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Category Archives: Movie Reviews 1951

From the DVD case: Arctic researchers discover a huge, frozen spaceling inside a crash-landed UFO, then fight for their lives after the murderous being (a pre-Gunsmoke James Arness) emerges from icy captivity. Will other creatures soon follow? The famed final words of this film are both warning and answer: “Keep watching the skies!” (1951, b&w)

Mark says: It would be difficult to find a vintage sci-fi movie enthusiast who doesn’t rate this film as one of his favorites. Not only is it a fantastic story (based on John W. Campbell Jr’s Who Goes There?) but it is supported with capable acting and excellent overlapping dialog that keeps the plot moving. The Arctic setting gives the film a powerful sense of isolation, even more than the desert motif used in many later films of the genre.

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Unknown World PosterFrom the video box: With the threat of nuclear annihilation by the major world powers, a group of scientists build a fantastic burrowing machine to journey to the center of the Earth in search of a safe haven from the deadly radiation that would make life on the surface impossible. At Earth’s core they find a spectacular cavern system that can support human life, but giant volcanic eruptions, weird subterranean lightning storms and other perils threaten the expedition. Can they hope to survive? (1951, b&w)

Mark says: Just thinking about this movie makes me yawn.

Unknown World is basically Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth minus any excitement. Even special effects by producers Jack Rabin and Irving Block (Kronos, Cat-Women of the Moon) can’t make this an interesting flick. Though the burrowing machine (“Cyclotram”) seems to promise some thrills, it ultimately fails to pay off.

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