Monsters From the Id

Monsters From the Id

Documentary Feature, Spotlight Premieres
D: David Gargani

The 1950s: a good decade for suburbia, sock hops, and sitcoms, a better decade for irradiated beasts and bug-eyed invaders from beyond. Hardly a week went by without some alien or mutant menace wreaking havoc on the USA, and David Gargani's doc revisits this heyday of science-fiction creature features with choice clips from 30-plus films – the good, the bad, and the cheesy. Ultimately, though, Gargani is less interested in the monsters or what they personified for commie-phobic, atomic-anxious Americans than in their square-jawed scientist heroes inspiring a generation of wide-eyed, popcorn-munching youngsters to take up careers in chemistry, physics, and, yes, rocket science. He veers away from Hollywood's imaginative fear-mongering to focus on NASA engineer Homer Hickam as a case study for this idea, which, while intriguing, dampens the documentary's fun factor. It brings us back to earth after a thrill ride to the stars on a wild, weird flying saucer.

Wednesday, March 18, 11:30am, Austin Convention Center; Saturday, March 21, 2pm, Alamo South Lamar

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
SXSW Film Releases Full Feature Lineup
Slate includes everyone from Wes Anderson to the Zellners

Monica Riese, Jan. 30, 2014

Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
Mindy Kaling Comes to SXSW
The comedian and showrunner will speak March 9

Monica Riese, Jan. 21, 2014

More Screens Reviews
2023 Oscar-Nominated Shorts: The Best of the Brief
2023 Oscar-Nominated Shorts: The Best of the Brief
Before the Academy votes, we pick our faves from the nominees

The Screens Staff, Feb. 17, 2023

What If the Marx Brothers Got Around to Making That Movie With Salvador Dalí?
What If the Marx Brothers Got Around to Making That Movie With Salvador Dalí?
Josh Frank brings the legendary unproduced movie to printed life

Wayne Alan Brenner, March 22, 2019

More by Robert Faires
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Lessons and surprises from a career that shouldn’t have been

Sept. 24, 2021

"Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams" Tells the Story of an Artist
The first-ever museum exhibition of Daniel Johnston's work digs deep into the man, the myths

Sept. 17, 2021


Monsters From the Id, David Gargani

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle