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Horrors of space

It! The Terror from Beyond Space and Forbidden Planet
5th Avenue Cinema
510 S.W. Hall
March 1-2
7 and 9:15 p.m.
$2 PSU students, $3 students/seniors, $4 general

Editor’s Note: Last week in the Vanguard it was reported that “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” was playing Feb. 22-23. In truth, that film played the week previous, on February 15-16. We regret the error and apologize to the PSU Film Committee and our readers.

Long before little green men like ET came down to earth and stole our hearts, there were monsters from outer space hell-bent on killing all humans who crossed their path. “It! The Terror from Beyond Space,” playing this weekend at the 5th Avenue Cinemas, is the predecessor to the “Alien” films. “It!” features a crew of astronauts who have been sent to the planet Mars to rescue the lone survivor of the previous crew. They soon find out that “Mars means Murder.”

Thankfully their ship is equipped with several stewardess-type women who spend their time pouring coffee and delivering sandwiches to the hard working male scientists aboard the ship. Upon arrival at the Red Planet the previous crew’s captain is taken into custody and relentlessly questioned about the murders he allegedly committed. Little do the inquisitors know, the real enemy is lurking about, ready to strike at the crew one by one.

Clocking in at a little over an hour, this movie is a lot of fun to watch, especially if you like “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” With its dated and often ridiculous dialogue and special effects, this film is perfect fodder for that show.

“Forbidden Planet” is hilarious from beginning to end. This film stars Leslie Neilson, who later became the fearless and clueless Lt. Frank Drebin in the “Naked Gun” films. Although Neilson is playing a serious role in this film he manages to make it ridiculous and funny anyway. His acting style is exactly the same in this film as in his later efforts.

The story follows an all-male crew on a mission to relieve the members of a previous exploration on a far-off planet. The crew disembarks to find the entire group dead except for the lone commander. Is there a pattern in these early space movies?

The commander has been living happily in a modest home resembling the one used for “The Dick Van Dyke Show.” This marvel of interplanetary architectural achievement was apparently the work of the commander and his wife before she too encountered a tragic end. Luckily for the horny guys on the ship (who we are told have not seen a woman in a very long time), the commander has a daughter. The girl is probably about 17 and wears skirts far shorter than those seen on “Ally McBeal.” The possibilities for reading into this cozy little set up with father and daughter are limitless. Thankfully for us the film ratings board at this time would not have allowed the moviemakers the opportunity to investigate such sordid details.

The investigation into the deaths of the previous crew begins when the commander tells them that the people were “torn limb from limb.” That storyline of the movie is passable but the best stuff comes from the dialogue between “Robbie the Robot” and the moronic ship’s cook who seems to be solely interested in getting his drink on to pass the time on the “Forbidden Planet.”

Both of these movies are great fun and come in at under 2 and a half hours put together. That is just the right amount of time to spend on any space related film. Go to the 5th Ave. and support the PSU Film Committee in their efforts to bring interesting films to campus.