Target Earth (1954) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for Target Earth (1954)Target Earth (1954) by #ShermanARose
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#RichardDenning #KathleenCrowley #VirginiaGrey

Giant robots from Venus invade Chicago.
“Raw Panic The Screen Never Dared Reveal!”

“You’ll be paralyzed with fear!”

“You don’t need a reason to die, Frank. Just one to live.”

#Horror #SciFi #Robots
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Target Earth (1954) opens with a sweeping shot of a big city; Chicago, in fact.  It’s 1:30 AM and a woman lies unconscious with a bottle of spilled sleeping tablets near her hand. We get the feeling that maybe she has attempted suicide.

Her eyes open and she seems confused. Perhaps she is wondering why is she still alive. She sits up holding her head.

After getting dressed and leaving her building, she wanders around trying to find other people, but the entire city seems to be deserted. Is she the last woman alive? Continue reading

The Crawling Eye (1958) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for The Crawling Eye (1958)

The Crawling Eye (1958) by #QuentinLawrence
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#JenniferJayne #JanetMunro #ForrestTucker

A series of decapitations on a Swiss mountainside appear to be connected to a mysterious radioactive cloud.

“The nightmare terror of the slithering eye that unleashed agonizing horror on a screaming world!” “It’s looking for you!”

“WARNING: If you’ve ever been hypnotized, do not come alone!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

The Crawling Eye (1958) opens on a mountain range. Two guys are on a ledge near the top of a mountain, talking to a third guy who’s up above them – but off screen. They ask him why he’s taking so long. He tells them that somebody’s coming. Next thing we know he’s screaming, and then his body falls past the two men on the ledge. It’s hooked up to a climbing rope, so they catch him and try to pull him back up. But one of the men suddenly screams and lets go of the rope.

“You idiot!” the other man says. “We nearly had him. Why did you let him go?”

“Didn’t you see?” his buddy asks.

“What are you talking about?”

“His head! It was torn off!”

Nearby, a train is racing along the tracks, and as it enters a dark tunnel, the title of the movie appears on the screen…
Continue reading

The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for The Quatermass Xperiment (1955)The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) by #ValGuest
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#BrianDonlevy #JackWarner

After an experimental space flight, two astronauts are missing, and the third has an unidentifiable illness.

“Beware THE CREEPING UNKNOWN!”

“There’s no room for personal feelings in science, Judith!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

A giggling couple in a farmer’s field – they hear a sound like an airplane approaching – and suddenly realize that something might be about to crash down on top of them, so they run into the house. The noise gets worse and something does crash, causing earthquake like effects inside the house. Then all goes quiet…

The girl’s father goes outside to investigate and discovers that a spacecraft has crashed in his field.

And so goes the opening to The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) by Val Guest, and it’s certainly an intriguing one. This was enough to confirm for me that I had never seen this movie before. I’d certainly heard of it, and perhaps others with the name Quatermass attached. I’m not sure why I never watched it. Perhaps because it didn’t have an obvious monster in the title, and I wasn’t sure if it would deliver the kind of 1950s sci-fi goodness that I like. Or maybe it was just random chance that kept it off my home drive-in screen. Who knows? Needless to say, I was long overdue to take a look… Continue reading

The 27th Day (1957) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for The 27th Day (1957)The 27th Day (1957) by #WilliamAsher
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#GeneBerry #ValerieFrench

An alien hoping to take over Earth gives five different nations a powerful weapon and tells them if they resist using it for 27 days, Earth will be spared.

“Five people given the power to destroy nations! What will they do? What would you do?”
“Mightiest shocker the screen ever had the guts to make!”

#SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

The 27th Day (1957) opens on a beach, as a woman in a bathing suit comes out of the water and approaches a man who is painting a picture. They are both British characters, judging by their accents. The woman’s name is Eve, and she goes to sit by herself and dry off while the man continues to paint. Suddenly, a shadow falls over Eve and a voice asks her to come with him… She looks up and is horrified by what she sees… Continue reading

The Manster (1959) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for The Manster (1959)The Manster (1959) by #GeorgePBreakston #KennethGCrane
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#PeterDyneley #JaneHylton #TetsuNakamura #TerriZimmern

An American journalist stationed in Japan is given a mysterious injection by a mad scientist, turning him into a murderous, two-headed monster.

