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scsu1975

RICH'S B (AND WORSE) HORROR MOVIE THREAD

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This thread is so encyclopedic (and funny), I'm wondering if you can help me find a really bad horror film based on a single scene in my faded memory. (I would have seen this over 40 years ago, when I was allowed to stay up late every Friday and Saturday night to watch the monster movies on our local stations.)

 

There was this giant eyeball, just one, not attached to anything else. I think it was submerged, but I'm not sure. There were people moving around near it, maybe walking, maybe swimming. There may have been their submarine or spacecraft nearby. The eye was evil, of course.

 

I've been able to catch up with a lot of the B and worse movies of my youth on Retro TV's "Monster Madhouse" and a local access station's show, but not this one. Any idea, based on that flimsy description?

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:Dancing With The Satanists" -- ****!!

 

What's with Robert Alda and digits? First there was THE BEAST WITH FIVE FINGERS, and now THE DEVIL'S HAND.

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Haven't checked YouTube yet, but from the plot description, that sounds like the one. Even as a nine-year old, I would have known Arthur Franz from the TV series "World of Giants" (with Marshall Thompson) and the many other B-movies he appeared in. Thank you for rescuing a childhood memory.

 

This is a great thread, BTW.

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> {quote:title=PrinceSaliano wrote:}{quote}

> Oh, my. I remember that on WPIX's (Channel 11) Chiller on Saturday nights.

 

Me too.

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> {quote:title=nitratefiend wrote:}{quote}

> Tor Johnson was in another movie besides "Plan 9 from Outer Space"?!

 

Yes, quite an impressive body of work; check out Beast of Yucca Flats sometime.

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The Unearthly (1957)
Directed by Boris Petroff


This is pretty much what you'd expect of a movie starring John Carradine as a doctor trying to create immortality.

The film opens with gorgeous Allison Hayes being delivered by her doctor, played by Roy Gordon, into the hands of colleague Carradine. (Gordon, coincidentally, played Hayes' doctor in Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, and we know how well that worked out. I wouldn't trust the guy to remove a sliver.) Apparently, Hayes has suffered a nervous breakdown, so what better place to recuperate than in a home/laboratory/looney bin run by Carradine? Naturally, Carradine has an assistant, played by famed thespian Tor Johnson. Tor plays Lobo, which is obviously short for "lobotomy." Tor actually has some lines of dialogue: "Time for go to bed, " "You eat," and "Get my agent on the phone." What's unusual is that Carradine has another assistant, an icy blonde played by former Miss America Marilyn Buferd. Buferd has the hots for Carradine, which is probably the first and last time that's ever happened. Rounding out the cast are Myron Healey as a suspicious character picked up on the grounds of Carradine's home, Arthur Batanides as a druggie, and former centerfold Sally Todd as another "patient."

Carradine explains to Healey that he has created a 17th gland, one that will cause the aging process to be arrested (well, somebody should be arrested). Of course, his experiments thus far have been failures (Lobo for instance), but there is no reason to believe his next one won't be successful. His next operation is on Todd, and he uses "scalpel 23" to insert the gland. How did that work out? Let's just say he turns the former Playmate into Play-doh. Eventually, we get to see his entire collection of "wonder why this didn't work."

Despite the overall awfulness of this film, it appeals to me, probably because of the babes. Hayes and Todd look great, so that's enough to keep my interest. Hayes is miscast as the demure type, but then again, who cares why she was cast? Healey is okay, and had a decent career in film, but he doesn't have the appeal of a leading man. He also arches his eyebrows so much that he could be mistaken for a Vulcan. Tor is Tor, but never goes on a tear. However, he does get to wear a necktie. Batanides' scene of drug-craving is a little over the top, and he seems to calm down way too fast after his injection of R-16. I have no idea what the hell that is.

As usual, Carradine manages to rise above the material, and in this case it was quite a climb. He enjoys himself, parading around in Hugh Hefner-like garb, sitting on Hayes' bed, and even playing Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor" on his organ.

For some inexplicable reason, youtube had this as an "R" rating, so you have to sign in and verify you're an adult, or at least prove your IQ is higher than Lobo's.



"I'm afraid he's been like this since Keith Olbermann left MSNBC."
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An unsold reality show: "Tor Johnson, Male Nurse."
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"Um ... did you drop your sheet music?"
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Arthur Batanides' vasectomy goes horribly wrong.
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An unsold reality show: "Tor Johnson, Maitre de."
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"This is my greatest discovery ... the internal organs of the Venus de Milo!"
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Sally Todd brags about her last boyfriend to Allison Hayes.
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Curse of the Faceless Man (1958)
Directed by Edward L. Cahn

Be warned, this film could scare young kids; it certainly horrified me when I was young. Today, it would probably horrify the general public and movie critics alike.

