It’s that time again!
Twoâ€”no, make that threeâ€”movies with the same director and writer; two both featuring some sort of missing link. No great winners, but nothing dreadful either.
Killers from Space, 1954, b&w, W. Lee Wilder (dir.), Peter Graves. 1:11.
Nuclear scientist flying over A-bomb test crashesâ€”and shows up later at the base. It’s pretty clear he’s spying, so they inject him with a truth serum, after which he tells a story of alien abduction by a bunch of huge-eyed folks living below ground, storing up power from the weapons to mutate insects and animals into huge killer beasts. Why? So they can set them free to kill everyone on Earthâ€”after which the billion aliens (whose sun is dying) will invade Earth, wipe out the creatures, and take over. But the scientist figures out that cutting off power in the area for a few seconds will cause the underground invasion place to explode because itâ€™s storing so much energy. Not great, not terrible, mediocre print. $0.75.
Phantom from Space, 1953, b&w, W. Lee Wilder (dir.), Ted Cooper. 1:13.
Something has landed in Santa Monica, and itâ€™s causing radio interference, so the boys from the FCC set out tracking it. Turns out to be â€œsomething without a headâ€ in something like a diverâ€™s suitâ€”that is, an alien whoâ€™s invisible in Earth conditions. Itâ€™s unclear that the alien actually has evil intentions, but it doesnâ€™t matter much: He dies anyway. The pictureâ€™s very fuzzy much of the time, which doesnâ€™t help the plot (lots of action, not much overall significance). $0.50.
White Pongo, 1945, b&w, Sam Newfield (dir.), Richard Fraser. 1:10.
Africa: An expedition sets out to find a legendary white gorilla that may be the missing link. The guideâ€™s a bad guy; one of the guards is an undercover agent out to get him. Romance, conspiracy, deceit, humor, and of course it all works outâ€”and they do capture the white gorilla. So-so, or maybe a little worse. $0.75.
The Snow Creature, 1954, b&w, W. Lee Wilder (dir.), Paul Langton. 1:11.
This time itâ€™s the Himalayas, where a botanist and his photographer sidekick are on an expedition to discover new plant species. Instead, when the head Sherpa hears his wife was kidnapped by a Yeti, the guide forces them to hunt the Yetiâ€”which they do, of course, find after lots of trudging around the mountains. They ship the surviving Yeti back to the U.S.A.â€”but Immigration isnâ€™t sure whether itâ€™s an animal or a man, and that delays things long enough for the Yeti to break out of its refrigerated cave, escape into drain tunnels, and kill a couple of people before the cops shoot him (or it?). I suppose that counts as a happy ending, but maybe not for the tall guy with the fur costume. $0.75.