The Strange World of Planet X (1958) aka. Cosmic Monsters, starring Forrest Tucker, Gaby Andre, Martin Benson
In The Strange World of Planet X (aka. Cosmic Monsters), a small team of scientists are working on a magnetic weapon for the government. But, unwittingly, they’ve released a terror on the planet …
In one sense, The Strange World of Planet X is a monster movie about giant bugs. But, it’s actually a bit more than that. It’s a cautionary tale. It deals with obsession, and what happens when someone thinks he knows it all. And, when that person won’t listen to anyone, or anything, else. It deals with unexpected consequences. It’s well cast, well paced, well acted. In short, The Strange World of Planet X is an enjoyable B-movie.
Cast of characters
- Forrest Tucker (Dusty’s Trail, The Abominable Snow Man) as Gil Graham. The American scientist who works in England with Dr. Laird. They’re attempting to use magnetism in new ways, including as a weapon that can destroy airplanes. He falls in love with …
- Gaby André as Michele Dupont. Beautiful and brilliant French computer scientist, hired by Dr. Laird to help with his project. In fact, she shows him how the computer can be modified to improve the process greatly. She also falls in love with Gil.
- Martin Benson (Gorgo, West of Zanzibar) as Smith. The mysterious visitor from “somewhere far away”. At first, the audience suspects that he’s connected to the mysterious deaths. But, in fact, he’s come to help.
- Alec Mango (Captain Horatio Hornblower, 7th Voyage of Sinbad) as Dr. Laird. A dedicated, if not obsessed, scientist. At first, he makes great strides in his work. But he’s oblivious to the danger he’s creating. Then, he’s unwittingly making a hole in the ionosphere, affecting the weather, and allowing cosmic rays into the atmosphere. Rays drive one man homicidally mad. Rays mutate ordinary insects into giant monsters. But he’ll not stop for anything … And he murders a government agent to continue.
A group of scientists stumble upon the means of creating enormously powerful magnetic fields, but their experiments have unforeseen effects. There are a number of gruesome murders in the woods near their research station, culminating in the discovery of a mutilated body that has been drained of blood.
A mysterious stranger appears, identifying himself as only ‘Mr. Smith’ (Martin Benson). He tells two of the scientists, Gil Graham (Forrest Tucker) and Michelle Dupont (Gaby André), that their experiments have fractured the ionosphere, allowing dangerous cosmic rays to bombard the Earth. The rays cause madness in humans and will mutate previously harmless insects into giant killers.
Smith’s predictions prove ominously accurate, as murderous insects swarm across the plant …