It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958)

It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

It! The Terror From Beyond Space Photos

Movie Info

One of the best of the medium-budgeted science fiction flicks of the 1950s, It! The Terror from Beyond Space is set in "the future" (1973, to be exact). An rescue ship travels out to Mars to retrieve the only survivor of a space probe that has experienced some sort of cataclysm. That survivor, Col Ed Carruthers (Marshall Thompson) is accused of murdering his fellow crewmen. But Ed claims that the killer was a Martian monster, and hopes to prove his assertions by signing up for a second journey to the Red Planet. Before long, the crew members of this second expedition are being systematically killed off, and it looks as though Ed is up to his old tricks. As it turns out, however, Ed was telling the truth: there is a monster on board, the savage descendant of the once-mighty Martian civilization, who snuck on board when an irresponsible crew member left the door open. The monster stays alive by absorbing the vital body fluids of its victims-and there seems to be no way to stop this parasitic creature! If the plot of It! The Terror from Beyond Space seems vaguely familiar, it is because it was one of the primary inspirations for the 1979 sci-fi classic Alien.
Classics , Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Marshall Thompson
as Carruthers
Shawn Smith
as Ann Anderson
Kim Spalding
as Van Heusen
Ann Doran
as Mary Royce
Dabbs Greer
as Eric Royce
Paul Langton
as Calder
Robert Bice
as Purdue
Richard Benedict
as Bob Finelli
Richard Hervey
as Gino Finelli
Thom Carney
as Kienholz
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for It! The Terror From Beyond Space

All Critics (16)

As with Alien and Jaws, for example, the most frightening things about this creature are the things that we don't see.

Full Review… | June 8, 2015

It's a wonderful little horror thriller that will whet the appetites of fans that love claustrophobic genre pictures.

Full Review… | October 9, 2013
Cinema Crazed

Unintentionally funny low-budget 'Fifties horror effort. ("Mars is almost as big as Texas," one character thoughtfully muses at a point. "Maybe it's got monsters.")

Full Review… | May 10, 2012
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Combination science fiction film and thriller is an early look at space travel on film.

Full Review… | January 31, 2012
Classic Film and Television

In tone, it's really the predecessor of James Cameron's gung-ho sequel Aliens.

Full Review… | October 31, 2011

One of the best sci-fi flicks of the '50s; the basis for 'Alien.'

March 8, 2008

Audience Reviews for It! The Terror From Beyond Space


Love these old movie titles that are sooo long, 'The Terror that Emerged from Darkest Space and Glooped its way Across the Technicolor!'. This movie does appear to be the inspiration for that classic Alien movie called...errmm...'Alien'. Indeed the plot is very familiar, but for the time I think it was a nice change of pace. Its easy to assume that this plot would go down the usual route of an alien lifeform loose inside a ship killing everyone, or the same thing, but on another planets surface. Interestingly its all about a rescue crew that pick up one last survivor of a previous mission to Mars. All of the crew from that previous mission are dead accept one man, Col. Carruthers, he is suspected of murdering the crew so he could survive longer with the food rations. The Col claims an alien creature killed everyone but is unable to prove it, low and behold said creature finds its way on-board their ship just before it blasts off back to Earth. Let the killing begin! What follows is a very lowkey and much more down to earth horror thriller than most of this genre (and era). There are no pretty boys here, its all unfit looking middle aged men with receding hairlines, clearly some are more blue collar than the others (with local accents and names like Gino), and a couple women...again not exactly centre-page types either. Its very much the working man in space, with a few, more intelligent types, for good measure. The ship is amusingly basic in design, much like something from a Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes cartoon actually, and doesn't really contain anything fancy, no big laser weapons or teleports etc...All the sets are very simple, obviously based on real technology of the time to a degree, and add to the plot by giving the crew real problems to solve (instead of just whipping out some hi-tech futuristic gizmo to save the day). You can clearly see the similarities between this movie and that Ridley Scott flick. The way this movie has been shot, the camera angles, the shadow work, hiding the beast for as long as possible, the air ducts, the crew eating together, they smoke, using an airlock to kill the creature, utilising spacesuits, finding the beast impossible to kill etc...The more you watch, the more you see Dan O'Bannon kinda ripped this movie off. The main difference here being the crew are stocked to the gills with all sorts of weapons. The weapons actually let this movie down really, first off why would futuristic space age man have revolvers, rocket launchers and grenades on their Mars bound spaceship? Secondly they actually set a trap within the ship using the hand grenades, lots of them! Now call me cautious, but wouldn't that be kinda dangerous to the ships interior? and a slightly wild and uncontrolled way to set a trap, in a confined space. Talk about collateral damage! Next I find it amusing how nothing kills this thing, nothing! Its bullet proof, gas proof, rocket launcher proof (yes they fire rocket launchers inside their control room), radiation proof, fire proof etc...Eventually they kill it with suffocation, although I'm amazed it wasn't oxygen proof too. The creature is simply a man in a rubber suit I'm afraid, a very obvious crinkled rubber suit. Now on the plus side the creature mask is quite convincing, quite scary for the time I'll bet, its a nice design. The frame of the beast is also good, the actor inside was obviously quite tall, he's padded out, the hands and feet are big, and the claws are a solid touch, in silhouette the alien is pretty fearsome. A lot of the design work is down to the oversized hands actually, along with the aliens slightly pointed shaped head, the three fingered/clawed hands look great in shadow/silhouette, hence the clear imagery on the movies poster. Unfortunately the bloke inside the suit didn't work too hard on his alien-esque movements, he runs and walks around like some set worker, its quite amusing actually, you half expect him to whip out a ciggie at any moment. The acting is pretty good throughout, there are good moments tension with some eerie shots, and in general the effects are effective. Of course there will be some unintentionally funny moments to the modern day viewer, especially with the space walking outside the ship, effects. Its hilarious how a simple bulb pings on and off to alert the crew in an airlock when its safe to leave, especially when you can see the door is a regular door and you can see the slight crack around the door! Its also amusing how the rescue crew allow Carruthers (the suspected guilty crew member) to wonder around with complete freedom, he can even play chess with them and is allowed to search for other missing crew members. Why isn't this guy locked up? Definitely a fun B-movie with some lovely hokey space effects for us fanboys. Even though the man in the rubber alien suit is pretty funny in the way he moves, it also spoils the movies tension really. Still, its another classic in every aspect with the alien design becoming a well know image in the sci-fi horror archives. For once the movies poster does do the film justice too, its actually an accurate portrayal of what happens in the movie.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


