Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Terrifying Tuesdays: The Crawling Eye (1958)

"The Crawling Eye" from 1958 (originally known as "The Trollenberg Terror") takes place in the Swiss Alps, where strange and horrible events are occurring on one of the mountains called the Trollenberg.  The movie's main characters converge on the local mountain resort for various reasons.  Two sisters, Sarah (Jennifer Jayne) and Anne (Janet Munro) Pilgrim, end up at the inn because Anne, a psychic, has a strange compulsion to stop there while passing through the area by train.  Forrest Tucker plays Alan Brooks, a fellow train passenger who has come at the request of an old colleague who is now in charge of an observatory on the mountain.  Journalist Phillip Truscott (Laurence Payne), who is already staying at the inn, becomes curious about Brooks and seeks to discover his reason for being there.  When Brooks finally pays a visit to his friend Professor Crevett (Warren Mitchell), he learns that circumstances on the Trollenberg are disturbingly similar to those which he and Crevett had previously investigated in the Andes.  Meanwhile, Anne begins to suffer from frightening visions, which puzzle her sister but are recognized by a worried Alan Brooks as yet another sign that the Andes experience is being repeated.  The brutal deaths of several mountain climbers only confirm this, and eventually events come to a head as hideous alien creatures who hide in a radioactive cloud on the mountain threaten to wipe out the entire mountain village and all of its residents.  While this movie has its weak moments, it is a surprisingly well written and executed story that will hold your interest in spite of the low-budget special effects.  Because there are a few unpleasant scenes I gave this movie a rating of "1" in my Gore Guide, but compared to more recent scary movies these scenes are only mildly disturbing.  I first saw this many years ago and still find it worth watching, so I hope you do too!

Interesting Fact:  Actor Laurence Payne was also a writer who published eleven mystery novels, some featuring Mark Savage, an actor turned sleuth, as the protagonist.

Gore Guide (0=none to 5=extreme): 1

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