Brothers Dan and Jack Milner’s execrable 1957 anti-classic is the latest genre surprise to emerge from the depths of the Warner Archive Collection, which released the film to MOD DVD in its formative days. WAC have been keeping genre aficionados plenty busy over the last few months, granting quality HD releases to the likes of Demon Seed and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, and most recently The Valley of Gwangi and World Without End.
From Hell It Came terrified me as a child, when the sight of Paul Blaisdell’s hyperbolically evil tree-monster rising from a smouldering pit felt like the most sinister thing ever committed to film, though these days it’s the film’s social politics that really creep me out (material for another day, perhaps). Originally nary an hour long, From Hell It Came was lengthened for television in appropriately unimaginative ways – a mid-film scene was repeated as a prologue, and text scrawls appended to the opening and closing credits. So it was when I first caught the picture in the latter ’80s. WAC’s Blu-ray will doubtless return It to its more merciful theatrical running time of 71 minutes, as did their earlier DVD.
Lamentable as From Hell It Came can be, it’s encouraging to see the WAC digging this deep for their Blu-ray program. One wonders if the likes of The Giant Behemoth, The Cyclops or even From Hell It Came‘s original double-bill compatriot The Disembodied might not be far behind. I would shell out hard for any of those, and will doubtless be picking up this one as well – out of principle, if nothing else.
From Hell It Came has a street date of April 25th, and is up for pre-order through Amazon and other outlets.