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[tab title="Movie Review"]

The Monster That Challenged the World (1957) - Blu-ray Review


3 beersThe Monster That Challenged the World might not be the smartest creature feature from the heyday of the atomic age but it is nonetheless enjoyable. It opens with a peaceful shot of what is supposed to be California’s Salton Sea as a brilliant white light – emerging from the middle of the screen – grows and grows into a blinding white flash that announces the title of the movie. Like Them! before it, the monster movie is easy to read for its political implication. Of course, the propaganda machine is a bit more inflamed in Them! as the Cold War heated up.

Directed by Arnold Laven (Without Warning!), this B-movie monster movie deals with an unnatural disaster that splits the ocean floor releasing a mutated angry mollusk to wreak havoc across California as the military scrambles to make sense of this huge, angry ball of slime. Starring Tim Holt, Audrey Dalton, and Hans Conried as Dr. Jess Rogers who has his hands full with monsters, investigations, and a number of foolish actions by men in uniforms on really small boats.

There are a number of solid sequences – most of them happening in the beginning of the film – that are nicely composed and effective in establishing a horror motif. One memorable scene involves the first shadowed reveal of the monster as it rises out of the sea. Its shadow, a very creepy insect-like unveiling, falls across the horrified face of one sailor before he is attacked and tossed into the ocean. Later, it is the horrified expressions frozen on the faces of the monster’s victims that shocks viewers.

We also get a lot of great shots of the monster which is a good thing as the design is ripe with detail. From the bulging eyes to the pincer jaws and the white slime it leaves in its wake, there is a lot for horror hounds to enjoy about the actual monster that storms the picture with its presence. While it may be faulty under a modern lens, the ten foot design of fiberglass and air pressure valves is damn impressive.  There are really some solid effects running through the belly of this thanks to the marvelous work of special effects photographer Robert H. Crandall, special effects design Ted Haworth, and, of course, the very talented special effects from Augie Lohman (Barbarella).

During the 1950s, there were a lot of mutated creatures attacking California. The Monster That Challenged the World is just one amongst them but due to the quality its effects and its science fiction thrills (even if some of the dialogue is hysterically loopy) it, just like giant slug at the center of its story, rises to the surface of the radioactive waste surrounding it.

The Monster That Challenged the World is now available on blu-ray courtesy of Kino Lorber Studio Classics.


[tab title="Film Details"]

The Monster That Challenged the World (1957) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: Approved
84 mins
: Arnold Laven
Pat Fielder
Tim Holt, Audrey Dalton, Hans Conried
: Horror | Sci-fi
Crawling up from the depths... to terrify and torture!.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Guess what, Sandy, you can go swimming again."
United Artists
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 1957
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
August 11, 2015
Synopsis: Giant mollusk monsters attack California.


[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

The Monster That Challenged the World (1957) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - August 11, 2015
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
: None
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Kino Lorber Studio Classics presents The Monster That Challenged the World on blu-ray with a 1080p transfer that presents its monster in glorious detail against strong shadows and good contrast. This is a good old fashioned B&W flick and, with clean lines and strong black levels, it is hard to find fault with it. The 2.0 DTS-HD MA sound mix is solid.



  • Tom Weaver, a film historian, provides a seriously great commentary that covers the making of the film and a bit about the B-movie movement during the 1950s.

Special Features:

The original trailer is the only actual bonus here.

  • Theatrical Trailer


[tab title="Trailer"]