‘Frightmare! Born of Jungle Witchcraft! Created by a Curse!’
From Hell It Came is a 1957 American science fiction horror film directed by Dan Milner from a screenplay written by Richard Bernstein, based on a story by producer and editor Jack Milner.
Tod Andrews (Voodoo Woman; Circle of Fear TV series; The Baby), Tina Carver (The Man Who Turned to Stone), Linda Watkins (The Munsters TV series; Bad Ronald), John McNamara (The Return of Dracula; War of the Colossal Beast), Gregg Palmer (The Creature Walks Among Us; Kolchak: The Night Stalker; Scream/The Outing), Robert Swan, Baynes Barron (Phantom of the Rue Morgue; The Strangler), Suzanne Ridgeway (The She-Creature).
The iconic Tabanga monster was designed by Paul Blaisdell (also known for his work on The She Creature, Invasion of the Saucer Men, Not of This Earth and It! The Terror from Beyond Space) but was manufactured by Don Post Studios. This was the second and last feature film to be produced by the Milner brothers (the other being The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues). It was released by Allied Artists.
Paul Blaisdell: “I designed the Tabanga the way I thought it should look in terms of the script, and the people that built it did a damn good job of reproducing a prop that was a nice concept and certainly an original one, but one that was very awkward. My hat goes off to the guy who had to act the part of the walking tree [Chester Haynes]. I think he did a helluva good job under the circumstances.”
Kimo, a South Seas island prince, is wrongly convicted of murder and executed by having a knife driven into his heart, the result of a plot by a witch doctor (the true murderer) who resented the prince’s friendly relations with American scientists stationed on a field laboratory on the island.
The prince is buried in a hollow tree trunk and forgotten about until nuclear radiation reanimates him in the form of the “Tabanga”, a scowling tree stump.
The monster escapes from the laboratory and kills several people, including the witch doctor, whom the Tabanga pushes down a hill to be impaled on his own crown of shark teeth…
“Of course it is a terrible movie, but you and I knew that going in, didn’t we? When watching this sort of movie I look for a preposterous story, crappy effects, poor acting, silly dialogue and, if all goes well, the result will include more than a little unintended humor. I can ask no more, and the Milner Brothers delivered.” B Movie Madness
“Once the Tabonga actually gets on its…er… feet… it seems to wander aimlessly, first from left to right, then from right to left, apparently happening on its victims at random. Sure, its a small island and all, but what should be a suspenseful quest for revenge becomes a tedious mosey for happenstance.” The Bad Movie Report
“This incredibly awful, yet endearingly popular example of Bad Cinema bears some laughably wooden performances that rival the stiffness of the films walking radioactive tree trunk. The plot is inconsequential, even if the inherent racism is not. It’s Anglo ingenuity versus native superstitions in what has to be one of the worst pictures of all time.” Cool @ss Cinema
“It’s not the laughable monster, nor the absurd plot that is the downfall of this movie, though. After all, foam rubber monsters and outlandish stories are what great B-movies are made of. What really kills this film is it’s dragging pace and tedious dialog. Not even a racy shower scene with Tina Carver can invigorate the segments not featuring the Tabanga.” Exclamation Mark
“Why did I have to fall in love with a dedicated female scientist. She considers marriage some kind of prison.”
“Obviously locked doors mean nothing to the monster.”
Cast and characters:
Tod Andrews … Doctor William Arnold
Tina Carver … Doctor Terry Mason
Linda Watkins … Mrs Mae Kilgore
John McNamara … Professor Clark
Gregg Palmer … Kimo
Robert Swan … Tano
Baynes Barron … Chief Maranka
Suzanne Ridgway … Korey
Mark Sheeler … Eddie
Lee Rhodes … Norgu
Grace Mathews … Orchid
Tani Marsh … Naomi
Chester Hayes … Maku / The Tabanga
Lenmana Guerin … Dori
Al Kikume … Native (uncredited)
Black and white
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1
Audio: Mono (Westrex Recording System)