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Rating the quality of old time sci-fi / monster flicks


EugeniaH
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I'm spending my Saturday night watching Tarantula (1955), with John Agar.  Though it's considered a "B" picture, I thought it was pretty well done.  The scenes showing the spider moving across the landscape look realistic (I especially liked when it towers over a house in the darkness; it was kind of frightening).  Nice touch also to show animal bones and huge pools of venom in the fields.

 

Some of these kinds of flicks are more about special effects than good acting or an interesting back story, but Tarantula kept me entertained outside of the main shock scenes.  We learn about acromegaly and the horrific physical transformation of Prof. Gerald Deemer (Leo Carroll).

 

Anyone else have opinions on a good quality sci-fi / monster movie?  One that has good acting and back story as well as good special effects?  (I'm now about to check out The Mole People, lol...)

 

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I've always thought "Them!" was just about the best of these '50s 'atomic age creates giant monster(s) that threatens the world' movies, Eugenia.

 

(...but then again, ANY movie with James Whitmore is tops in my book)

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I like very much: Ikarie XB 1 (1963). It is a Czech film directed by Jindrich Polák. it is all-encompassing tour of things found en route to a new planet. A clip of it can be seen at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyraLxGHgzo&feature=youtu.be

I find interesting that they predicted shoes which light when you step several decades before they became popular. :)

 

I like very much also: A Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell (1990). There is no good acting and no good back story and no other features of good movies. It is cheap-and-cheesy to such a degree that it is a masterpiece of its sub-genre.

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Ah, those bygone days of 1950s Universal-International sci-fi fun. That's what many of us cut our teeth on growing up and spending too much time staring at the crt-based idiot box. I know I did.  :)  They're working on a creature from the black lagoon remake. It'll probably stink but I will always be open-minded.

 

 

 

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EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS had decent acting and cool special effects (my favorite - SPOILER ALERT - is the saucer crading into the Washington Memorial). The original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is excellent on all levels. INVADERS FROM MARS is scary, especially if you're a kid, and even though it is low budget, has some great stuff in it. One of my favorite SF/monster flicks from this or any era remaines the orginal THE THING - scary, with great story, acting and direction. CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON is a classic. THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD is decent, low budget. I guess I could go on and on and like a lot of people who watch TCM, I grew up on these flicks and watched as many as possible on TV and I still enjoy them.

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EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS had decent acting and cool special effects (my favorite - SPOILER ALERT - is the saucer crading into the Washington Memorial). The original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS is excellent on all levels. INVADERS FROM MARS is scary, especially if you're a kid, and even though it is low budget, has some great stuff in it. One of my favorite SF/monster flicks from this or any era remaines the orginal THE THING - scary, with great story, acting and direction. CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON is a classic. THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD is decent, low budget. I guess I could go on and on and like a lot of people who watch TCM, I grew up on these flicks and watched as many as possible on TV and I still enjoy them.

Me too.  :)

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I rather enjoyed 'The Monolith Monsters' (1957). A little different, interesting visual effects.

One of my wife's favorites.  We have several DVD collections of the Sci-Fi type movies of the 50's and early 60's and watch them often.  You can't beat them for pure entertainment value.  Today's Sci-Fi are more about computer generated/blue screen special effects and LOTS of noise.

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Anyone else have opinions on a good quality sci-fi / monster movie?  One that has good acting and back story as well as good special effects?  (I'm now about to check out The Mole People, lol...)

20 Million Miles to Earth, The Thing From Another World, The Deadly Mantis, Them!, The Beast From 20,000 fathoms, The Land Unknown, The Phantom From 10,000 Leagues., 

Not necessarily good or quality, but interesting:  The Giant Gila Monster; The Killer Shrews; Last Woman on Earth; 

BTW, most of these are available on DVD sets.  A couple of good sources are Hamilton Books, CC Video, etc.  Frequently sell them for huge discounts.

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I'm spending my Saturday night watching Tarantula (1955), with John Agar.  Though it's considered a "B" picture, I thought it was pretty well done.  The scenes showing the spider moving across the landscape look realistic (I especially liked when it towers over a house in the darkness; it was kind of frightening).  Nice touch also to show animal bones and huge pools of venom in the fields.

 

Some of these kinds of flicks are more about special effects than good acting or an interesting back story, but Tarantula kept me entertained outside of the main shock scenes.  We learn about acromegaly and the horrific physical transformation of Prof. Gerald Deemer (Leo Carroll).

 

Anyone else have opinions on a good quality sci-fi / monster movie?  One that has good acting and back story as well as good special effects?  (I'm now about to check out The Mole People, lol...)

 

"First Men in the Moon" (1964)

 

"The Fly" (1958)

 

"The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms" (1953)

 

"Godzilla" (1954)

 

"It Came From Beneath The Sea" (1955)

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I'm spending my Saturday night watching Tarantula (1955), with John Agar.  Though it's considered a "B" picture, I thought it was pretty well done.  The scenes showing the spider moving across the landscape look realistic (I especially liked when it towers over a house in the darkness; it was kind of frightening).  Nice touch also to show animal bones and huge pools of venom in the fields.

