Zontar, the Thing from Venus

1966 remake

Rating: 3/20

Plot: Dr. Taylor befriends what he believes is a friendly alien from Venus and helps him figure out a way to come to earth to solve all of our problems and make us as technologically advanced and wonderful as his planet. But Zontar turns out to be a mean "thing" and actually has other plans, plans involving mind control and mayhem! Arrgh! Zontar!

So somebody at Azealea Pictures decided that it would be a good idea to remake a Roger Corman B-science fiction flick (It Conquered the World) with a worse director. See that poster there with the menacing "thing" that looks like it could be straight from the sketchbook of a possibly schizophrenic child? That's actually a fairly accurate visual. The "thing" doesn't look much better than that. I swear, by the way, that I've seen that exact screaming woman in the exact same pose on a poster for another movie. This is just as bad (just as good if your glass is half full) as Larry Buchanan's other movies (see Attack of the the Eye Creatures [sic] or It's Alive [the proud Manos Award winner for my blog two years ago]) which means it's fun enough to watch at least seven times and has this mystical quality that almost makes it worth basing a religion on. This is stuffed with some juicy dialogue, philosophically insightful stuff about good and evil. There's a lengthy quote at the end about how man needs to find the answers within as opposed to without and about how "war, misery, and strife have always been with us and we shall always strive to overcome them." I'm not 100% sure, but I think it was plagiarized from The Diary of Anne Frank. Oh, and the reason the thing is called Zontar? That explanation is priceless. There's also some really unfortunate attempts at comedy, mostly courtesy of a pair of soldiers. One of them says "I saw a funny-lookin' boid" about six times (because it's funny?) and once, my response (an "Ehhh" like I'd been punched hypogastrically) was the exact same as one of the characters. Zontar, as I mentioned, looks ridiculous, like a greasy owlish swamp thing with pterodactyl wings. When Larry Buchanan makes that thing fly though? That, ladies and gentlemen, is movie magic. Well, assuming seeing funny-lookin' boids is magical. My favorite scene: panic in the streets; a woman stops a policeman to ask a question about manually operating an iron lung. What the hell? The fact that she yells "Stop!" while standing face to face with the policeman adds another level of greatness.

I have to go. I have more Larry Buchanan movies to watch. God bless America!

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