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 “Giant Monstershow: The Amazing Colossal Man”
The poor performers in films like this. They come to a production, ready to put in enough work to make some mortgage payments, maybe dig a pool in the backyard, and they do a decent enough job. But then they go to the premiere of the film, with not the highest of expectations (after all, it ain’t John Ford or Howard Hawks they were working with), and they find the audience howling with laughter at the monster effects. Take a moment to appreciate the plight of the bad movie actor. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: The Black Scorpion”
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 “Giant Monstershow: The Cyclops”
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 “Giant Monstershow: Beginning of the End”
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.
Released in 1957, The Giant Claw comes to us care of writers Samuel Newman and Paul Gangelin, and director Fred F. Sears. This is the ninth giant monster flick of this year’s Horrorshow, and the pattern established by The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms is getting somewhat wearying.
Something terrorizes isolated communities. Some dashing military officer or other authority figure is on hand to take charge of the situation. A scientist or doctor is also present to form wild, yet ultimately correct, hypotheses about what could be happening. Said scientist has an attractive assistant, who catches the eye of the square-jawed lead. Monster continues to attack, leading to a final confrontation in a major city in which the beast is dispatched. Make some cosmetic changes here and there, pick out some reels of stock footage that Bert I. Gordon overlooked, and one has a 1950s giant monster flick. Continue reading “Giant Monstershow: The Giant Claw”
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 “Giant Monstershow: The Deadly Mantis”
The Abominable Snowman, director Val Guest’s film from 1957, has sort of fallen through the cracks. Well, most Hammer films have fallen through the cracks in one way or another, but this flick is the most obscure of those I have seen so far this month. Hammer has a legendary reputation when it comes to their horror. Much of the films aren’t great, but Hammer was persistent and fertile, never going more than a few months before bringing audiences something new. But their catalogue has been mistreated, much of it only available on out of print, and thus hard to find, DVDs and VHS tapes. The big flicks are available in places like Prime and iTunes, but if one wishes to watch something like The Abominable Snowman without searching for physical media, the options, and quality, are very limited. Continue reading “October Hammershow: The Abominable Snowman”
Professor Bernard Quatermass (Brian Donlevy) is a man who gets things done. He’s very serious, very driven, and doesn’t need any sleep. That’s not an exaggeration. I kept track during the first part of this film, and Quatermass goes approximately 72 hours without getting any shuteye. It’s an impressive feat of endurance on his part, or just something that the filmmakers didn’t pay close attention to. Continue reading “October Hammershow: Quatermass 2, aka Enemy From Space”
Hunt around on the internet, and one will find countless lists that rank Hammer horror films. From James Rolfe to random users on reddit, the consensus pick for best Hammer horror film is today’s film, The Curse of Frankenstein. All the elements that make it the quintessential Hammer flick are there. It was written by Jimmy Sangster, directed by Terence Fisher, and stars Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. Hammer horror doesn’t get more ‘Hammery’ than that. Continue reading “October Hammershow: The Curse of Frankenstein”
There haven’t been a whole lot of giant monster flicks here in the October Horrorshow. There have been plenty of zombies, gaggles of slashers, a smattering of aliens, some killer viruses, and even a couple of vampires. But giant monsters, the bread and butter of classic directors of cinematic schlock such as Bert I. Gordon and Roger Corman, have been largely missing. There isn’t really any reason for this oversight. Maybe it has something to do with the heyday of the genre having come so long ago. Whatever the reason, for today, the oversight has been rectified. And what a doozy it is. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Attack of the Crab Monsters”