20 Million Miles To Earth
“Monster From Outer Space Runs WILD!”
“20 Million Miles To Earth” is a classic, it’s a classic for one reason. Legendary stop action animation genius Ray Harryhausen. 20 Million Miles was Harryhausen’s favorite and he even appeared in the movie (un-credited) feeding the elephant at the zoo.
A rocket ship, having gone to Venus, crash-lands in the ocean off Italy’s coast on its return. In a stroke of good fortune a small boat of fishermen are near the ship when it crashes and are able to rescue the two astronauts on board. A small fisher boy grabs a container that is filled with what appears to be a sweet potato made out of egg flavored jello. The small boy takes the potato to an old scientist who lives in a camper trailer with his granddaughter who is almost a doctor. The old scientist buys the potato from the boy and it soon hatches into a very cool small beast. The beast grows huge practically overnight and escapes from the scientist only to be abused by people with vicious dogs and pitchforks. One of the astronauts dies but the other tracks the beast locating it in a barn and attempts to control it by beating it with long wooden stick. Ymir (the name of beast) escapes the barn and growing even bigger attacks Rome in an act of revenge for the abuse it has taken at the hands of man.
William Hopper (The Deadly Mantis, Conquest of space) handles the lead role (astronaut Robert Caulder) in screaming fashion as he screams at everyone all the time while smoking a cigarette. Joan Taylor (Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, Men in Space) plays the old scientist’s granddaughter who is almost a doctor and almost in love with Caulder). Thomas Browne Henry (The Thing that couldn’t die, Screaming Mimi) cranks out a solid performance as the Major General in charge of catching the monster.
The graphic effects are stellar for 1957 and the movie is a great one to experience. Arguably one of the ten best old sci/fi movies and should have a home in your movie collection.