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Day the World Ended (1955)

(originally posted here:


Decent sci-fi from Roger Corman, about a few survivors of a nuclear holocaust. Paul Birch plays a scientist holed up in a house with his daughter, Lori Nelson. Touch (Mike) Connors, pre-Mannix, and Adele Jergens, post-menopausal, crash the party. Rugged Richard Denning arrives shortly afterwards, carrying the slowly-mutating Paul Dubov, who inexplicably has a Moe Howard haircut. The last to arrive is Raymond Hatton, along with his mule. I am not counting the three-eyed creature as part of the cast, although it is played by Paul Blaisdell, special effects "genius." Jonathan Haze, a member of Corman's stock players, has a quick bit as another mutation.

Nelson pines for her lost love, played by Roger Corman (that's Corman in the photograph we keep seeing). However, she quickly gets interested in Denning. Meanwhile, Connors also wants a piece of the action, much to the dismay of Jergens. Denning and Connors have a few fist fights, and Jergens pretends to strip. Not good. While all this conflict is going on, Dubov continues to mutate and Hatton makes booze.

There are some interesting ideas in this movie. The three-eyed creature seems to be able to communicate with Nelson ... hmmm, might he be someone she knows? Dubov must eat contaminated food to survive. Birch wants the women to get pregnant so they can re-populate the earth. And the purifying rain saves the day.

At the end (which is "The Beginning"), two survive. Guess who. Chet Huntley narrates. David Brinkley was unavailable.

Mike Connors attemps to shoot off his finger. Adele Jergens is not amused.

Raymond Hatton and Lori Nelson are astounded when Hatton's mule starts talking.

Connors tells Nelson that really is a gun in his pocket. Jergens is not amused.

Too many Stooges stunts have taken their toll on Moe.

Jergens shows off her placekicking skills. Connors is not amused.

Hugh Griffith has a cameo.

Nelson and Denning in a failed screentest for The Quiet Man.

Joe Mannix shows he has a lot to learn about the private eye business.

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The Phantom Planet (1961)

(originally posted here:


A near-miss, this opus stars Dean Fredericks, who looks like a guy I went to high school with, Anthony Dexter, who looks like Bronxgirl's cousin Bennett from Yonkers, Dolores Faith, who looks like Elizabeth Taylor, Coleen Gray, who looks great, and silent film legend Francis X. Bushman, who looks dead.

Set in 1980, two astronauts are sent on a mission to discover what happened to a previous spaceship. One of the characters exits quickly, while the other (Fredericks) is forced to land on a giant Chicken McNugget inhabited by teenie weenie people, led by Bushman. The atmosphere shrinks Fredericks down to their size, and he promptly gets in trouble by wrestling one of the inhabitants. Coleen Gray eyes Fredericks like he is a filet mignon, much to the consternation of Dexter. The inevitable duel occurs between Fredericks and Dexter, as they fight over who looks worse without a shirt on. Meanwhile, the mute Dolores Faith also wants Fredericks. (Once you see Fredericks, you may wonder why any of these women want him.) Richard Kiel is dressed up in a monster suit. The asteroid is under attack by his fellow Solarites. Eventually, things work out and Fredericks is restored to normal size, without the help of any pharmaceuticals.

This film had possibilities, but is done in by cheapness. Also, no one acts. Most of the cast seem to be waiting for their cues. Bushman appears to be reading from cue cards. Maybe he needed some organ music to get him in the mood. His character is named Sessom, which is almost "Moses" spelled backwards. He ain't no Chuck Heston, but he does manage to destroy the invading Solarites with his anti-gravity beam. Fredericks is cranky throughout, and threatens to "hang one on" Dexter. See if you can count how many times Fredericks crosses his arms. As a leading man, he is horrible. Gray and Faith are cute, however. The less said about Dexter, the better. The ending is pretty well done, although I am getting really tired of seeing "The Beginning" at the end.

Opening narration by Marvin Miller. Presumably, no one handed him a check for a million bucks.

Paul Lynde somehow becomes a Colonel (don't ask, don't tell).

Another tough break for Gary Lockwood.

"OK, so maybe they're not Japanese, but they'd still be great in Mothra."

Dean Fredericks and Anthony Dexter play on a weightless teeter-totter.

Fredericks hears Richard Burton's footsteps.

Richard Kiel does the hula.

Francis X. Bushman shows off his Mr. T. starter kit.

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Robot Monster  (1953)

Directed by Phil Tucker

(originally posted here:


Without a doubt, one of the worst movies ever made. An alien in a gorilla suit and space helmet ("Ro-Man") destroys the population of the earth, but somehow manages to leave eight alive. Idiot. Since we never see two of the survivors, there are basically six left alive, or, as we call them, the cast. George Nader, who somehow survived this brilliant career move, plays opposite Claudia Barrett, whose best role was that of "Miss Mud Turtle" in an Abbott and Costello TV episode. John Mylong plays the Professor; with his Austrian accent, the least he could have done was spout some Nazi diatribe. Here, he does not know his *** from a hole in the ground. There is dinosaur stock footage from One Million B.C., and lots of shots (way too many) of Ro-Man wandering around trying to decide how to kill the survivors. There is also some kind of bubble machine.

