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 on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.

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Creepy Classics Spotlight Movie Last Weekend - THE MAN FROM PLANET X (1951)

Every week, readers here are selecting a movie to view...then we all try to watch it together utilizing our DVD/video library. This past Saturday night, many of us watched THE MAN FROM PLANET X (1951). This was suggested by by Dan Breneis, Strongsville, OH. Details about movie nights to come are HERE. Please include your name and location after your comments, so we can see how we're all joining together from diffeent locals around the globe! Let's all Synch-Up Saturday nights at 7:30PM, or catch it sometime over the weekend!

A really good little movie. Quite notable, right off the bat, for a couple of things. First, this came out in 1951 and might be the second movie to feature an alien from outer space. THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951) being, perhaps the first. Bob Pellegrino pointed that out to me as we viewed this over the weekend. The other interesting note is that is was directed by Universal alumni, Edgar Ulmer. He directed THE BLACK CAT (1934) and was always noted for his use of shadows for an eerie feeling and he pulls that off here too with great use of shadows and light that really rise above the low budget trappings of the film.

I also noticed how much I enjoyed the music as I watched. Not sure if it was cribbed from elsewhere, but it works here. Subtle, eerie, with a nice, big budget sound.

The movie features a great little, creepy story of a spacecraft from another world landing in the remote area on a British isle. It's discovered in the foggy moors. A power struggl between a greedy scientist and a likeable newspaper reporter adds the conflict of the story. The alien, when crossed, begins using mind-control to creatue an army of locals all working in the moor. Come to think of it, this might be the first alien-mind control film....poneering the way for INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and so many more. Kid of space-age zombies.

A little noticed, great little film that laid serious groundworj for science fiction films to come. It pays like a gothic horror....a gothic sci-fi! -Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA.

Hey Bash Synchers,

Welcome to my commentary of my second viewing of this sci-fi classic. I saw it the first time not too long ago on DVD with my wife, thought it was enjoyable. Now here comes my in depth analysis. Funny font, almost looks like a western font. I guess it is supposed to represent the screws on the spaceship. Fair music. Edgar G. Ulmer! Director of many a fine film, of different genres. Black Cat, Detour. Yesterday I just watched one of his dramas, Ruthless, not bad.

Hey, I built a castle like that in elementary school. Interesting beginning, like a film noir, the movie is going to be a flashback. Believable explanation for what is happening, good acting, in a expository scene. A cheap way to hid cheesy rear screen work...scottish fog!
William Schallert! I remember him most from Star Trek and Get Smart, but also shows up in a lot of old sci-fi flicks. Just saw him in Tobor the Great.

Slow start, but believable dialogue. Not a bomb? Sure looks like one to me!!! Is the Man going to be tiny? If I didn´t know better, I would think that, because if it ain't a bomb it must be a spaceship. Tremendous tinsel that for real? Always time for love, even if a planet is going to crash into earth. Confound the luck!

Cool little ship. The Man from Planet X. Kinda cute.

William Shallert, he is the real bad guy in this one. Sneaking around. Aliens turning men to zombies...was this the first movie to do this?
I am beyond my depth. The only difference between water and space is a matter of density. I don´t think that is right!
Universal gesture, are you sure? Alien with a malfunctioning suit, interesting development. I am getting primitive in my excitement.
The universal language...geometry. How do you say I need to go to the bathroom in geometry?

Bill is right up there with Hugh Marlowe in Day the Earth Stood Still. Evil! Enid was gone, sacrificed for a newspaper story, that is the thought that tormented me. Do you have a radio...uh...I mean a wireless... You take the taste of tea right out of my mouth!

Turn that valve! Looks like something you could get at Home Depot! Good bazooka shot! Destroyed it completely. The planet passing, had about as much effect as a low flying plane!

This is a fun low budget movie, some corny dialogue, but for the most part interesting and intelligent.
See you next week for The Tingler! -Ken Blose, Mexico

Like Target Earth, this is among the first batch of "creepy classics" I remember watching around 1963-66...thus it sits on a special pedestal for me. Love the diving suit /aqualung set-up on the spaceman. William Schallert plays the bad guy oh so well and Margaret Field (we should have watched this on Mother's Day for her daughter Sally)... is always worth watching. I'm guessing from the 1951 date that this must have been on the forefront of sci-fi invasion films.
-Les Zuckerman, Cherry Hill, NJ

Minimalist filmmaking at it's best!! Director Edgar Ulmer brings us a sci-fi tale about an alien visitor that lands in the Scottish moors. Robert Clarke, Margaret Field and William Schallert star. The alien attempts communication with sound, which was 30 years prior to Close Encounters.

