Space Master X-7 (1958)

Article #1033 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-12-2004
Posting Date: 6-10-2004
Directed by Edward Bernds
Featuring Bill Williams, Lyn Thomas, Robert Ellis

When a space fungus gets loose in Los Angeles, authorities attempt to trace a carrier of the fungus to prevent it from spreading.

The opening of this movie is fairly weak, with one of those “public service warnings” followed by a subplot that plays out like a really bad soap opera. However, once the fungus gets loose, the movie shifts to a more effective Dragnet-style hunt film with everyone concerned doing their best to track down the identity and location of an unknown woman carrying the fungus. The realistic style contributes quite a bit to making this cheap little movie a lot more effective than it might otherwise have been, though it doesn’t quite compensate for some glaring logic errors (why, for example, do they not keep the plane to Honolulu from taking off near the end of the movie if they know the carrier is on board?). One of the best performances comes from Moe Howard of all people, in a straight dramatic role as the cab driver who is the only one who can identify the woman; I wouldn’t be surprised if the sequence in which he describes the woman was ad-libbed, as it has that air about it. Thomas Browne Henry is also on hand as a familiar face, and Paul Frees in a rare acting role; if you don’t recognize him, listen for that voice.


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