The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues is directed by Dan Milner and written by Dorys Lukather and Lou Rusoff. It stars Kent Taylor, Cathy Downs and Michael Whalen. Music is by Ronald Stein and photography by Brydon Baker.
Plot, for what it's worth, sees an amphibian like creature suddenly start killing any unfortunate human being that strays near its lair. And just what is that glowing thing down there?
An absolute hack job attempting to cash in on the success of far better films of its ilk that were all the rage in the 1950s. It's the sort of Z grade film that gives the fans of creaky creature features and sci-fi schlockers a bad name. Right off the bat the makers commit a big error by introducing us to the man in the rubber suit straight away, a hopeless creation that's about as scary as the insipid dialogue that litters the production. Dialogue that's delivered by a cast of wooden actors who bring laughs on account of the fact they seem to be taking their roles seriously!
Milner's direction accounts to being a number of similar scenes strung together at different intervals, with the creature's appearances being as rare as any suspense is. While the 10,000 Leagues aspect is rendered a big joke since the creature is in water that's only about 5 fathoms deep! I wonder if the makers realised that just one league is 3 nautical miles?!
Is it in the "so bad it's good" category? Absolutely not! There's a modicum of science interest involving genetic tests and atomic energy dabblings, but this is lost amongst the laborious pacing as the characters do incredibly dumb things. While somewhat surprisingly Ronald Stein's foreboding music is decent and deserves a better movie. It also has a great title, with awesome poster art to match, but all told it's a major "league" clunker and only makes one cherish even more the likes of Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. 2/10
One great advantage to this Uh.... Movie is we get to see the hokey creatures up front. The story unfolds fast and the plot is set up front. Then we get to see it unfold. Sort of like an old Colombo (Peter Falk) show where everyone knows the culprit in advance. We also get some really bad background music with a 50's feel.
Professor King (Michael Whalen) dabbles with the forces of nature and gets the standard results. His daughter Lois (Cathy Downs) of course knows nothing about it; if she had only known in time. Lois and Dr. King are perused by a technical investigator, Dr. Ted Stevens (Kent Taylor.)
Someone is dispatching people with a scuba spear. Who and why. Just what is the secret?
I wanted to give this movie one star but on reflection I really watched it.
Remember: "Nature has many secrets that man must not disturb, this is one of them"