HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
   
 
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
   
 
  Man from Planet X, The Hey Mr Spaceman
Year: 1951
Director: Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Robert Clarke, Margaret Field, Raymond Bond, William Schallert, Roy Engel, David Ormont, Gilbert Fallman
Genre: Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Reporter John Lawrence (Robert Clarke) sits alone in an old tower on a Scottish island, jotting down the story of the past few days for posterity. He had been in an observatory near Los Angeles where the professor working there told him that there was a huge object in the heavens heading this way. He called this object Planet X, and warned of tidal waves and hurricanes if it were to get too close, never mind what would happen if it collided with Earth. Lawrence had been contacted by Professor Elliot (Raymond Bond) who was conducting research on the remote Scottish island, so sensing a good story for his newspaper, he headed over there, little realising that what he was to encounter would put the world in danger...

Written by Aubrey Wisberg and Jack Pollexfen, The Man from Planet X was one of the earliest alien invasion movies of the fifties, and one of those which heralded a golden age for the genre. Working with an obviously meagre budget, director Edgar G. Ulmer puts the fog machine into overdrive to hide the shaky sets (borrowed from the Ingrid Bergman version of Joan of Arc) and keeps things as dark and gloomy as possible, with the result that the film is one of the eeriest of the time rather than being risibly ramshackle. It may feature scientists as apparent saviours, but it's Lawrence the journalist who is there to save the day, even if the actual outcome is more complicated than the simple story might suggest.

When Lawrence arrives at the island by ship, he is greeted by Elliot's daughter Enid (Margaret Field) who is helping her father with his research. Seeing she is all grown up since he last met her, Lawrence starts to flirt with her a little too enthusiastically, which is par for the course in films like this. But never mind that, he has to meet Elliot and his assistant, the shady Dr Mears (William Schallert), who has a dark secret in his past and is patently a dodgy character seeing as how he has a black beard which he strokes at moments of contemplation.

But what of the Man from Planet X? Well, he takes a while to appear, but when he does it's in a scene shot as if, like the rest of the film, it were part of a ghost story. After taking Lawrence back to his rooms at the local inn, Enid's car breaks down on the moors, and walking back to the tower she notices a flashing light up ahead. Curious, she investigates and finds a large object (described as a kind of diving bell later on) with light blinking on and off through its windows. Creeping up to one of those windows, Enid peers inside and is terrified to see an unearthly face emerging from the gloom to meet her stare...

From then on the thrills, such as they are, rattle along nicely as Lawrence and Elliot go out to the diving bell and have their own confrontation with the mystery man, who looks a bit like Meryl Streep with a goldfish bowl on her head. Received with suspicion, he gets no sympathy at his attempts to communicate, and Dr Mears ends up attacking him (he's surprisingly weak for an alien invader). He then decides it's time to administer the mind control ray, which unfortunately makes anyone, not just the X Man, able to influence those under its power, and the military are brought in. But the film has a haunting quality thanks to the ambiguity of what the Man from Planet X really wanted - to save his people, sure, but not necessarily at the expense of us humans; and so the movie's melancholy tone makes it special. Don't mention the weird "Scottish" accents, though. Music by Charles Koff.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4811 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: