From Hell It Came (1957)

From Hell It Came Title

Directed by Dan Milner

Written by Richard Bernstein

Run Time: 73 minutes

Tagline: Frightmare! Born of Jungle Witchcraft! Created by a Curse!

Tod Andrews Dr. William Arnold (Tod Andrews)

Mandatory Good Guy, Will refuses to let anything come in between him and the object of his desire: Dr. Terry Mason. Even an Earth shattering scientific find like a walking, sentinent tree is in danger of being tossed in the local pool of quick sand so he can get back to wooing his love interest. Dedicated scientist indeed.

Tina Carver Dr. Terry Mason (Tina Carver)

Jungle skin disorder expert, and designated cutey, Terry is determined to revive the “Tabanga” using her patented “Formula 447″…even though it’s only been tested on parrots and monkeys. Can you guess what happens?…

Linda Watkins Mae Kilgore (Linda Watkins)

Loathsome cougar (kids…ask your dad), and wearisome Comedy Relief, Ms. Kilgore runs the local trading post and cracks lame ‘randy’ jokes to break the film’s non-existent tension. (One has to wonder at the prudence of setting up shop on a plague-ridden, Tabanga-infested South Pacific island populated by hostile natives, but there you have it…)

John McNamara Prof. Clark (John McNamara)

An expert in “trees and plants”, Clark plays the required sober ‘third wheel’ for Will and Terry’s tepid relationship. Oh, he’s also some sort of scientist that does and says things when the script requires it.

Tabanga Tabanga

Yes, the demonic resurrected spirit of “treacherously murdered” Kimo: A walking tree. Are you scared yet? (But oh, man, would I love to find this monster-suit on eBay!)

Baynes Barron Chief Maranka (Baynes Barron)

Scheming, power-hungry Maranka masterminds the trecherous murder of Kimo in order to possess his wife, Korey. Unfortunately, Maranka must not have paid attention in Local Legend School since he decides to bury Kimo in a tree trunk, thus paving the way for Tabanga’s return! Doh!

Robert Swan Witch Doctor Tano (Robert Swan)

Pity poor witch doctor Tano; his “medicine” is never strong enough to counter the White man’s “devil dust”. Everybody keeps dying and even the Tabanga gets away from him: Now that has to suck when you can’t even outwit a tree!

From Hell it Came is one of the many cheapo sci-fi films that polluted the theaters during the 1950’s; although this one is much more than a run-of-the-mill crappy movie. Produced by the wizards at Allied Artists, a notorious Poverty Row studio, one can only imagine what kind of return they’d hoped to garner from this ridiculous movie. Then again, given that the cost to make it must have been close to zero, I suppose nearly any box office return would have been a positive investment. Let’s put it this way, From Hell it Came makes any Bert I. Gordon flick look absolutely lavish in comparison.

Open with Polynesian music playing over a hand drawn picture of a jungle-ish island scene. The pleasant music actually makes the opening scene the best part of the movie. Well, the best part except for the part where the words "The End" appear.

So, yeah, I guess if you look at that way, everything between the opening credits and the words "The End" pretty much sucks.

Ahhh, yes, an opening scroll provides the back story. Cheap and gets the job done with minimal effort. Let’s take a look:

In Haiti, a corpse walks, as a Zombi!

In primitive India, the dead return as animals!

[Wow! They! Sure! Loved! To! Use! Exclamation! Marks!]

On certain Pacific Atolls, a warrior treacherously murdered, may turn into a tree! [WHAT?!!]

Or so it is said by the Shamans…

Ok, we’ll just take the word of the "Shamans" but really, murdered warriors come back as…trees? Man, that has got to be the stupidest thing I’ve heard. But hey, without movies like this there wouldn’t be the Monster Shack, now would there?

Oh crap, more back story…

Our story occurs on a savage island where a Prince is killed unjustly.

Oh hell, read it for yourself…

Opening credits

So. Ok. The legend states that if a "treacherously killed" warrior (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean) is buried in a tree trunk his soul will return in the form of a living tree. Yeah. Sure it will.

It might just be me, but isn’t it obvious then that if you "treacherously" kill somebody…don’t freakin’ bury him in a tree trunk!!!

Anyway….

Cut to the "savage" island where a group of islanders sit around watching Tano, the village Witch Doctor, stab a voodoo doll with a knife. (A Voodoo doll?! Aren’t those from Haiti?)

