The Brain from Planet Arous (1957) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

The Brain from Planet Arous (1957) Poster for The Brain from Planet Arous (1957) by #NathanJuran
w/#JohnAgar #JoyceMeadows #RobertFuller

An alien brain hijacks the body of a scientist to take control of the Earth.

“It Will Steal Your Body And Damn Your Soul!”

“Science-Fiction’s most astounding story!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I’ve been hearing about The Brain from Planet Arous (1957) for a long time. If you’d asked me, I probably would have said that I’d seen it years ago. But watching it last Friday,  it became clear to me that I’ve never seen this unassuming sci-fi masterpiece before. Masterpiece? Well, perhaps I’m overstating it slightly, but this movie is the most fun I’ve had at the home drive-in in quite a while…

It may not hurt that I’m a fan of “brain” movies. I mean all types of them: disembodied brains, brain transplants,. evil monster brains – you name it. How could I have missed The Brain from Planet Arous until now?  Continue reading

Phantom from Space (1953) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for Phantom from Space (1953)Phantom from Space (1953) by #WLeeWilder
w/
#TedCooper #NoreenNash #RandolphAnders

An alien lands in Santa Monica, but when pursued by authorities, he removes his spacesuit and reveals himself to be invisible.

“WHAT was he?”

“He came from a billion miles of space to meet the strangest destiny ever told!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Phantom from Space (1953) was directed by W. Lee Wilder, who made two other movies I have featured on a Friday Night At The Home Drive-In – The Snow Creature (1954), and Killers from Space (1954). The most interesting thing about those movies was that they were made by the brother of Hollywood legend Billy Wilder. Yes, Billy Wilder, the brilliant film director who made such classics as Sabrina (1954), Stalag 17 (1953) and Ace in the Hole (1951). The Snow Creature and Killers from Space both paled in comparison to ANYTHING that Billy Wilder made. So how does Phantom from Space do by comparison…?  Continue reading

Killers from Space (1954) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for Killers from Space (1954) Killers from Space (1954) Strange creatures from another world attack planet earth! by #WLeeWilder
w/
#PeterGraves #JamesSeay #BarbaraBestar

An atomic scientist claims he was abducted by aliens after being injured in a plane crash.

“Strange creatures from another world attack planet earth!”

“It’s a nuclear nightmare!”

#SciFi #Horror
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Killers from Space (1954) was directed by W. Lee Wilder, who made another movie I featured on a Friday Night At The Home Drive-In – The Snow Creature (1954). I recall two things about that movie; 1) it wasn’t very good, and 2) it was made by the brother of Hollywood legend Billy Wilder. Yes, Billy Wilder, the brilliant film director who made such classics as The Apartment (1960), Some Like It Hot (1959) and Sunset Boulevard (1950). The Snow Creature, of course, paled in comparison to ANYTHING that Billy Wilder had made. So how does Killers from Space do by comparison…? Continue reading

Devil Girl from Mars (1954) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for Devil Girl from Mars (1954)Devil Girl from Mars (1954) by #DavidMacDonald
w/
#HughMcDermott #HazelCourt #AdrienneCorri

A leather-clad female alien, with a ray gun and a robot, comes to Earth to collect men for breeding.

“Invasion from Outer Space!…Sights too weird to imagine! Destruction too monstrous to escape!”

“Earth Menaced By Fantastic Powers”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Prior to last Friday, I had never seen Devil Girl from Mars (1954), and that is an oversight that I am very pleased to have corrected. It’s not rated very well (4.9 on the IMDb, and 24% on Rotten Tomatoes), so I didn’t expect anything extraordinary. Oh, how wrong I was… Continue reading

Cosmic Monsters (1958) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for Cosmic Monsters (1958)The Strange World of Planet X /
Cosmic Monsters (1958) by
#GilbertGunn
w/#ForrestTucker #GabyAndré

A friendly visitor from outer space warns against conducting experiments with the Earth’s magnetic field, that could mutate insects into giant monsters.

“Shock by incredible shock this ravaging death overruns the earth…menacing mankind with overwhelming chaos!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

What can I say about Cosmic Monsters (1958) AKA The Strange World of Planet X? I had never heard of it before last week, and probably for good reason. It strikes me as an attempt to recapture the magic of The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) Both movies have (basically) the same premise: an alien comes to Earth to warn us to stop doing something stupid that will lead to our destruction. However, The Day the Earth Stood Still is a stone cold classic directed by Robert Wise, who made fan favourites like The Haunting (1963), Born to Kill (1947) and The Body Snatcher (1945).

