Zontar, the Thing from Venus
|Zontar, the Thing from Venus|
|Directed by||Larry Buchanan|
|Written by||Lou Rusoff
|Music by||Ronald Stein (uncredited)|
|Cinematography||Robert B. Alcott|
|Distributed by||American International Television|
Zontar, the Thing from Venus also known as Zontar: The Invader from Venus is a 1966, made for television, science fiction film, directed by Larry Buchanan and based on the teleplay by Hillman Taylor and Buchanan. It is a low-budget color 16mm remake of Roger Corman's It Conquered the World (1956) which also featured an alien invader from Venus.
The movie is arguably Buchanan's best known.
At a dinner party with their wives, NASA scientist Dr. Keith Ritchie (Tony Huston) reveals to his colleague Dr. Curt Taylor (John Agar) that he has secretly been in communication with a three-eyed, bat-winged alien from Venus named Zontar who he claims is coming to Earth to solve all of the world's problems. However, as soon as Zontar arrives on Earth via a fallen laser satellite it quickly becomes obvious that the skeletal black creature has a hidden agenda as it begins causing local power outages that stop telephones, automobiles and even running water from working and it starts taking control of people's minds using flying lobster-like "injecto-pods" that sprout from its wings. Only after his wife is killed does Ritchie finally realize that Zontar has come not as a savior but as a conqueror, and he goes to confront the hideous alien in the sulfur spring-heated cave that it has made its secret base.
In a review for AllMovie, Paul Gaita wrote "For experienced cult movie watchers, Zontar is the cinematic equivalent of a car accident -- an unpleasant spectacle from which one cannot look away." Chris Eggerston of Bloody Disgusting criticized the alien in the film for resembling "a human-sized shit-monster with wings," but felt that it looked better than the alien from It Conquered the World.
The movie was satirized in a sketch on the October 30, 1981 episode of SCTV that guest starred Bonar Bain (brother of Conrad Bain) as a human agent helping the planet Zontar take over Earth.
It was also the inspiration for Zontar the Magazine from Venus published in Boston from 1981 to 1992.
- Goodsell, Greg, "The Weird and Wacky World of Larry Buchanan", Filmfax, No. 38 April/May 1993 p 64
- Gaita, Paul. "Zontar, the Thing from Venus (1966)". AllMovie. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
- Eggerston, Chris (March 4, 2010). "Not So Scary… Top Ten Worst Movie Monsters!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
- Zontar, the Thing from Venus at the Internet Movie Database
- Zontar, the Thing from Venus is available for free download at the Internet Archive
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