“I don’t know exactly how I understand, but it’s a form of hyperspace hypnotism.”
A laser satellite is being launched into space. Dr. Keith Ritchie (Tony Huston) wants it stopped. He says it is a menace to the safety of the world. He says the other planets are sending us a warning to stop. A few months later at dinner with his colleague Dr. Curt Taylor (John Agar) and his wife Anne (Susan Bjurman) that he has made contact with an alien from Venus. The alien is named Zontar. Taylor gets a call telling him that the satellite is missing. Ritchie knows that Zontar has way-laid the satellite to use as transportation to Earth. Zontar is coming.
Ritchie tells his wife Martha (Pat Delany) that the alien is here to help the Earth solve its problems. Of course the alien wants to do that by enslaving everybody with the help of mind control devices. Ritchie believes the alien. Zontar arrives and begins causing local power outages and disruptions in communications. Even cars won’t start. Taylor and Anne get stranded and end up walking to Ritchie’s house.
Zontar starts controlling people’s minds by growing and shooting out, what Ritchie calls “injecto- pods”. They look like flying, winged lobsters. He can only generate 8 at a time so they are reserved for select people.
Later Dr. Nelson returns home to find his wife newly assimilated. She then attempts to force his own assimilation using another flying lobster. Taylor kills the flying lobster. Then he kills his assimilated wife. The only people left that know about Zontar are Taylor, Ritchie and Ritchie’s wife Martha. Martha has been trying to get through to Ritchie that Zontar is using him and he means to conquer Earth. When Ritchie refuses to believe her she decides to take matters into her own hands and kill Zontar.
“Zontar: The thing from Venus” was released in 1966 and was directed by Larry Buchanan. It was a made for TV movie. The basis for Zontar lies in the cold war. Many science fiction movies from the 50’s correlated aliens from outer space with the “alien menace” from communist countries. “Zontar” is one of those movies. Even though it was made in the 60’s it is based on one that was done in the 50’s.
It is basically a re-make of “It Conquered The World”. “Zontar” has gotten a lot of criticism for being crappy. Yeah it was made by Larry Buchanan and Larry made crap. But the original movie was a Roger Corman movie. I mean really, can you make basically bad monster movie worse? Well… maybe. OK I guess you can. I will say that the monster in “Zontar” is better than the upside down ice cream cone in “It Conquered the World”. The monster in “Zontar” looked like a burnt vulture. A really cool burnt vulture.
I had reservations about “It Conquered the World”, however, in retrospect, compared to “Zontar”; “It Conquered the World” is genius. Believe it or not John Agar was the best actor in the movie. It’s like a really bad soap opera with aliens. Yes, yes, it’s crappy. But I laughed my guts out.