A great low budget film and one that shouldn't be missed.
Got to love that spaceship and the weird looking alien.

Kevin Coon, Twin Falls, ID

Hi Ron,

Here are my thoughts on THE MAN FROM PLANET X:
The movie is an object lesson in low-budget filmmaking, with lots of simple sets and ample backdrops. Low lighting is moody and also helps to disguise the budget limitations.

Dr. Mears’ goatee gives him a foreign look. Even before we hear of his backstory (“that trouble he got into”), we know he is someone that can’t be trusted.

The first view of the alien is a nice jump scene. His features are almost humanlike, but not quite.

The villagers’ fear of the alien almost plays like something from a Universal horror movie.

Mears’ attempt to prevent the alien’s destruction at the finale anticipates the ending of THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD.

The film tries to make the case that the alien might have been friendly, but I’m not convinced. That invasion scenario seems way too handy to have been Plan B in the alien playbook.

Final thoughts: THE MAN FROM PLANET X isn’t quite as fun as some of the other sci-fi favorites. It’s a bit on the talkie side and the budget limitations, though hidden, are all too apparent. But Robert Clarke and William Schallert turn in fine performances and the film gets points from making something out of next to nothing.

Favorite quote – “Knowledge would only bring more fear in a world already filled with it.”

-Steven Thornton
LaSalle, MI

No doubt..the movie inspired this figure from Colorforms.

-Mike Adams, Carteret, NJ

Hi Ron: I remember seeing THE MAN FROM PLANET X: when I was a kid and the little alien creeped me out.

I also loved William Schallert (Patty Duke’s Dad) as the bad guy. Director Edgar Ulmer lighting and sets where fantastic.

For more about this film check out our podcast at.

-Vince Rotolo, Irmo, SC

In an effort to clear or confuse things a little more, the IMBD site says that 'the thing' was released 4/29/51 while 'man from..etc.' was released 4/27/51. ...that does not prove which one was completed first, just released first. For instance, 'destination moon' began filming before 'rocketship xm' but 'rxm' was finished and released first. 'rxm' was out 6/2/50 and 'destination moon' was out on 8/50.
-Frank Nicoletti, New York

Here are my thoughts and observations of the film The Man From Planet X.

1. Edgar G. Ulmer, with limited budgets, had created two classics within their respective genres. The Black Cat (1934) - Horror. Detour (1945) - Film Noir.

2. The Man From Planet X was filmed in a remarkable six days on a pre-existing set.

3. It was a great idea to use fog to hide the sparse sets. However, the fog was used so much that, at times, you couldn't see the actors.

4. I'm a big fan of Robert Clarke. He got his start in a couple of Val Lewton films - The Body Snatcher and Bedlam. He managed to stand tall amidst the garbage that was The Astounding She Monster and The Incredible Petrified World. He then directed and starred in a movie with a really cool premise - The Hideous Sun Demon.

5. If they ever gave out an award to an actor with the most screen time on television, it would have to go to William Schallert. An actor I've always liked, it was nice to see him play an evil role in this film. I love the scene between him and the alien. In most films of this type, the villain would always try to hide his malevolency. He never wanted to show his hand too early. William Schallert lets the alien know early on what his intentions are by tackling him and threatening to cut off his air supply. Don't cross Patty Duke's dad. He has a short fuse.

6. The alien - I love the stoic, expressionless face on the alien and how the light in the helmet illuminated the face. As a child, and even now, I've always found clowns to be scary. The painted on, ever-constant expression always creeped me out. The alien in this film, although not entirely evil, had the same effect on me.

7. Even though this film was seventy minutes long, it felt padded. The problem was the last third of the film. The first two-thirds of the film had a great claustrophobic feel to it. You, as the viewer, felt that the world depended on the four principal characters. Each of them needed to depend on the other in order for the world to survive. Each of them silently knew that fear feeds on small numbers in small places. In the last third of the film, when the townspeople were introduced, the same threat was imminent, but seemed minimal due to the introduction of new characters. The fear was spread out, thinned, and eventually evaporated. As a film, what seemed original in the beginning, becomes conventional towards the end.

