Monday, 14 August 2017

Night of the Blood Beast (1958)

A sci-fi film gem that may produce in you "a hypometabolistic state. A type of suspended animation, brought on by the contraction of the mezzentary blood vessels in the pressure change,” all as a result of simply watching it.  

Directed by Bernard L. Kowalski
Produced by: Gene Corman: Roger Corman
Screenplay by Martin Varno
Story by Martin Varno Gene Corman (credited on-screen)
Music by Alexander Laszlo
Cinematography: John Mathew Nickolaus, Jr.
Edited by Jodie Copelan
Distributed by American International Pictures
Running time: 62 minutes
Budget: $68,000


Cast

Michael Emmet: Maj. John Corcoran
Angela Greene: Dr. Julie Benson
John Baer: Steve Dunlap
Ed Nelson: Dave Randall
Tyler McVey: Dr. Alex Wyman
Georgianna Carter: Donna Bixby
Ross Sturlin: The Creature


video
Trailer

What If..........????

US Air Force Captain Eugene K. Matthews sits at his desk in a small office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He is just a minor cog within a much larger machine that has been ceaselessly grinding away for decades. The giant machine is called the Human & Extra-terrestrial Anomalous Dialogue project. Project HEAD was initiated specifically at the request of General Neil Thomas, chief of the Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The order to initiate Project HEAD came via Roger Cowpepper, Special Assistant to the President, under the title of "NCS/MJ-12 Special Studies Project" dated April 1, 1954.

Many captains and other military intelligence personnel before Captain Eugene K. Matthews have been set the task of industriously beavering away at sifting through thousands of reports of human and extra-terrestrial contact, interaction, collusion and communication. Since the 1950s such reports have been collected, analysed and filed.

Project HEAD has been secretly and quietly humming away in the background while more publicised projects such as GRUDGE & BLUEBOOK have come and gone.

Project HEAD has two goals:

1. To scientifically analyse the related data.

2. To determine if the reported phenomena are a threat to national security.

Any data deemed to be of sufficient interest is to be immediately referred to the U.S. Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council. Such reports will then be digitized, stored away and acted upon if possible.

And so, as part of this never-ending “house-cleaning” project, we have Captain Eugene K. Matthews sitting at his desk with yet another manila folder containing a report of yet another historical incident of human and extra-terrestrial contact and communication. Rarely had he come across such an historically ancient case crying out to be buried under mounds of time-accumulated dust. In fact, the manila folder and its contents looked as if they had been stored away only yesterday.

Under the icy circle of the white cool-glow LED light illumination of Matthews’ desk lamp, the manila folder, T-471947 is opened to reveal a 1958 Incident code-named: “Night of the Blood Beast.” This particular document, Matthews learns, was located in Record Group 197, entry 1952.

After carefully studying the contents of the document, Matthews is to stamp it with one of the following letter codes:


H: Hoax & Deliberate Deception – Disposal

E: Explanation Satisfactory - Documentation turned over to the office of the Air Force Historian

A: Anomaly unexplained– Retain & classify “Top Secret” pending referral to and further investigation by U.S. Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council.

D: Danger & threat posed to national security. Immediate referral to President & Joint Chiefs of Staff for assessment & appropriate course of action to be undertaken.

Read on for more......

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Monster from Green Hell (1958)


An average 50's giant bug film that peters out at the end.



Directed by Kenneth G. Crane
Produced by Al Zimbalist
Written by Endre Bohem, Louis Vittes
Music by Albert Glasser
Cinematography: Ray Flin
Distributed by DCA
Running time: 71 minutes


Cast

Jim Davis as Dr. Quent Brady
Robert Griffin as Dan Morgan
Joel Fluellen as Arobi
Barbara Turner as Lorna Lorentz
Eduardo Ciannelli as Mahri
Vladimir Sokoloff as Dr. Lorentz




video
Trailer

Spoilers follow below….


Journey into Green Hell

(Full account of the “Green Hill” incident from the personal journal of Dr Quent Brady)

Entry….

My colleague, Dan Morgan and I have been put in charge of a U.S. government program that has been designed to send various animals and insects into earth orbit to test the effects of exposure to space radiation.

Why do we do this?

"This is the age of the rocket, the jet, atomic power. When man prepares to reach for the stars. But before he dares to launch himself into space, there is one great question to be answered: What happens to life in the airless void above Earth's atmosphere? Will life remain untouched, unharmed by its flight through space? Or will it change into…what? There was only one way to find out and we were working on it."

And how will we do this?

