Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Black Scorpion (1957)

An undemanding but entertaining sci-fi / horror film

Directed by Edward Ludwig
Produced by Jack Dietz, Frank Melford
Written by Robert Blees, David Duncan
Music by Paul Sawtell
Cinematography: Lionel Lindon
Stop motion animation special effects: Willis O'Brien.
Edited by Richard L. Van Enger
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Running time: 88 minutes


Richard Denning as Dr. Hank Scott
Mara Corday as Teresa Alvarez
Carlos Rivas as Dr. Arturo Ramos
Mario Navarro as Juanito
Carlos Múzquiz as Dr. Velasco
Pascual García Peña as Dr. Delacruz
Pedro Galván as Father Delgado
Arturo Martínez as Major Cosio
Fanny Schiller as Florentina

The Black Scorpion is the kind of film that tends to grow on you the more you watch it. This low budget film delivers with whatever resources it has as its disposal. The end result is an enjoyable and entertaining 88 minutes of escapism.


Read on for more….

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

The Amazing Colossal Man (1957)

An entertaining sci-fi movie despite the low budget and ordinary special effects

The Amazing Colossal Man, an adaptation of the 1928 Homer Eon Flint short novel, The Nth Man, is a 1957 science fiction film, directed by Bert I. Gordon and starring Glenn Langan. The film involves a man who grows to over 60 feet tall due to an atomic explosion.

Directed by Bert I. Gordon
Written by Mark Hanna (screenplay); Bert I. Gordon (screenplay) & George Worthing Yates
Produced by Bert I. Gordon (producer); Samuel Z. Arkoff (executive producer); James H. Nicholson (executive producer)
Music by Albert Glasser
Cinematography by Joseph F. Biroc
Film Editing by Ronald Sinclair
Released by American International Pictures


Glenn Langan: Lt. Col. Glenn Manning
Cathy Downs: Carol Forrest
William Hudson: Dr. Paul Linstrom
Larry Thor: Maj. Eric Coulter, MD
James Seay: Col. Hallock
Frank Jenks: Truck Driver
Russ Bender: Richard Kingman
Hank Patterson: Henry
Jimmy Cross: Sergeant at reception desk
June Jocelyn: Nurse Wilson
Stanley Lachman: Lt. Cline
Harry Raybould: MP at Main Gate
Jean Moorhead: Woman in Bathtub
Scott Peters: Sgt. Lee Carter
Myron Cook: Capt. Thomas
Michael Harris: Police Lt. Keller
Bill Cassady: Lt. Peterson
Dick Nelson: Sgt. Hansen
Edmund Cobb: Dr. McDermott
Paul Hahn: Attendant
Diana Darrin : Hospital Receptionist
Lyn Osborn Sgt. Taylor
Jack Kosslyn: Lieutenant in briefing room
William Hughes: Bombsite Control Officer
Keith Hetherington: Newscaster
John Daheim: Soldier
Judd Holdren: Robert Allen
Harold Miller: Official




Time: 2.45 am
Place: Desert Rock Nevada
Event: Test of a new plutonium bomb
Purpose: Soldiers to experience an explosion “under simulated combat conditions.”

Read on for more......

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The 27th Day (1957)

A thoughtful contemplative small budget film that deals with big ideas and concepts

Directed by William Asher
Produced by Helen Ainsworth
Written by Robert M. Fresco
Based on The 27th Day 1956 novel by John Mantley
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Cinematography Henry Freulich
Edited by Jerome Thoms
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Running time: 75 minutes


Gene Barry as Jonathan Clark
Valerie French as Evelyn "Eve" Wingate
George Voskovec as Professor Klaus Bechner
Azemat Janti as Ivan Godofsky
Arnold Moss as The Alien
Stefan Schnabel as The Soviet General
Paul Frees as Ward Mason, Newscaster
Marie Tsien as Su Tan

Five individuals from five nations suddenly find themselves aboard an alien spacecraft!

Each person is given a container holding capsules!

Only a mental command from the person to whom the container is given can open it!

Each individual has now been provided with the power of life and death!

The fate of the entire planet is in their hands!

What will they do with the power they have been given?



Read on for more……

Monday, 27 June 2016

A Tribute to Val Guest

(11 December 1911 – 10 May 2006)

Guest "brought a lot of intelligence to a genre that is often sorely in need of it." (director Joe Dante)

English film director and screenwriter, Val Guest is best known for his work for Hammer. Several of his science fiction and horror films have been featured in this blog. What we notice about his films is how they seem to work without the need for expensive and flashy special effects. Instead, like many British science fiction films, they seem to rely on fine story lines, good acting, effective use of cinematography and tight direction. 

Read on for more....

Sunday, 26 June 2016

A Tribute to Paul Blaisdell

(July 21, 1927 – July 10, 1983)

Painter, sculptor, visual effects creator and a most memorable monster-maker

Blaisdell was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1927, and grew up in Quincy, Massachusetts.

In his childhood he sketched alien monsters and constructed model airplane kits.

After graduation from high school, Paul briefly worked as a typewriter repairman and served a stint in the military.

He then attended the New England School of Art and Design in Boston where he met his future wife, Jacqueline "Jackie" Boyle. Paul and Jackie got married in 1952 after finishing college and moved to Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles, California, where he worked for Douglas Aircraft.

At Douglas Aircraft Blaisdell worked as a technical illustrator.

Read on for more....

Monday, 6 June 2016

Quatermass 2 (1957)

An eerily impressive, thoughtful and disturbing sci-fi film that creates a sense of unease and is quite chilling in its social and political implications

Directed by Val Guest
Produced by Anthony Hinds
Written by Nigel Kneale, Val Guest
Music by James Bernard
Cinematography: Gerald Gibbs
Edited by James Needs
Production company: Hammer Film Productions
Distributed by Exclusive Films (UK), United Artists (USA)
Running time: 85 minutes
Budget: £92,000


Brian Donlevy: Quatermass
John Longden: Lomax
Sidney James: Jimmy Hall
Bryan Forbes: Marsh
William Franklyn: Brand
Vera Day: Sheila
Charles Lloyd Pack: Dawson
Tom Chatto: Broadhead
John Van Eyssen: The P.R.O.
Percy Herbert: Gorman
Michael Ripper: Ernie
John Rae: McLeod
Marianne Stone: Secretary
Ronald Wilson: Young Man
Jane Aird: Mrs. McLeod

Quatermass 2 / Original Theatrical Trailer (1957)

What if?..........

(Spoilers Follow……)

Good evening. I’m your host, Bill Bannerman and welcome to tonight’s program, Probing The Past where we will be examining a 1957 incident involving for a second time, the infamous maverick Professor Bernard Quatermass.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

A Tribute to Peggie Castle

Peggie Castle

(December 22, 1927 – August 11, 1973)

“Let's face it. Nobody likes nice women on the screen. Nice women are dull.”

Peggie Castle, an American actress was born Peggy Blair in Appalachia in Wise County, southwestern Virginia.

Early years

Peggy Castle took lessons in drama when she was 8 years old and she attended Mills College for two years.


Castle's first work as an actress came in the soap opera Today's Children. A spot on Radio Theatre in 1947 led to a screen test offer from 20th Century Fox.

Read on for more......