Teenagers Battle the Thing (1958)

One of the ways to tell just how cheap a film is is to look for how many close-ups there are.  It is much harder to set up a close-up than a medium or long shot, it takes longer and therefore is more expensive.

So what does it say when you have a movie without a single close-up in it?

Seriously.  It’s possible I missed one, somewhere, but I really don’t think I did.

There isn’t much here, actually.  A High School class Archaeology trip uncovers a mysterious lost tomb.  There’s a lot of introductory talk about something evolving up through the aeons that isn’t man but is like him, lurking just outside human society.  There’s also talk about extremely ancient artifacts, some previously unknown civilization, the strange preservation method used to make the “mummy” in the tomb, and how it might have instead brought about some form of hibernation (to me, it sounds more like smoking bacon.  But most of us really do not find much to fear in a BLT).  So we get to take our pick just what the big shaggy thing with the silly face actually is.  Or was.

Yummmm.  Bacon.

What bothers me more than anything else is the utterly lackadaisical attitude on display here towards scientific procedure:  they show up on site, and the Professor just sends them all out in different directions to start digging, without any further instructions.  Or marking squares on the ground.  Or using tiny trowels and brushes to clear things.   We do, at least, get to see them running their tailings into a sieve, but somehow that misses the fact that if you’re doing it right, you should have got everything useful out first.

Oh well.  At least it’s short.  I guess we know why this one was “lost”.




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