Phantom From 10000 Leagues & Beast With A Million Eyes (Midnight Movies Double Feature) (DVD review).


‘The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues’ was made in 1956. People are killed in the ocean, washing up ashore with radiation burns and the rumour of a phantom creature. Two independent investigators, Bill Grant from the US Department of Defence and the other, Doctor Stevens, an undersea radiation expert, finally collaborate to find out what is really going on. Is it Professor King or George Thomas, the man from the college with the intense eyebrows?

There are some shades of ‘The Creature From The Black Lagoon’ with this picture although the gloriously ridiculous beastie isn’t interested in procuring a bride and more like protecting its territory. When you consider how easy it can upset boats, it’s amazing how quickly Stevens can row his boat out of danger than be attacked as others have earlier on. Wisely, the phantom beast has only a couple minutes screen time while Stevens and Lois King have romance.

Geologically, I find it weird even back then that they chose to have raw uranium on the ocean floor because usually it is part of pitchblende needing to be filtered out. To do otherwise risks having critical mass which makes radiation burns mild in comparison.

At the very least, ‘The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues’ is a watchable low grade ‘B’ movie, which is more than can be said for…

The Beast With A Million Eyes (1958) 78 minutes

cast: Paul Birch, Lorna Thayer, Dona Cole, Dick Sargent, Leonard Thayer and Chester Cocklin

‘The Beast With A Million Eyes’ actually introduces itself as a voice-over in the opening. The beastie also gets less screen time than the other film. A family owning a rundown farm is affected by a weird hum that turns tame animals wild and dangerous as an alien force tries to take over their minds. It is staying together that keeps them alive. All it really wants is the daughter but ultimately dies. The beastie, not the daughter who finds her own happiness. I think that’s the whole plot.

Even had I seen it when it first came out, I would have it under the trade description act as to whether it was Science Fiction or not. Whether it could have been a stronger film with a different cast is hard to say but it would certainly win its class as a B movie or a lower letter in the alphabet.

Looking back critically now, I think I would have reduced the cast more and developed the plot more and would still have stayed in budget and given the SF aspect more to do in the story. Logistically, an alien that can use a device to turn tame animals feral should have been something to reckon with than presented here.

GF Willmetts

December 2014

(region 1 DVD: pub: 20th Century Fox/MGM Double sided DVD Price: about £ 2.85 (UK) if you know where to look. ASIN: B000UDGOB6)

Subtitles: English, Spanish and French

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