This movie was ripped off by the Alien movie. It was made in 1958. The writers actually thought that we would send not one but two ships to Mars in 1973. The movie starts with a news conference in a Washington D.C. official's office. When does anyone in Washington have a news conference in their office? The news was that the commander of the first ship to Mars had murdered his entire crew after crash landing. Then all the reporters jumped up and ran out of the room. Back on Mars the rescue ship is getting ready to lift off when one of the crew leaves the air lock hatch open while dumping trash. A Mars Monster sneaks aboard the spaceship. It was the Monster that had killed the first crew. After the ship takes off the monster kills one of the rescue ship crew. The ship has several stories. The crew has to barricade themselves in the top of the ship. Amazingly on a trip to Mars they brought pistols, a rifle, grenades, gas bombs, and a bazooka. Even with all this firepower they can't kill the monster. Just as in the Alien movie they kill the monster by putting on their space suits and opening an air lock letting out all the air out of the ship. Lot of the movie has no dialog just the actors looking for the monster and being scared. Two members of the crew were women. One seemed to be the ship doctor and the wife of one of the crew. The other is a nurse. Both seemed to be the ship cooks and waitresses. Before they discovered the monster the men set around a table eating while the women served them food and coffee. The youngest woman also was the girl friend of the ship's Captain and she also falls in love with the Captain of the first ship who was being accused of murder by the second Captain.

Donald White
Donald White

In this classic 50's sci-fi drive in movie. Col. Edward Carruthers(Marshall Thompson)loses his crew to an alien monster than drains it's victims of their blood and water(even from the bone marrow and tissue)during an expedition on Mars. A second space vessel, one of rescue when the first ship crashes on Mars, picks up Carruthers who is not believed by anyone including his government back home that an alien monster killed his crew. That is until, they themselves are being killed one by one after the monster found a way into their ship on it's way off Mars to Earth. It seems almost indestructible after countless attempts by the crew to kill it with grenades and guns. Somehow the crew will have to find a way to destroy it as the monster holes them up on the bridge after getting through their first two department levels. What's even worse is that two of the crew, including leader of the rescue mission, Col Van Heusen(Kim Spalding), are attacked by the creature with a bacterial infection spreading into their bone marrow. Another crew member, Lt. James Calder(Paul Langton)is stuck in the lower engineering room with the monster after he and Carruthers attempt to electrocute it. Hiding between the Induction pumps which make the ship land properly and orbit safely, Calder keeps a blowtorch at it's eyes not allowing it to get him(..although, his leg is broken). That presents a problem in itself..if that creature were to attack the equipment in that engineering area, the space ship would not be able to land, but merely drift in space. And, to add to all this, a sick and jealous Van Heusen(he's in love with Ann, played by Shirley Patterson, who is bonding with Carruthers)unshields the reactor hoping radiation will kill the monster who is caught in the room with it after Carruthers closes the hatch to that specific room. Now, the crew, or who's left of them, will have to figure out a way to stop the creature with most of the ship full of radiation! A possible solution, regarding the monster's desperate need of oxygen due to it's huge lungs, may be the crew's only means of harming it. Despite being dated and low-budget, this sci-fi thriller is a winner. The idea of a crew having to match wits with an almost unkillable alien beast adds a great deal to the film even if the monster is merely a man in a hideous rubber suit. I credit director Ed L Cahn and writer Jerome Bixby for creating a tense situation which is pretty much "The Thing from Another World" set in a space ship. Still, that whole "race against time" angle along with the idea of "having few places to run" just makes this little B-film a must for fans of 50's creature features. Cahn and Bixby create an intelligent flick that makes up for the budgetary constraints with taut situations where these characters have to come up with ways to combat their predator when options are limited. Highly recommended if your into these kinda movies. It's clear when you watch this flick how much Ridley Scott's "Alien" was inspired by it.

David Ladd
David Ladd

Super Reviewer

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