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From Hell It Came

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From Hell It Came (1957) starring Tod Andrews, Tina Carver
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From Hell It Came (1957) starring Tod Andrews, Tina Carver

Synopsis of From Hell It Came

In From Hell It Came, a young Polynesian prince is framed for the murder of his father and is executed.  He vows to return from Hell itself to exact his revenge.  Shortly afterward, a strange root grows out of his grave.  And his best friend warns friendly American scientists of the legend of the Tabanga.  Sure enough, the root grows into a tree-man that exacts revenge on the guilty.

Review of From Hell It Came

The Tabanga in From Hell It Came – fear it! or, laugh out loud

So, what’s wrong with From Hell It Came?  A few things, but primarily it’s the horribly cheesy costume that the “monster” wears.  It’s truly ludicrous, and laughable.  Whenever it’s on screen the audience is laughing — not frightened.  There are several other things, such as the helpful American scientists trying to help the “new life form”.  By giving it heart medicine made for a human.  There are numerous puns that leap to mind:

  • Wooden performances
  • The monster’s bark is worse than it’s bite
  • We should leaf well enough alone.

In short, the acting’s not bad (despite the “wooden” pun), the basic story’s not bad, but the rubbery tree costume is simply so bad the story can’t overcome it.

Giving “tree surgeon” a whole new meaning in From Hell It Came

Cast of characters in From Hell It Came

  • Dr. William Arnold (Tod AndrewsHeaven Can WaitBeneath the Planet of the Apes).  Lead American scientist, trying to help the Polynesian natives with an odd illness.
  • Dr. Terry Mason (Tina CarverInside DetroitChain of Evidence).  The beautiful scientist who joins the expedition.  She has a history with Dr. Arnold.  But she’s not interested in marriage …
  • Mrs. Mae Kilgore (Linda WatkinsThe Parent Trap 1961).  An older woman at the compound, who quickly bonds with Terry.  She’s the unintentional witness to Kimo’s murder.  Frankly, I wish she’d had more screen time.
  • Professor Clark (John McNamaraWar of the Colossal BeastSuicide Batallion).  The other male scientist, a sounding board, and 2-dimensional character.
  • Kimo (Gregg PalmerThe Creature Walks Among UsMagnificent Obsession).  The prince who is murdered by the witch doctor and would-be leader, and betrayed by his wife.
  • Tano (Robert SwanThe Hard RideDoomsday Machine).  Kimo’s best friend, who risks his life by continuing to see and help the Americans after Kimo’s death.

Editorial review of From Hell It Came courtesy of

This uproariously bad monster mess is set on a remote tropical island, where a native prince places a curse on the elders just prior to his execution for breaking tribal law, promising to return from the dead for revenge. He does, of course — but he can only manage to return from the grave as a giant walking tree. (His obvious displeasure with having assumed this shape is indicated by the tree-thing’s permanently constipated expression.) There is some indication given that his resurrection has something to do with atomic testing taking place on the island, but this is obviously incidental to the real plot, which treats viewers to endless scenes of natives running in horror from a shambling, ticked-off rubber stump. In print, this sounds like broad comedy material, but the only laughs to be found in this clunker are purely unintentional. …From Hell It Came

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