The Unknown Terror (1957)

Article 2811 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-17-2009
Posting Date: 4-24-2009
Directed by Charles Marquis Warren
Featuring John Howard, Mala Powers, Paul Richards
Country: USA

An expedition goes out on a search for a missing explorer who is believed to have disappeared in a cave near a jungle village. The expedition members encounter restless natives, a secretive scientist, and killer fungus.

Since it’s the science fiction films of the fifties that really drew me back to fantastic films in my adult life to begin with, I’m always glad when another one of them pops up on my hunt list; I just wish this one was more rewarding. It’s not a double-stuffed Safari-O (it actually spends very little time on the safari), but that doesn’t mean it’s not mired in routine. We get the standard issue romantic triangle coupled with “the-natives-have-a-secret-and-are-restless” setup and enhanced by the “scientist-with-a-secret” plotline. Throw in a particularly disappointing monster that is only scary if the Scrubbing Bubbles terrify you, and you have an exercise in utterly routine science fiction/horror. For years, I would confuse this one with SPACE MASTER X-7, but not anymore; that one at least generates a decent amount of suspense and throws in Moe Howard to remember it by. Still, this one has former Bulldog Drummond John Howard, and features a performance from Sir Lancelot, singing another calypso song which provides clues for the whereabouts of the missing explorer.

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