Once again, classic scifi this time the British film The Strange World of Planet X (also known as Cosmic Monsters, The Crawling Terror, The Cosmic Monster, and The Crawling Horror, what a mouthful!) is a comedy of of errors, with each action perfectly timed to coincide with the next as if some comical machine… oh wait, that’s the wrong film, I am thinking of Oscar, that’s a review for another day.
This however, is a story all about how my bugs got zapped got made real big, and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there and I’ll tell you about a man who messed with the magnetosphere..
We have a human who is so focused on his work that he’ll kill to keep on track, we have giant bugs, we have an alien who learns English by listening to the radio and gets misunderstood by the population.
Except we don’t really have that, it’s almost as if we have the majority of these elements but they’re not entirely fleshed out, instead of being developed fully and taking the plot in what would have been interesting (especially at the time) directions, we have an Alien who is misunderstood for all of two seconds before he gets to explain himself, we’ve got giant bugs that are removed as a threat rather quickly and we’ve got a crackpot scientist who never had the threat of his invention explained to him.
Can we blame a crazy scientist who has merely been told the experiment, his life’s work, needs to stop without explanation?
Do we feel for the Alien who manages to explain himself before he’s had any threat to his life?
Should we fear giant insects when the Alien can easily render them harmless?
Apparently this film didn’t do terribly well on it’s initial release, gaining popularity later on in its life and I completely see why, it’s a bit long for what it is, especially by the standards of the day, and it’s not as fleshed out as I would have liked, we could have had more conflict, more danger, there’s nothing to keep you on the edge of your seats unfortunately.
But hey ho, another foray into classic films, maybe next time I’ll get to watch the world end or something.