I watched Zontar The Thing From Venus this morning. It's one of the Larry Buchanan's made for TV movies so you know it's not so good. Buchanan has a deserved reputation for making low-budget films that aren't great but watchable. He has a bit of a fan base. He made a bunch of them for American International Television in the 1960's. This was made in 1966 and stars John Agar. It's a remake of the 1956 Roger Corman film It Conquered The World. That's a much better film in every way. Zontar is a creature from Venus who's come to earth to take over. John Agar is a science guy who's got a satellite in orbit. John's science pal, played by Tony Huston, says he has a pal on Venus that talks to him through a nice big radio. John doesn't believe him, he can't hear anything in the static coming out of the speakers, he thinks Tony is stressed from work. The satellite disappears briefly and an hour later it returns. John brings down the satellite and on it's descent it goes out of control. The thing has secretly been taken over by Zontar and he lands in the desert. Hiding in a cave Zontar sends out ugly flying critters that stick a pointy bit into a human's neck and die. They come right out of Zontar's body. Eww, huh. That pointy bit is a mind control device that mentally connects the victim to Zontar. The alien wants to create a new society on a world filled with remote control slaves. Nice, huh. Some people here would sure like that. Can you guess who they are? I bet you can? Any who, Tony rolls over like a friendly dog and turns on the humans. John fights back, even killing his own wife once she's been taken over. It's a sad movie. Eventually Zontar is beaten and the world is safe - until the next monster shows up. Oh, here he is now.
I time shifted Leviathanfrom the SyFy channel last weekend. It's an 1989 movie I didn't see until 1996. Not sure why. Might be it got poor ratings from people but it seems there's always a good chance to miss something when it first comes out. Not always a bad thing. Used to be, if you missed it, you missed it. Then TV came along and changed that. Now you had more opportunity to see stuff but still stuff never came back. Various recordable media gave you more chance to see something on tape, laserdiscs, dvd's and now it's changing again with online media sources. Not sure how that's going to shake out but I know we might get to see a lot of new/old stuff. I also know it's going to cost me some money somehow. Peter Weller stars in Leviathan. He the science guy on an underground mining rig. The crew finds a Russian ship near the dig site. It looks like it was sunk on purpose. They find a sealed box and bring that on board. There's a bottle of Vodka in the box and a tape. Turns out that the vodka isn't vodka. It turns people into monsters and the dying starts. It's a very Alien like movie and one of several under the water movies that came out in the late 1980's. Not great but average, watchable but lacking any uniqueness that might set it apart.
Here's a nice picture of John Candy as Zontar in an SCTV episode. Too bad they haven't packaged all the seasons of that show in one box. DVD producers are not your friends, don't ever forget that.