Destination Inner Space – USA, 1966 – overview and reviews

 

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Destination Inner Space is a 1966 science fiction monster film directed by Francis D. Lyon (Castle of Evil; Cult of the Cobra) from a screenplay by Arthur C. Pierce (The Cosmic Man; Mutiny in Outer Space; The Navy vs. the Night Monsters).

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The film is infamous for its aquatic monster, which looks like a cross between a piranha and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Its alternate title is the more suitable Terror of the Deep. It stars Scott Brady (Castle of Evil; Gremlins), Gary Merrill (The Mysterious Island) and Sheree North.

The film’s strident score is by Paul Dunlap, the composer for several horror and sci-fi films, such as I Was a Teenage Werewolf and The Angry Red Planet.

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A group of researchers working in an underwater laboratory encounter with an Unidentified Submerged Object (USO – an undersea flying saucer), the base is attacked by a monster that may be the vanguard for invading aliens. The researchers and the base’s military staff must deal with the creature and destroy the USO…

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“The great mass of warmed-over leftovers in the script never comes anywhere close to developing its own identity, and anybody who has seen The Thing, The Atomic Submarine, or Revenge of the Creature is likely to spend most of the mental energy he or she devotes to Destination Inner Space on ticking off the elements stolen from each. Most of what entertainment value it has can be traced to its deficiency in two major areas: acting and special effects.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

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“The underwater models of the sealab are ridiculously small, and look exactly the size they are. The producers could at least have studied the TV series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea a little closer, for tips. Speaking of TV, this looks like an early TV movie, mostly a TV cast, TV-friendly aspect ratio, and tame on the violence…” Black Hole

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“Low budget and average performances do not prevent director Francis Lyon from providing a first-rate entertainment. Nothing profound; just fun.” Jeff Rovin, A Pictorial History of Science Fiction Films

“The picture is unpretentious, quick paced, and admirably unworried about putting the saucer and the monster on screen as often as possible. The monster looks like an exaggerated Creech with harsh accents and bright red fins.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

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“With the alien erupting from a pod on board an investigating submarine, there is a distinct affinity to It! The Terror from Beyond Space. Despite a rickety script and barely adequate performances, the movie is enjoyable of its type.” Alan Frank, The Science Fiction and Fantasy Film Handbook, Batsford, 1982

“For what is obviously a low budget production, this is a splendid piece of hokum, with good sets and photography and a lively pace.” Monthly Film Bulletin

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Cast and characters:

  • Scott Brady as Cmdr. Wayne
  • Sheree North as Doctor Rene Peron
  • Gary Merrill as Doctor LaSatier
  • Wende Wagner as Sandra Welles
  • Mike Road as Hugh Maddox
  • John Howard as Doctor James
  • William Thourlby as Tex
  • Biff Elliot as Doctor Wilson
  • Glenn Sipes as Mike
  • Richard Niles as Ellis
  • Roy Barcroft as Skipper
  • Ed Charles Sweeny as Bos’un
  • Ken Delo as Radio Man
  • Ron Burke as The Thing
  • James Hong as Ho Lee – R.I.P.D.; The Vineyard; Shadowzone

Image thanks: Zombo’s Closet

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One Comment on “Destination Inner Space – USA, 1966 – overview and reviews”

  1. One of those films that certainly could have benefited from a bigger budget. The miniature work is pretty poor as the one review stated. Makes one wonder if this was the first time the crew shot miniatures? Best thing is the monster, but the big back is a dead giveaway that he has an air tank in there, and he shows some serious wear and tear by the film’s end. Still, he looks pretty damn ferocious and is very colorful.

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