1958, Movies

The Crawling Eye aka The Trollenberg Terror (1958, Quentin Lawrence)

This is a pretty lame science fiction horror film with pretty bad effects and fairly cliche performances. However, um, it could have been worse.


The plot is pretty ridiculous. A scientist is going on vacation in the Alps, but he just so happens to have a past that involves mountains, the UN and a fellow scientist who is currently working in the Alps. At first, there’s a mysterious cloud and people getting decapitated and disappearing. The cause of this would be mysterious if it weren’t in the title of the film.

How does a crawling eye cause a giant cloud? I have no idea, and you’ll never find out. But it’s more than one eye (paired with a brain, it seems) so that’s something.

The audio is not great. The matte paintings and stock footage are obvious and not great either. There are some models that are also really obvious. The production values are low, is what I’m saying.

And the acting is mostly pretty weak. The most famous person here, Forrest Tucker, is spouting cliches and knows it. A few of the actors around him are better but most of them are at about the same level. I guess the two women are okay, but everyone else feels like they are inhabiting cliches. It could be the script.

The crawling eyes are actually relatively impressive compared to the other production values. Maybe I don’t have standards, but though they don’t really make sense, they are at least distinct and less ridiculous than the matte paintings.

I can imagine a worse version of this, worse acting, even worse dialogue and far worse Big Bads. Yes, this a stupid movie, but the execution could be so much worse that I feel like I can give it a little bit of credit for having a couple of actual Hollywood actors and some effort in designing whatever the hell these aliens are supposed to be.


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