The first thing that I noticed when I watched The Giant Claw (1957), is that it’s a lot like The Deadly Mantis (1957) – at least at first. So much so, that I found myself thinking “Didn’t I just write about this a few months back?”
Both movies sort of begin in Canada, at the DEW Line – or Distant Early Warning Line. This was a system of radar stations in the arctic that would be able to detect nuclear missiles (or any other attack) coming from the U.S.S.R. and heading for the U.S.A.. In both movies, the DEW Line seems to be manned by U.S. military people. In reality, I think it was a mix of U.S. and Canadian personnel, but I don’t really know a lot about it.Continue reading →
Lately I’ve been watching a lot of monster movies made in the late 1950s. 1957 and 1958 were both particularly good years for mad scientists and giant mutant beasts. The trend continued through 1959 and into the 1960s, with plenty of good sci-fi horror films still left to come. I was surprised to discover that The Neanderthal Man (1953) predated all of those great movies by several years. And yet it feels very much like it’s part of the set.
I suppose it’s like Black Christmas (1974) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) coming out four years before the slasher genre officially kicked off with Halloween (1978). But unlike Black Christmas (1974) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Neanderthal Man Is not a well remembered and loved fan favourite. In fact, I don’t think I had ever heard of it before I first watched it a few years ago. And soon afterwards I forgot that I’d ever seen it. Considering that I seem to be obsessed with 1950s horror and sci-fi movies right now, I figured it was high time that I checked out The Neanderthal Man again.Continue reading →
I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) is one of the most famous B-movies, teen movies, and werewolf movies in the history of cinema – or at least it is to me. Even as a kid, I knew about this movie. I’d heard about it, read about it, and seen pictures from it in books and magazines. Of course I’d never SEEN it, but that’s the way it was back then. No internet, no video stores – only late night TV could possibly give me an opportunity to experience this movie, and that just never quite happened. Continue reading →
Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957) is another early-ish sci-fi horror film by Roger Corman. It stars Richard Garland, who was married to Beverly Garland for a few years. I’ve mentioned her before, as the star of The Alligator People (1959). Richard and Beverly divorced in 1956, the year before Attack of the Crab Monsters came out. Coincidentally, the movie was released as part of a double feature with Not of This Earth (1957), which starred Beverly Garland. Continue reading →
Legend has it that Peter Lorre was so appalled by the script for The She-Creature (1956) that he immediately fired his agent for trying to convince him to play a part in it. I have no idea if this is true, but it’s a great story – and perhaps a great introduction to this somewhat lesser known monster movie from 1956. Continue reading →