20 Million Miles to Earth is an interesting if largely forgettable science-fiction film from the heyday of the genre in the 1950’s. However the film has one or two noteworthy aspects to it that separates it from other examples of the time. The first of these is an Italian setting. The film opens in a fishing village off the coast of Sicily. The calm heat of a Mediterranean afternoon is shattered when a rocket suddenly appears in the sky and crashes into the sea. The bewildered fisherman scatter like a shoal of fish, but fortunately a couple of brave fellows are on hand to investigate the possibility of survivors. We later discover that the rocket was returning from an expedition to Venus and the only survivor Colonel Robert Calder (William Hopper) is keen to get his hands on a cylinder brought back from the mysterious planet. Pretty soon the might of the US military led by Major General McIntosh (Thomas Browne Henry) has descended on the sleepy village. Urgency is the order of the day as the cylinder which contains the egg of a weird lizard like creature from Venus has found its way into the hands of the zoologist Dr. Leonardo (Frank Puglia) and his daughter Marisa (Joan Taylor). The creatures adaptation to the atmosphere is terrifying and unique as it starts to grow to massive proportions. Eventually the creature is caught and chained up in a zoo in Rome, but he soon escapes to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting Italian populace.
© Shaun Anderson 2010