“The TERROR that split a man in two… half human, half monster!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

The Manster (1959) opens with what appears to be two bathing beauties – perhaps naked – in a natural pond of some sort. Then we see another woman inside of a house with shoji, or “doors, windows, and room dividers used in traditional Japanese architecture, consisting of translucent (or transparent) sheets of paper on a lattice frame.”

Suddenly, a shadowy figure appears and slides the shoji closed, obscuring the woman from our sight. We see, through the shoji, as the woman’s shadow is attacked by the shadow of what could only be a wild beast of some sort. As blood spray hits the closed room divider, and the title sequence begins, we realize that we are watching one of the finest motion pictures ever produced… Continue reading

Attack of the Puppet People (1958) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for Attack of the Puppet People (1958)Attack of the Puppet People (1958) by #BertIGordon
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#JohnAgar #JohnHoyt #JuneKenney

A lonely, deranged doll maker invents a way to shrink people and turn them into living dolls.

“Terror Comes In Small Packages!”

“Doll dwarfs versus the crushing giant beats!” (huh??)

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I’ve written about a number of movies by Bert I. Gordon, but Attack of the Puppet People (1958) isn’t one of them. How have I never seen this movie before? It’s the kind of delightful B-movie that I used to love watching late at night on Not Quite Classic Theatre all those years ago. Continue reading

Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for Cat-Women of the Moon (1953)Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) by #ArthurHilton
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#SonnyTufts #VictorJory #MarieWindsor #SusanMorrow

Astronauts travel to the moon where they discover it is inhabited by attractive young women in black tights.

“They’re fiery…fearless…ferocious!”

“You’ve never seen anything like it.”

#Adventure #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Back in January, I wrote about a movie called Missile to the Moon (1958). I didn’t know it at the time, but it was basically a remake of Cat-Women of the Moon (1953), the movie I’m here to talk about today. I loved Missile to the Moon, and when I found out that Cat-Women of the Moon was an earlier version of it, I knew I had to track it down and watch it. The only question was, would it live up to the high standard set by the second film? Continue reading

Red Planet Mars (1952) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster. for Red Planet Mars (1952)Red Planet Mars (1952) by #HarryHorner
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#PeterGraves #AndreaKing

Scientists make contact with Mars and cause unforeseen political, economic, and spiritual problems.

“SEE! The first contact between Earth and Mars!”

“The World Torn Asunder By A Threat From Outer Space!”

#SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Where do I begin with this one? Red Planet Mars starts off like an interesting sci-fi story. Husband and wife scientists are on the verge of making contact with Mars. Or rather, they have been in contact with Mars, but they just haven’t been able to decipher the messages that they’re getting back. It’s intriguing, and you want to know more. And eventually the scientists DO figure out how to communicate with the Martians, but it leads to all kinds of unexpected difficulties on Earth… and this is where the movie starts to get a little weird… Continue reading

King Dinosaur (1955) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

POSTER FOR King Dinosaur (1955)King Dinosaur (1955) by #BertIGordon
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#WilliamBryant #WandaCurtis

When a new planet appears near Earth, four scientists are sent to explore it.

“SEE…A prehistoric world of fantastic adventure come to life!”

“Terrifying! Fantastic! Startling!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn 

I’ve mentioned the name Bert I. Gordon several times on this blog. He was best known as a producer, writer, director of Sci-Fi and Horror features. He also sometimes worked as an editor, special effects guy, and even a cinematographer. King Dinosaur (1955) was the first film he ever directed, which makes it somewhat historically significant to fans of his work and B-movies in general. Unfortunately, that may be the only thing that makes it significant. Continue reading

Man Beast (1956) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for Man Beast (1956)Man Beast (1956) by #JerryWarren
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#AsaMaynor #TomMaruzzi #LloydNelson

While searching the Himalayas for her brother, a woman and her companions find the lair of a furious Yeti.

“Hair-raising excitement in the icy lair of man-like creatures roaming the roof of the world!”

“SEE: Death-drop at 21,000 feet!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Man Beast (1956) is a good old-fashioned bad movie – sort of like Edward D. Wood Jr. used to make. The acting is stilted, the dialogue is mostly bad, and it’s hard to know where one ends in the other begins. It’s quite low budget, which is obvious because there are very few actors and very few sets. Looking at it objectively, it would be hard to single out one good thing about this movie… which may be precisely why I found it so hard to resist. Continue reading