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Cast

Tod Andrews - Dr. William Arnold
Tina Carver - Dr. Terry Mason
Linda Watkins - Mrs. Mae Kilgore
John McNamara - Prof. Clark
Gregg Palmer - Kimo
Suzanne Ridgeway - Korey

From Hell It Came is a 1957 horror and science fiction film directed by Dan Milner and written by Jack Milner

Plot

A South Seas island prince is wrongly convicted of murder and executed by having a knife driven into his heart, the result of a plot by a witch doctor (the true murderer) who resented the prince's friendly relations with American scientists stationed on a field laboratory on the island. The prince is buried in a hollow tree trunk and forgotten about until nuclear radiation reanimates him in the form of the "Tabanga", a scowling tree stump.

The monster escapes from the laboratory and kills several people, including the witch doctor, whom the Tabanga pushes down a hill to be impaled on his own crown of shark teeth. The creature cannot be stopped, burned, or trapped. Only when a crack rifle shot from one of the scientists drives the knife (which still protrudes from the creature's chest) all the way through its heart does it finally die and sink into the swamp.


Production

The iconic Tabanga monster was designed by Paul Blaisdell (also known for his work on The She Creature, Invasion of the Saucer Men, Not of This Earth and It! The Terror from Beyond Space) but was manufactured by Don Post Studios.
Release

It was released by Allied Artists. Warner Home Video released it on DVD in 2009.

Reaction

According to Tim Healey, it deserves an honored place in the canon of the world's worst movies. However, in Leonard Maltin's movie guidebook, the film was rated at 1½ stars (only the second-lowest of seven ratings available), with the comment that "As walking-tree movies go, this is at the top of the list." James Rolfe reviewed it in his Cinemassacre's Monster Madness series, acknowledging the absurdity of having a tree monster "come from hell" rather than a demon or oni.