Today’s special-effects dudes work with computers and zillion-dollar budgets. Ray Harryhausen’s monsters and space ships were handmade, on a shoestring, then animated in frame-by-frame stop motion — the grueling process of a medieval craftsman. He created the giant octopus in the 1955 It Came from Beneath the Sea (where the budget was so skimpy that Harryhausen could afford to give the creature only six arms) and the sleek spaceships here. The aliens want a top-level government meeting to assure a peaceful landing, but the bastards are lying! (Moral: Never negotiate with the Russkies.) Cold War edginess aside, the movie has splendid action scenes featuring these gorgeous killing machines from outer space, all courtesy of Harryhausen’s one-man effects factory. Miraculously, the master is still around, a living inspiration to modern FX savants.