This solid addition to the 1950s American science fiction genre begins with a meteorite crashing to Earth in the desert outside the Californian town of San Angelo.
Everyone who comes into contact with the remnants of the meteorite becomes petrified (ie: changed into a stony substance, not scared) or starts slowly calcifying.
Local geologist Dave Miller (Grant Williams), his teacher girlfriend Cathy Barrett (Lola Albright) and Miller’s former professor Arthur Flanders (Trevor Bardette) race against time to prevent the rock fragments – which grow to enormous skyscraper size when exposed to rainwater – from over-running the town.
The model work and effects photography by Clifford Stine and Frank Brendel are the real stars of the show. But, while the effects are magnificent and unforgettable, they’re few and far between, which leaves a lot of the heavy lifting in the film to the cast who have to show things like saline solution destroying the monoliths in the lab rather than seeing it happen out in the wild.
Prof. Arthur Flanders
Police Chief Dan Corey
Dr Steve Hendricks
Dr E.J. Reynolds