Every weekend we're watching movies together...whether you're in Pennsylvania USA, or Sydney Australia. It's a throwback! Back to the days when you had the anticipation for waiting till the weekend to see the classic horror or science fiction film that was listed in the TV Guide. The plan is to watch a movie at 7:30PM on Saturday night in your own time zone. Or, if you can't Saturday night...anytime during the weekend. Then, we'll all get together and e-mail our thoughts on the film...a few paragraphs...or simply a sentence if you'd like. They after-viewing reviews appear first on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.

Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Cartaret, New Jeresey.

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SATURDAY'S MOVIE, AUGUST 11, 2012: MOVIE - Science Fiction "TWENTY MILLION MILES TO EARTH" (1957). Some of the best Ray Harryhausen stop-motion ever to grace the silver screens. And, what a cool looking monster. A space ship crashes in the ocean and the crew killed. An egg that they had brought from Venus floats ashore. A young boy finds it and sells it. The Venusian egg hatches a monster before it can be scrambled. The thing grows to epic proportions and wrestles an elephant along the way.Suggested by Quieny "Santitito," Mexico.

It's a classic and my favorite of the Ray Harryhausen 1950s sci-fi films! It's a monster from "Venus?" "The Planet...Venus?" I love those lines from the press meeting in the film. Beautifully filmed and wonderful stop-motion from the master, Ray Harryhausen.

Right out of the box, the crash landingof the spaceship into the ocean is just awesome (in the true sense of the word).

The monster (although not named in the movie) is known as the Ymir. A reptilian, humanoid beast that is born in a world not his own. A sheer joy of 1950s sci-fi movie making. Plus, Ray oversaw the colorzation process for DVD and Blu-Ray, which is tunning. Don't worry, both formats offer the original Black and White version too...restored. The barn scene lighting and action with the Ymis is both exciting and frightening. Top flight!

-Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA

Decent little movie with incredible Ray Harryhausen special effects
(being redundant, I know)-the Ymir really looks like he's alive and
the battle with the elephant in the Colleseum , plus the general, what
I call, urban renewal of Rome is also well done.I'm not crazy about
this as I can't stand to see the poor Ymir go through all the trials
and tribulations he does here-it's not as though he asked to come
visit! And then being bazookaed at the end is really adding insult to
injury. We need a little resort for all our battered monsters to
recoup! ***

- Steven Schimming, NH

Hey Bash Synchers!

Welcome to a classic, or is it?

First the good part. Ray Harryhausen, His models and effects in this movie are superb. He really pushes the envelope in the dynamation department, with more human contact than ever before, some real powerful scenes, and a LOT of animation. One scene that sticks out to me as being incredibly difficult to pull off is the electric net scene, that must have been a pain to animate! The beginning rocket is also nifty. Ray's attempts at generating sympathy and pathos are good as well, things that he never had the opportunity to do with the Rhedosaur, Octopus and Saucers. He was returning to the roots of Kong and Joe Young.

It is in comparing Kong and Joe Young to this film that we see what is lacking, what keeps it from being a true classic. Despite the fantastic effects, this film leaves me cold. The human element, the story, is so weak. What did Kong have that this film doesn't? A character's relationship WITH the creature. At no point do any of the characters develop a relationship with Ymir. I think that the little boy Pepe could have been used better here. His story becomes a silly subplot and he has no contact with the beast. If he had hung out with the Doctor, formed a bond, been a defender of the thing, it would have added some heart. I know it sounds corny, but as is, the only emotion generated is "cool" at the skill of the effects, but nothing comes from the heart. I remember Dinosaurus, where the boy befriends the Brontosaurus. The effects in that film are cheesy, but you know what? It made me cry when the brontosaurus died. No such tears here for the Ymir. Just imagine during the rampage, the little boy meeting up with Ymir and having a little dance in the famous Roman Fountain, you know, a combination of La Dolce Vita and Peter Jackson's Kong...I know, I know, that is going too far, but for heaven's sake, do something to generate sympathy. I know Ray went to great lengths to show that he is not brutal unless provoked, but no one in the movie cared. Hopper's character in the barn kind of hinted at some connection, but he ends up shooting Ymir like the rest. I think the old professor character had the potential to add some heart as well, heck, he saw the thing at birth, couldn't he have been more caring during the rest of the movie? For example, after he puts the baby Ymir in the cage, he instantly loses his fascination for the creature and insists that Maricela return to the trailer. Wouldn't a real professor have stayed up all night studying the thing?

