SPACE MONSTER (1965)
(a.k.a. SPACE PROBE TAURUS)
Article #1785 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-2-2006
Posting Date: 7-2-2006
Directed by Leonard Katzman
Featuring Francine York, James B. Brown, Baynes Barron
Astronauts go to space, meet alien with flicking tongue, are attacked by seafood.
The poster for this movie (which appears on the cover of my VHS casing) features the text, “Horror so incredible, it stretches the mind of man past the breaking point!” I’m telling you, it wasn’t horror that was stretching my mind on this one; I think boredom is closer to the mark here. This movie was the last gasp of fifties-style science fiction, and gasp is the key word here; this movie is about as inept as they come. In fact, this movie is so inept, it even fails in the task of basic exposition; it’s not until an hour into the movie that they even mention that the purpose of the space mission is to visit Taurus and find land suitable for human colonization. It would have taken one line of dialogue to establish this near the beginning of the movie. Its omission leaves a gaping hole in the movie; you watch each scene in the hope of picking up the thread of a storyline without any clue that all you’ll undergo is a series of loosely connected events. Granted, the movie still wouldn’t have been much good even with the correct exposition; I stopped taking it seriously when we first meet the crew, and the captain begins complaining about how he doesn’t like the fact that there is a woman aboard the spaceship, a concept so hackneyed that it only underscores how dated this movie was in 1965. This, combined with uninspired acting, a plodding pace, and subpar special effects, makes for a way-below-average space adventure. And this was the movie where I finally realized that one sure way to try to build suspense and fail is to have someone trying to reach earth on the radio and failing about a hundred times in succession. Years from now, you’ll only remember one thing about this movie, and that is a tongue darting in and out of an alien’s mouth.