Thanks to the former Nazi German rocket scientist bastards we spirited out of Germany at the end of the war, we have lots of V2 rockets with which to conduct our tests and prepare human beings for what lies beyond the comforting confines of our planet. It is into one of these rockets that we were able to “load the passengers” and at 10.15 minus 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 we sent them off “into the wide blue yonder!”

Entry…..

After what seemed at first to have been a successful launch, the radar operator informed us that the rocket was “out of normal radar range.”

Read on for more....

Monday, 26 June 2017

It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)


An at times quite frightening and atmospheric film achieved by means of economy and simplicity

Spoilers follow below…..

In a “future” 1973, the first manned expedition to Mars has been attacked and destroyed by an unknown life form which somehow later manages to stow away on the rescue ship. There is only one survivor from the initial ill-fated expedition: the leader, Col. Edward Carruthers. He is being brought back to earth under suspicion of having murdered his fellow astronauts! Will he have to face a firing squad for the crime of murder, or can he prove his claim that a Martian monster is to blame for the deaths of his crewmates?

Director: Edward L. Cahn
Screenplay: Jerome Bixby
Music composed by: Paul Sawtell, Bert Shefter
Producers: Edward Small, Robert E. Kent
Makeup: Paul Blaisdell
Narrated by Marshall Thompson
Cinematography: Kenneth Peach
Edited by Grant Whytock
Production company: Vogue Pictures, Inc.
Distributed by United Artists
Running time: 68 min
.


Cast of Characters


Col. Ed Carruthers: (played by Marshall Thompson) Captain of the first expedition to Mars. All his crewmates were killed by the creature, but he is the one blamed for it.



Col. Van Heusen: (played by Kim Spaldin) Captain of the rescue ship that is sent to rescue Ed Carruthers and his crew. Initially he is hostile towards Carruthers and manages to become infected by the alien stowaway.


Major John Purdue: (played by Robert Bice) He gets injured and spends most of the movie with a bandage on his head.




Eric Royce: (played by Dabbs Greer) Mary's husband we can assume. 








Dr. Mary Royce: (played by Ann Doran) The ship’s doctor.         






Ann Anderson: (played by Shirley Patterson) Scientist and love interest for Carruthers. 




Lt. James Calder: (played by Paul Langton) Suffering a broken ankle and armed with only a blow torch, he becomes trapped between a couple of induction pumps by the monster. 




Bob Finelli (played by Richard Benedict) & Gino Finelli: (played by Richard Hervey) Brothers who fall victim to the creature. 

It!: (played by Ray Corrigan) A Martian life-form that stows away on the rescue ship and sets about picking off the crew one-by-one so that it can drain them of all their bodily fluids. The creature appears to be impervious to bullets, fire and radiation.


video

Movie Clip

Read on for more.....

Sunday, 4 June 2017

I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958)



A commendable sci-fi film with impressive camerawork, mature dialogue, effective special effects, and good acting - but one that deserves a much better title!

I Married a Monster from Outer Space is set in the fictional town of Norrisville, California where Bill Farrell is having his bachelor party on the eve of his marriage to Marge Bradley. After leaving the bachelor party, he is abducted by an alien that takes on his form. The alien “Bill” marries Marge the next day. It doesn’t take long, however, for Marge to feel that there is something different about Bill. After a year of marriage, Marge realises that Bill has become a completely different man!


How does Marge deal with this revelation?
What else is discovered about this impostor?
Who else has been affected?
What is the purpose of this strange alien invasion?


Directed by Gene Fowler Jr.
Produced by Gene Fowler Jr.
Written by Louis Vittes
Music by Daniele Amfitheatrof, Hugo Friedhofer, Leith Stevens, Franz Waxman, Victor Young
Cinematography: Haskell Boggs
Edited by George Tomasini
Production company: Paramount Pictures
Running time: 78 minutes
Budget: $125,000


Cast


Tom Tryon: Bill Farrell
Gloria Talbott: Marge Bradley Farrell
Peter Baldwin: Officer Hank Swanson
Robert Ivers: Harry Phillips
Chuck Wassil: Ted Hanks
Valerie Allen: Francine - Hooker
Ty Hardin: Mac Brody (as Ty Hungerford)
Ken Lynch: Dr. Wayne
John Eldredge: Police Capt. H.B. Collins
Alan Dexter : Sam Benson
James Anderson: Weldon
Jean Carson: Helen Rhodes
Jack Orrison: Officer Schultz
Steve London: Charles Mason
Maxie Rosenbloom: Max Grady (Bartender)




video

Trailer

What It Means To Be A Man

Despite the corny-sounding title, I Married a Monster from Outer Space, the film has a lot more depth to it than its title might suggest. For one thing, it speaks volumes on what it means to be a “MAN” in the modern world.

