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Comparison:

  • US Version
  • German Version
Release: Oct 18, 2021 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Mike Lowrey - external link: IMDB

She is what they call a blonde bomber.
~ The characterization of Nora by a pilot

A research expedition has been taking soil samples in the Arctic and has come across a prehistoric plant species. These samples are to be flown to the US for further study. But as the plane is about to land on Gow Island for refueling, disaster strikes. The plane rolls off the runway and the only person left on board is the distraught pilot, who is unable to speak due to shock. All other crew members seem to have bailed out beforehand. Arthur Beecham, a biologist stationed on Gow Island, recommends using the prehistoric plant species. Lieutenant Charles Brown and nurse Nora Hall become increasingly aware that something terrible must have happened. When mysterious attacks occur at night, it slowly becomes clear that the plants have developed a murderous life of their own. Their offshoots threaten to overgrow the entire island.

Based on the book The Monster from Earth's End by Murray Leinster, director Michael A. Hoey wrote a screenplay that echoes the premise of The Thing. During filming, Hoey had a falling out with producer Jack Broder, who wanted a longer film so he could sell it to television. Hoey was also unhappy with the special effects, especially the cheap look of the trees, and refused to shoot these scenes. So on the one hand, Arthur C. Pierce came on board to shoot additional action scenes and on the other, Jon Hall, who filmed the scenes at the end when the trees were destroyed by the Navy. This led to various inconsistencies, as Hoey had a claustrophobic film in mind where a group cut off from the outside world are dealing with a plant threat. Pierce filmed boring scenes in which various military personnel are in contact with the island and discuss further steps, which alters the film. During the explosive finale, the shots don't match, as you see the marching trees and shortly after, the bombs fall on a barren desert landscape.

In general, the swaying trees do not exactly cause terror, but rather amusement. Also amusing is the improper use of Molotov cocktails, which are just unceremoniously thrown into the jungle when the cries for help from a missing nurse can no longer be heard. In all this mess, Mamie Van Doren finds herself owed a movie by co-producer Roger Corman and in a blue jumpsuit with a white vest, she plays the nurse including an imputed love interest. Admittedly, the bumbling rubber monster trees certainly have their charm and Mamie Van Doren seems so wonderfully out of place the whole time, so that you as a die-hard B-movie fan can sometimes enjoy the flick.

Two versions on the German DVD

On the German DVD by Endless Classics, there are two versions of the film. One is a German language version with German title overlay in widescreen with solid picture quality and the US version in full screen, which preserves the charm of a worn out VHS tape on DVD. The colors of this version are distorted, and it also lacks sharpness. Both versions have very brief film tears every now and then, which are not mentioned in the report. Content-wise, the two versions are almost identical with only one curious difference at the beginning of the film. When the narrator starts talking about Antarctica, the US version fades to a still image of a sheet of ice, while the German version shows a camera pan. In addition, the US version lacks the first title insert right at the beginning.

Picture comparison:

US version:

German version:

Runtimes:

US version: 81:27 min.
German version: 81:35 min.

Comparison between the US version and the German version.

[00:00:00][00:00:00]

The first title insert is missing in the US version.



US: 4 sec.


[00:00:04][00:00:08]

Alternate title insert.



US: 3 sec.
German version: 8 sec.


[00:01:19][00:01:28]

Curious difference.

The US version fades to a still image of Antarctica's ice sheet.



The German version shows a tracking shot over the ice sheet instead.



US: 6 sec.
German version: 6 sec.