THE PHANTOM FROM 10,000 LEAGUES
Even as cheap 1950s monster movies go, The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues is dull. The direction is dreary and uninspired. The title monster rarely appears. During the occasionally times we do see the phantom, it proves to only be a cheap and unconvincing monster suit. Even then, it gets up to almost nothing. In fact, there is more threat posed by the sinister lab assistant (Philip Pine) lurking on the sand dunes with a speargun than there ever is by the monster. Indeed, with almost criminal dullness, the film is not even centred around the threat posed by the monster but the attempts of various parties to break into the professors lab and determine what experiments he is conducting behind locked doors. The film does at least occasionally venture underwater, although the diving scenes are slow and melodramatic.
The film trots out all the lines about delving into forbidden science that were loved by mad scientist films of the previous decade. The professor reflects: Science is a devouring mistress. She devours all who seek to fathom her mysteries and for every secret she reveals, she demands a price, a price that a scientist must be prepared to pay with his life and the life of those who stand in the way of his search. As the film ends, it is reflected that: Nature has many secrets that man mustnt disturb and this was one of them.
The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues was the first of three films made by director Dan Milner and his brother Jack. Milner later returned to atomic monster themes with the bad movie classic From Hell It Came (1957) about a possessed tree.
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