Missile to the Moon (1958) – Friday Night At The Home Drive-In

Poster for Missile to the Moon (1958)Missile to the Moon (1958) by #RichardECunha
w/
#RichardTravis #CathyDowns #KTStevens

Escaped convicts hide in a rocket and wind up on the moon, where they find an all female society ruled by a sadistic queen.

“Lunar She-Devils Lure Earthmen Into Their Lair of Doom!”

“A Giant Fiendish Creature!”

#SciFi #Horror
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Watching Missile to the Moon (1958) last week, I was reminded that I recently said that Abbott and Costello Go To Mars (1953) is one of my favourite movies about alien women. I saw it on TV multiple times when I was a kid, and even though it doesn’t share the same stellar reputation, I loved it as much as Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). I know that’s probably sacrilege, but I can’t help it. The movie spoke to me somehow.  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

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Monster from Green Hell (1957)

Poster for Monster from Green Hell (1957)Monster from Green Hell (1957) by #KennethGCrane

w/#JimDavis #RobertGriffin #JoelFluellen

“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!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

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… Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: Return of the Fly (1958)

Return of the Fly (1958) by #EdwardBernds
w/
#VincentPrice #BrettHalsey #DanielleDeMetz

Philippe Delambre, the now-adult son of “The Fly”, does some transportation experimentation of his own.

“The horror is back!”

“Out of the World of Atomic Mutation It Rises
– With the Dread Curse of the Father Upon It!”

#Horror #SciFi
#TheFly
#NotQuiteClassicCinema

I wrote about The Fly (1958) a while back, and I admitted that I was somewhat unsure if I should be calling it #NotQuiteClassicCinema. I know I’ve struggled with that before. I hate for people to think I’m calling a movie “bad” or implying that I don’t like it. Nothing could be further from the case (in most situations). I’m basically paying homage to the old TV show that introduced me to these old monster movies, Not Quite Classic Theatre. Still, many oil the movies I write about would never get confused for actual classics (The Beast of Yucca Flats, anyone?). The Fly (1958), however, would and should. I think I said something like this: Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Fly (1958)

Poster for The Fly (1958)The Fly (1958) by #KurtNeumann
w/
#DavidHedison #PatriciaOwens #VincentPrice

When a scientist tests his matter transporter on himself, things go horribly wrong.

“Once it was human… even as you and I!”

“If she looked upon the horror her husband had become… she would scream for the rest of her life!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I did not see The Fly (1958) when I was a kid. It was not featured on Not Quite Classic Theatre (at least not to my knowledge). I do remember seeing pictures from it in magazines and books. And I also remember it being aired on TV one night… a night that I could not watch it. I’m not sure where I was, or what I was doing, but I was not at home. Later, when I got back, my dad told me that he and my brother had watched it (which was a bit unusual, as my dad was not in the habit of watching horror films). They both loved it, of course, and told me that I had really missed out. They also told me quite a few details about the story – perhaps even some spoilers, years before anyone had ever used the word spoliers. It sounded great, and I couldn’t believe that my dad and my brother has seen it and I hadn’t. I was angry and bitter and jealous – and there was no way for me to see the film retroactively, as VCRs were still a ways off. When you missed a TV broadcast in those days, you really missed it. Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: Earth vs the Spider (1958)

Poster for Earth vs the Spider (1958)Earth vs the Spider AKA The Spider AKA Earth vs the Giant Spider (1958) by #BertIGordon w/#EdKemmer #JuneKenney #EugenePersson

Teenagers & their high school science teacher join forces to battle a giant mutant spider.

“50 TONS OF CREEPING BLACK HORROR!”

“Bullets Won’t Kill It! Flames Can’t Hurt It! Nothing Can Stop It!

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I seem to be in a real 1958 mood lately. My home drive-in has been screening movies from that year, or thereabouts, for a couple of months now. Perhaps it’s an attempt to teleport back to an earlier, more innocent, time of my life. Not that I was alive in 1958. That would make me about as old as I feel. No, but I watched a lot of movies from 1958, or thereabouts, in the 1980s on my favourite weekly television event – Not Quite Classic Theatre. Continue reading

Friday Night At The Home Drive-In: The Wasp Woman (1959)

Poster for The Wasp Woman (1959)The Wasp Woman (1959) by #RogerCorman
w/#SusanCabot #AnthonyEisley #BarbouraMorris

A cosmetics queen is transformed into a murderous monster after she uses an insect chemical to preserve her beauty.

“A beautiful woman by day – a lusting queen wasp by night.”
“Strong men forced to satisfy a passion no human knows.”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

The Wasp Woman (1959) is a super-fun B-movie by none other than the master himself, Roger Corman. I love Roger Corman. He’s one of my heroes. I was once called “the Roger Corman of Manitoba” and it was the greatest compliment that I could imagine. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Roger Corman movie that I didn’t enjoy. And The Wasp Woman is no exception.
Continue reading

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

Poster for The Deadly Mantis (1957)The Deadly Mantis (1957) by #NathanJuran
w/ #CraigStevens #WilliamHopper #AlixTalton

When a melting iceberg releases a prehistoric giant praying mantis, a palaeontologist works with the military to kill it after it attacks scientific outposts on its way to Washington and New York.

“The most dangerous monster that ever lived!”
“A Thousand Tons of Horror! From A Million Years Ago…”

#Horror #SciFi #Giant #Monster
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

At the risk of repeating myself…

Quite some time ago, I wrote about a TV show that I discovered when I was young. It aired late on Saturday nights and was called Not Quite Classic Theatre. As I said back then, “perhaps ‘show’ isn’t the right word for it. It was a time slot during which the TV station would air old B-movies.” I wrote that “watching those old monster movies inspired and excited me in a way that no other movies had. I loved them, and I loved that they gave me ideas and made me want to write.” Basically, watching movies on Not Quite Classic Theatre helped to make me into the person that I am today (for better or for worse). Continue reading