The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues (1955)

phantom from 10000 leagues poster 1955 movie
1.5 Overall Score
Story: 1/10
Acting: 2/10
Visuals: 1/10

Goofy '50s fun

Bad acting, bad story, bad creature

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues

Studio:  American Releasing Corporation

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  December 1955

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

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Yep, you’re screwed, fella

A creature is haunting the ocean waters of a nearby town and responsible for killing fishermen.  Agent William S. Grant (Rodney Bell) seeks to find the source of the murders and finds himself teamed with an oceanographer Dr. Ted Baxter (Kent Taylor) to explore a strange source of radiation in the water.  Tracking the radiation to Dr. King (Michael Whalen), Baxter and Grant are about to discover an international plot that could threaten the world if King’s experiments get out.

Directed by Dan Milner, The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues is a late night staple.  It was originally released as a double feature with The Day the World Ended.  The movie is in public domain and is often found in box sets with multiple movies.

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When you can’t make a monster cool on a poster…you have a problem

I can remember staying up with a friend to see The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues…unfortunately, we were trying to see The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.  Instead we got a hokey monster, bad acting, and a slow moving plot.

The story for movie gets overly complex.  With a see monster, radiation, and a spy ring, a simple movie about a radioactive monster gets bogged down in unnecessary (and boring) dialogue.  If the movie had simply been about the exploration of the scientist or a mysterious monster mutated by a strange undersea phenomena, it might have been passable…of course there has to be a romance between Baxter and Professor King’s daughter Lois (Cathy Downs) as well.

The movie is a movie filled with B-Movie actors that are doing B-Movie acting.  The characters are flat cardboard cutouts of every generic stock character.  You have the basic scientist, the basic official, the scientist daughter, and the scuzzy guy.  You could have put any B-Movie actors in any of the roles and came out with the same film.

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Mr. Phantom, I just want to point out that a “league” is a unit of length and not depth…

The movie is also hindered by one of the goofiest monsters.  The movie posters can’t even make the monster scary (though I do think that the big posters are fun in that ’50s horror sense).  The monster looks too boyent and the actor inside the costume seems to struggle with swimming…and the monster is supposed to swim.  I can’t imagine anyone getting caught by this slow thing.

The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues is goofy fun, but that is about all.  It doesn’t reach into the “so-bad-it-is-good” range, but it is bad.  If you have it in one of those massive packs loaded with public domain films, you can probably find worse movies in the collection…but don’t go out of your way to find this one.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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