Voodoo doll Tribal prince

The new village Chief, Maranka, accuses Prince Kimo of the "great sin" of joining sides with the local American scientists and using their "bad medicine" on the villagers to curse them with a "Black Plague"; the most recent victim of which was Kimo’s father, the previous village chief. These accusations are of course BS, but somebody has to be "treacherously killed" or we wouldn’t have a movie, would we? Even Kimo’s wife, Korey, goes along with the ruse since she now has the hots for Maranka. (I don’t get this: If she wanted to be married to the man in power, why betray Kimo? Being the prince, wouldn’t he be next in line for the throne anyway?)

Kimo, staked out on the ground with a bunch of chickens scratching around his head (!), swears his vengeance before being dispatched with a ceremonial dagger. (Kimo’s execution takes place off screen probably to spare the teen-age audience anything too "icky".) In a strange little touch, the executioner uses a dagger with a goofy plastic skull attached to the hilt. I guess it’s a "native" thing. With the job done, the natives engage in a listless Hawaiian dance number. (Nothing like eating up run time with a boring dance number….beer break. Back in a minute.)

Little do the villagers realize that the Ms. Kilgore, the middle-aged owner of the local trading post, has witnessed Kimo’s brutal betrayal and rushes off to tell the other Americans…

Complaining Mae wants a drink

Meanwhile, back at camp, our 2 male leads, Dr. Will Arnold and Professor Clark, jump into high-expository gear and spew line after line of bland back story as the hapless viewer tries to take it all in.

Basically, it runs like this:

"Hey, it’s a good thing we’re here to help the natives."

"Yeah, especially after the radioactive fallout. They sure do need our help."

"Yeah, it’s too bad that freak typhoon carried the fallout all the way over here to this remote, savage island."

"Yep, it sure is."

"Yeah, boy, the natives sure are surly lately."

"Yeah, I guess we better be careful."

"Yup, we sure better."

"Yessirree."

Yes, radiation reveals yet again one of its baffling and hitherto unknown characteristics: It can transform dead people into a demonic trees. Boy, radiation sure is mysterious.

After this exciting exchange, Will starts whining to Clark that the woman he loves, Dr. Terry Mason, is too dedicated to her work to have any time for him, i.e., she refuses to give up her career, marry him, and move back to the States to be a housewife. Sheesh, women, huh?

"She considers marriage as a type of prison," Will laments.

"What do you expect from a pretty girl a few years out of med school…she wants excitement and adventure," says Clark.

"Sometimes I think I could just…kick her beautiful teeth in," says Will as he gives us an intimate glimpse of his romantic side. (Boy, I just can’t see how Terry couldn’t be attracted to this guy.)

Anyway, Kilgore manages to struggle through the movie set, er, jungle, and reaches the camp perimeter before letting out a ear-splitting scream and fainting to the ground. (Hey, it was the 50’s…what did you expect a woman to do?)

Cut back to the native village where some sullen tribe members carry Kimo’s body (now ensconced in a tree trunk…why bother?!) to an open grave and plop him into the ground.

And again, folks, if there’s a legend that involves the revenge of betrayed people if their body is buried in a tree trunk, then why do it???!!!

And…..cut back to the camp where Kilgore, in an amazingly irritating Cockney accident, spouts about the recent murder of Kimo.

"It was ‘orrible! Simply ‘orrible!" (Yes, lady, your accent truly is ‘orrible!)

In order to calm Kilgore down, Professor Clark gives her a stiff shot of booze which she immediately gulps down before saying "Don’t be stingy at a time like this!" Quickly snatching the bottle from Clark’s hand, Kilgore refills her glass and continues drinking. (By now your Odious Comedy Relief Sensors should be off the chart…this is going to be a long haul…)

The next day, Dr. Terry Mason, arrives on the island via Stock Footage Airlines.

skull on stick natives

Realizing that his dream girl has coincidently be sent to the island (what are the odds…what are the odds?), Will eagerly volunteers to hop into the jeep and pick her up. On the way to the heli-pad, Will drives directly by Kimo’s grave, which means the main road must go straight through the natives cemetery. (No wonder the locals are so pissed!) The camera helpfully zooms to Kimo’s grave where a a spooooooooky skull atop a stick has been plunged into the ground. (So whose skulls are they using to mark the graves?) A close up at the dirt (yeah, it’s as exciting as it sounds) reveals that it’s starting to heave and crack as something buried in the ground begins to push out…mwu ha-ha-ha-haaaa!

In some boring back-story scenes, Terry explains that she doesn’t mind being assigned to the island even though there’s a plague going around. Will explains that the real danger isn’t the plague, it’s the latest change in the native’s disposition, as confirmed by a quick cutaway to a group of 4 extras dressed in Polynesian garb trying to act surly. (So were they just standing 10 feet away from them the whole time?)

Back at camp, or the trading post, or whatever, (how much trade can you expect on an atomic wasteland island?), Terry meets Mae Kilgore, and banal dialog ensues. (God…what a talky film!)

Meeting

As luck would have it, one of the local (and beautiful) half-Dutch native women, Orchid, is to be Terry’s lady-in-waiting. To facilitate the plot, it turns out that Orchid is an exile so "she’s not subject to tribal law." I’m sure the reason for so many damned characters will become apparent later in the film. [Note from the Future: It won’t.]

Later that night we witness a secret rendezvous between Kimo’s ex-wife, Korey and her lover, Chief Maranka.

"Ever since [Kimo] died," she complains, "the fire of your love has grown cold."

"I’d never have a traitor like you for my wife," Maranka shoots back. Wow. I guess the honeymoon is over.

Yadda yadda yadda, Korey knows that Tano has been sleeping around with another native girl, Naomi. And, hey, right on cue, Naomi shows up with a bowl of fresh poison berries for Tano’s "Poison Darts For The Americans" project. Korey, furious at being snubbed for a younger, hotter chick, stalks off to plot her revenge.

Making poison Going for a walk

Meanwhile, Will has his hands full trying to convince Terry to marry him. Unfortunately for Will, Terry is an unusually strong-willed woman (I’ve run into a few of those in my time too…), so she really doesn’t want to be tied down to a humdrum life in the civilized world "being cooped up in a stuffy apartment…having my ears blasted by rock-and-roll."

"Rock and Roll? Wait to you hear the natives’ drums…they’ll really rock you."

Will, you are one smoooooooth talker, bro.

Getting frustrated, Will blurts out, "Terry, will you stop being a doctor first and a woman second? Let your emotions rule you, not your intellect."

As this stimulating conversation winds down, Terry just happens to look over and spot Kimo’s grave-skull-stick-thingee topple over.

"Is that the natives’ cemetery?" Terry asks. (No, babe, it’s Arlington National. Good grief, what the hell do you think? And if you remember from earlier in the film when Will drove out to pick up Terry, Kimo’s grave was right next to a road. Now it’s sequestered in a tree-filled grove in the middle of nowhere.)

 

stump growing curse is true

Puzzled by this strange growth protruding from Kimo’s grave, Terry and Will decide to have Prof. Clark take a look since he’s an expert on "jungle trees and plants." (Wow…trees and plants?!)

Later, after examining some drawings of the outgrowth, Clark decides that it’s probably just a "malformed bush". (Yep, he’s an expert!)

In walks a local native couple that the Americans have been treating for radiation burns, Norgu and his wife, Dori. (The poor guy playing Norgu looks like he’s being forced to wear a pair of shorts wedged way up high…) Norgu (complete with a farmer’s tan!) happens to glance at the drawings and quickly identifies it as the "Tabanga". With the scene petering out, in comes Orchid and informs everybody that the strange growth has gotten larger and even has a ceremonial dagger sticking out of it! (Yowsa!)…so off to the cemetery we go.

Upon reaching Kimo’s grave, Terry whips out her stethoscope and takes a listen. "It’s a human heartbeat," she concludes. (Huh? It’s a what heartbeat?!)

Tabanga Tabanga

Despite Norgu’s pleadings to throw the damned thing into "the quicksand at the edge of the forest" (Plot Point!), the wise scientists opt instead to just leave it in the ground and radio Washington for instructions. With a neck-breaking jump cut the instructions are returned: Dig it up and study it.

"Well, that’s that!" Terry glibly remarks, "Now the only thing to do is to go out, dig up the monster, and bring it back to the lab!"

(Uh, doesn’t anybody in these movies ever watch crappy monster movies? Don’t you know what happens when you bring things "back to the lab"?!)