Cosmic Monsters, on the other hand, is a mostly forgettable film directed by Gilbert Gunn, who also made, uh… Tyneside Story (1943)… Girls at Sea (1958)… and What a Whopper (1961)..?  Hmmm… not even another SciFi Horror film, I don’t think. Continue reading

The Astounding She-Monster (1957) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for The Astounding She-Monster (1957)The Astounding She-Monster (1957)
AKA Naked Invader
0r The Astounding She Creature
by #RonaldVAshcroft
w/
#RobertClarke #KenneDuncan

An alien terrorizes the of kidnappers of a rich heiress.

“A creature from beyond the stars. EVIL… BEAUTIFUL… DEADLY…!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I had heard of The Astounding She-Monster (1957), but somehow I had never seen it. I think maybe the title was too similar to (or at least reminiscent in some way of) other movies,  like She Demons (1958) and She Freak (1967) and maybe The She-Creature (1956) – all of which I’ve written about on the blog. But of course, The Astounding She-Monster is none of those movies…  Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Kronos (1957)

Poster for Kronos (1957)Kronos (1957) by #KurtNeumann
w/
#JeffMorrow #BarbaraLawrence

An alien robot ravages the countryside intent on absorbing Earth’s energy.

“PLANET ROBBER TRAMPLES EARTH…STEALING ENERGY FOR OTHER WORLDS!”

“The Most Incredible MONSTER of All Time!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I saw Kronos (1957) on late night TV when I was young – and it’s tempting to believe it was on my favourite weekly showcase of old black and white monster movies, Not Quite Classic Theatre. But by the time I stumbled onto KronosNot Quite Classic Theatre had already gone to that great TV show graveyard in the sky… or, rather, off the air. One of my local TV stations decided to try their hand at a similar format, and I believe they called it The Killer B. I don’t think The KIller B lasted more than a few weeks, which is too bad because with Not Quite Classic Theatre gone, I really could have used something to take its place.   Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Night of the Blood Beast (1958)

Poster for Night of the Blood Beast (1958)Night of the Blood Beast (1958) by #BernardLKowalski
produced by
#GeneCorman
executive producer: #RogerCorman
w/#MichaelEmmet #AngelaGreene

An astronaut is killed on reentry to Earth, but his body is seeded with rapidly gestating aliens. 

“No girl was safe as long as this head-hunting thing roamed the land!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

As anyone who knows me can attest, I am a fan of Roger Corman. He was the executive producer of Night of the Blood Beast (1958), but it was his brother, Gene Corman, who wore the main producer’s hat. They made a number of films together. If memory serves me correctly, Roger brought his brother Gene into the business. Roger, of course, would go on to produce more than 500 films. Gene only did about 36, but that’s still more than most of us will ever do. Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Man from Planet X (1951)

The Man from Planet X (1951) by #EdgarGUlmer
w/
#RobertClarke #MargaretField

An alien from a mysterious planet uses hypnotic powers to enslave a Scottish island.

“The WEIRDEST Visitor the Earth has ever seen!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

The Man from Planet X (1951) is a fairly serious minded SciFi movie – not unlike The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951). The fact that they were both released in 1951 is interesting to me. The Day the Earth Stood Still Is by far the better movie, but The Man from Planet X is solidly above average. It’s said that Steven Spielberg took the idea of an alien communicating through music from this movie and used it in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). If that’s true, it’s an impressive legacy of influence for Edgar G. Ulmer’s low budget B-movie.  Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: Not of This Earth (1957)

Not of This Earth (1957) by #RogerCorman

w/#PaulBirch #BeverlyGarland

A doctor and a nurse encounter an alien who needs human blood to save his dying race.

“Somewhere in this world stalks a thing that is…”

“Davanna must endure.”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I saw Not of This Earth (1988) long before I ever saw the original Not of This Earth (1957), which makes it clear that Not of This Earth (1957) was NOT one of the movies I saw on Not Quite Classic Theatre back in the day. As I recall it, Not of This Earth (1988) featured a lot of nudity, care of recently retired porn star Traci Lords. Some might say it was a minor sleaze masterpiece – which raises the question: How could this in any way relate to the original Not of This Earth (1957)?  Continue reading