INVASION OF THE B MOVIE – WORLD MOVIES SPECIAL
Clint Eastwood’s (uncredited) screen debut is one of the minor highlights of
Revenge of the Creature (1955), the first in the B movie madness program block
on the World Movies Channel from December 5, 2009. But there is much, much more...
When post-war traumas, Cold War tensions and spooky space explorations chipped
at the cracks of the thin veneer of the plastic-wrapped American dream, B-movies
tapped into this quietly simmering hysteria and released the dark demons in the
face of the glistening facade of the 1950s and 1960s.
Bloodcurdling impressions of the future and old-school special effects take us
back to a time when the imagination of the Hollywood Golden Age conjured the
most dreadful visions of the coming times and the evil that would threaten our
Dormant for almost half a century, these oft-underrated B-grade horror films
of the 50s and 60s are now more like cinematic novelties to be treasured.
Revenge of the Creature (1955) dir Jack Arnold – Dec 5, 2009
In the sequel to Creature From The Black Lagoon, scientists capture the
half-man, half-fish “Gill-man” deep in the Amazon and tentatively transport him
to an oceanarium in Florida to be studied by scientist Clete Ferguson (John
Agar) and ichthyology student Helen Dobson (Lori Nelson). (Clint Eastwood plays
a lab assistant – who misplaces a rat in his labcoat pocket . . .) Typical of
his previous conduct, the monster becomes obsessed with the beautiful student
and after escaping his enclosure, hunts her down and kidnaps her. Now Clete must
join the local police in finding and rescuing Helen from her obsessed captor.
The Monster That Changed the World (1957) dir Arnold Laven – Dec 12, 2009
Underwater seismic activity in California’s Salton Sea releases a nest of eggs
from a long-extinct sea monster, the hatchlings of which resemble giant snails.
The prehistoric molluscs escape into an underground sewer where they procreate
rapidly and surface to wreak havoc and feed on the blood of land dwelling
beings. The film was inspired by the real life phenomenon of prehistoric shrimp
eggs that were reconstituted by scientists after several million years.
It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1957) dir Edward L. Cahn – Dec 19, 2009
An exploration mission to Mars has crashed in space and a team of astronauts are
sent to collect the only survivor of the wreck, Col. Edward Carruthers. His
fellow crew have been murdered mysteriously but Carruthers’ story of a creature
in space being to blame is met with hostility and disbelief. While preparing to
return to Earth, a hatch on the spacecraft is unsecured and as they blast off,
they realise they are stowing an unwanted guest on-board. The crew’s scepticism
of Carruthers’ story dwindles as the body count mounts.
The Angry Red Planet (196) dir Ib Melchior – Dec 26, 2009
Signals are received from a spacecraft of a Mars expedition crew presumed lost
in space. Mission control brings the vessel back to earth by remote control but
cannot communicate with anyone on board. Upon the ship’s landing, it is
discovered that only two crewmembers have returned alive, one with a peculiar
green growth on his arm. The other survivor recollects horrific events that took
place on Mars, and their encounters with terrifying monsters, man-eating plants
and a Martian city.
Tales Of Terror (1962) dir Roger Corman - Jan 2, 2010
an adaptation of three Edgar Allan Poe stories starring horror legend Vincent
Price, and Peter Lorre. In Morella, Price plays an alcoholic who is visited by
the daughter he blames for his wife's death, 26 years previously. The Black Cat
brings sardonic humour to the table with the famous tale of the foulmouthed
Montresor (Lorre) who, embittered with jealousy does the unspeakable to his wife
and her lover. Then, in Facts In The Case Of M. Valdemar a mesmerist, who is
employed to keep the sick M. Valdemar in a trance halfway between life and
death, falls in love with his patient’s wife.
Journey To The Seventh Planet (1962) dir Sydney W. Pink - Jan 9, 2010
In the year 2001, the UN is the governing body of the world, and humans have
learned to live together in harmony. (Optimistic premise!) Most of space has
been charted, but for the seventh planet from the sun, Uranus. An international
crew is sent to explore the mysterious sphere, which they find to be very
strange indeed. On Uranus, they discover that a mysterious and hostile presence
is turning their own thoughts and imaginings into mirages. Voluptuous women and
childhood memories fill the landscape and soon the men are imagining their
darkest and most terrible fears!
The Haunted Palace (1963) dir Roger Corman - Jan 16, 2010
H.P. Lovecraft’s creepily imagined tale The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward is
cleverly adapted for film by Director Roger Corman and stars horror veteran
Vincent Price. A village in New England is gripped by the terrible curse of
Joseph Curwen, a suspected Warlock that the townsfolk burnt at the stake a
century ago for putting spells on the young girls of the village. Returning from
the dead to torment the descendants of his killers, Curwen will not rest until
the last resident has met a terrible fate.
The Comedy of Terrors
The Comedy Of Terrors (1963) dir Jacques Tourneur - Jan 23, 2010
Hilariously mischievous horror duo Vincent Price and Peter Lorre star in Jacques
Tourneur’s darkly comic tale of a funeral director (Price) who, struggling to
keep his business financially buoyant, creates work for himself by murdering
people in their homes. His sidekick (Lorre) helps him in bumping off their
landlord who, unbeknownst to them, suffers periods of death-like sleep. Thinking
their job is done, the duo of death return home to enjoy their newfound wealth
only to be paid a visit from their presumed dead landlord.
Queen Of Blood (1966) dir Curtis Harrington - Jan 30, 2010
Dennis Hopper stars alongside John Saxon in a precursor to numerous similarly
themed horror flicks of recent years. The year is 1990 and Earth receives a
distress call from an alien spacecraft that has crashed on Mars. Dr Farraday
(Basil Rathbone) sends a team of astronauts, including Allan Brenner (Saxon) and
Paul Grant (Hopper) on a rescue mission. On the planet they discover there is
only one survivor - a deviously vampish alien queen with a penchant for blood
plasma! Realising too late, the crew are earthward bound, and they have no idea
what they are bringing home with them!
Published November 26, 2009
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Revenge of the Creature
The WORLD MOVIES Channel is available in Australia through Subscription TV
providers FOXTEL, OPTUS TELEVISION and AUSTAR. Its easy to get connected
B movie madness:
Saturday Nights on World Movies at 8:30pm throughout December and January
Queen of Blood
Tales of Terror
Terror From Beyond Space