus rocket ship which has crashed into the sea of the island of Sicily, leaving one person the sole survivor, or so it seems to be. That person is William Hopper as Colonel Calder, the leader of the gang. It's all going along fine until horror breaks out, when a big and huge dinosaur hatches from an egg and tries to cause chaos.
It certainly does have its moments, and the acting is to an OK standard. There are some scenes that you may find uncomfortable.
To be honest, this horror would have been better if the dinosaur had broken out earlier. But when it does, it will keep you interested until the end because there is a good enough and tense atmosphere to last you through.
As far as 1950's monster movies go that deliver plenty of mayhem, carnage, and fun then this is one of the very best of the lot. Absent are long drawn out dry scenes usually found in these movies slowing everything down that aren't really needed, and instead in its place the pacing is quite swift with the monster actually being present on screen for a good degree of screen time. The plot is simple stuff centred around an Italian boy selling off an alien egg found washed up on the beach, and the resulting ever growing lizard monster on the loose causing havoc wraps up the plot. All fans of monster movies need to give this a look for the sheer entertainment value.
Classic Harryhausen stop-motion too (and I've seen the actual model of the monster, in the flesh).
Love it :-)
The nice thing about 20 Million Miles to Earth is that it's a creature feature where the creature shows up quite early on and continues wrecking havoc right up until the end.
Highly recommended to fans of Harryhausen, stop motion and schlocky old school B movie scifi... that's if you haven't already seen it of course.
Starring William Hopper as Robert Calder
Joan Taylor as Marisa Leonardo
Frank Puglia as Dr. Leonardo
John Zaremba as Dr. Judson Evans
Thomas Browne Henry as Lt. Macintosh
Tito Vuolo as Police Commissioner Unte
Jan Arvan as Contino
Arthur Space as Dr. Sharman
Bart Bradley (later Bart Braverman) as Pepe
Ray Harryhausen cameo
The story is a spaceship crashes to earth, however along with it is a capsule containing an alien.
When this is decovered and it is sold to Dr. Leonardo, a visiting zoologist who is studying sea creatures, the jelly-like glob within the capsule hatches and an alien is grown, whilst this is all going on, the creature grows at an alarming rate,and escapes, later to be re captured and kept sedated at the research lab at the Zoo, the creature is kept subdued due to electric, and of course this fails and it breaks free, going on a killing spree.
It's a not too be taken too seriously horror film, that was in the early days of animation, Enjoyable, but laughable at the same time. Felt sorry for the poor elephant though!
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.
RIP Ray Harryhausen