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From Hell It Came (1957)

On a South Seas island, chief’s son Kimo (Gregg Palmer) is wrongly accused of the murder of his father by the real perpetrators – the new chief Maranka (Baynes Barron) and the evil witch doctor Tano (Robert Swan) – and betrayed by his faithless wife Korey (Suzanne Ridgeway).

Kimo vows to get revenge just before he is put to death and buried in a hollow tree trunk.

A group of American scientists are also on the island studying the radioactive effects from a distant nuclear blast. One of the scientists, Dr Bill Arnold (Tod Andrews), is soon distracted by the arrival of the lady scientist object of his dreams, Dr Terry Mason (Tina Carver).

The scientific team discover a fully grown tree with a facial expression on its trunk is growing from Kimo’s grave. Taking it back to their laboratory, they discover the tree trunk has a heartbeat.

Terry injects it with one of her serums, causing the tree to come alive, escape from the lab, and walk over to the native village, to begin its promise of vengeance.

Korey is the first to go, after the possessed tree – which the natives call Tabanga – scoops her up and throws her into a pool of quicksand.

It’s professional wrestler turned stuntman/actor Chester Hayes inside the Tabanga costume. Hayes also plays Prince Maku.

Dr William Arnold
Tod Andrews
Dr Terry Mason
Tina Carver
Mrs Mae Kilgore
Linda Watkins
Prof. Clark
John McNamara
Gregg Palmer
Robert Swan
Chief Maranka
Baynes Barron
Suzanne Ridgway
Mark Sheeler
Lee Rhodes
Grace Mathews
Tani Marsh
Prince Maku/Tabanga
Chester Hayes
Lenmana Guerin

Dan Milner