For tonight’s feature film, we’re going double right out of the gate. Because when you’ve got two films both representing “Planet X,” how can you not? Planet X, long before it became an X-Men storyline (how did it take them until 2004 to do that…?), it was the placeholder name for whatever might be lurking beyond the orbit of Neptune. (Because mankind simply could not be satisfied with just eight planets, right? I mean…we’re even now discovering all these crazy exoplanets–we’re insatiable! And we haven’t even used all the planets we already have! Typical.)
And where there’s a placeholder name…there’s the potential for terror! Or…something like that. Anyway, we kick off with 1951’s The Man From Planet X, starring an uncredited Pat Goldin as the titular man, who looks menacing…and yet very, very sad. Goldin went on to play one of the best character names you will hear this week: from an episode of Perry Mason, “Joe Hudson, Old Man in Devil’s Costume.”
Then following that, we have The Strange World of Planet X from 1958, which honestly sounds like a sequel. But no, they’re unrelated. In fact, our second film has been known by other titles, which all have either “Cosmic” or “Crawling” in the title. Imagine a title with one of those words in it, and you’ll probably guess one. If nothing else, watch the opening of this one–because it is the epitome of the genre of science fiction/horror known as “Science Will Kill Your Ass One of These Days!” Enjoy!
If you have Amazon Prime, you can snag Man From Planet X for free here. It’s also available on DVD for as little as $3–and that as part of a pack with three other sci-fi gems. Oddly, Strange World does not appear to be in print at all.