Another thing that struck me at this viewing was how subtle the title and opening music are. What the heck does 20 Million Miles to Earth mean anyway, to a kid wanting to see a movie in the 50s? It seems such a strange off putting way to present this cool movie, it couldn't have been a help in its promotion. I guess It Came from Venus would have sounded too much like so many other films, but 20 Million Miles to Earth just doesn't make sense to attract attention to this film. Also note that when the title comes up, instead of the usual da-da-DAAAAA, the music is real laid back. Strange. It seems as if Schneer was purposely trying to distance the movie from all the other monster on the loose films. I don't think this was the best way to differentiate it. It would have been better to use Ray's skill to really generate a heart felt relationship with Ymir, that would have made it different from all the others, and brought it back to the classic territory of Kong.

As a monster memory, I must say that for all of my childhood, THIS was the holy grail of monster movies. Many times the Ymir appeared in Famous Monsters,feeling me with desire, a quest to find this fantastic creature, but it never appeared on my TV set. I recently read a book with a list of all the movies on Creature Features out of Oakland CA, where I got my monsters, and it never aired! I didn't see this film until I was 26, on TNT, which filled it with commercials every 8 minutes it seemed they even cut parts of the movie. Now I own the RH colorized DVD and I love it, despite its critical flaw.

See you next week, I hope, for The Shuttered Room!

Quieny "Santitito"

P.S. - Check out the generals face when the doctor says the corny final line.  Classic!!!  The final lines should have been:  "I guess the bazooka got him."  "No, it was his hunger for sulfur that killed the beast."

Hi ron

I have always enjoyed this weeks sci/fi classic, movie, '20 Million Miles 2 Earth' w/
William Hopper and Joan Taylor, however, it is somewhat 'tragic' for me; the Creature, the
'Ymir' from one of the Sinbad movies, is brought to Earth from Venus, where out of
his native home, he begins uncontrollable growth, is shot at and hunted by the Army,
electrocuted, attacked by a dog he wants to befriend, wresles w/ an elephant, and,
well, we know the ending; sorry fellow Earthlings, this time, I feel 4 the 'monster' ):

- J50smonstakid Maggio, Kingsman, AZ

This is Ray Harryhausen's final black-and-white movie, and his last with an entirely contemporary setting. Or does it take place in the near future? It's also his last "pure" science fiction film, if there is such a thing. (I consider MYSTERIOUS ISLAND and FIRST MEN IN THE MOON to be fantasy.) This being my umpteenth viewing, what can I say about it? Here are some disjointed notes I made while watching:

