Review of “The Monolith Monsters” (1957)


Saturday Pizza and Bad Movie Night:


After a meteorite shatters unnoticed across a remote spot in the desert, geologist Ben Gilbert (Phil Harvey) comes across an odd rock in his travels in the desert and brings it back to the office. He can’t figure out what it is. He turns in for the night, leaving a window open. The wind kicks up. While he’s snoozing, the wind blows a beaker of distilled water onto the mystery rock. It starts sizzling.

Ben’s partner, Dave Williams (Grant Miller), returns the next days, to find the lab a wreck, littered with odd black rock. Where’s Ben? Dave finally finds him—in his pajamas, turned to stone.


There’s a lot of hooey in this film, but what makes it different is there’s no evil intent in the danger. The rocks are just doing their rock thing. They’re not out to conquer the universe or destroy mankind or capitalism. Another nice aspect is the viewer is in what makes the rocks tick before the characters are. The viewers have seen what happens when water hits them. When little Ginny Simpson (Linda Sheley) sets her rock, picked up on a field trip, in a tub full of water outside her family farmhouse, the viewer knows the bad stuff is going to hit the fan. Dave and local newspaperman Martin Cochrane (Les Tremayne) are still pondering the rocks. Over their shoulders, a storm breaks. The viewer can scream, “All those rocks in the desert! Dudes! Get a move on!”

Again, the solution may be, well, hooey, but at least it was logically consistent. It’s crystal growth gone wild.

According to IMDB, this film borrowed footage from 1938’s Born to be Wild and 1953’s It Came from Outer Space.

Viewed via February 29, 2020 via Svengoolie.



Grant Williams … Dave Miller
Lola Albright … Cathy Barrett
Les Tremayne … Martin Cochrane
Trevor Bardette … Prof. Arthur Flanders
Phil Harvey … Ben Gilbert
William Flaherty … Police Chief Dan Corey

Directed by John Sherwood

Writing Credits Norman Jolley …(screenplay) and Robert M. Fresco …(screenplay)
Jack Arnold …(story) and Robert M. Fresco …(story)

Title: The Monolith Monsters

Published by 9siduri

I have written book and movie reviews for the late and lamented sites Epinions and Examiner. I have book of reviews of speculative fiction from before 1900, and short works in publications such Mobius, Protea Poetry Journal, and, most recently, Wisconsin Review and Drunken Pen Writing. I'm busily working away on a book of reviews pulp science fiction stories from the 1930s-1960s. It's a lot of fun. I am the author of the short story "Always Coming Home," a chapbook of poetry titled "Sotto Voce," and a collection of reviews of pre-1900 speculative fiction, "By Firelight."

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