Will, a man truly devoted to science and discovery, says "I say we throw it in the quicksand and forget about it." (!)

Meanwhile, back in the village, Chief Maranka plans to enslave the Tabanga for himself via a special poison so that it will "kill when I tell it to!" (Yes! Aim high, brother, aim high!)The first on the hit list is Norgu, because he likes hanging out with the white folks and trusts their "medicine" more than his. Oh, and Maranka also wants to murder Korey because, well, I guess there just aren’t enough subplots in this movie yet.

But wait, Korey JUST HAPPENS to overhear the conversation and runs off to tell the Americans about the plot against them.

Cuddling

After Korey spills her guts about Tano’s plans to take control of the Tabanga and use it as a murder machine, Will and the others agree to take her under their protective American wing. With no time to lose, the Americans rush off to the cemetery to procure the Tabanga before Tano can get his hands on it. Naturally, any footage showing the actual removal and transport of the Tabanga would have been too costly (and too hilarious), so we simply cut to the lab with the Tabanga already laid out on a gurney.

Tabanga pulse Tabanga pulse hole

"It reminds me of a chemistry project I once had at middle school," Terry muses as she listens to its heartbeat. (What the hell kind of school did you go to?!)

(And I wish the camera would stop focusing on the pulsating "heart" because it really is reminding me of something else that I’m not going to go into right now.)

"It’s dying! The pulse is getting weaker," Terry says, "Probably a clot in the aorta." (Sure it is.)

"Can’t we try to stimulate the adrenal glands with an electro resistor?"

"He much energy do you need?" Clark asks.

"I’ve read of experiments where they used seven hundred and fifty amps at one thousand volts," Terry responds.

When Clark and Will realize that the camp’s generators can’t produce that kind of juice, they decide to call it quits. But, oh, not Terry! She rushes to the fridge and whips out, Tada! "Formula 447".

"I’ve used this on monkeys and parrots before," Terry reassures the others. (So, yeah: parrot, monkey, Tabanga, it’s all the same.)

Before anybody can call "Bullshit!", Terry whips out some Formula 447 and administers it to the Tabanga via an IV drip!

Tabanga iv drip

After standing around staring at the monster and noting no changes in its condition, the Americans begin to lose hope. Terry, however, points out that the last time she used the formula on a living creature it took around 8 hours before effects were seen. (Well, at least when the formula was administered to parrots, so what the hell? It will probably take just as long on a Tabanga, right?)

With nothing to do but wait, Terry and the others wisely set up a guard rotation, put on a pot of coffee, and dig in for a long night of careful observation.

Uh, actually, no. That’s not what they do. Even though that’s what everybody else on this planet would have done.

No, in this stupid movie everybody makes a deal to meet back at the lab at 6 a.m. and heads off to bed.

Sure enough, the next morning, everybody returns to find the lab in shambles and the Tabanga nowhere to be seen. (The Tabanga’s resurrection and rampage is, naturally, not shown; most likely due to budget constraint.)

"The reaction never took less than eight hours," Terry mumbles in confusion. Well, Terry, the Tabanga isn’t a parrot!!!

Clark wisely suggests that the natives broke into the lab, stole the Tabanga, and smashed their equipment like "angry children."

"I know this sounds crazy," Will says, "but maybe the Tabanga is real…"

Gee, what tipped you off, doc? The fact that it has a pulse and bleeds?

Anyway, they also discover that the radio room is ransacked so they are, <sigh>, "cut off from the outside world." (Ooooooooooof course you are, of course you are.)

Later that day Korey spies Naomi swimming in The Local Lagoon. (Or is it Naomi spotting Corey?! I can’t tell them apart!!!) A really, really poorly choreographed cat fight ensues and Naomi (I think) bonks Korey (I think) on the head just hard enough so that she faints and the other can run away.

Hey kids! Look who shows up! Tabanga!

The Tabanga tosses Korey into Ye Ould’ Local Quicksand. Obviously, the poor guy in the rubber Tabanga suit had limited vision, not to mention that the suit’s arms barely bend, so he was forced to drop her on cue about 2 inches from dry land. Thus to make the scene "realistic", the actress had to actually swim away from shore so she could drown in the mire.

throw in quicksand Tabanga

Sooooo….Naomi, scared out of her wits, runs back to camp and tells Tano that she’s just seen the monster.

