A highlight among 1950s creature-features, The Monster That Challenged the World is a near-classic B movie that never goes out of style. When an earthquake reveals a nest of giant, prehistoric sea mollusks at the bottom of California's Salton Sea, the local body count skyrockets. Navy lietenant Twillinger (Tim Holt) takes command, assisting the obligatory scientist (Hans Conreid) while wooing the June Cleaver wanna-be (Barbara Darrow) who inevitably tangles with the monster--a flailing caterpillar-like beastie with snapping mandibles and a voracious appetite. With a moment of vintage gross-out ("Get the eye! Get the eye!"), well-handled suspense, and the requisite balance of tepid romance and sci-fi jargon, this is a prime companion to any film in the atomic-monster lineup. The aging Holt made only two more movies after this (following a thriving career in Westerns), but he gives Monster his best shot and comes up a winner. --Jeff Shannon
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