A workman digging in the debris around Naples unearths a small chest with valuable artifacts, all of which can be found on QVC. Just by coincidence, a stone creature is found nearby, an obvious victim of Vesuvius. While the creature is being transported to a laboratory, it suddenly comes alive and kills the truck driver. The truck driver's agent is to be congratulated for getting him removed very quickly from this film. Meanwhile, the scientists, led by Richard Anderson (over a decade before his scientist-stint in "The Six Million Dollar Man") try to make sense of all this. Anderson is joined in this incompetent pursuit by Luis Van Rooten, playing Dr. Fiorillo, and Adele Mara, playing Van Rooten's daughter. Van Rooten's attempt at an Italian accent sounds more like Tim Conway's Mr. Tudball character. He keeps pointing his pipe at everyone. I liked him much better as Ralph Kramden's landlord. Swiss-born Felix Locher joins the fray as another scientist; his accent is beyond description. Locher has the pivotal job of translating an inscription which lets us all know the identity of the stone guy. He is Quintillus Aurelius (no relation to Marcus). Quintillus is Latin for "Five illus." Apparently, Quintillus placed a curse on a family, almost 1900 years before the Corleone's thought of it.

Enter Anderson's fiance, Tina, played by Elaine Edwards, who looks like Judy Holliday less the annoying voice. She is a painter and has dreams about a stone man (or perhaps it's Rock Hudson). She has dreamt about his discovery, about the truck driver being offed, etc. We also learn that Mara and Anderson had a thing for each other years ago. This has the makings of a romantic triangle; unfortunately, there is no onscreen chemistry between anyone, so the triangle reduces to a line segment, and ultimately, a point.

Anyway, if you're still reading this, Quintillus turns out to have been a slave who was in love with his master's daughter ... and since there are only two women in the cast, and one of them is dreaming about him, I'll let you figure this one out.

There are several implausible scenes in this movie, even if you can get beyond a stone man walking around Naples. For instance, Van Rooten devises a clever plan to see if the creature is alive. With Anderson and Mara at his side, he places a brooch near the creature's prone body; naturally, the big guy awakens and goes for the brooch. It is at this point that all three realize they don't know how to stop the creature. Idiots! Can you say "Exit Strategy?" Later, the creature stalks Edwards, who inexplicably is left alone in her apartment, suffering from shock. And you thought your health care plan sucked. The creature breaks down the door of the building. No one hears this. Then he breaks down her apartment door. Edwards hears this, gets up, and puts on her nightgown. Yes, you want to look your best if you're about to be carried off by a monster. Finally, she screams when she catches sight of stone boy. Anderson, Van Rooten, et al, who are standing next to the building, manage to hear the scream, but were oblivious to all the prior crashing noises. Interestingly, everyone in Naples speaks English, even the Polizia.

Quintillus throws a few tantrums, belts some people around, and give us the obligatory monster-carrying-the-girl scene, as he ultimately tries to take his true love into the sea to save her from Vesuvius. Anderson cleverly deduces that today's date is the same day that Vesuvius erupted ("2000 years earlier"). Well, it's more like 1,879 years. Maybe Anderson decided to round up the nearest millennium. But why nitpick?

Bob Bryant plays the stone Quintillus; at least no one can accuse his performance of being wooden. Horror and Sci-Fi actor Morris Ankrum narrates, and tells us what everyone in the cast is thinking. I didn't need this. The Bay of Naples is played by Southern California.



Jimmy Hoffa has a cameo.
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"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him ... we have the technology ..."
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"Well, if you think it will spice up our love life, I'm willing to give it a try."
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Is it just me, or does that appear to be Conrad Veidt's head in a jar?
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This sign either says "Closed Until Further Notice" or "Adult Bookstore."
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"That's an idea; however, an inflatable one is much safer."
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OMG April, I just checked! Attack of the 50-foot Woman! Magnetic Monster! Rodan! How will I ever keep up with all this?

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You'll need a supersonic jet to keep up with *Rodan*. :)

 

I think *Rodan* is my favorite Japanese monster film. I love the parts down in the mine. I like the miners who are scared to death. I like seeing more suburban residential areas, instead of the cliched tall buildings.

 

Years ago, here on the U of Mich. campus, a campus film society showed two Japanese monster films side-by-side, that is, at the same time, on screens right next to each other. What an experience! Interestingly, it seemed as if they were both on a schedule. When the scientists were conferring in one, they were conferring in the other. When the monster was destroying buildings in one, the monster in the other was doing likewise. Most, but not quite all, of the two films coincided like this.

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The Man Without a Body (1957)

Directed by Charles Saunders and W. Lee Wilder

 

Also known as “The Movie Without An Actor,” “The Film Without a Plot,” and “The Screenwriter Without a Clue.”

 

Hilariously bad brain-transplant movie. George Coulouris plays a rich scumball who is dying of a brain tumor. He gets wind of some novel experiments being conducted by a brain surgeon, played in mind-numbingly dull fashion by Robert Hutton. After visiting Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum (where the rest of the cast apparently was found), Coulouris hits on the idea of digging up Nostradamus’ head and making use of the prognosticator’s brain.

