THE MONO­LITH MON­STERS

The Stone Rises

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased 15 fe­bru­ary 1957 | PG | DVD

Di­rec­tor John Sher­wood

Cast Grant Wil­liams, Lola Al­bright,

Les Tre­mayne, Trevor Bardette

One thing about this ’ 50s SF movie makes it es­sen­tial view­ing for all fans of the pe­riod: the highly orig­i­nal na­ture of the me­nace.

There are no an­i­mals mu­tated to gi­gan­tic size by ra­di­a­tion here – and no alien in­vaders ei­ther. In­stead, the he­roes are pit­ted against the rem­nants of a me­te­orite strike near a desert town. When these strange black rocks get wet, they grow by ab­sorb­ing sil­i­con from the ground. One rain­storm later, crys­talline tow­ers are ad­vanc­ing on San An­gelo, mul­ti­ply­ing ex­po­nen­tially as they sprout, top­ple over, and smash into frag­ments.

The film’s desert set­ting re­calls Them! and It Came From Outer Space ( whose me­te­orite footage it re­cy­cles), and in many re­spects it feels for­mu­laic. But the fan­tas­tic premise is treated with high se­ri­ous­ness, and there’s some­thing pow­er­fully eerie about the Mono­liths’ mind­less, im­pla­ca­ble ad­vance – it helps that the ef­fects are de­cent. There’s also some­thing sat­is­fy­ing about the way sci­ence is used to save the day; com­pared to many of its con­tem­po­raries, The Mono­lith Mon­sters feels sur­pris­ingly plau­si­ble.

Ex­tras Trailer. Ian Ber­ri­man

In John Car­pen­ter’s They Live, some home­less char­ac­ters are seen watch­ing The Mono­lith Mon­sters on TV.

“Wanna see my Mono­lith Monster?”

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