THE COSMIC MONSTER (COSMIC MONSTERS) (THE STRANGE WORLD OF PLANET X)
(director: Gilbert Gunn; screenwriters: Paul Ryder/story by Rene Ray; cinematographer: Joe Ambor; editor: Frances Brieber; music: Robert Sharples; cast: Forrest Tucker (Gilbert Graham), Gaby Andre (Michele Dupont), Martin Benson (Smith), Wyndham Goldie (Brigadier Cartwright), Alec Mango (Dr. Laird), Hugh Latimer (Jimmy Murray), Geoffrey Chater (Gerard Wilson), Catherine Lancaster (Gillian Betts), Susan Redway (Jane Hale), Hilda Fennemore (Mrs Hale), Patricia Sinclair (Helen Forsyth), Dandy Nichols (Mrs. Tucker), Richard Warner (Inspector Burns), Pete Copley (News Editor); Runtime: 77; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: George Maynard; Warner Brothers; 1958=B/W-UK)
“It features a dapper alien, a crazed vagrant, a mad scientist, a UFO and giant bugs.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A black and white shot low-budget mad scientist B sci-fi film from Britain, that’s adequately helmed by Gilbert Gunn (“Girls At Sea”/”What a Whopper”). It’s based on the 1957 story by Rene Ray and is written by Paul Ryder, whose dialogue is clunky. It features a dapper alien, a crazed vagrant, a mad scientist, a UFO and giant bugs. The giant bugs were merely insects enlarged from other B movies, and were not very scary.
At a lab in rural England, in the sleepy village of Briarley Bay, the eccentric Dr. Laird (Alec Mango) and his staff work for the Brit government on a project involving magnetic fields and impress the military by the magnetic field manipulation turning copper supple. The local villagers complain that the experiments interfere with their evening TV reception, but are ignored. On the night of a freak storm, an assistant is injured as the experiment crashes. Soon it’s discovered insects mutate into flesh-eating giant bugs and a harmless vagrant with new facial burns suddenly goes berserk and strangles a young lady (Catherine Lancaster) walking in the Briarley Woods.
The assistants at the lab are the American, Gilbert Graham (Forrest Tucker), and the pretty new female assistant from France, Michele Dupont (Gaby Andre, French actress whose voice is dubbed). Michelle replaces the assistant injured in the disastrous previous experiment, and becomes the love interest of Graham. He initially didn’t think females could be good scientists and was against her appointment.
The friendly alien from Planet X, Mr. Smith (Martin Benson), arriving in a flying saucer, seeks to warn Graham and Dupont about the dangers of their experiment and if it should tear a hole in the protective ozone layer cosmic rays will destroy the Earth. Smith warns that the last experiment caused only local damage, and should serve as a warning to stop further experiments. The government official responsible for funding the project, Brigadier Cartwright (Wyndham Goldie), calls out the military to kill the giant bugs in the woods. Meanwhile Laird refuses to stop the experiment and kills the Deputy Defense Minister (Geoffrey Chater) who goes to the lab to stop further experiments.
The sanest person in the film is the alien, who makes every effort to appear like a normal person from Earth.
REVIEWED ON 5/28/2017 GRADE: B- https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/