1 Minute: The less said about the "Sicilian" dialect, the better.
3 Minutes: The spaceship sinking into the Mediterranean seems to have inspired a similar shot in PLANET OF THE APES.
9 Minutes: There's Thomas B. Henry as a General--he was still just a Colonel when he tangled with those giant grasshoppers in THE BEGINNING OF THE END the same year. He shares a scene with scientist John Zaremba of THE TIME TUNNEL. Both are carryovers from EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS. But where are Morris Ankrum and Whit Bissell?
11 Minutes: The Commissario reminds me of J. Carrol Naish in THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS (1946).
15 Minutes: Joan Taylor, also from EARTH VS, plays Marisa--they never do explain her American accent.
18 Minutes: Perry Mason's William Hopper plays the hero--the same year he tangled with THE DEADLY MANTIS. The 3 lead actors from "Perry Mason" have all done giant monster movies: Raymond Burr in GODZILLA; Barbara Hale in GIANT SPIDER INVASION (1975).
22 Minutes: The birth of the Ymir is one of the most memorable stop-motion sequences ever. It certainly sticks in my mind--the first time I saw this (I think it was on Channel 33 out of Youngstown) I didn't know that this was going to be a monster movie until this scene came along. Of, course I didn't know the Venusian was called a(n) Ymir until years later.
30 Minutes: Clearly, this movie was made before we learned that Venus has a surface temperature of 800 degrees F.
40 Minutes: The creature eats Sulfur. It grows larger just by breathing the atmosphere, so why does it need to eat at all? Of course we now know that there is plenty of sulfur on the Venusian surface.
44 Minutes: DVD clarity is not always a good thing: the farmer mauled by the Ymir is all too clearly an animated puppet.
50 Minutes: The old, familiar argument: should the monster be studied or killed? The Commissario wants to destroy it.
56 Minutes: The capture of the creature is clearly inspired by the capture of KING KONG. I toggle between the black-and-white and colorized versions. The Ymir is mottled green in color.
61 Minutes: A scientist from Tokyo is also studying the creature. An homage to GODZILLA? Probably not.
62 Minutes: The Ymir breathes! The use of an air sac helps to improve the believability of the scene.
65 Minutes: The Escape! It always happens just after the reporters show up.
67 Minutes: No giant monster movie is complete without a battle between two behemoths. The Indian elephant model that the Ymir fights is beautifully and realistically detailed. It also breaths. But I think the live action elephant was fatter.
70 Minutes: The monster-on-the-rampage scenes are certainly derivative. But we love them anyway, don't we?
73 Minutes: The Ymir collapses a bridge. Does Ray have something against bridges?
75 Minutes: Three dead soldiers. Maybe the Commissario was right.
76 Minutes: The Ymir climbing the Coliseum also derives from KING KONG.
78 Minutes: The Coliseum scenes in this movie somehow remind me of the cathedral scenes in THE VALLEY OF GWANGI.
79 Minutes: Two more soldiers killed. It looks like the Commissario, like Harry Cooper, was right all along.
80 Minutes: The Ymir's death throes are also inspired by KING KONG. But would the fall REALLY have killed it?

The reason given for studying the creature was to learn how it can survive in the atmosphere of Venus so that humans can also survive there. From the evidence in the film, it doesn't seem that they ever found out what they needed to know.

Mark Ditoro
Moon Township, Pennsylvania.

I watched the Bash movie of the week, 20 Million Miles to Earth and it got
me thinking. First, about how much this film has in common with another
Harryhausen movie - Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers, and second, why I like
EVFS so much more than this one. They both has the goofy, supposed to be
dramatic, but as exciting as a math word problem announcer voice over
intros. Both has some cool space ships and half the cast is the same to
boot. Could it be plot holes? For example in 20 Million, they talk about
how bullets can't kill the monster because it has no heart, but they seem
to kill it with bullets and rocket launchers, so was the deal that bullets
won't kill it unless you shoot it a lot of times? I'm sure that Earth has
it's share of plot holes too, but I don't think that's it. Perhaps it's
the story line. In 20 Million, the only story, as I see it, is that
there's this creature, it gets out and they chase it around until they
kill it. Earth has the geeky science stuff going on where they figure out
how to defeat the aliens. Maybe it's the added element of something to
figure out before going into battle that keeps the interest level up for
me. Whatever the reason, I can't list 20 Million Miles To Earth as a
favorite. That being said, I think it's some of Harryhausen's best stop
motion work. In particular the elephant versus the alien creature battle
is excellent.

-Kevin Slick -Louisville, CO

Probably one of the best and I would say one of the classics of Ray harryhausen movies. Also this movie is the ancestor to all the giant space monsters and the only one that did not come from Mars, it came from Venus. The story from Beginning to end is great. The film is never boring. The Monster Ymir is probably one of the most incredible creatures and really stole the show. The monster was not evil but more misunderstood taken from his home world. He was very sympathetic. Like King Kong he fought to the end in triumphant death atop the Colosseum in Italy like Gladiator of old. This is Ray Harryhausen at his best with his greatest creation. I will never forget the photos I saw of the monster in Famous Monsters of Filmland as my cousin furthered my interest as he had seen the film. Had to wait many years later to finally see it on television. Now with the advent of dvd I can watch it any time and I watch it quite a bit.

From, Michael Aguilar, Coolidge, AZ.

And p.s. Don't forget that next year is the 50th Anniversary of the Beast from 20'000 Fathoms and that the monster will appear in my next film. I will let you know on the progress of the film.

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