I figure this film needed to be discussed simply as I mentioned it in The Fog (1980) review, and realized that there’s a high percentage chance that many readers may never have heard of it, hence the time to revisit, as one might recall, John Carpenter stated it was one of a few concepts for inspiration for his movie. One needs to note two things, first this film is actually a spin-off of a 1956 television series called The Trollenberg Terror which ran a 6-part mini-series of the same name that aired and secondly instead of remaking other classics in the horror genre this movie was definitely in need of better production values and story-line improvements. Some might have seen this film via Mystery Science Theater, it does have some goofy storyline parts, but director Quentin Lawrence, making his debut does accomplished a lot with very little budget and resources for his black and white flick. However the film, had one ace in its pocket, the future legendary screenwriter Jimmy Sangster, who would go one to write for Hammer Studios, for such productions as The Horror of Frankenstein .
The movie opens with three friends climbing the Trollenberg mountain in the Alps that measures about 1,200 feet; yet their clothing is quite odd with shoes, slacks, a sweater and hats, definitely not winter gear for mountain climbing. As the lead climber reaches the summit, he is mysteriously decapitated off-screen, sorry gore-hounds, hence closing out the introduction to the film. Meanwhile, U.N. special investigator Alan Brooks (Forrest Tucker (The Abominable Snowman )), traveling by train sharing a compartment sitting room with a well-known mind-reading team Anne and her sister Sarah Pilgrim (Janet Munro and Jennifer Jayne, respectively) bound for Geneva, Anne’s telepathic powers, however, compel them to stop at Trollenberg, the same stop for Alan. At the lodge, in one of the fakest looking rides, they meet two geologists, Dewhurst (Stuart Saunders) and Brett (Andrew Faulds (Blood of the Vampire )) who are preparing to climb to a small hut on the mountain where they can study rock formations. Brooks joins them riding cable car afterward they go in separate directions, he ventures to heavily fortified observatory meets an old friend, a professor who studies cosmic rays Professor Crevett (Warren Mitchell (Blood Beast from Outer Space )). They discuss what lurks in the clouds and the connection of a slew of deaths. Later that night, during a performance involving the sisters we learn of the partial fate of the hikers, the following night Brett returns, and it all enters in the deeper plot exploration, thanks to reporter Philip (Laurence Payne (The Tell-Tale Heart )), in the second act. Needless, to say the conclusion results in some far-fetched concepts, including a United Nations investigator Alan having the ability to call a British bomber strikes on his Switzerland mountaintop cloud cover targets all while striving as the believable hero with all the answers. Lawrence tries his best to keep the audience off guard, and creating some tension with the cable car, and the unknown thing in the fog/clouds.
Sadly, aside from some strange storylines, the actual problem is the monsters themselves and their intent, it’s always stated that if the monster or creature isn’t good, try to avoid showing it, the best option used the actors’ facial expressions to show the impending doom. However, since that’s not done, we the audience ache for Ray Harryhausen (It Came From Beneath the Sea ) to save us from this horrible looking beast, which appear an oversized brains with one large eyeball and scrawny wire manipulated tentacles. Meanwhile the stock footage doesn’t match to the scenes when it comes the bombing raid, obvious something from War World II and finally the various runtimes available the 75-minute version is he American as it wanted the reveal of creatures faster and the 84-minutes is the properly restored version.
Simply this isn’t going to set a new path ablaze for you, nor is it terrible, it’s a slightly below average 50’s b-movie that’s found on YouTube for free, while the film thrives for suspense it doesn’t clearly make it the logic pitfalls become to great and leave the audience groaning. Although the band The Misfits were inspired by the flick to make a song called “The Crawling Eye” from the ‘Famous Monsters’.
WARNING: If you’ve ever been hypnotized, do not come alone!
A man dissolves…and out of the oozing mist comes the hungry eye, slave to the demon brain!
The nightmare terror of the slithering eye that unleashed agonizing horror on a screaming world!
It’s looking for you!
IMDb Rating: 5.0/10
Baron’s Rating: 4.5/10
Full length movie found Here: