The Beast with Million Eyes (1955)
"...because it will seem like I see your most secret acts, you will know me as the beast with a million eyes." Alien
If you watch this flick expecting to see a multi-eyed creature you will be sorely disappointed. Yes, I know the movie poster and opening credit art hint at such a creature. The actual “beast” is an alien with the power to control animals (and eventually humans) to do its bidding. The alien’s vision is expanded through the creatures it controls. When the alien’s ship lands outside a remote date farm, the Kelley family is forced to get a grip on their various issues in order to fight the alien threat.
The premise is promising but falls short in delivery. While an all encompassing animal attack on humanity could be terrifying as in Hitchcock’s The Birds or James Patterson’s Zoo most of the attacks in this flick seem more silly than scary. Maybe it is because a flock of churlish chickens or a single rampaging cow is not as threatening as a pack of wild dogs or an angry bear. Even when Kelley family is aware their critters are on the warpath, the mother proceeds with daughter Sandy’s birthday party as though all animal life is not intent on killing them. After all nothing stops escalating insanity and violence like birthday cake and a pretty party dress.
Even though the film seems more like a family drama with creepy accouterments (like the mute lurking handy man) than a creature feature it is still worth a watch. If nothing else, it is comforting to know that even a dysfunctional family can rally to defeat an alien with apparently superior intelligence.
Filming took place in Indio and O’Rourke’s Date Ranch at Coachella Valley California.
Budget was approximately $30,000.
Most of the music featured in the film was public domain music cues from Richard Wagner, Dimitri Shostakovich, Giuseppe Verdi and others.