Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It! Terror from Beyond Space

Some movies only leave great questions. With It! Terror from Beyond Space, the burning question is why would NASA give its astronauts so many grenades but only one bazooka?
I joke, sort of. It’s true that this group of astronauts, coming back from a mission to Mars and finding that they have an uninvited and violent guest aboard their space ship, try various schemes to kill the monster, including the aforementioned grenades and a bazooka. It’s a typical “confined in a small space” story, reminiscent of last year’s “The Waters of Mars” on Doctor Who. The astronauts are generally stupid, droll, or in one case, vaguely bro-like. The only delightful thing is the monster. Even though he’s in a full suit, you can feel how much the actor playing him is enjoying it. Villains are at their best when their depictions are infused with child-like joy, and this monster is the proverbial kid in the candy store.
One of the saddest thing about this movie is the women. Having female astronauts at a time when all astronauts were male would appear revolutionary. However, in this movie’s vision of female astronauts, they both serve as the mothers of the spaceship, making the boys sandwiches and comforting them when they are disappointed. Plus, we all know that these female astronauts, dressed in the kind of skimpy uniforms that would make the Star Trek franchise proud, are there for the male gaze. So it’s still ultimately a fail.
This is one of those movies only hardcore film nerds and science-fiction fans could appreciate, because it mostly lacks anything else going on.

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