I think I have said this before, but classic sci-fi movie posters are awesome. Since most of them were drawn, they showed a lot more imagination than more modern posters, where it is either actors posing before a backdrop or a collage of the various actors in the movie. Today’s movie definitely had a cool looking poster but what I like most about this movie is something that was left out of the poster. See, though he is uncredited, Roger Corman had a hand in directing and producing this movie, which is all I needed to know in order to make me want to watch it. So let’s see what The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes has in store for us.
The plot: On a declining, isolated ranch, Sandy Kelley overhears her parents arguing about her going to college and her mother, Carol, saying sometimes that she hates her. Allan tries to reason with her and Carol does apologize for what she said, saying that she is frustrated with their situation and nervous about “Him”, a mute ranch-hand that she claims is always staring at them. While Allan goes to check some of the date trees, Sandy and Carol have an argument and Sandy takes off to go swimming with her dog Duke, unaware that Him has followed and is watching her. Back at the house, Carol is cooking when she hears a high pitched sound, which she believes to be a low flying jet, that breaks most of the glass in the house. Sandy also hears the sound and decides to head home but when Duke starts barking, she notices Him in the tree and yells at him to get down, then goes looking for Duke, who had run off. Back at the house, Carol is on the phone with the sheriff complaining about what happened then notices that the food she was cooking has burned. Stressed by everything that had happened, she lashes out at Him, who had come to the house for food. Meanwhile, Allan is driving and stops when he notices a dead bird on the side of the road but as he investigates it, a flock of birds suddenly start to attack him and he is forced back into his car. He heads to a neighboring ranch and speaks to it’s owner Ben Webber, who says things have been strange since that plane passed overhead. In the desert, Duke discovers a strange device and begins growling at the sound it is making. Meanwhile, Allan picks up Sandy and they head home, where they notice all the broken glass. Larry Brewster, a sheriff’s deputy that is dating Sandy, shows up and speaks with Carol and Allan about the noise and damage before driving off with Sandy. After Allan leaves to go into town, Carol hears Duke and goes out to greet the dog, but when Duke starts snarling at her, she races back inside the house. Remembering that Duke knows how to open the door, she grabs a gun and shoots at him when the door opens but she misses and runs outside. She tries to get Him to open his door but when he doesn’t answer, she grabs the axe from the woodpile and ducks into the woodshed with Duke following her. Him goes outside and when he hears Carol screaming, he runs out into the desert. Allan and Sandy return home and find Carol sitting in the dark and when she explains what happened, Sandy doesn’t believe her and thinks like Carol killed Duke on purpose and runs off. Sandy ends up wandering into the desert and when she runs into Him, she wonders why they were both wandering in the desert and convinces Him to head back to the house. The next morning, Ben is going out to milk his cow when she suddenly attacks and kills him. At the Kelley ranch, Carol is feeding the chickens when they suddenly attack her but Allan manages to save her. Later, Allan takes Him out to take care of some of the trees but as soon as he leaves, Him wanders out into the desert. Allan stops by Ben’s house but he finds Ben’s body on the ground and wonders what happened to it. At the house, Sandy and Carol see the cow and decide to try and capture it but the cow suddenly tries to attack them and a returning Allan is forced to shoot it. Allan tries calling Larry for help but some birds manage to take out the power and phone lines to the house so Allan decides they need to leave. The drive to where he left Him but when he doesn’t see Him, Allan tells Carol and Sandy to drive into town and get Larry while he heads back to the house to see if Him is there. After they drive off, Allan notices the dead birds near the power lines but he is suddenly attacked by a flock of birds and has to fend them off. Allan makes it back home but he is surprised to see Carol and Sandy there and Carol shows him what happened to the car and they were forced to come back home. When the birds return to the house, Allan has everyone head inside to be safe and believes that something is controlling the animals. Meanwhile, Him has come back from the desert and lets the air out of Allan’s car, preventing them from being able to escape. Larry is driving to the Kelley’s ranch and he spies Him in the middle of the road. He offers him a ride back to the house and Him hits him in the back of the head, causing Larry to crash. Him runs out to the device but Larry follows and the two begin fighting but Larry manages to beat him then heads towards the Kelley’s house. Sandy sneaks out of the house to look for Larry and finds Him, who grabs her and begins taking her to the desert. Larry arrives at the house and when he explains what happened, he goes looking for Sandy with Allan. They find Him carrying Sandy towards the device, and Allan manages to convince Him, who calls Carl, to give him Sandy, which he does before he collapses dead. Carol shows up and Allan explains how he managed to reach Carl before anything serious happened. Suddenly, they hear a voice, explaining that it is an alien consciousness without body that feeds on brains. It plans on taking Sandy back to it’s planet in order to study humankind. The creature wonders how Carol, who he considered the weakest, has suddenly gained strength and Allan explains that it is love that gives them strength. Carrying Sandy between them, Allan and Carol head towards the crater where the alien craft is located and when the creature demands that Sandy be placed inside, they refuse and glimpse a beastly creature inside. When the creature dies, the ship suddenly blasts off and Allan wonders if the brain dies with the creature.
I will admit, this is a bit hard to follow. Lorna Thayer (Carol) and Dona Cole (Sandy) were both pretty good and I have to give credit to Leonard Tarver (Him/Carl), who did manage quite a bit of character for playing a mute. Everyone else honestly didn’t really stand out. The story was kind of hard to follow and nothing was really explained until the last 10 minutes, and even then the explanation given didn’t really explain everything. Due to the low budget, you don’t actually see the animals attacking people (outside of a couple of “birds” flying towards them, but that actually helped make add some suspense to the movie. Not the greatest movie but there are some bright spots worth looking for in it.
Rating: 2 out of 5