The Strange World of Planet X

Cosmic Monsters

1958

Gilbert Gunn
Director
Artistes Alliance Ltd.
Production Company
Eros Films
Distributor

Scientists working with supermagnets end up causing mutations to the local wildlife, including random humans.

Well acted but slightly dull science fiction, sort of Quatermass in a minor key, though the plot is more reminiscent of The Day the Earth Stood Still, minus that film's shrill, hectoring tone. An oddly neglected film, though it does have several flaws-- too many romantic subplots, for example. The sudden lurch into action mode in the last reel disrupts the pacing and atmosphere, as well. The indulgently gory shot of giant bugs munching on a soldier's face is a bit surprising for the time frame! The effects (by Les Bowie) are better than the Bert I. Gordon/50s average, though obviously dated. Still deserves to be more well-known than it is, and it is a pleasure to see Mango and Benson in fairly large roles for once. The latter's interstellar Orkin man is particularly good.

Based on a 1956 television serial by actress Rene Ray, which was novelised the next year. US posters show the title as Cosmic Monsters, but the title shot (at least on TCM prints) reads The Cosmic Monster.

Thanks to philly for identfying several unknowns!

-Dave W.



4th March 1958
Cinema



75 mins
1.37:1


31st December 1958
Cinema



75 mins
1.37:1



HyperLink
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Forrest Tucker
Gil Graham
Gaby André
Michele Dupont
Martin Benson
Mr. Smith
Alec Mango
Dr. Laird
Wyndham Goldie
Brigadier Cartwright
(as Wyndam Goldie)
Hugh Latimer
Jimmy Murray
Dandy Nichols
Mrs. Tucker
(as Dandy Nicholls)
Richard Warner
Inspector Burns
Patricia Sinclair
Helen Forsyth
Geoffrey Chater
Gerard Wilson
Hilda Fenemore
Mrs. Hale
(as Hilda Fennemore)
Susan Redway
Jane Hale
Ned Lynch
Sayers (uncredited)
Unknown
George, Publican
(uncredited)
Peter La Trobe
Fred, Pub Customer
(uncredited)
Unknown
Pub Customer
(uncredited)
Unknown
Mr. Tucker
(uncredited)
Catherine Lancaster
Gillian Betts (uncredited)
Howard Pays
Art (uncredited)
Neil Wilson
Police Constable Tidy
(uncredited)
Paddy Hayes
The Tramp
(uncredited)
Peter Copley
News Editor (uncredited)
Unknown
Copy Editor (uncredited)
Unknown
Police Sergeant
(uncredited)
Unknown Male 74
Soldier (uncredited)
Jimmy Scott
Soldier (uncredited)
Unknown Male 62
Soldier (uncredited)
Peter Assinder
Army Lieutenant
(uncredited)

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes