The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues (January 4, 1956)
Released January 4, 1956: A strange radioactive rock turns an ocean creature into a man-killing Monster.
Directed by Dan Milner
Written by Lou Rusoff from a story by Dorys Lukather.
The Actors: Kent Taylor (Dr. Ted Stevens), Cathy Downs (Cathy Downs), Michael Whalen (Professor King), Helene Stanton (Wanda), Phillip Pine (George Thomas), Rodney Bell (William S. 'Bill' Grant), Vivi Janiss (Ethel Hall, Dr. King's secretary), Michael Garth (the Sheriff), Pierce Lyden (Andy the janitor)
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It is 1956, WWII is over, America is booming, and there are these fantastic outdoor movie theaters called 'Drive-ins' that have an insatiable appetite for movies. Drive-ins are one of the favorite date destinations for teens and young adults. The 'Cold War' is heating up, and ever since the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb during WWII, atomic energy has been the focus of many of our fears, and this is one more example.
It seems that there is a beam of bright light coming from the center of the earth that breaks through to the sea floor, and it is concentrated atomic energy. And the theory is that this atomic energy has mutated a small sea creature into a fantastic radioactive sea monster. The sea monster grabs people swimming in the ocean and their dead, radiation-burned bodies float to shore. Professor King, at a nearby college, has been secretly experimenting in his lab, and may be involved in the creation of this sea monster, or may have discovered the secret to atomic mutations. Then we also have a subplot that involves a beautiful but frightful blonde spy that is trying to get one of Professor King's acquaintances to find out his secret experiments and sell them to her, so she can deliver them to a foreign foe, probably Russia.
And we have the visiting nuclear scientist and author that is poking around and is attracted to Professor King's lovely daughter. And the Government man from Washington that is investigating.
So pop some corn, grab your best girl, pretend you are sitting in a 1955 Chevy, and enjoy this horror thriller that probably made gramma cling in fright to grandpa back in 1956 when they were young pups, but don't worry, it won't bring any fear to you today. The special effects and horror scenes of 1956 are very primitive compared to today's realistic creations. Don't even think too hard about the sea monster who's front legs move remarkably like a man's arms swimming in the ocean. Just enjoy the journey into the strange and mysterious deep. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.