Cosmic Monster, The

2176. THE COSMIC MONSTER (1958-England). With FORREST TUCKER. When one of his assistants is badly injured in a laboratory accident, scientist-inventor Dr. Laird simply orders a replacement. “If I stop to calculate the risks, there would be no research,” he remarks. For this obsessive genius there can be no pondering of possible danger to himself or to his staff, or to the local townsfolk who complain when the doctor’s nightly experiments play havoc with television and radio signals. With Canadian scientist Gil Graham and computer expert Michele Dupont at his side, Dr. Laird presses onward. He concocts a process by which copper is made flexible through molecular realignment. Outside the laboratory walls, however, strange things are happening. A freak storm hits the region. Three Air Force radar stations report sightings of unidentified flying objects. In the neighboring woods, a friendly tramp is burned by a mysterious ray; he goes mad and attacks the locals. Abruptly a mysterious gentleman named Mr. Smith appears. He presents himself to young Jane, a schoolgirl with a penchant for bug collecting. Mr. Smith has a special knowledge of Dr. Laird’s experiments. He astounds Gil and Michele by explaining the research is causing atmospheric disturbances and may be damaging the earth’s magnetic field. This leads to the appearance of gigantic bugs, whose eggs are the size of toaster ovens. The film is at once an entertaining science fiction tale and a gripping and sometimes horrifying glimpse at the hazards that can occur when science runs free of human values. 69 minutes. Horror