"Well, how did you know it was the Tabanga?"

Really, Tano, do we have to answer that?

Anyway, Tano and Naomi rush off to the cemetery in order to find out if what Naomi saw really was Kimo resurrected in the form of a Tabanga, or if it was just some other random ambulatory demonic tree. Upon arrival, Tano, smart as a whip, quickly notes that Kimo’s grave is empty, and is forced to admit that his ex-rival is now a Tabanga.

"It will kill us all!" Naomi whines.

"Not if we kill it first," says Tano. (I guess that’s why Tano is the village wise man.)

Realizing that it was the Americans who dug the Tabanga out of the ground, Tano gives a sinister smirk and adds, "After the Tabanga dies, the Americans die!"

Naomi then leads Tano out of the cemetery and back to the forest where she recently fought with Korey and saw the Tabanga.

When Korey’s body is nowhere to be find, Tano concludes that "Tabanga must have thrown Korey in the quicksand…We must find the Tabanga!" (Wow. This guy is good!)

Meanwhile, back in the village, Chief Maranka is standing around sharpening his spear. (You know what I mean!) Being the village chieftain and presumably top warrior, Maranka still fails to notice a living tree "sneaking" up behind him. When he finally does spot the Tabanga, Maranka takes careful aim with his spear and tosses it clear over the monster’s head…from 3 freakin’ feet away! Good grief. Whatever. As you can imagine, instead of, oh, I don’t know, running away!, Maranka allows himself to be cornered and killed by a monster that moves at 1 yard per hour.

When Naomi and Tano return from the quicksand pit, the nervous villagers confront their wise witch doctor: "Maranka is killed by the Tabanga. Tano, why did you not kill the Tabanga with medicine?" After a rousing speech, consisting solely of "Come! We must kill the Tabanga!", Tano and the villagers rush off to build a trap.

Back at the American’s camp, a breathless Orchid warns the Americans that the Tabanga is alive and busily stomping around killing people.

"Oh no, I just wanted it to live…not to destroy," Terry laments when she realizes that the Tabanga’s resurrection is pretty much her fault.

"Don’t blame yourself, Terry," Will consoles her, "The radiation dormant in the monster must have set off a chain reaction."

Uh, yeah. Sure it did.

Anyway, Orchid tells them that the villagers are pretty pissed off about the whole Tabanga business, so they’d better keep their distance while looking for the monster.

Back at the village, the trap is set and Tano bravely uses himself for bait.

Baiting Tabanga Tabanga

As can be seen from the screen shot above, Tano’s awesome plan is to stand in the middle of an open field until the Tabanga shows up, and believe me, this makes for some exciting cinema. Man, they should warn people about scenes like this in case somebody has a heart condition or something. Sooooo…the Tabanga eventually shows up and shambles after Tano who deftly sidesteps the lumbering monster. Caught completely off guard by Tano’s amazing footwork, the Tabanga falls into the pit at which time the excited villagers emerge from their hiding places and toss in a bunch of torches. With a few token cheers of joy, the natives presume the Tabanga is now burnt to a crisp and go back home.

Oh. And obviously, nobody bothers to stay behind and actually MAKE SURE the Tabanga is truly dead, because hey, how could it EVER survive that?

Hey! What the hell?! After the villagers leave…the Tabanga pulls itself up from the pit and, I’m totally serious, it’s STILL ALIVE!

WOW!!!!!! I thought for sure the movie was over. Now that was clever writing right there, buddy, lemme tell ya.

Angry natives

Like I said, since none of the natives actually, you know, bothered to ensure that the Tabanga was really dead, the monster crawls out of the pit and "flees" into the forest. (Just how the Tabanga managed to clamber out of the hole is not shown since the rubber suit can’t even bend at the waist.) Anyway, a few minutes later some local yokels are totally surprised to see the Tabanga strolling along a forest path. With a few shouts of horror (laughter?), the natives turn tail and rush back to the Americans to beg for help. The Americans, maybe feeling somewhat responsible, agree to assist in dispatching the Tabanga once and for all.

After grabbing their weapons, the Americans are rushing out the door, when in bursts Ms. Kilgore who breathlessly explains that she’s been so scared lately she hasn’t dared to leave her house, blah, blah, blah. "You girls stay here," Clark insists. (Well, it was the 50’s after all. Killing Tabangas was no job for a woman.)

"I’m not staying ‘ere alone! What if that ‘orrible thing comes back?" protests Kilgore in the WORST ACCENT EVER.

"She’s right," Terry agrees, "locked doors mean nothing to that monster." How she knows that is unclear since the Tabanga has never been locked in anywhere. (On second thought, maybe she’s referring to the fact that it broke out of the lab after receiving that fateful dose of X47. Who knows. Still, it’s a pretty bold statement to make.)

Anyhoo, since the girls have to come along so that one of them can be captured by the Tabanga (Oops. Sorry.), Eddie, the local Army attaché , procures an extra pair of weapons for the women. (Just how many guns did these guys think they would need to study skin diseases? This place is a freakin’ armory!)

Well, it looks like Tano’s time is up. In a wild jump cut, we see the doomed witch doctor tripping over a log and screaming as the Tabanga slooooooowly bends over and reaches a rubbery arm towards the ground. Obviously, since the rubber suit was too stiff to actually bend all the way over (and how could a tree bend at all?!), the camera cuts away as a scream is foleyed onto the soundtrack. We next see the monster tossing Tano’s body into a crevice where we notice that he’s been impaled by a branch or something. Oh…the irony.

Sooooo….5 minutes to go, so hang in there folks.

Cut to Will, Clark, Eddie, and the 2 "girls" tramping through the jungle. With Ms. Kilgore yapping away the whole time, nobody notices that Terry, last in line, has stopped to take a pebble out of her shoe. (Somebody, please, please, toss her to the Tabanga and I will forgive the rest of the film of all its faults…) As you probably have guessed, Terry looks up after putting her shoe back on and notices that she is completely alone. (Yeah, after 10 seconds…everybody else is just gone. Not a sign of anybody. Uh-huh.) What Terry doesn’t seem to notice is a 10 foot-tall living tree with a skull-tipped knife sticking out of it standing 2 feet to her left. (I’m assuming that Tabangas are not known for their stealth, so just how in the hell that snuck up on her is beyond me.)

After a couple of seconds of "suspense", Terry looks up and finally notices the Tabanga standing right beside her. Understandably upset, she proceeds to let out a couple of unappealing screams…very hoarse and low pitched. Ugly screams. Definitely not the type of scream that would make me want to fight off Tabangas just to save her. (Now, the cute chick from King Dinosaur had a nice scream.) Anyway, to facilitate things for the ungainly Tabanga, Terry faints directly into its arms so that it doesn’t have to actually reach over and pick her up.

The others meanwhile, still stomping along without even bothering to do a head count to make sure everybody is still there, hear Terry’s shrieks and dart off to the quicksand pit.

"It’s Terry!" Will astutely notes upon spotting the Tabanga carrying, well, Terry.

Will, using his Hero’s Amazing Powers of Deduction, concludes that shooting the knife further into the Tabanga may do the trick.

"Fire for that knife! If we hit it, we might drive it through the monster’s heart!" Will orders.(Thanks to Sean for reminding me that, yes, the Tabanga is still holding Terry in its arms as they open fire.)

I assume by now you know what’s going to happen so I’ll be brief. The Tabanga, after being bombarded with bullets, tosses Terry to the ground and turns to give the Americans a perfect target. After yet another barrage of bullets, and yes, watching people shoot a tree is as exciting as it sounds, Will hits the mark. (Naturally he does, since he’s the hero and all.)

Anyway, Will’s amazing marksmanship drives the knife through the monster’s heart and, acting as some sort of on/off button, the monster instantly dies and topples backwards into the quicksand.

One of the, <cough>, natives turns to Clark and admits, "We know now that American magic is better. [Well…duh!] Maybe we need new medicine maker to replace Tanto [sic!]…Will you be our witch doctor?"

"Isn’t that thrilling?" Kilgore coos as she cuddles up to Clark. (Ack.)

Perfect match The big kiss

"By the way professor," says Kilgore as she longingly stares at Will and Terry smooching at the edge of the quicksand pool, "are you married?"

Oh dear, oh dear.

Fade to black,

The End.