The dialogue is stupefying and nonsensical, especially during the exchanges between
Ro-Man and his superior, "Great Guidance":

Ro-Man: "Fact eight. My pulse has been reduced to plus zero zero."
Great Guidance: "Reject. Error."

The film gets considerably worse (if that's possible) when Ro-Man begins to have
Hu-Man feelings and waxes philosophical:

"I cannot, yet I must. How do you calculate that? At what point on the graph do must and cannot meet? Yet I must, but I cannot."

Holy crap.

A rare still of Buster Crabbe's first screen test.

Lawrence Welk sued Ro-Man over use of this bubble machine.

"We switched to high-def for this crap?"

The film is 66 minutes long. You figure this out.

Bigfoot makes a cameo appearance.

Claudia Barrett tries to convince George Nader to go straight. (It didn't work.)

Barrett and Nader team up in a handicap match against Gorilla Monsoon.

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Monster from Green Hell (1957)

Directed by Kenneth G. Crane

(originally posted here:


This movie entertained me as a kid... but it stinks now. It's hard to imagine that a giant bug movie could be boring ... cheap, perhaps, poorly acted, perhaps, but not boring. Well, this one is boring.

Jim Davis and Robert Griffin are working out of a laboratory that appears to be in Monument Valley. I'm sure the Native Americans were thrilled about this. Anyway, these two clowns send some wasps into space, while we are treated to a typical Albert Glasser headache-inducing opening theme. The rocket crash-lands in Africa, and the wasps are exposed to radiation. Naturally, they grow to about the size of Orson Welles. Vladimir Sokoloff, not playing a Mexican for a change, portrays a scientist who goes off to investigate rumors about giant monsters. Adios, Vladimir. Meanwhile, Davis and Griffin arrive and wander aimlessly through the jungle for about thirty minutes of movie time, twenty of which is footage from Stanley and Livingstone. Boring. In the tight shots, we can see binoculars around the neck of Davis. In the long shots, the binoculars are gone, probably because Davis has changed into Spencer Tracy's stand-in. Their Arab guide is played by Eduardo Ciannelli, who specializes in cooking Ziti Allah Dente. Barbara Turner, who plays Sokoloff's daughter, comes along for the ride. Turner has the personality of a box of hair.

The wasps knock off a couple of natives onscreen, and several offscreen. They also scare animals and kill one snake. On occasion, they sound like Rodney Dangerfield passing gas in Caddyshack. In the exciting climax, Davis & Co. look on as the wasps are incinerated in a volcano. Stupefying. "Nature has a way of correcting its own mistakes," concludes Griffin. Unfortunately, the same does not apply to filmmakers.

Jock Ewing welcomes J.R. into the world.4ebUOtZ.jpg

Jim Davis looks on with skepticism as Robert Griffin tries to sell him a cattle ranch
named "Southfork" in the north of Africa.e3xgemY.jpg

Hey, didn't I see this scene in Stanley and Livingstone ?

To combat insomnia, Jim Davis counts natives.

"Ayatollah you I'ma no good for thisa part."

Hey, didn't I see this scene in Stanley and Livingstone ?

"You're gonna need a bigger can of Raid."


Vladimir Sokoloff, as Charlie Chan, Jungle Doctor, finally calls out Mantan Moreland.zhNUXjf.jpg

Orson Buggy.



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Creature with the Atom Brain (1955)

Directed by Edward L. Cahn

(originally posted here:


Decent 50s sci-fi, with Richard Denning (neatly coiffed as always) playing a police doctor tracking down who, or what, is bumping off several important people. Michael Granger plays mobster Frank Buchanan. Granger enlists the aid of a German scientist (is there any other kind) Dr. Wilhelm Steigg, played by Gregory Gay. Steigg is a specialist in "amygdale stimulation," and has discovered a method for re-animating corpses by pumping some weird fluid into their veins, transplanting some weird stuff into their brains, and turning the eyeballs into miniature televisions. Naturally, he has done this for the good of mankind, but Buchanan has other ideas ... like using the creatures to knock off his enemies. The film starts to fall apart when Homicide Captain Dave Harris (John Launer) is turned into a creature, yet it takes the cast members quite awhile to notice the scars running around his forehead.

The rest of the cast is rather unusual ..."Killer" Karl Davis, Charles Horvath, and Dick Crockett turn up as creatures. Tris Coffin plays the D.A., and the always useful Pierre Watkin plays the Mayor of the city. However, my favorite character is Radio Broadcaster Dick Cutting. Folks, you just can't make this stuff up.

