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Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “20 Million Miles to Earth (50th Anniversary Edition)”

(Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 1957/2007. 2 Discs. B&W/Color. Widescreen. 82 minutes. Not Rated. Directed by Nathan Juran.) William Hopper, Joan Taylor.


Early monster-movie effort by stop-motion animation pioneer Ray Harryhausen gets first-class treatment on this anniversary set…and the special features outshine the movie. The 20 million miles are traveled by American astronauts (captained by Hopper) who bring back a gelatinous mass from Venus. Soon a strange half-man, half-lizard is hatched and rapidly grows to 20 feet tall! It stomps, it chomps, it’s in a generally bad mood! Oh, did I mention it tries to eat Rome? (I guess Tokyo wasn’t available.) Lower-than-low-budget feature is enhanced here by Chromachoice – recent colorization technique which you can switch on and off while watching the movie by using your remote. Process, by Legend Films, is worth checking out if you were turned off by early colorization efforts…it’s a vast improvement. Loads of extras, including a new interview with B-movie-actress Taylor (fun), and Tim Burton, who knows something about ’50s microbudget movies (Ed Wood), tries to talk to now-87-year-old Harryhausen, but he mostly just gushes. Tim, stick to directing.