At the time the film was made, there was a lot more certainty surrounding gender roles and expectations. It would have been expected that males would wind up being the bread-winner and head of the family while women would be expected to be largely subservient home-makers and mothers.

As far as conventional male and female relationships is concerned, I Married a Monster from Outer Space calls into question the then contemporary concept of maleness. It even continues to do so sixty years later when right now in the early 21st Century many males often find themselves grappling with trying to figure out what their role in society is supposed to be. This can be quite a daunting task particularly at a time of re-evaluation of gender roles; the push toward gender equality; the increasing feminisation of society and perceived social & political correctness in matters concerning expressions and manifestations of maleness.

Read on for more......

Thursday, 1 June 2017

New Classic Sci-Fi Radio Play Page

NEW!!


  • Feel free to visit the new "Classic Sci-Fi Radio Play Page" (see above) 
  • Link to Page 
  • Every couple of weeks or so a different science-fiction themed radio play will be featured for your enjoyment.
  • New radio plays:-
  1. Early Model (1957)
  2. End As A World (1957)
Also, keep an eye out for the next classic Sci-Fi film for 1958 which will be posted soon. It will be "I Married A Monster From Outer Space." But don't let the title fool you! You'll see what I mean......

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The new sci-fi double feature film page!

NEW!!

  • The sci-fi double feature film page (see above) will be featuring a double feature of classic science fiction films for you to view and enjoy. 
  • Link to page 
  • Keep visiting the page as a different double feature will appear every couple of weeks or so. 
  • There will also be links to any posts that might be on this blog about the films.

    So far we have shown;

    Attack from Space (1965)  

    Attack of the Puppet People (1958)
Next up we'll have;
  • Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) &
  • Spacemaster X-7 (1958)

Monday, 15 May 2017

A Tribute To Bert I. Gordon


The Amazing Colossal Film Worlds
Of
"Mister B.I.G."


One thing you may have noticed throughout a number of the films featured in this blog is the name of American film director, Bert I. Gordon. Gordon was famous for such science fiction movies as The Amazing Colossal Man, its 1958 sequel, War of the Colossal Beast and Attack of the Puppet People. (The last two films will be featured in this blog soon.)


Read on to find out more........

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Classic Sci-Fi Film Ladies: Part 4 (1957 – 1958)


Welcome to yet another one of the tributes to the wonderful ladies who appeared in the classic sci-fi films of the 1950s. We’ll start off with…..



With Beverly Garland as Nadine Storey


Mr Johnson, an alien from the planet Davanna, has come to Earth seeking a new supply of blood because his people are dying out. Mr Johnson sends human specimens through a portal to Davanna. Nurse Nadine Storey and Mr Johnson’s chauffeur, Jeremy become suspicious concerning Mr Johnson’s activities and team up to investigate.

Read on for more......

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Giant from the Unknown (1958)


A rather cheap and pedestrian sci fi film with an absurd premise, lots of “stuff” happening, rather unconvincing acting, somewhat dull dialogue and a largely unimpressive “monster’ character. Perfect viewing fare for a rainy afternoon!


Directed by Richard E. Cunha
Produced by Marc Frederic, Arthur A. Jacobs
Written by Ralph Brooke, Frank Hart Taussig
Music by Albert Glasser
Cinematography: Richard E. Cunha
Distributed by Astor Pictures
Running time: 77 minutes



Cast


Ed Kemmer: Wayne Brooks
Sally Fraser: Janet Cleveland
Bob Steele: Sheriff Parker
Morris Ankrum: Dr. Frederick Cleveland
Buddy Baer: Vargas the Giant
Oliver Blake: Cafe Proprietor
Jolene Brand: Ann Brown (as Joline Brand)
Billy Dix: Indian Joe
Gary Crutcher: Charlie Brown
Ned Davenport & Ewing Miles Brown: Townsmen


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Trailer



In your endless wanderings throughout the 1950s classic sci-fi universe, you manage to trudge into yet another film world, this time with your coat collar turned up high around your neck and your coat buttoned up tightly against the onslaught of wind and rain from a thunderstorm. As you make your way through a mountain forest, you fail to notice a warning sign in the form of a 16th century axe embedded in a log of wood.

Read on for more…..

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Fiend Without a Face (1958)


More than just another atomic cautionary tale that is saved by a rip-roaring climax with a pretty nifty use of stop motion animation.

