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Posts by Bill Dan Courtney

Review: Zontar: The Thing from Venus (1966)

Zontar: The Thing from Venus title Card

We're still a bit tired from our long month of covering all things Texas Chainsaw Massacre, so enjoy this guest review from The Uranium Cafe's Bill Dan Courtney.

By the mid-1960s, American-International Pictures, once a struggling outfit that churned out low-budget but profitable movies for drive-in movie theaters, had become perhaps the most successful and powerful of the independent film companies in Hollywood. A logical step it seemed was to move into the now lucrative syndicated television market and so AIP-TV was formed. One of the projects AIP-TV took on was to remake a handful of AIP's earlier film and release them in color to a new generation of movie viewers. They hired legendary Z-movie shlockmeister Larry Buchanan, who made movies with a bare minimum of money and talent, yet still managed to at least break even if not turn a small profit. Buchanan produced eight films for AIP-TV with his Azalea Pictures company based out of Dallas, Texas. Zontar: The Thing from Venus, a remake of Roger Corman's It Conquered the World, is considered by many to be the best of his AIP-TV productions and even has B-movie icon John Agar in the role played by Peter Graves in the original film. Of course one can hardly say that the best Larry Buchanan film is anything that is going to excite the masses; they are films for the cognoscenti of camp and cheese only and rise to the quality of an Al Adamson movie at best.(read more...)