this is a good movie- it was made fun of a lot back in the 70s in various monster mags and books, but it's got a higher reputation when seen in it's proper scope. the "monster" is quite unique, and the effects are really well done. to top it off, it's got a decent script and actors.
I saw this at a young age, maybe 11 or so, on the wonderful Channel 2, KWGN. it was on Sci-Fi Flicks, a Friday night. I didn't remember seeing the actual alien very much though, it's way cooler on the DVD. the widescreen photography is really nice done.