If there is any movie that deserves a big budget remake that movie is It Conquered The World! This is an early movie directed by Roger Corman and the story is quite good. The sets are sparse to say the least, often little more than a desk and two chairs. The control room for the space program consists of a couple of boxes with dials and a paining of a blank monitor screen. The might of the United States military is depicted by 1 jeep and a dozen foot soldiers. On top of everything else It Conquered The World features the undisputed Rodney Dangerfield of monsters.
The creature that gets no respect was eventually christened Beulah. Low budget special effects wizard Paul Blaisdale designed the brute based on input from Corman. Blaisdale also designed the fiends that terrorize the public in The She Creature and Earth vs. The Spider. Blaisdale’s creation for It Conquered The World has a really unique look that is anything but scary. Unfortunately Beulah was miscast in a serious science fiction movie. If It Conquered The World had been a comedy, on the order of Ghostbusters, Beulah would have been applauded for it’s quirky design. It’s easily one of filmdoms most memorable looking creatures.
Lee “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” Van Cleef stars as the world’s most brilliant scientist. He’s considered a nut job these days because of his recent anti-space exploration stance. The truth is, he’s been in contact with a bug eyed bean from Venus. The bean has convinced him to betray Earth. He confides in fellow scientist Peter “Mission Impossible” Graves, the movie’s “hero”. Actually Graves doesn’t do much and he accomplishes even less. Beverly Garland steals the movie playing Van Cleef’s wife. She doesn’t buy into the nonsense her brainwashed husband is spouting. Garland becomes royally pissed, grabs a rifle, steals a car and goes after the monster herself. Unfortunately for her, Dick Miller and the other soldiers arrive to late to help.
It Conquered The World has a strong plot and great acting. It does borrow just a bit from The Day The Earth Stood Still. Actually Corman may have envisioned It Conquered The World as a reverse version of that earlier groundbreaking film. The picture also swipes a little from Robert Hienlien’s novel The Puppet Masters. There was a cheapo made for TV remake in 1977 called Zontar: The Thing from Venus and It Conquered The World was also given the MST 3000 treatment. I’d love to see a major studio remake this picture as a serious alien invasion movie but with a more appropriate looking alien. On the other hand, bringing back Beulah for a slapstick comedy sounds even better.
It Conquered the World