October Horrorshow: Earth vs. the Spider, aka The Spider

The October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow carries on! Today’s film is the sixth this month featuring b-cinema auteur extraordinaire Bert I. Gordon. The man made giant monster flicks his own cottage industry. That’s not too far off of the mark, considering Gordon would shoot effects in his own garage.

Today’s film is Earth vs. The Spider, also released as just The Spider. Released just a few months after War of the Colossal Beast, Earth vs. The Spider switches up the formula for giant monster flicks. Most of the films featured this past month have featured scientists and doctors as the main protagonists, or maybe a military man or two. This film does have those characters, but they’ve been relegated to supporting roles. In this flick, the heroes are teenagers. That’s right. By 1958, shitty filmmakers recognized that it was teenagers that were pumping large amounts of dollars into their coffers, and someone came up with the bright idea to make movies featuring teenagers in the leads. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Earth vs. the Spider, aka The Spider”

October Horrorshow: Matango, aka Attack of the Mushroom People

Forget the original title of Matango. It was the Americanized title of Attack of the Mushroom People that grabbed my attention. People that look like giant fungi on the attack? Sign me up. I’m not naïve about movies like this. I know, before ever seeing it, that a title like that promises more than it can deliver, but I’m okay with it. Should the film be dragged out and the mushroom people only make significant appearances during the last few minutes, that’s just fine by me. I wanted this movie to be bad, after all. And it is! Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Matango, aka Attack of the Mushroom People”

October Horrorshow: War of the Colossal Beast

This is the fifth review this Horrorshow featuring a film from giant monster auteur Bert I. Gordon. It’s only fitting, then, that Missile Test makes it official. Bert I. Gordon, I declare thee the unofficial official filmmaker of this year’s October Horrorshow. Keep an eye out for a certificate in the mail.

War of the Colossal Beast, released in June of 1958, is the sequel to Gordon’s The Amazing Colossal Man. Gordon not only directed this film, he produced and shared a screenwriting credit with George Worthing Yates (who penned an amazing six b-movies in 1958 alone). Continue reading “October Horrorshow: War of the Colossal Beast”

October Horrorshow: God Told Me To

Detective Peter Nicholas (Tony Lo Bianco) of the NYPD has himself a bear of a case. Massacres have been happening all over the city, all carried out by different people, and all at random. There’s only one thing each of these awful events has in common: each of the perpetrators has said that God told them to do it. How is he supposed to stop that? Continue reading “October Horrorshow: God Told Me To”

October Horrorshow: The Amazing Colossal Man

No sea beasts, dinosaurs, giant arachnids, or skyscraper-sized gorillas in today’s flick. The monster in today’s entry in the October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow is a gigantic man.

The Amazing Colossal Man is the fourth film of this year’s Horrorshow, and the third released in 1957, from ’50s b-monster auteur Bert I. Gordon. The man found a niche, and stayed there until the box office returns started to dry up. From a screenplay by Gordon and Mark Hanna (who would pen Attack of the 50 Foot Woman the following year), The Amazing Colossal Man tells the tale of the unfortunate Glenn Manning (Glenn Langan), an army officer who is exposed to a nuclear blast during a test in the Nevada desert. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Amazing Colossal Man”

October Horrorshow: The Cyclops

Exactly one month after Beginning of the End was released in 1957, another epic Bert I. Gordon schlock-fest hit theaters. Both written and directed by Gordon, The Cyclops is about as worthless a film as this terrible filmmaker ever made…for half of its Spartan 65-minute running time. But then the titular cyclops finally appears onscreen, and all is forgiven. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Cyclops”

October Horrorshow: Beginning of the End

The b-monster flick Beginning of the End marked the start of an epic year for filmmaker Bert I. Gordon. He directed not one, not two, but three giant monster movies in 1957. I’m impressed, but would be even more so had any one of these films looked like it took more than a week and a half to shoot.

Beginning of the End, from a screenplay by Fred Freiberger and Lester Gorn, tells the tale of a plague of giant locusts that descend on Chicago. For you readers in the American Midwest and points nearby, that’s ‘locusts’ as in real locusts, aka grasshoppers — not the colloquial locusts, aka cicadas. Either way, the bugs are about the size of city buses, with murderous appetites. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Beginning of the End”

October Horrorshow: The Giant Claw

In the Arctic, vigilant eyes watch the skies. America is in a mortal conflict with communism. In order to protect the free peoples of the west, early warning stations have created an impenetrable net across the Arctic. Should the commies try anything, we’ll be ready. But, it’s not spy planes or ICBMs that menace the nation in this film. A giant monster from places unknown has appeared, and is wreaking havoc. If this sounds at all familiar, that’s because the setup to The Giant Claw is basically the same as yesterday’s giant monster film, The Deadly Mantis. The only major difference is in the monster. The Deadly Mantis featured a giant praying mantis, while The Giant Claw features…well, I’ll get to that. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Giant Claw”

October Horrorshow: The Deadly Mantis

The October Horrorshow Giant Monstershow returns to the land of giant insects with today’s flick. From 1957, The Deadly Mantis is an early directorial effort from Nathan Juran, who had an Oscar-winning career as an art director before becoming a director. It was written by Martin Berkeley, who also had a screenwriting credit for the execrable Tarantula. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Deadly Mantis”

October Horrorshow: The Beast of Hollow Mountain

This is a strange movie. It spends most of its runtime as an operatic western, a tale of ranchers in Mexico and forlorn love — like a 1950s version of All the Pretty Horses — but then a frickin’ dinosaur shows up to the party.

From 1956, The Beast of Hollow Mountain was directed by Edward Nassour and Ismael Rodriguez, from a story by legendary effects man Willis O’Brien (using the bizarre pseudonym El Toro Estrella). Apparently, O’Brien was also on tap to do the effects for this film, but for one reason or another that didn’t happen, and the duties passed to inferior substitutes. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Beast of Hollow Mountain”