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The Monolith Monsters

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The Monolith Monsters (1957) starring Grant Williams, Lola Albright
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The Monolith Monsters (1957) starring Grant Williams, Lola Albright

Synopsis of The Monolith Monsters

The sleepy town of San Angelo is in danger after a giant meteor crashes nearby in the classic sci-fi thriller The Monolith Monsters. Strange black rocks from the event litter the town. Nearby geologists are unable to identify the unusual specimens. When the alien monoliths interact with water … They grow to terrifying, gargantuan dimensions and petrify anyone in their path. It is up to one of the geologists and a dedicated professor to stop their path of destruction. Before they plow humankind into a stone-cold early grave.

Review of The Monolith Monsters

The Monolith Monsters is a different, but entertaining, scifi movie. It’s about invaders from outer space. These invaders are … rocks. Crystalline rocks from outer space. Crystals that reproduce when exposed to water. And are quite capable of taking moisture from humans as well, turning them into statues.

The monolith monsters aren’t malicious. They’re literally mindless, and very dangerous. And how do humans keep them from moisture? The planet’s surface is 3/4 water after all.

The movie’s quite well done. It gives us human protagonists that the audience cares about … And cheers for.


Editorial review of The Monolith Monsters

First off, be advised that the Monolith Monsters are not really monsters in the conventional sense (meaning a guy in a hideous rubber suit wreaking havoc). That having been said, this is still a very effective, standout Fifties sci-fi film. A meteor crashes near a desert town, and the fragments of the meteor crystallize very quickly when exposed to water. They also suck the moisture from humans, turning them stiff as boards. The rocks (black and shiny, like obsidian) grow to great heights and fall over from their own weight, with each shard of the rock starting the process over again. Of course, a thunderstorm accelerates everything.

It’s up to the townspeople to stop the advance of the menace before it overruns everything. Based on a story by Jack Arnold (director of Creature from the Black Lagoon), Monolith‘s production values are very good for the time, with the huge, menacing black rocks sometimes resembling the Chrysler Building. There are plenty of recognizable character actors to be seen, and a sense of pacing and tension that’s above average for the genre. With its inventive premise, The Monolith Monsters is quite a bit better than the usual cheapo drive-in sci-fi from the mid-Fifties. –Jerry Renshaw

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