1950s Sci Fi/Creature B Movie Flicks HoF

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I watched Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957). I thought this was alright. There were some amusing moments, but it could have used more of the crab monsters. I did like the design of the crab monsters. Acting was mediocre though. The story was alright for this type of film. I've seen 11 Roger Corman films. This one isn't one of his best, but not one of his worst either. I would rank it in the middle of the pack out of the Corman films I have seen. Attack of the Crab Monsters may not be great, but it is watchable.



I watched Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957). I thought this was alright. There were some amusing moments, but it could have used more of the crab monsters. I did like the design of the crab monsters. Acting was mediocre though. The story was alright for this type of film. I've seen 11 Roger Corman films. This one isn't one of his best, but not one of his worst either. I would rank it in the middle of the pack out of the Corman films I have seen. Attack of the Crab Monsters may not be great, but it is watchable.
I watched that one too, I'll write something up tomorrow.



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Looking forward to a couple of these. The only one I've seen, other than The Tingler, is The Blob. It is fun, but I prefer the remake.

For anyone interested, I had an article published on Leonard Maltin's website where I compared both the original and remake.

ORIGINAL VS. REMAKE: THE BLOB (1958) VS. THE BLOB (1988)

Enjoy!



I've been to the movie theater in Phoenixville, PA where they shot the external movie theater scene in the original. They actually have a "Blobfest" (or used to - the pandemic might have quashed it) and show the original movie, plus everyone does the running out of the theater bit afterwards.
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I was going to nominate this one or Rodan but I went with a Hammer film instead.



I love Rodan. I love Rodan so much I built my own.


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Last night I watched my own nom Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957). I've seen it before and really liked it despite it being a 'Z' movie with a micro budget of only $70,000. Which I believe is the smallest budget for any of the noms here. The biggest budget nom is $650,000 for The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.

With almost no money, good old Roger Corman the king of b movies churned out a fun and creative flick about telepathic giant crabs. I love the weirdness of this one. Any other director would've said, 'OK giant killer crabs, that's enough.' But not Roger Corman he goes to some lengths to include scientific reasons why the giant crabs are immune to most weapons...their atoms have dislocated electrons that allows matter to freely pass through the crabs and only electricity disrupts their atomic cohesion.

If that's enough the crabs are purposely destroying the island by making huge tunnels so that they can get at the humans. And we see landslides as the island is being reduced to rumble.

But the best part is the whole idea that the former missing researcher's minds still roam on the island. The giant predatory crabs, a mated pair, can talk to people by telepathy by using metal objects as the 'receiver'. They consume humans and absorb their personalities, into the crab's consciousness which is pretty wild! As soon as I seen the bear creature in Annihilation I thought of Attack of the Crab Monsters...and of course Roger Corman thought of that first.




I've been to the movie theater in Phoenixville, PA where they shot the external movie theater scene in the original. They actually have a "Blobfest" (or used to - the pandemic might have quashed it) and show the original movie, plus everyone does the running out of the theater bit afterwards.
Nice!
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I watched The Tingler (1959). Directed by William Castle, The Tingler stars the legendary Vincent Price as a pathologist who discovers a parasitic creature. This was fun! Vince Price gives a very entertaining and effective performance. The screenplay is above average for this kind of film. There are some fantastic scenes. The film is creepy and spooky in an enjoyable sort of way. It's a real scream! I've only seen 3 William Castle films so far and this is my favourite of the ones I have seen. I do want to eventually see more. I've now seen 25 Vincent Price films and this would be in his top 5 for me.



The trick is not minding
I've been to the movie theater in Phoenixville, PA where they shot the external movie theater scene in the original. They actually have a "Blobfest" (or used to - the pandemic might have quashed it) and show the original movie, plus everyone does the running out of the theater bit afterwards.
Do you live close by there? I lived in Kutztown in the late 90ís-2005 and Iíve been to Phonenixville on occasion, although never for the Blobfest, which I was aware of.



The Deadly Mantis (1957)

Last night I watched this lesser known B sci-fi creature flick. What impressed me was the creative usage of stock military footage. The film nicely incorporates components of the U.S. & Canadian Distant Early Warning Line aka the Dew Line. Which was part of a series of 'radar fences' that spanned across North America in Canada and beyond and was designed for advanced warning for incoming Soviet air bombers...or in the case of the movie a 200 foot long Preying Mantis! Mantis are wickedly cool looking insects that do eat other bugs, so the idea of making one into a monster is pretty cool.

I liked how the movie made the story about the military and their radar stations be the main focus, most everyone we see are military or scientist. The acting was pretty good for a b movie and a couple of the actors went onto to have a notable career. I would have liked to seen that giant Mantis pick someone up and bite off his head for a midnight snack!


@Death Proof thanks for the fun movie!