The film runs around 70 minutes and has some production value. Denning gives it his best shot, despite having to wear a ridiculous flat hat. However, Granger takes the fashion prize, wearing the worst-fitting suit since Frank Gerstle.

"Look Doc, you can mess with the brains and the eyes, but don't touch these."

Michael Ross (right) misunderstands when Tris Coffin tells him to "take the wheel."


In this unused scene from Fantastic Voyage, two scientists investigate a patient
with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

John Launer brags in front of the boys.


"That's the worst set of hair plugs I've ever seen."


Another Town Hall meeting is disrupted.


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The Crawling Eye (1958)

Directed by Quentin Lawrence

(originally posted here:


AKA The Trollenberg Terror, this film is not to be confused with The Hypnotic Eye, The Crawling Hand, or The Creeping Terror, all of which stink.

Forrest Tucker investigates strange goings-on in a Swiss town. A cloud has descended around a mountain, and anyone who goes up the mountain tends to end up dead and decapitated. Seems a similar thing happened in the Andes some time back, so Tucker wants answers. Janet Munro and Jennifer Jayne play sisters who have a mind-reading act; Munro's ability turns out to be real, as she can "sense" what is going on in the cloud. This puts her in jeopardy, because the things in the cloud are aware of her ability and want to knock her off.

There are some very eerie scenes in this film, with fog, strange noises, and people under the control of the monsters. Also, several heads get removed offscreen. But once the monsters actually appear, the movie goes into the dumper. The monsters are apparently giant scungilli Cyclops. Along with normal tentacles, they seem to have a long thin one, kind of like linguini, which they like to wrap around the actors necks.

In the climax, the cast is holed up in an observatory atop the mountain. A United Nations jet saves the day, and fries the calamari.

At 84 minutes, the running time is just about right. However, this film could have been greatly improved by not showing the monsters at all. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more of Jennifer Jayne.

Jennifer Jayne and Forrest Tucker read the morning head lyin'.

Laurence Payne watches his arm and career go up in smoke.

Forrest Tucker tries his hand at Pac-Man.

This is when you know you're ready for AA.

Janet Munro should have quit while she was a head.

Terry Bradshaw tries to get some Pittsburgh Steelers tickets for Tucker.

In the film's creepiest scene, Ludwig Stossel hits on Jennifer Jayne.

Tucker tries his hand (and neck) at interior decorating, with disastrous results.

Don't say you weren't warned.

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Cat-Women of the Moon (1953)

Directed by Arthur Hilton

(originally posted here:


This film was a pleasant surprise. Sure, it stinks, but it's fun, and not a bad way to spend a little over an hour.

     Five assorted characters are on a rocket heading to the moon. They are led by Sonny Tufts. The word "actor" should never appear in the same sentence as "Sonny Tufts." He is simply horrible, possibly the lousiest I've ever seen. He is also the worst commander in the history of space, incapable of making decisions and being easily led astray. His "Bahston" accent does not help matters. Victor Jory, as "Kip," is the only person in the cast who i) acts, and ii) understands the plot. You know a film is in trouble when Jory is the one you are rooting for. Marie Windsor gets everyone else in trouble since the Cat-Women can control her mind. Rounding out the cast are Douglas Fowley as a guy looking to make a quick buck, William Phillips as a young schnook, and various babes playing Cat-Women. Each Cat-Woman is named after a greek letter; convincing proof that Archimedes was a moon-man.
    The Cat-Women want to take over the Earth. You know, for a change, I wish we would let someone else take over this planet, and let them see how tough it is.

     For a low-budget film, the sets are decent. The moonscapes are interesting to look at, as are the interiors of the city where the Cat-Women live. Oddly enough, the worst part of this film (aside from Tufts) is Elmer Bernstein's score. Watch the scene where the Cat-Women dance. The music sounds like something from the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
     This film was remade (sort of) as Missile to the Moon. In that film, there are rock creatures that look like Gumby.

The crew makes ready to leave the ship, while Marie Windsor prepares for her date with
the Man in the Moon.



"Do you think these clothes make my *** look fat?"

Um, folks ... you might want to check out that hairy thing with legs in front of you.


Victor Jory is initiated into Phi Beta Kappa.

William Phipps as the Man Who Loved Cat Dancing.towMVOF.jpg



Douglas Fowley admires the plant growing out of this Cat-Woman’s head.



Victor Jory gets to make out with Marie Windsor. Yes, this is definitely science fiction.PwdaqS3.jpg

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Sonny Tufts is one of those actors that makes one wonder;  How did this guy get a start in Hollywood?


Well due to a football injury he wasn't eligible for service (and unlike Wayne,  Tufts really wasn't),  and he got his first role in the highly successful war film,  So Proudly We Hail.   


"Tufts' performance was praised by critics and the role served as a launching pad for Tufts' career. After the release of the film, Tufts received 1700 fan letters a week and was named "The Find of 1943." 


Of course after the war was over and actors like Stewart etc.. returned the 'find of 1943' was soon forgotten by studio producers.




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