Today has been an interesting day so far. Well, it actually started last night when I got home and after eating dinner, pretty much passed out on the couch for almost 5 hours. been a while since I did that. I went to bed and wound up sleeping for another 7-8 hours, making it the longest amount of time I have slept in quite a while. However, that much sleep has left me feeling a little sluggish. So as I am watching some workers remove some trees and bushes around the house, I am also trying to watch today’s movie but I will be honest, the sound of falling trees is doing a good job of distracting me from today’s movie, The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues.
The plot: A lone fisherman is out in the ocean but as he casts his net, a strange creature swims up and drags the man out of the boat and into the water below. Later, the body and boat wash up on the shore and are found by a man who quickly runs off when Ted Baxter walks up. As Ted bends down to examine the body, he is ordered to stop by William “Bill” Grant, a special investigator for the Department of Defense. Ted notes the burns on the body and boat and when Grant asks what he is doing there, he says he is on his way to see Professor King at the local university. The two stop talking when they notice a man with a speargun watching them from a nearby cliff and after Grant orders him down, they learn that he is King’s assistant, George Thomas, and Grant tells him to steer clear of thebeach. Meanwhile, the man who first found the body is revealed to be King and as he returns home, he is soaking wet and his daughter Lois chastises him for being so secretive with his work to the point that his assistants are wondering about what he is doing as he has cut them out of his work and King says they are trying to spy on him. When someone knocks on the door, King tells his daughter to say he is asleep and he rushes into his room. Lois opens the door and invites Ted inside and when he asks to see King, she tries to tell him he is asleep but Ted notices the wet footprints on the carpet so Lois knocks on her father’s door but discovers that he snuck out of the room. The next day, Ted is using a geiger counter to examine the boat when he is again approached by Grant, who addresses him as Ted Stephens, having learned that Ted is an expert in radiation. At the College of Oceanography, King’s secretary Ethel arrives at the office and Andy the janitor greets her and mentions the dead body on the beach, saying it is the third one recently. Andy also comments about George following King around and hiding in the bushes. King arrives at and after unlocking the door to his personal lab, tells Ethel he is not to be disturbed. Ethel notices that King dropped a piece of paper and goes to pick it up, just as George walks in and takes the paper from her, then after checking the information, he asks Ethel to help him get inside King’s lab. Inside the lab, King begins experimenting with Radiation on a turtle he found on the beach, causing it to mutate. Meanwhile, Ted heads out into the ocean and dives down to investigate the ocean floor when he spots the creature and quickly swims back to his boat. Heading to shore, Ted is surprised to run into Lois, who is sunbathing on the beach, and after talking for a while, Ted asks that she stay out of the water. Later, Ted goes to the college and speaks with King, telling him about the dead fisherman and asks to see charts of the ocean’s floor and King invites him to lunch at his place and he will get them for him. Ted heads to the house, surprising Lois, who had just gotten out of the shower, and when King arrives, he hands Ted the charts he asked for, calling him by his real name. Ted then tells King about the a beam of radiation that is coming from the bottom of the ocean and about the creature that appears to be guarding it and says he feels like the creature is man made but King scoffs at the notion. Back at his lab, King tells Ethel that Grant requested a scuba tank and to inform Andy and the night watchmen in case he shows up when Ethel or King is not there. Meanwhile, George meets with a woman named Wanda who is attempting to acquire King’s research from him and he scolds her for meeting in public. Ethel meets with Grant to tell him her suspicions about King and he has her make a wax impression of the office lock so he can make a key for it, unaware that Wanda is overhearing everything. Meanwhile, a couple go scuba diving in the ocean and as they swim back to their boat, the creature swims after them and attacks them. Ted and Lois are on a date and as they head back to Lois’ house, they find the bodies of the couple and Ted sends Lois to go get Grant. As he examines the bodies, George fires a spear gun at him but misses and gets away before Ted can catch up to him. Ted and Grant decide on a course of action and Grant takes the spear to be dusted for prints while Ted goes to get the dive equipment that Grant had requested. The two head out into the water but as Grant puts his gear on, he suddenly takes it off as he started choking and they find some pills in their regulators that someone had put there. Continuing with their plan, they dive down and encounter the monster but after trying to shoot it with a spear gun and missing, the two quickly swim back to their boat and head to shore. As they get dressed, Grant says he believes someone from the college is responsible and plans on getting proof that night. At the college, Ethel notices one of the spear guns missing and when George says that King grabbed one last night, Ethel says she saw George with one as well. George tries to get in the lab and asks Ethel for help, saying he is in trouble, but she refuses to help him. Ted goes to King’s house, and tells King about the results of their dive. Meanwhile, George meets Wanda on the beach, who tells him that she saw Ethel talking with Grant and gives George one more day to get King’s research. King heads to his lab just as Ethel is leaving but when he walks inside the lab, he finds Ethel’s keys on the floor and he heads back into the office as she comes back in looking for them and hands them to her. As Ethel is heading along the beach to meet with Grant, George kills her with a speargun. King heads home and finds Ted and Lois there, but just as he apologizes to Ted, Grant and the sheriff arrive to question King about Ethel’s murder. The next day, the sheriff tells Ted and Grant that George is the one who killed Ethel and as Ted goes to tell King the news, Grant and the sheriff head off to find George. Ted speaks tells King and Lois the news, then speaks with King alone about what is going on and King admits to there being a uranium deposit under the oceans floor that he uncovered and he created the monster using one of Ted’s own experiments to guard it. Ted asks how to destroy it and King says he doesn’t know if he wants to but asks for an hour to think about it. At the King’s house, Lois decides to go find her father and Ted agrees to go with him but as they leave the house, they witness a ship suddenly explode out in the ocean. King sees the explosion from his lab and realizing he inadvertently caused it, destroys his lab then takes off to the beach. Meanwhile, Grant and the sheriff arrest Wanda and George and then Grant heads to the lab, meeting Ted and Lois there and they head to the beach to find King. King dons some scuba gear and swims out to where the radiations is and places a bomb there but as he tries to swim away, the creature grabs him and they are both killed in the explosion.
This was a pretty interesting little movie from the 50’s. The acting was pretty good, with Kent Taylor (Ted), Michael Whalen (King), and Rodney Bell (Grant) doing great jobs in their roles. The story was interesting but honestly got a little confusing, with too many sub-plots basically cluttering up the movie at times. This was a low budget movie so obviously the special effects were not going to be groundbreaking but the creature design actually looked pretty good. Not an Oscar winning movie but definitely a fun movie to watch on a lazy Saturday like today.
Rating: 3 out of 5