Dennis Grisbeck (April 2010)

Afterthoughts

Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a movie this bad. I mean, this movie is bad. Bad bad. We’re talking Giant Claw bad. (It’s released the same year too, so go figure.) Acutally, I’m happy to own this film as part of my library; no proud bad-movie connoisseur should be without. If you do want to buy this movie, you’ll probably have to scrounge around on eBay like I did, so good luck!

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15 comments to From Hell It Came (1957)

  • An outstanding review. The only thing I can say in poor ol’ Tabanga’s defense is that he makes one hell of an impression on a six year old. I love the models I’ve seen online with the thing and I wonder how in heck was I ever frightened of THAT?!?!?!

  • I hate to admit it, but as a kid I used to watch Ultra-man and I was scared shitless by one episode where there were some sort of space-vampires or something. I literally had to turn off the TV and play outside. A while back I managed to find a clip of it on YouTube and I could hardly watch it then either, but this time out of embarassment…I was like, “I was scared by THAT??!!!”…good memories of a time when I was a LOT less jaded πŸ™‚

  • David Fullam

    I love it where the dudes tell the two scared natives to wait outside. I mean a homicidal tree man is out there, and they tell them to go wait outside. Priceless.

  • guts3d

    Well, if we are admitting what bad movies scared us as children, I guiltily admit ” Day of the Triffids ” scared a poor 6 year old Guts3d. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_of_the_Triffids_(film)

    Also, there was an episode of “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” where a horse on wheels was killing everyone, turns out he was 1/2 of a set of bookends, so they put a mirror in a box and tricked it into thinking it was going towards its mate.

    Great review, Dennis! This gets my vote for worst / best costume. I can’t make up my mind!

  • guts3d

    I can imaging Mike,Joel, and the ‘Bots cracking quite a few wood jokes… ” Hey look! He has a woody!” “What a Knothead!” ” His acting is so wooden…” “Such a Tree-at (Treat) to have him here!” ” I bough (bow) to his acting experience…” Sorry, got a bit carried away there….

  • Lol, guts3d…it looks like your ready to submit a guest review soon… (cough)(cough) πŸ™‚

  • Guts3d

    Careful what you wish for… I have a really bad one in mind…

  • Ohhhh!…was that a threat? Bring it on πŸ™‚

  • David Fullam

    FX man Paul Blaisdell designed Tabanga, but didn’t build him. Word was Blaisdell didn’t get paid either. FilmFax had an interview with the man who played Tabanga. He was a stuntman/actor/wrestler bopping around California at the time. I think he also plays one of the natives as well. He stated that the Tabanga suit was not built with comfort in mind and it became painful to walk around in it.

  • Guy Conrad

    Yes, I noticed Tina Carver’s very odd scream. Not such a pretty scream for a such a pretty woman. She does not so much scream, as proclaim “WEH! WEH!” over and over. One wonders if she would do that in real life if faced with mortal danger. The most goldurned thing I ever heard. Maybe she shold have had her scream dubbed in by the cute girl from (the awful) King Dinosaur.

  • Yeah, I definitely rather have the cute geologist from King Dinosaur shrieking in my ear than the other one.

  • Guts3d

    I go for the mute chicks… Just don’t tell my wife!

  • Guts3d

    What Terry doesn’t seem to notice is a 10 foot-tall living tree with a skull-tipped knife sticking out of it standing 2 feet to her left. (I’m assuming that Tabangas are not known for their stealth, so just how in the hell that snuck up on her is beyond me.)

    Ninja zombie trees with Formula 447 and stray radiation?

  • I love and now own this cheesy ass film on DVD. I hated trees after watching it on Seymour’s Fright Night as a kid in the early 70’s….fucked me up!

  • Tierra Carver Ps

    OK everyone…as cheesy bad as this movie is, I’m proud to say Tina Carver was my grandmother. And yes, her scream was SO bad in this movie, it became the family joke. She was going for the Fay Wray effect, but failed miserably. In real life, she was beautiful, not-quite-ready-for-the-big-screen talented (her background was theater), and a bit crazy. As much as she hated this movie herself, I wish she knew how much mindless entertainment this old B (maybe even C or D, if such a category exists) horror movie provides so many people. This movie brings a smile to my face, produces the simultaneous eye roll-“oh my God, this movie is so bad” laughter and brings back alot of good memories. Miss you, mamaw…see you in ‘Play Place’…. πŸ™‚

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