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Film / The Monster That Challenged the World

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A giant monster film from 1957, directed by Arnold Laven and starring Tim Holt and Audrey Dalton.

A string of disappearances happen on a lake in the middle of a desert. The culprits are revealed to be giant mollusks that start rising up from the depths, and their upcoming numbers threaten the U.S. Navy base nearby, and everything else beyond it.

This film has the examples of:

  • Adorably Precocious Child: Little Sandy has the run of the lab, which nearly leads to disaster when she fiddles with the lab equipment to warm up some chilled rabbits.
  • Autopsy Snack Time: After Twillinger questions the coroner about what he has learned from the drained corpses, he offers him and the sheriff a sandwich ("It's nice and cold"). Twillinger declines.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Louis Clark Dobbs, head of the Imperial County Museum. The man has genuinely useful knowledge pertaining to several previously unknown waterways. However, he has a poor way of communicating, which comes across as strange to others.
  • Eye Scream: One of the creatures attack Twillinger and company on their boat, and is driven off after it gets its eye poked out.
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Twillinger tries to get one creature's attention by throwing beakers at it. That fails, so he grabs a fire extinguisher.
  • Informed Species: The monsters are given stubby legs and pincer jaws, making them look more like caterpillars with snail shells than like snails.
  • It's All My Fault: Upon learning that her daughter Jody is likely dead, Mrs. Simms has a complete breakdown. Crying as she loudly blames herself for her daughters' death.
  • Mama Bear: Mrs. Simms is very protective of her daughter Jody. Sadly, this does not prevent Jody from becoming one of the giant mollusk's victims.
  • Night Swim Equals Death: Two lovers Morty and Jody go swimming in the moonlight, and they soon disappear beneath the surface.
  • Race Against the Clock: Creatures' eggs are discovered in the bottom of the lake, and they all must be destroyed before they hatch.
  • Touch of the Monster: Posters for the film had variations of scantily clad women in peril at the monsters' claws.