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 starring John Agar and Susan Bjurman. It is based on the teleplay by Hillman Taylor and Buchanan. It is a low-budget 16mm film color remake of Roger Corman's It Conquered the World (1956), which also featured an alien invader from Venus.
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 an 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 three-eyed, bat-winged, 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.
Zontar, the Thing from Venus is arguably Buchanan's best known film.
- 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.
- Goodsell, Greg, "The Weird and Wacky World of Larry Buchanan", Filmfax, No. 38 April/May 1993 p 64
- Zontar, the Thing from Venus on IMDb
- Zontar, the Thing from Venus is available for free download at the Internet Archive
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