Episode 89: From Hell It Came (1957)

Its the ROOT of all evil!

In which a huge, waddling, grimacing tree trunk menaces fake “natives” on a “Pacific Atoll” (looking suspiciously like Southern CA…), wreaking havoc and revenge. Slow, slow, sloooooowwwwww revenge. Join Moody, the MooCow, and special guest co-host adorable actress and Special FX maven Angel Bradford on the latest episode of Indie Film Cafe, and see if this marauding mangrove’s bark is worse than its bite… ;=8)

Soooo, the Tabonga is actually a full-grown man-tree. Well, grown in 2 days: moost have OD’ed on those Miracle Grow spikes…Anycow, it comes not from Hell, but from the grave of a fake native, Kimo (Greg Palmer, “The Zombies of Mora Tau”), murdered by the native elders for hanging out with those awful American scientists. The scientists include Dr. William Arnold (Tod Andrews, “Hang ’em High”, “Beneath the Planet of the Apes”) and Professor Clark (John McNamara,”War of the Colossal Beast”). Rounding out the cast is Linda Watkins (“The Parent Trap”) as the obnoxious Mrs. Kilgore, the obvious comic relief spurting out an equally-obvious fake “cockney” accent. A stellar cast indeed!! Anycow, because his doughy, brain-dead wife, Korey, played amateurishly by Suzanne Ridgeway (“Love’s A-Poppin'”), helps set him up, Kimo declares his revenge on her and all of the elders. They kill him and bury him in a tree, as you do; then, the dopey American scientists uproot the tree, bring it back to life “in the name of science”, & allows it to SLOWLY amble about the island, killing off everyone who has done him wrong.

Of course, we all know that evil monsters carry off fair maidens, so the Tabonga grabs plucky female scientist Dr. Terry Mason (Tina Carver, “Hell on Frisco Bay”) & waddles off with her. Vine-ally, a good shot with a Remington hits a knife lodged in the Tabonga, and it falls over dead into the quicksand. This laughably foolish cowncept is one of the all-time cheesy howlers. The Tabonga is arguably the slooooowest monster in moovie history, right up there with the clanky, hopelessly over-built robot from Robot Monster vs the Aztec Mummy and the perversely slow carpet monster from Creeping Terror. Try not to laugh as you watch the Tabonga toss fake natives down hills & into quicksand, dodge spears, and lumber slowly about the “island”. Shady writing, wooden performances, and sappy direction all point that this pulpy fertilizer has far mooore bark than bite. This tepid pile of wood chips was the last hurrah from long-time editor-turned-director Dan Milner, who quickly vanished into well-deserved obscurity following this film.

Egads, the Indie Film Cafe kids really howled over this one! Moody went with an 8, the MooCow gave it an 8.5, and Angel Bradford went with 9, while admitting that she laughed all the way through the moovie – that’s a total Stink Score of 25.5, and a Stinky Average of 8.8!!! Dat’s one stinky flower! :=8D On the Ladder of Stink From Hell It Came ranks juuuust a shade below Jack Frost and Blood Freak, and just above a whole pile of stinky garbage. And check out Svengoolie‘s synopsis of the cast!

Oh yeah, this one is all over the Tube of You – check out the HD trailer HERE. And you can watch it for free on Tubi. There are plenty of places to pick up the physical media of this stinker – you can get both the Blu Ray and DVD from Uncle Amazon, as well as Barnes and Noble, and the DVD from Best Buy and Walmart. But to enjoy the Tabonga in all its ridiculous glory, you need to git yer hooves on the Blu Ray! Pick up the scha-weeeeet poster from Ebay, Redbubble, Etsy, and for a lovely framed version, Fine Art America.com . An equally scha-weeeeeet tee shirt can be found at Zazzle, Redbubble, and Teepublic.com. Pick up the de-lux tee at Cultcollectiblesonline.com. The Doctor’s Model Mansion has a fabulous full-color resin diorama that is to die for, cowplete with the Tabonga, his female package, the knife in the heart, and a voodoo doll! Teepublic.com has TWO styles of coffee mug, the classic yellow poster and a vivid green version! You can find one on Amazon as well. and Moore Monsters made a magnificent Tiki-mug of the Tabonga that just HAS to git into your moovie mug cowllection! Heck, u can even find great original art from time to time, ’cause that Tabonga is just soooo inspirational! And EBAY has all kinds of great From hell It came stuff!

Well, you herd it through the grapevine from the MooCow first: “From Hell it Came” is a compost classic, and a perfect cheesy stinker to put on during the holidays when yer planted on the couch with nothing to do but veg. We hope we have seeded your interest in this film, and that it will bloom into a full-blown bouquet of stinky fun for you!

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