the semi-swingin’ world of monster movies


Yours truly was lucky enough to receive the new Criterion Eclipse Series: When Horror Came to Shochiku over the holidays.  So far I’ve only watched one of the four films, the X From Outer Space (1967).  It’s a fun film, though basically a derivative monster movie ala Godzilla.

But what I want to focus on here is not the candidate for most bizarre-monster-antagonist (above), but the design of the film itself.  The first (non-monster) half of the film focuses on a space crew who leave earth for Mars.  When repelled by unknown forces, they stop halfway at the Moon Base……


So this is what the LUNCH ROOM of the Moon Base looks like, groovy as hell.  Also check out their economical yet simple shower accommodations:


xspacex1My point is that I love to look at the “imagined space future” of 1967.  Check out the lounge the visiting astronauts drink, dance and chill in:

xspace4 (2)

While the relaxation spots on this base may be of the space age bachelor pad variety, the overall look of Mission Control (back on Earth) is less festive:

xspace11Green walls, red phones, blinking lights, huge knobs and meters.  This is not the Verner Panton, Joe Columbo, LA Airport kind of space-age design, but a much more measured and controlled variety.  I’m sure most of that has to do with the budget of the film, but accidental or not, it’s still an effective aesthetic.

And if you were curious how you track a spaceship flying to Mars in ’67, look no further than the board with blinking lights!


They even have a clear one:


You should know the film functions just fine with its great monster destruction and bizarre love story.  If you like fun monster movies, The X From Outer Space is pure gold.  This tangent post is simply about the way the imagined future looks; its sparse-yet-colorful economy, its swinging comfort level, all those knobs and buttons……

(One more, I can’t resist, just look at this instrument panel……)


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2 Responses to the semi-swingin’ world of monster movies

  1. kc says:

    brilliant & boy that bathtub made me chuckle

  2. Pingback: SquarePop | Too cool to be cool

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