Category Archives: 1950s

Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)

Perhaps on some level director Roger Corman knew that a movie starring giant crabs wasn’t really going to get audiences that fired up. Most people have never dealt with the animals except as a tasty treat and thus there is no deep seated fear of them like there is of the various insects, spiders and other icky things that became engorged during the 1950s heyday of these types of films.

In fact, when Mysterious Island featured a giant crab menacing people a few years later, the unfortunate creature ended up as an all you can eat castaways crab meat buffet! So it was probably not a bad idea that Corman tricked out his crab monsters with some additional super powers. Continue reading

Hercules Unchained (1959)

Truly then, the gods have smiled upon us this day when they sent forth this second adventure of Hercules. Fresh from whatever it was that Herc accomplished in his first epic film, this movie opens with him saying his goodbyes to his buddies from the Argos and preparing to journey to his hometown of Thebes with his new wife Iole and his buddy Ulysses. Continue reading

The Haunted Strangler (1958)

HauntedStranglerPosterBoris Karloff (Frankenstein) runs around with a gimped-up arm and makes faces to show us that he has turned from a genteel novelist to a serial killer who likes to slash the pretty girls that work at the local strip joint somehow named “The Judas Hole.” (I just looked this up and it means something like “peep hole”. If nothing else, this movie taught me some cool new slang.) Continue reading

Goliath and the Barbarians (1959)

Goliath and the Barbarians PosterMade very early in the sword and sandal cycle of the late 1950s and early to mid 1960s, Goliath and the Barbarians attempts to get by solely on the fact that the biggest name in the genre, Steve Reeves, is the featured player. The movie fails to rise above “forgettable strongman epic” but the fault in no way lies with big Steve.

Steve and his Goliath-sized guns grunt and groan mightily in an effort to heave this movie into something approaching interesting, but even his mammoth chest, no matter how much it’s glistening with hunk-sweat, can’t overcome the dull story of barbarians harassing Steve’s lower class village. Continue reading

World Without End (1956)

World Without End PosterHundreds of years from now Earth has been devastated by an atomic war! Mutant cavemen roam the planet’s surface at will, enslaving the survivors still living in the open, while technologically advanced humans cower underground!

Even worse, a gang of toughs appear, call out the underground dwellers for being the pussies they are, steal their surprisingly sexy broads, and force the pansy men to build weapons for them! Then these toughs take their keg party up top and blast the piss out of the cavemen before the head bad boy kills the leader of the cavemen, thus cementing his position as King Bad Ass! Continue reading

Halls of Montezuma (1950)

Halls of Montezuma PosterTheir names roll off my tongue far easier than they ever had a right to: Tobruk, Corregidor, Guadalcanal. And even now after all these years, sometimes late at night when the house is at its quietest and I close my eyes, all I can see are the flares lighting up the night, illuminating the hellish place (probably a studio backlot) of dirt and rock and blood where I watched a bunch of actors dig in, praying that some Axis pillbox didn’t hit the jackpot, sending a telegram to our moms and dads that began “we regret to inform you.” Continue reading

The Desert Rats (1953)

Desert Rats PosterRichard Burton plays a Scottish officer named MacRoberts who somehow gets put in charge of a group of Australian soldiers at Tobruk during World War II. The Aussies are a rowdy bunch and one guy was already wasted (on Fosters no doubt) and in no condition to do anything except drop his booze on the ground! We’re busting our humps in the Pacific and everywhere else and these dolts are acting like the Libyan desert is South Padre island! Continue reading

The Abominable Snowman (1957)

The Abominable Snowman PosterAn early effort from Hammer Films, The Abominable Snowman is an unremarkable and talky hunt for Yetis in the Himalayas. Peter Cushing plays a wuss botanist named Dr. John Rollason who’s up in those parts doing prissy things like studying rare plants, sipping tea, and generally sucking up to the lama that runs the monastery that he, his way too young wife and his weirdo wimpy assistant are crashing at during the course of their stay. Continue reading

20 Million Miles to Earth (1957)

20 Million Miles to Earth PosterKing Kong was pretty bad ass as far as monsters go. Worshipped as a god on his awesome island home, he fought an all-star cast of dinosaurs. Later, he stole a beautiful woman and bragged about it by climbing the biggest building in the greatest city on Earth. Then he took on the air power of the United States. Even his death was epic, crashing in a big smelly heap all those stories to the ground while folks waxed poetic about beauty killing the beast. In 20 Million Miles to Earth, the Ymir fought a dog. And got stabbed in the back with a pitchfork. Continue reading

The Master of Ballantrae (1953)

MasterOfBallantraePosterDid you know that Errol Flynn had a seedier, puffier, older brother also named Errol? Me neither, but he tried to follow in his more glamorous and roguish brother’s footsteps by starring in a movie about Scottish dudes getting worn out by the British Empire and turning tail and becoming pirates in beautiful Tortuga Bay. Oh wait – that was Errol Flynn in this movie! Continue reading