The Blob (1958) -


Don't you hate when an object from space lands in your small town that unleashes a slime that threatens your neighbors and engulfs your hangouts? That hasn't happened to me, but as this movie demonstrates, it's pretty scary. The movie uses a "less is more" approach like Jaws does when it comes to showing the monster, and for the most part, it's successful. Steve and his pals' warnings being constantly dismissed effectively builds suspense, and even though the monster is a pile of fake jelly, I got a jolt (no pun intended) every time itís on screen. Also, as Messiah of Evil, Demons and this movie demonstrate, there are few scarier set pieces than movie theaters, and isn't Burt Bacharach's theme song a banger?

Despite liking how it builds suspense, I wish there were a little more action than talk, and labor laws for children and teenagers must have been different in the '50s than they are now, but I wish the actors playing the teenagers were a bit younger. From the look of them, the cops might as well have been in high school as well! The movie remains a classic monster tale that proves there are consequences to dismissing the intelligent and the warnings of younger generations. Oh, and 80 cents for a movie ticket? Those must have been the days...



I mainline Windex and horse tranquilizer
Do you live close by there? I lived in Kutztown in the late 90ís-2005 and Iíve been to Phonenixville on occasion, although never for the Blobfest, which I was aware of.

Unfortunately, no - I'm in South Jersey near Philly. It's about an hour drive for me.



It sucks because they have a beautiful old-style movie theater there and they show classic movies all the time. If I lived closer I'd be there every other weekend.


Last time I was there they showed The Holy Grail.


I might have to make it out there in April for Silent Running - I'm not quite old enough to have seen the original in theaters.


https://thecolonialtheatre.com/



I mainline Windex and horse tranquilizer
The Deadly Mantis (1957)

Last night I watched this lesser known B sci-fi creature flick. What impressed me was the creative usage of stock military footage. The film nicely incorporates components of the U.S. & Canadian Distant Early Warning Line aka the Dew Line. Which was part of a series of 'radar fences' that spanned across North America in Canada and beyond and was designed for advanced warning for incoming Soviet air bombers...or in the case of the movie a 200 foot long Preying Mantis! Mantis are wickedly cool looking insects that do eat other bugs, so the idea of making one into a monster is pretty cool.

I liked how the movie made the story about the military and their radar stations be the main focus, most everyone we see are military or scientist. The acting was pretty good for a b movie and a couple of the actors went onto to have a notable career. I would have liked to seen that giant Mantis pick someone up and bite off his head for a midnight snack!


@Death Proof thanks for the fun movie!








Creature With the Atom Brain...this one hooked me right at the start and thanks to it's snappy dialect and efficient direction it kept me hooked. It's neat in that it's basically a noir crime film and like so many of those from the 1950s it's based on police procedural of a strange case. A very strange case of dead people being remotely controlled and powered by radium. For a b budget film I was impressed with the number of shooting locations and sets. I especially liked the mad scientist lab with it's walls covered in lead shielding to stop the U.S. military from detecting the radiation. The 'control device' they planted in the heads of the corpses was cool! And the technological explanation about how the dead could be remotely controlled sounded at least like it made some sense.

@Allaby I enjoyed the movie!



Creature With the Atom Brain...this one hooked me right at the start and thanks to it's snappy dialect and efficient direction it kept me hooked. It's neat in that it's basically a noir crime film and like so many of those from the 1950s it's based on police procedural of a strange case. A very strange case of dead people being remotely controlled and powered by radium. For a b budget film I was impressed with the number of shooting locations and sets. I especially liked the mad scientist lab with it's walls covered in lead shielding to stop the U.S. military from detecting the radiation. The 'control device' they planted in the heads of the corpses was cool! And the technological explanation about how the dead could be remotely controlled sounded at least like it made some sense.
@Allaby I enjoyed the movie!
I'm glad you enjoyed the movie. Otherwise, I would have had to send my pet monster after you. He is an atomic tingling giant alien crab bug. He is cuter than he sounds though. His name is Larry.



I watched Destination Moon (1950). Directed by Irving Pichel, this Oscar winning film is about the first manner rocket to the moon. The film plays it mostly serious and for the subject matter and time is somewhat realistic. There are no creatures, monsters, or aliens in the film. The film is competently made and performances are decent. The film drags a little at times and can be a bit boring. It's not really a fun movie. I did enjoy the surprise celebrity appearance by a special star of that time.



I'm glad you enjoyed the movie. Otherwise, I would have had to send my pet monster after you. He is an atomic tingling giant alien crab bug. He is cuter than he sounds though. His name is Larry.
Ha!...

One scene that I loved was when the husband comes home dead tired and his wife makes him a martini. He tells her "I've been waiting for this all day." But before he can even drink it, a fellow cop comes to the door and says he has to come down to the precinct. Duty calls and so he grabs his coat and hat and heads out the door, handing his wife the martini. This is the cool part, she looks at the drink and considers it and then cautiously takes a little sip and...scrunches up her face...I guess that martini was extra dry!

That little extra added life to the characters and I appreciate that in all the films I watch.