TERROR IN 3-D… REACHING FROM THE SCREEN TO SEIZE YOU IN ITS GRASP!
On a clear night in Arizona, John and Ellen (Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush) witness a meteorite crash near a small town; after approaching the site, they realize that it was actually a spaceship… The first of Jack Arnold’s string of popular and now classic sci-fi movies starts out with a bang. A 3D predecessor to Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), with similar themes, its Cold War symbolism and extra-terrestrials are creatively conceived. The story is straightforward and highlights mankind’s worst tendencies. Unintentionally funny sometimes, but the cast handles silliness well and Arnold maintains tension. The Mojave Desert location is a nice complement.
1953-U.S. 81 min. B/W. Produced by William Alland. Directed by Jack Arnold. Screenplay: Harry Essex. Short Story: Ray Bradbury (“The Meteor”). Cast: Richard Carlson (John Putnam), Barbara Rush (Ellen Fields), Charles Drake (Matt Warren), Russell Johnson, Joe Sawyer, Kathleen Hughes.
Trivia: Followed by a TV movie, It Came From Outer Space II (1996).
Last word: “I don’t know why Jack Arnold decided to show [the alien] several times; I will say that he was a very bright, very careful man, and I’m sure that if he thought it had to be seen several times, then it was probably to the picture’s benefit. How can you fault anybody who makes a successful picture for what he does? We called that monster ‘The Fried Egg’, by the way.” (Essex, “Interviews with B Science Fiction and Horror Movie Makers”)