MILL CREEK NIGHTMARE WORLDS: The Day the Sky Exploded (1958)

Known in Italy as La morte viene dallo spazio and in the UK as Death Comes From Outer Space, this was directed by Paolo Heusch (Werewolf In a Girl’s Dormitory) at least in screen credit, but according to many, this was actually the first movie directed by Mario Bava, who also worked as the cameraman, did the special effects and manipulated newsreel footage and backyard rockets into making crude special effects. It’s the first true Italian science fiction movie.

As for the science of this movie, it’s about a rocket launch causing a cluster of asteroids to join together and head toward the moon and Earth, causing global catastrophes along the way. One of the scientists trying to stop this is Herbert Weisser, who is played by Ivo Garrani, who would play a pivotal role as Prince Vajda in Black Sunday. Sandro Continenza, one of the writers, would go on to script several movies like Bava’s Hercules in the Haunted World, the giallo Seven Murders for Scotland Yard, Eurospy movies like Two Mafiosi Against Goldfinger, Agent 077: From the Orient with Fury and Agent 077: Mission Bloody Mary, and The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue. His co-writer, Marcello Coscia, also was behind Yeti Giant of the 20th Century, Red Rings of Fear and Three Fantastic Supermen.

Carlo Rustichelli, who did the score and would also work with Bava on The Whip and the Body and Blood and Black Lace, created the soundtrack with a ton of non-traditional music and non-music instruments, saying that he “went into the recording studio with a fire extinguisher, a blender and a vacuum cleaner, to do those special sound effects.”

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