Incredible Petrified World, The

1958. THE INCREDIBLE PETRIFIED WORLD (1957-usa). With JOHN Carradine, ROBERT CLARKE, PHYLLIS COATES. Directed by JERRY WARREN. This is an intriguing science fiction chiller, much of which takes place at the ocean’s floor. It’s an eerie world which is at once the birthplace of life and a dangerous jungle filled with violent, carnivorous creatures and untold mystery. Dr. Millard Wyman is a dedicated researcher who is convinced that the sea holds a food supply, which might easily feed the world. Wyman has developed a diving bell, which will allow for exploration thousands of feet beneath the ocean’s surface, deep into the “black wilderness.” He and his crew are in the Caribbean, where he plans to test the bell using a trio of divers, two men and a woman, to be accompanied by a female reporter. Almost immediately, the voyage turns into a catastrophe. After plunging 1,700 feet beneath the surface, the bell’s cable snaps. The contraption shakes; its lights are extinguished; and Wyman loses contact with the crew, who are presumed to have perished. Unknown to the scientist, however, his contraption has remained intact and the crew has survived. Immediately, they notice an eerie light shining through a porthole. After donning diving gear and leaving the bell to explore, they discover the light’s source: a spectacular underwater cave, connected to untold miles of tunnels. They take refuge in the cave, which is illuminated by phosphorus, but many questions remain. What must they do to survive? Will they be able to trek through the tunnels? Where will this journey lead, and what will they find along the way? What genius cast Phyllis Coates as the lady reporter after she just finished playing “Lois Lane of the Daily Planet” for several years previously? Finally, will Wyman somehow discover that they are alive? What might he do to rescue them? 67 minutes. Science Fiction