 

Some of these kinds of flicks are more about special effects than good acting or an interesting back story, but Tarantula kept me entertained outside of the main shock scenes.  We learn about acromegaly and the horrific physical transformation of Prof. Gerald Deemer (Leo Carroll).

 

Anyone else have opinions on a good quality sci-fi / monster movie?  One that has good acting and back story as well as good special effects?  (I'm now about to check out The Mole People, lol...)

Eugenia, have you ever seen EARTH VS THE SPIDER ?  Another late 50's low budget job that ain't bad,  since you liked TARANTULA.

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Two films that I remember as a  kid seeing on tv regularly are the 1958 Czech film THE FABULOUS WORLD OF JULES VERNE  (an interesting blend of actors and animation backgrounds)   and the 50's Japanese sci fi  THE MYSTERIANS  (very good effects and in color no less). I mention these two films because they really impressed me as a child and years later I was inspired to find them on DVD.  I don't know if TCM has ever shown either film, but I would highly recommend they do.  Neither film has gotten much attention for a long time.

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 ...and the 50's Japanese sci fi  THE MYSTERIANS .

 

Oh yeah, Mr.R. No..ahem..question(mark) about it. I remember shedding..ahem.."96 Tears" the first time I watched that Japanese flick!

 

(...sorry) ;)

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Eugenia, have you ever seen EARTH VS THE SPIDER ?  Another late 50's low budget job that ain't bad,  since you liked TARANTULA.

 

Maybe there was lead in that town's water supply because there sure was a lot of questionable decision-making skills on display. But that's kind of a dramatic necessity for the campier titles in this genre. Who wouldn't spontaneously decide to hold a dance in that hall?

 

FMC frequently airs The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas, an intriguing twist on 1950s monster movies.

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Oh yeah, Mr.R. No..ahem..question(mark) about it. I remember shedding..ahem.."96 Tears" the first time I watched that Japanese flick!

 

(...sorry) ;)

Here's a good trivia item Dargo,  according to the wiki entry the band name came from this movie. How about that, ;)

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Here's a good trivia item Dargo,  according to the wiki entry the band name came from this movie. How about that, ;)

 

Well, sonnava gun! I guess I wasn't as "off-topic" as I THOUGHT I was here then, huh! ;)

 

(...I'll try harder next time) LOL

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Hi Eugenia :)

 

So interesting that you mentioned checking out Mole People, just a week or so ago, I asked Rich (scsu 1975) about that film. Rich did review it I think in the Sc-fi genre forum threads quite awhile ago. Hey Rich, if you read this, please post where Genie can find your review :) good to see you on the bds. Genie :)

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I rather enjoyed 'The Monolith Monsters' (1957). A little different, interesting visual effects.

 

I checked out "Monolith Monsters" last weekend.  I had forgotten that I'd seen it before, but I agree, this was a good film. 

 

**SPOILERS**

 

The poor little girl coming out of the destroyed house in a zombie state, with her relatives under the rubble, was really sad.  She did well in that film - I felt very sympathetic toward her.  The special effect of her arm starting to turn to stone was good. 

 

I wasn't as much of a fan of "The Mole People".  I didn't watch it all the way through (but maybe I just wasn't in the mood to watch a movie in general...)

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Eugenia, have you ever seen EARTH VS THE SPIDER ?  Another late 50's low budget job that ain't bad,  since you liked TARANTULA.

 

I probably have, mrroberts, but it's been a while.  I'll have to check out IMDB later and refresh my memory.  :)

 

Of course, as most here will agree, THEM! is a classic (Dargo mentioned this.)

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I wasn't as much of a fan of "The Mole People".  I didn't watch it all the way through (but maybe I just wasn't in the mood to watch a movie in general...)

 

What? Seeing Ward Cleaver somewhere other than on Maple Street wasn't enough to keep you glued to the movie? I just don't understand you, Eugenia.

 

I thought of another that was a kid's guilty pleasure - 'Attack of the Giant Leeches' (1959) is a wonderfully sleazy, steamy little number that features giant leeches in a Florida bayou. They drag people down to an underwater alcove to be fed upon at leisure.

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What? Seeing Ward Cleaver somewhere other than on Maple Street wasn't enough to keep you glued to the movie? I just don't understand you, Eugenia.

 

I thought of another that was a kid's guilty pleasure - 'Attack of the Giant Leeches' (1959) is a wonderfully sleazy, steamy little number that features giant leeches in a Florida bayou. They drag people down to an underwater alcove to be fed upon at leisure.

 

Haha!  That's right - I tried to watch the movie but Hugh Beaumont put me to sleep and I didn't make it all the way through. ;)

 

Recently I picked up a Ray Harryhausen boxed set ("20 Million Miles to Earth", "Earth vs. the Flying Saucers", "It Came From Beneath the Sea").  There was a version of each film that was colorized.  I'm not a fan of colorized films but these were pretty well done; not too garish or "off".

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