 

Coulouris manages to get the head through customs. If it had been 12 ounces of toothpaste, he would have been wrestled to the ground. Hutton is curious about the head’s identity. However, that doesn’t seem to deter him, or his two assistants Jean and Lew (their real names are unimportant), from trying to restore the brain to life. This is one of the many flaws (I lost count) in this movie. These medical people are absolutely sane, calm, dedicated, and see nothing odd about what they are doing. They have a monkey’s head and a floating eye in their lab. Meanwhile, the audience is screaming, “HEY, ARE ALL YOU PEOPLE NUTS?”

 

In a typical subplot, Lew takes up with Coulouris’ French tart, Odette, who wants to see her sugar daddy offed so she can cash in. Will Lew cave? What do you think?

 

From here on, the film becomes a collection of badly edited scenes, where people just seem to appear out of nowhere and do crazy things. Meanwhile, Nostradamus’ beard is growing, and his head introduces himself to Hutton in perfect English. I suppose if you can buy the idea that Nostradamus’ head is alive, then you’ll swallow anything that follows (I’d suggest cyanide).

 

In the finale, Nostradamus’ head gets transplanted onto Lew’s body and the creature wanders around the streets for a few minutes. The authorities see nothing unusual in this. Eventually, Coulouris catches up with “it.” I won’t give away the ending, but let’s just say Coulouris takes the fall, while Nostradamus and Lew go their “separate” ways.

 

The only interesting part of this film, besides the French tart, is when Nostradamus’ head gets onto Coulouris (figuratively) and decides to wreck his financial empire. Seeing Coulouris in an undershirt also provides some camp value. This could have been a decent piece of schlock, but no.

 

Why did this film need two directors? Because while one held the megaphone and yelled “Action!” the other held his barf bag.

 

Even Nostradamus could not have predicted this mess.

 

 

 

The ground crew directs Coulouris to the nearest gate.

 

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PETA would not be thrilled with this.

 

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Coulouris sports his new coif.

 

 

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“I think it would be fun to run a newspaper – in my pajamas.”

 

 

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Coulouris is about to apply his own interpretation of “choker.”

 

 

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Most people would find this scene unusual. Me, I’m lookin’ at the assistant’s rear end.

 

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The Monster of Piedras Blancas (1959)
Directed by Irvin Berwick

Low budget, but fairly entertaining monster-on-the-loose flick.

The story opens with the bodies of the Rinaldi brothers washing ashore. Both have been decapitated. In Jersey, this would not be a big deal. The town doctor, played by Les Tremayne, informs Constable Forrest Lewis that it was a clean job, and the bodies were drained of blood. This is what happens when you mess with the Internal Revenue Service. The town grocer, played by Frank Arvidson, immediately suspects it’s the work of a monster – the Monster of Piedras Blancas. Arvidson blabs his theory to lighthouse keeper John Harmon, who is annoyed because Arvidson is out of meat scraps. Arvidson is so irritating you hope he will become a victim. Good things come to those who wait.

Harmon’s daughter, played by 1950s p i n u p queen Jeanne Carmen, is dating Don Sullivan, who plays some kind of marine biologist. Carmen and Sullivan sneak off for some kissy face by the water, and later, Carmen goes for a moonlight swim au naturel (but it’s too dark to see anything). When she returns to shore, she hears heavy breathing (it was probably the camera crew). Her father is miffed that she swam alone; she admits she felt like someone was watching her (it was probably the camera crew).

Meanwhile, the monster develops an appetite, strolls into town, and removes Arvidson’s head. Those are cheers you hear from the audience. The only clue is some kind of fishy scale found at the scene. Tremayne and Sullivan test it, and claim it is similar to some extinct species I can’t pronounce. Later, they surprise the creature in Arvidson’s icebox. Lewis is slashed across the chest, bleeds profusely, but miraculously recovers completely by the next scene. A few more bodies pile up before the authorities decide to act. In the climax, Sullivan, Harmon, Carmen, Monster, et al meet up at the lighthouse.

 

This film could have stunk badly, but it is rescued by the good character actors, a creepy-looking monster (imagine Porky Pig on steroids), and a gratuituous shot of Carmen in her underwear. Sullivan was always an easy-going actor in a short-lived career, starring in silly crap like The Giant Gila Monster (“and the Lord said laugh, children, laugh”) and Teenage Zombies. He should have had a better career. Carmen acts adequately, but who cares. The opening credits are the real oddity, as the actors are listed along with the parts they play; e.g., Don Sullivan as “The Boy,” Jeanne Carmen as “The Girl,” and Newt Gingrich as “The Monster.”



An early example of bluetooth technology.

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I’ve heard of getting crabs, but this is ridiculous.

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This is the treatment you get when your healthcare plan sucks.

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“Real men don’t crochet!”

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Jeanne Carmen blows John Harmon’s nose.

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The deleted snorkel scene from From Here to Eternity.

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Hmm, the crab seems pretty interested in that head. I wonder if they used a real corpse to save a buck on props?

 

Thanks for the smiles.

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