8. A shout-out to the actor in the alien costume. According to IMDB (The Internet Movie Data Base) the actor playing the alien was Pat Goldin. The reason why I mention it is because he didn't receive a credit in the film and I feel he did a good enough job in the film to get a mention now.

The Man From Planet X is imagination and minimalism thrown together for maximum effect. Edgar G. Ulmer created this film in six days. And on the seventh day he rested.
Kirk Smith
Manito, Illinois

Hey Ron, Bob and all other fellow Creepy Classic Web Synchmates stranded out there in the misty fog-shrouded British moors! - I watched my first selection to the Creepy Simulcast "The Man From Planet X" (1951) on Monday afternoon (I didn`t get a chance to view it Saturday or Sunday due to being out of town at the Motorcity Comicon in Novi, Detroit all weekend) and I found this obscure little gothic science-fiction film rather interesting! ---Especially considering that this was the FIRST time that I have ever watched this movie!!

I had read about this little oddity in horror/sci-fi books and magazines already, but had never actually sat down and viewed it in one sitting before.....When I popped in the VHS tape and put this film on, the first thing that immediately struck me was....My one friend (Randy) tapped this for me off of TNT`s old "MONSTERVISION" show which aired back in the years 1989-1992- I believe! (the show 100% WEIRD would also be on here as well!- Horror host Joe Bob Briggs would sometimes host scary flicks on here as well!)

....Anyway...back to the movie at task, folks!!...Here are my observations on this creepy little gem!: 1) Love the use of music in this film!- Creepy little score heightens the tension of the film in all the right places (especially the scenes involving the alien and his spacecraft!) 2) I love the use of mist and fog in this film! (not only to hide the low-budget trappings of this production but also to increase the atmosphere and suspense of the story as well!- FANTASTIC JOB by the SPFX crew considering the budget they had to deal with on set! 3) The Spacecraft is an excellent example of minimalist film-making at it`s best (I.E. Production Design) -The look of the ship as well as the lighting of it`s interior (We only get one really decent look at the inside of the craft) are pretty well done and add to the overall effectiveness of the story. 4) The alien himself is VERY CREEPY-LOOKING and if I had seen this film when I was a young kid, I am sure I would have been freaked out!! 5) Nice casting in this one!

A super trio of solid,professional actors carries this film- First, what more can be said about the late, great Robert Clarke (1920-2005)?! - He does a super job in this film as our stalwart hero (protagonist) who stumbles upon a mystery from outer space when he travels to a seaside British town to investigate the proceedings going on there....Fans of his life and film career should check out his autobiography "To B or Not To B"- A Film Actor`s Odyssey {published by Midnight Marquee Press-in 1996}!! ....Secondly, doesn`t William Schallert seem to turn up in every other 1950`s sci-fi/horror flick??!! --This time he is cast against type (REALLY NEAT!) and plays the 'heavy" (the human antagonist of the film) who is only out for himself.....and ends up paying the price for his selfishness (being controlled by the aliens mind-controlling device)...Lastly, character actress Margaret Field (YES, THAT IS SALLY`S MOM, FOLKS!!) turns in a nice performance as the only woman in the picture...who gives solid support to our hero...while he is trying to stop the imminent danger to our planet....THE END

...Lastly one should not forget to mention the director of this film: Edgar G. Ulmer -who specialized in succeeding with low budgets in all types of genres: Film Noir (the classic "Detour") horror ("The Black Cat" -one of our previously viewed Creepy Simulcasts!!) and science-fiction (this film!) In his book, Robert Clarke talks about working with the late director and about other aspects of the production of "The Man From Planet X" (1951)!!!! The main fault of this film (in my opinion) is the PACING!! -It is somewhat slow and very talky in spots! So put it all together and I give this film a rating of 2.5/5 stars. So until next weekend folks, when we watch, analyze and then try to stop "THE TINGLER" from killing our audience out there (HA!!) I bid all of you a safe farewell from the cool English countryside...

-Dan Brenneis- Strongsville,Ohio- Monster Bash Staff Member and Lifetime FilmFan Extroadinairre.

You can get the MGM DVD of THE MAN FROM PLANET X (1951) in the Complete DVD Catalog in-line at Creepy Classics.

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