Monster from Green Hell (1957) by #KennethGCrane
“The mammoth monster that terrified the Earth! Too awesome to describe! Too terrifying to escape! Too powerful to stop!”
“Atomic mutations with an appetite for flesh!”
A lot of the running time of Monster from Green Hell (1957) is taken up by stock footage and scenes taken from Stanley and Livingstone (1939). Even so, Monster from Green Hell is a wonder, and a delight, and a must-see for fans of #NotQuiteClassicCinema – but perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself…
I suppose the first whisperings I ever heard about Monster from Green Hell came in the form of a very loud song performed by Metallica on The $5.98 E.P. – Garage Days Re-Revisited. It was actually a medley of two songs by The Misfits called Last Caress/Green Hell. I’m not sure how long it took me to realize that Green Hell was named after an old movie called Monster from Green Hell, but when I did, I knew that I had to see it. I got my chance on late night TV (although not on Not Quite Classic Theatre), and to be honest, I was a little disappointed in it. I had been hoping for something scary, horrifying, and/or disturbing, but instead I just thought the movie was bad.
Watching Monster from Green Hell last week, for the first time in decades, I couldn’t quite believe how much I was enjoying it. I suppose that the first time I watched it must have been before I had really developed a taste for “bad” movies. It’s hard to believe there ever was such a time, but the proof was in the pudding – or should I say, the Green Hell?
Like many favourites from my childhood, Monster from Green Hell is about a giant monster – in this case, a wasp. Radiation has caused it to grow to gigantic proportions (of course), and it is now terrorizing Africa. The first time that the giant wasp appeared on screen, I knew I was B-movie heaven. Not since The Giant Claw (1957) have I been so impressed by a so-bad-it’s good creature feature. No matter how tedious the rest of the proceedings got, every time that wasp appeared on screen the movie suddenly became Citizen Kane (1941) – or maybe I should say Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957).
Monster from Green Hell stars Jim Davis as Dr. Quent Brady. He appeared on a lot of classic TV shows, but it perhaps best known for his playing Jock Ewing on the CBS primetime soap opera Dallas (1978-1991). As far as I’m concerned, he does some of his best work here, but then again I prefer giant monsters to primetime soap operas.
Monster from Green Hell (1957) is #NotQuiteClassicCinema gold. I can hardly believe I didn’t realize it the first time that I saw it, but I’m just glad that I finally got around to giving it a second chance. I will undoubtedly be watching it again on some future #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn.
— Angus Kohm (@AngusKohm) October 7, 2023