Tonight on MeTV-it’s a 1950s science fiction saga that set the groundwork for a future big screen blockbuster- as a recovery mission to Mars becomes a deadly game of survival when an unexpected stowaway turns out to be “It! The Terror from Beyond Space”!
In this 1958 sci fi chiller, an Earth spaceship has arrived on Mars with a somber task- picking up the last surviving member of the previous mission that crash-landed on the red planet. All the other crewmen are dead- and this lone survivor, Col. Edward Carruthers, is suspected of having murdered them all! Carruthers claims that some sort of creature is responsible, not him, but the crew of the recovery ship seems to doubt that. As they prepare to take off to return to Earth, a storage bay door is accidentally left open- this is rectified, and the ship blasts off.
Carruthers receives some rather cold treatment from the crew, especially the man in charge, Commander Van Heusen, who thinks Carruthers killed his fellow astronauts to have the food supplies all to himself, so he could survive longer, since he had no knowledge of if or when a rescue ship might arrive. Carruthers is steadfast in his story that some sort of humanoid life form is responsible- but Van Heusen refuses to believe it. He demands that a crew member always have the suspect within sight, as the journey back home continues. The only somewhat sympathetic person on board is Ann Anderson, who also happens to be Van Heusen’s girlfriend. ( Yes, she is part of the crew, not just along for the ride.)
The tension level begins to rise even more when a crew member, Kienholz, suddenly appears to have vanished without explanation. The crew begins to search for him- including brothers Gino and Bob Finelli, and even Carruthers is allowed to join the search. Kienholz still can’t be found- and then Bob realizes that Gino, who was with them searching, is also missing!
They return to the last area where Gino was- and finally find the dead body of Kienholz! Shortly after that, Gino, barely alive, is discovered in some ductwork- but an attempt to rescue him is cut short when the savage creature also appears in the ductwork and attacks the rescuer, who barely escapes! This leads to the first attempts to kill the creature- but the various conventional weapons at their disposal have little effect on their sinister stowaway! (I’m sure we can all question the use of conventional guns as a weapon aboard a space ship- couldn’t a bullet pass through the ship’s hull and endanger the crew’s oxygen supply?)
The crew begins its battle for survival against this lifeform which is determined to use the humans as food- and the danger increases as the monster makes its way up the multi-level ship- trapping the crew in tighter and tighter premises. Can they discover a way to stop the deadly creature that can claw through metal hatches- or will they meet the same fate as Carruthers’ original group?
This film works well with the claustrophobic feel of being trapped in the finite space of the rocket ship, and the savage power of the Martian beast. We can all get a bit of a laugh from the fact that the film is set in the far-flung future year of- 1973! And yes, this film was without a doubt what suggested the plot of the 1979 science fiction/horror classic “Alien”…but certainly at a much smaller budget. We’ll go over the cast list, which includes familiar faces like Marshall Thompson and Dabs Greer, as well as the man who plays the creature, Ray “Crash Corrigan”. Plus, we’ll give Boddy Sorrell the chance to play our drawing game “Too Drawn Out”- salute a good friend from the comics world- and provide another new song featuring a rather popular soloist!
“It! The Terror From Beyond Space” blasts off tonight at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central time. Once again, our show was among the highest trending topics on Twitter, as viewers joined in the live Tweeting during the show- and MeTV encourages you to join in, using the hashtag #svengoolie. Our Chicago area viewers will have a second look at the great Boris Karloff as the “Haunted Strangler” this morning at 11 on our main local station, CW 26.
I am flattered to once again be a part of this Valentine’s Day month! Yes, during the month of love, MeTV is celebrating the #SvenPal community with #LoveSven! This week they asked why you #LoveSven! Leave a comment at www.metv.com or on Twitter using the #Love Sven hashtag-and tell us what you love most! There will be a different topic each week. Feel the love all month long with a 14% off sale on Svengoolie merch when you use code LOVESVEN at checkout: https://store.metv.com/collections/svengoolie
We hope all our Sven viewers who have been experiencing the snow and cold are getting through it all okay and invite you to experience some different chills tonight on MeTV!