Directed by Arthur Crabtree
Produced by John Croydon & Richard Gordon
Written by Herbert J. Leder
Music by Buxton Orr
Cinematography: Lionel Banes
Edited by R.Q. McNaughton
Production company: Amalgamated Productions
Distributed by MGM (USA), Eros Films (UK)
Running time: 77 min.
Budget: £50,000 (estimated)
Box office $650,000 (on double bill)



Cast


Marshall Thompson: Maj. Cummings
Kynaston Reeves: Prof. R.E. Walgate
Kim Parker: Barbara Griselle
Stanley Maxted: Col. Butler
Terry Kilburn: Capt. Al Chester
James Dyrenforth: Mayor
Robert MacKenzie: Const. Gibbons
Peter Madden: Dr. Bradley
Gil Winfield: Dr. Warren
Michael Balfour: Sgt. Kasper
Launce Maraschal: Melville
Meadows White: Ben Adams
E. Kerrigan Prescott: Atomic Engineer
Lala Lloyd: Amelia Adams
Shane Cordell: Nurse




video

Trailer






U. S. Air Force Interceptor Command Experimental Station No. 6 is a long-range radar installation located in Winthrop, Manitoba, Canada. Its function is indicated by the periodic overhead slicing of the sky by supersonic jets and the demented electronically choreographed nodding and swivelling tracking motions of the radar antennae.

As darkness slowly and silently slides over Air Force experimental station 6, a sentry stops to light up a smoke when suddenly he hears strange sounds emanating from the nearby woods. A scream from the woods brings the sentry running to investigate where he soon finds the body of a man with a hideously distorted face.


Read on for more......


Friday, 3 March 2017

Earth vs. the Spider (1958)


A cheap, brisk, enjoyable and cheesy fun film

Directed by Bert I. Gordon
Produced by Bert I. Gordon
Written by László Görög, George Worthing Yates
Music by Albert Glasser
Cinematography: Jack A. Marta
Edited by Walter E. Keller
Distributed by American International Pictures
Running time: 73 minutes
Budget: $100,000


Cast


Ed Kemmer as Mr. Kingman
June Kenney as Carol Flynn
Eugene Persson as Mike Simpson
Gene Roth as Sheriff Cagle
Hal Torey as Mr. Simpson
June Jocelyn as Mrs. Flynn
Mickey Finn as Sam Haskel
Sally Fraser as Mrs. Helen Kingman
Troy Patterson as Joe
Skip Young as Sam (the bass player)
Howard Wright as Jake
Bill Giorgio as Deputy Sheriff Sanders
Hank Patterson as Hugo (high school janitor)
Jack Kosslyn as Mr. Fraser (camera club teacher)
Bob Garnet as Springdale pest control man
Shirley Falls as switchboard operator
Bob Tetrick as Deputy Sheriff Dave
Nancy Kilgas as a dancer
George Stanley as one of the men in the cavern
David Tomack as the power line foreman
Merritt Stone as Jack Flynn (Carol's dad)
Dick D'Agostin as the pianist




video
Film Excerpt


In our own age of gross hyperbole, overstatement and exaggeration, the title, “Earth vs. the Spider” makes perfect sense as a means to achieving a particular end. After all, who would want to go and see a film titled, “Small town of River Falls takes on big spider?” Strip away the bullshit and what are we really left with? As far as Earth vs the Spider is concerned, read on to find out…..

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Curse of the Faceless Man (1958)


An undemanding low budget sci-fi / horror genre film that has just enough tension to keep fans interested.

Directed by Edward L. Cahn
Produced by Robert E. Kent, Edward Small
Written by Jerome Bixby
Music by Gerald Fried
Cinematography: Kenneth Peach
Edited by Grant Whytock
Distributed by United Artists
Running time: 67 minutes



Cast


Richard Anderson as Dr. Paul Mallon: a doctor who specializes in tissue culture.


Elaine Edwards as Tina Enright: Paul’s fiancée, who is a painter and the object of the Faceless Man’s attention.

Luis Van Rooten as Dr. Carlo Fiorillo: works at the Museo di Pompeii and who examines the strange body removed from the ruins of Pompeii.

Adele Mara as Maria Fiorillo: Carlo’s daughter, who once had a relationship with Paul. She has finished her training as a doctor and now works with her father in the museum.

Gar Moore as Dr. Enricco Ricci: a rather undeveloped character who has feelings for Maria but the jealousy angle and resentment of Paul didn’t really feature.

Felix Locher as Dr. Emanual: works at the museum and translates the inscriptions contained on a medallion from a box found with the Faceless Man. He tries to convince the others about the truth of the curses and strange forces surrounding the Etruscans and the Faceless Man from Pompeii.

Jan Arvan as Police Inspector Renaldi: Investigates the first murder but unlike Dr. Emanual, believes that a human killer was responsible.

