Phantom from Space Reviews
Plus scenes like, "Oh look. This suit drives the Geiger counter crazy. Let's stand around it and talk while Charlie gets a lead box to put it in.."
Memorable moments, the film was that dull I only remember two things in detail. The first one being the worst comb over I have ever seen being sported by a man in a radio station who pops on frequently to send messages over his tannoy. The second memory I have was when the alien locked the woman in the science lab and watched her labour over some machinery, they should have named this 'Pervert from Space' just because of that scene.
Other criticisms were the amount of narration used to explain this, it was obvious that they must not have had all the facilities possible to just create the story and had to resort to a sort of narration that sounded similar to a news reporter to explain this. One positive is I thought was some of the special effects were pretty good for its day, not all the moving invisible objects were moved by string.
‚Phantom from Space‚? opens with a brief overview of the constant surveillance that our vigilant armed forces maintain on land, at sea, and in the air. An unidentified flying object appears on radar around 7:19 p.m. over Point Barrow, Alaska. The U.F.O. hurdles southward at a projected speed of 5,000 miles per hour but gradually loses both speed and altitude and eventually vanishes off the radar in the vicinity of Santa Monica, California. No sooner has the UFO vanished from radar than people start complaining to the Los Angeles Communications Commission office about radio and television interference. The LACC dispatches mobile units to handle the complaints. Lieutenant Hazen (Ted Cooper of ‚Arizona Manhunt‚?) and his driver Charlie (Tom Daly of ‚Mighty Joe Young‚?) in Mobile Unit 1 encounter Betty Evans (one-time only actress Lela Nelson) near picnic grounds at the beach. She explains an individual in a deep-sea divers outfit wearing a helmet assaulted her husband Ed and their friend Pete. Betty and Pete knew each other because they attended school together. When the ambulance and the police arrive, they find Betty‚(TM)s husband Ed dead and bandage Pete‚(TM)s head injury.
Later, when the police question him, Pete tells inquisitive Lieutenant Bowers (Harry Landers of ‚Charro!‚?): ‚How would you feel if somebody with a helmet with crazy pipes sticking out of it came for you in the dark? And look, I know this sounds--sounds crazy, but there was no head in that helmet.‚? During the interrogation, Bowers receives news about another murder near the beach and leaves to investigate. A neighbor, George Nelson (Harry Strang of ‚Detour‚?), tells Bowers that he found the body after he experienced interference on his television. Hazen rejoins Charlie, and they keep tabs on the interference. They cruise out to the Huntington Beach oil fields. An explosion at the oil field facility claims the third victim. Hazen catches up with Bowers again. Initially, Bowers suspected both Betty and Pete may have killed her husband. However, he changes his mind when he believes a connection may lie between the interference and the homocides. A police sketch artist draws a picture of the mysterious killer that looks like the assailant that confronted Betty and Pete. An oil field facility night watchman (Michael Mark of ‚Jet Pilot‚?) verifies that the sketch resembles the individual he saw by a tank when it blew up.
The Central Bureau in Washington, D.C., has Bowers contact Major Andrews (James Seay of ‚Vera Cruz‚?) and Dr. Wyatt (Rudolph Anders of ‚Magnificent Obsession‚?) at the Griffith Institute Observatory. When Andrews and Wyatt examine the sketch, Andrews believes the so-called "phantom" may be connected with an earlier U.F.O. sighting. Andrews and Wyatt express skepticism about the presence of an alien spaceship. Furthermore, they rule out any possibility that the U.F.O. was either a missile or meteor because of its extreme speed and direction of travel. Wyatt's assistant, Mrs. Barbara Randall (Noreen Nash of ‚Giant‚?), pokes her head to inform Bowers that a newspaper reporter Joe Wakeman (Jack Daly of ‚Raintree County‚?) wants to talk to him. Bowers tells Wakeman nothing that the reporter doesn‚(TM)t already know.
The Phantom (Dick Sands of ‚Casanova's Big Night‚?) appears for the first time in his space outfit about 25 minutes into the action. Andrews, Wyatt, Barbara, Bowers, Hazen, Charlie and Wakeman drive to a brickyard where they have pin-pointed the Phantom. They deploy a Geiger-M√ 1/4ller counter follow his trail of radiation. At one point, Wakeman snaps a picture of him before the Phantom enters a building and sheds his apparel. Our heroes appropriate the Phantom‚(TM)s wardrobe and perform tests on it that surprise them. They to cut, tear, and burn the suit without success. Indeed, they discover that the Phantom‚(TM)s outfit is magnetic. Wyatt, Andrews, and Barbara figure out that the Phantom uses the suit to protect himself in the atmosphere beyond the Earth. Moreover, the helmet supplies the extraterrestrial with gases to breathe because it doesn‚(TM)t use oxygen.
Later, when Barbara is by herself in the lab, the Phantom enters and then locks the door. It taps out a code with a pair of scissors, but Barbara doesn‚(TM)t understand it. She does spot one of its huge footprints when it steps on powder. Barbara‚(TM)s husband Bill arrives, cannot open the door, but hears her voice. The Phantom escapes from the lab with Barbara. Our heroes pursue it through the planetarium. The Phantom returns to the lab and puts on the helmet to breathe. The others show up just as the Phantom exits through a window. After the Phantom‚(TM)s departure, the space suit disintegrates. Barbara discovers under ultraviolet light the Phantom is visible. Wyatt explains to Bowers they are dealing with a super-human form based on the large size of the footprint, the sophisticated technology of the suit and helmet, and the creatures‚(TM) acumen. Wyatt postulates the Phantom must have entered the Earth‚(TM)s atmosphere accidentally. They chase it into the big space telescope chamber and watch it fall to the floor. Before their eyes, the naked man turns to dust.
‚Phantom from Space‚? is a marginal sci-fi outing that audiences can skip without repercussions in the larger scheme of things.