Before They Were “That Guys”: Dick Miller in “It Conquered the World”

Since we just recorded a Shouts From the Back Row podcast on our favourite character actors, a.k.a. “That Guys”, “Before They Were Stars” will temporarily be changing its name to “Before They Were ‘That Guys'” this week, in order to showcase how some of our most prominent character actors started their careers. Amazingly, during our podcast, Gill and I wound up simultaneously choosing the same exact actor as our #2 selection on our list of favourites: legendary B-movie icon Dick Miller! Known mainly for his roles in the films of Roger Corman and Joe Dante, Dick Miller is just one of those actors who automatically makes a film better whenever he’s onscreen, no matter how bad said film may be. Anyway, here are the last five minutes of a no-budget Roger Corman quickie from 1956 called It Conquered the World, which features Dick in one of his earlier roles as an army sergeant. I originally saw the film on Mystery Science Theater 3000 and honestly didn’t think it was all that bad… until the monster showed up, that is! This is one of the most hilariously bad movie movie monsters you’ll ever see as it looks like a giant cucumber with arms, and it seems like its plan to conquer the world involves hugging people to death! I guess it says something about Dick Miller’s professionalism that he’s able to convey being scared of this thing without cracking up. WARNING: Since this clip features Dick Miller, Lee Van Cleef and Peter Graves all sharing the same scene together, please ensure that your computer can maintain their combined awesomeness without exploding!

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