Bob Bryant as Quintillus Aurelius: a Roman slave/gladiator in love with his master’s daughter. Due to their respective stations in life, Quintillus was denied marriage to this daughter of a senator. After Pompeii’s destruction, he had been preserved in a state that was not quite life, nor was it death. He has now risen from the ruins of the past to be reunited with his lost love who he believes is his beloved Tina.





What if you lived in a “future time” where our current notions of time as being a linear progression starting from the past, moving to the present and then proceeding on into the future were replaced by something different?

What if you saw time as being flexible in which the past, present and future all exist simultaneously in an infinite series of combinations and possibilities? If you couldn’t prove this by physically moving to some era in the “past” or by flinging yourself forward into the distant “future,” perhaps a way will eventually be found in which you could peer across into, for instance, a period in the “past.”

Time itself might be seen as being like a giant circular vinyl LP record (for those who can remember!) consisting of grooves grouped into tracks representing different time-periods. The album might be infinite in size and there may even be an infinite number of such albums. The question is; how might one move out of a particular groove, escape from the track it is a part of and cross over into another track?

What if we all had a latent or dormant ability to witness events occurring in the past and that such an ability could be stimulated by micro or Nano bio-technical enhancements, chemical stimulation and intense meditation practices?

What if such procedures could enable you to produce behind your closed eye-lids a kind of small time-lens or bubble through which you could see events in the past unfold before you like in a movie?

Of course, what would unfold before you would be from a random era and would consist only of visual images devoid of the auditory and olfactory elements of life in a given time period and location. Ah, but the colours! Who would’ve thought such colours would’ve been possible at that period of time?

One such time mind-traveller might be witnessing a street scene in which some young men sporting straw boater hats with coloured ribbons around the crown boisterously striding past a couple of young ladies attired in long pastel coloured afternoon dresses. Suddenly, on a rather uneven and rutted road, a metallic mechanical monstrosity shakes and vibrates into view. The cacophonous sounds it makes and the stench that emanates from its exhaust can only be guessed at from the terror-stricken reaction from a nearby horse pulling its load of produce, as well as from the fumes that seem to lash out in all directions from the metal monster’s posterior.






Another time mind-traveller, however, might be witnessing the destruction of the city of Pompeii in 79 A.D. with the eruption of Vesuvius. Just imagine what events our mind-traveller would be witnessing only "79 years after the birth of Christ, (when) the city of Pompeii ceased to exist! Destroyed by a mountain of seething hell known as Vesuvius. (Imagine!) On a quiet August afternoon, almost 2000 years ago, the volcano erupted, the Earth shook, day became night, birds fell dead from the sky, fish died as the oceans boiled, and the people of Pompeii perished under an avalanche of volcanic ash and stone, burned, suffocated, crushed……"

From the above temporal flight of fancy, it is this view of a slice of the past that leads us to the first of the films from the year 1958 that is offered up for your enjoyment and consideration: Curse of the Faceless Man. It is a tale in which past and present seem to merge in a most terrifying way….


Read on for more.....

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sci-Fi On Film and the Year 1958




The year 1958 was part of a pivotal decade without which we would not have the kind of modern world in which we live today. In all facets of our lives including music; science and technology; mass communication; international and global politics and civil and social movements & change, we owe a significant debt to the 1950s.

Far from being a quaint far off era that has little bearing on our supposedly more “sophisticated” way of life, the shadow of the 1950s still looms large.

Let’s take a look at the year 1958 and see what it had to offer…..

Read on for more…..

Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Unearthly (1957)

A rather predictable, low-budget but strangely watchable film

Directed by Boris Petroff
Produced by Boris Petroff, Robert A. Terry
Screenplay by John D.F. Black, Jane Mann
Story by Jane Mann
Music by Henry Vars
Cinematography: W. Merie Connell
Production company: AB-PT Pictures
Distributed by Republic Pictures
Running time: 73 minutes


Cast


John Carradine: Dr. Charles Conway
Myron Healey: Mark Houston
Allison Hayes: Grace Thomas
Marilyn Buferd: Dr. Sharon Gilchrist
Arthur Batanides: Danny Green
Sally Todd: Natalie Andries
Tor Johnson: Lobo
Roy Gordon: Dr. Loren Wright
Guy Prescott: Police Captain George Reagan
Raymond Guth: Police Officer Miller
Harry Fleer: Harry Jedrow
Gloria Petroff: Screaming Woman
Paul McWilliams: Police Officer Ed


With the start of a new year (2017) we now complete our look at science fiction films from the year 1957 with the 60 year-old sci-fi / horror gem, The Unearthly.


video
Trailer


Read on for more……