From Hell It Came
Screenplay: Jack Milner, Rchard Bernstein
Release: Warner Archive
File From Hell It Came under awful, terrible, dreadful, perfect, and awesome. The effects are so bad that they are a delight to watch. There are a whole laundry list of problems but that monster is not one of them.
Beware Tabonga! On a remote South Seas island, no one is safe from this hideous…and unique…monster. Tabonga is part man, part tree, all doom. Formerly an island prince, he was unjustly put to death by a witch doctor. Now he’s returned to life with roots, branches and a vengeance. Against natives. Against visiting American scientists who investigate the tree’s radioactive green sap. Against anyone unwise enough to expect a tree to stay put. A macabre medley of creature feature, Polynesian kitsch and Atomic Age cautionary tale, From Hell It Came is the killer-tree movie you woodn’t want to miss!
Okay, the issues. The film is a clinic in whitewashing, but this is 60 years ago with a budget of maybe thirty cents so while it is not okay it is passable-while-racist. The part where a dude is talking about beating his wife is inexcusable, it is a one off line that is not evident in his character later in the flick but c’mon, that’s weak. They are lucky the Tabonga costume is so shitty. (Although, as I write this I am second guessing my opinion and fear a treatise on the merits and flaws of formerly acceptable social graces when viewed by a modern audience. However, a long and angry discussion on The Birth of the Nation I had the other day makes me avoid this.)
This issues are big. But the other side of the picture is valuable. The film is about the nuclear scare and possible issue surrounding fallout. There are bleeding edge medical tests and researchers wanting to move science forward. So it is sketchy but the issues could have been solved with diverse casting and a script doctor.
But, that Tabonga is great and I want a prop to decorate my house. The costume really suffers from this high definition release. The costume suffers, but us viewers benefit greatly. It is films like this which may cause people to question my tastes. It really is awful. But it is awful in a great way. If you can look past they clear flaws there is a great little monster movie to be found.
You can, and should, buy the new, good-looking Blu-ray HERE and while From Hell It Came is not available to stream on WARNERARCHIVE.COM you will find a treasure trove of great options like Patrick Duffy in The Man from Atlantis, and that has Patrick Duffy in it!
Director: 6 – Cinematography: 6 – Edit: 5 – Parity: 1 – Main performance: 6 – Else performance: 3 – Score: 6 – Sound: 5 – Story: 7 – Script: 4 – Effects: 6 – Design: 7 – Costumes: 3 – Keeps interest: 7 – Lasting: 10