OUCH! by MR.E.

OUCH! by MR.E.

Friday, January 2, 2015


Zontar, the Thing from Venus also known as Zontar: The Invader from Venus is a 1966, made for television, science fiction film, directed by Larry Buchanan and based on the teleplay by Hillman Taylor and Buchanan. It is a low budget color 16mm remake of Roger Corman's It Conquered the World (1956) which also featured an alien invader from Venus.  This remake of Roger Corman's low budget It Conquered the World (1956) was one of a series of films shot in 16mm and color and was used to pad out one of American International's television syndication packages.

At a dinner party with their wives, NASA scientist Dr. Keith Ritchie (Tony Huston) reveals to his colleague Dr. Curt Taylor (John Agar) that he has secretly been in communication with a three-eyed, bat-winged alien from Venus named Zontar who he claims is coming to Earth to solve all of the world's problems. However, as soon as Zontar arrives on Earth via a fallen laser satellite it quickly becomes obvious that the skeletal black creature has a hidden agenda as it begins causing local power outages that stop telephones, automobiles and even running water from working and it starts taking control of people's minds using flying lobster-like "injecto-pods" that sprout from its wings. Only after his wife is killed does Ritchie finally realize that Zontar has come not as a savior but as a conqueror, and he goes to confront the hideous alien in the sulfur spring-heated cave that it has made its secret base.

John George Agar, Jr. (January 31, 1921 – April 7, 2002) was an American actor. Agar made six movies with John Wayne: Fort Apache, Sands of Iwo Jima, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Undefeated, Chisum, and Big Jake. In his later career he was the star of B movies, such as Tarantula, The Mole People, The Brain from Planet Arous, Revenge of the Creature, Flesh and the Spur, and Hand of Death. He was the first husband of Shirley Temple.

Agar's sister was a schoolmate of Shirley Temple. In 1944 Agar escorted Temple to a party held by her boss at the time, David O. Selznick. The two fell in love and were married in 1945. Selznick signed Agar to a five-year acting contract starting at $150 a week, including acting lessons.  Agar and Temple had a daughter together, Linda Susan Agar (who was later known as Susan Black, taking the surname of her stepfather Charles Alden Black). However, the marriage foundered, in part because of Agar's drinking (he had been arrested for drunk driving) and in part because of pressures of their high public profile. Temple sued for divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty in 1949.

Agar's career suffered in the wake of his divorce, but he developed a niche playing leading men in low-budget science fiction, Western, and horror movies in the 1950s and 1960s. John Wayne gave him several supporting roles in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In later years he worked extensively in television.  "I don't resent being identified with B science fiction movies at all," Agar later said. "Why should I? Even though they were not considered top of the line, for those people that like sci-fi, I guess they were fun. My whole feeling about working as an actor is, if I give anybody any enjoyment, I'm doing my job, and that's what counts."

John Agar     ...     Dr. Curt Taylor
Susan Bjurman     ...     Anne Taylor
Tony Huston     ...     Keith Ritchie (as Anthony Houston)
Pat Delaney     ...     Martha Ritchie (as Patricia De Laney)
Neil Fletcher     ...     Gen. Matt Young