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The H-Man (1958)
Director Ishiro Honda (Godzilla, Rodan) could give Roger Corman lessons in how to pad a movie with The H-Man. My Buddha, this thing’s boring!

When the citizens of Japan begin disappearing leaving only their clothes behind, a scientist tries to convince the police that radiation is turning people into puddles of living blobs. After, like, the fourteenth conversation about this, the scientist finally shows the police his experiments where he’s been transforming frogs into Jell-O shots. WHY DIDN’T YOU SHOW THEM THIS TO BEGIN WITH?! One funny moment is when a gangster kidnaps a lady and says she’ll be better off with him. While saying this, he’s dragging her through a sewer.

The special effects seem to have been achieved by pouring green gel shampoo down a wall when the blob attacks, then the film is run in reverse when it retreats. There’s also a poor effect of a gelatinous humanoid who seems to absorb humans (This would be the hydrogen man). Probably the best effect is when you get to see good likenesses of human faces and bodies melting into a puddle. That was pretty cool. But the slime scenes are few and far between and you can see better slime attacks watching The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. After the second nightclub singing act had finished (yes, I said the second), I felt my time had not only been conquered but bamboo had been shoved under its fingernails.

However, just as I was about to break my remote control and use a jagged piece to commit hari kari, the hilarious ending almost made up for this 87-minute human rights violation. The police chase the blobs into the sewer. Then they pour gasoline into the sewer to set the water on fire (wouldn’t a sewer explode from the gases anyway?). The fire slowly spreads throughout the sewer, burning the blobs in its path. Someone asks, “How long will it take the fire to reach the monsters?” The reply is: “15 minutes.” (Really?! You guys set the sewers on fire THAT OFTEN that you know how quickly the fire travels?!)

Unfortunately, the fire then flows out into the river but no one seems to care. While the narrator warns us of the dangers of radiation and nuclear bomb testing, the fire (that they started with gasoline) has now caught a bridge on fire and half of the city is in flames. What the Jigoku is going on?!

House of Seven Corpses (1973)

OK...who cut the cat in half?! You heard me.

A surly, 40-something actress brings her cat to a film shoot in an old, haunted mansion. During the night, her cat gets out and is later discovered in the cemetery by one of the film crew. He picks up the front half of what appears to be a neatly-sawn feline, proving the old adage, "I cat divided cannot stand.” A piece of broken tombstone is found next to the remains leading us to believe…what...a corpse rose from the dead and bit him in half? What is he - a Vietnamese zombie? I bet the corpse coaxed the cat into his arms (it had to have happened that way because NO WAY a zombie catches a cat!). Then he eats the cat’s butt and thinks “Yuck! I don’t mind rump roast or pork butt, but cat caboose is nasty!” then returns to the ground. Yeah, I bet it went down exactly like that.

House of Seven Corpses takes place in a mansion where slightly more than a half-dozen people were murdered. When a member of the film crew finds the "Tibetan Book of the Dead," as many as two corpses rise from their graves. They kill the caretaker, (geez, you think he'd be immune for some reason, wouldn't you? I mean all those years being caretaker of an evil mansion and you don't even get anti-zombie perks?!) Then they kill everybody else. I think. To be honest, it was happening so slowly I started zoning out, obsessing over what the heck happened to that cat!

Even though the word "corpses" is in the movie title, I have to say -- not a lotta corpses! This film should be titled, “How to make a movie in 1973,” because mostly all you see is the crew setting up between takes. So you get to see state-of-the-art, oven-size equipment that uses picture tubes and floppy disks and runs on moonshine. For you young’uns who have never watched an early 70s horror movie on VHS, you can follow these 3 steps to get an idea of the picture quality:

Step 1. Pop in a movie and start watching it.
Step 2. Put on a pair of sunglasses.
Step 3. Squint.

This lady doesn't know when she's being insulted

I’m telling you, you have never seen a darker movie print in your life than House of Seven Corpses. I even turned up the brightness on the TV – nada. If the actors didn’t tell you what was going on during night scenes, you’d have no idea. Yet strangely enough, these bell-bottomed classics have a style all their own – multiple smokers, bitter male chauvinism and those hairdos! Watching the movie, you can almost smell the hairspray on the Rhoda-wannabees. And the men – hair down to their earlobes with sideburns and a mustache. I don’t think that look will ever come back.

It's funny how the lexicon has changed over the years. For example when a member of the crew accidentally ruins a shot, the director yells, "You just blew this scene!" and the actress says, "What do you mean your scene? It's my scene that blew!"

Teenage Zombies (1959)
Although I kind of enjoyed director Jerry Warren’s later film, the super-silly Wild World of Batwoman, this movie was made on such a shoestring budget, it never had a chance. The story is virtually the same as Wild, with secret agents kidnapping hostages for evil experiments and both star Katherine Victor. But Teenage Zombies is stuffed like Tor Johnson with long, mundane scenes. For example, when the teens travel to an island by boat, I didn’t really expect to take the whole boat ride.  I was dying to somehow dive off my couch and swim the rest of the way. I knew better next time and refluffed the cushions under my butt when they later said, “We’d better have a look around the island!” (Oh, no. No, no, no, please don’t! Sigh.) Thinking back, the only thing that stands out in my mind about this movie is the scene in the malt shop where the soda jerk says, “There you go…Two malts. That’ll be fifty cents.” Awesome! The most disappointing thing is that the title refers to scientists trying to create teenage zombies. I knew sooner or later I’d have to review this movie so I decided to just get it over with and pop Teenage Zombies like a whitehead.

The Bourne Identity (1988)
I know, I know...it's not a monster movie, but I just had to share with you this made-for-TV movie. My wife is a huge fan of the Matt Damon Bourne movies so I can't tell you how delighted I was to find a Christmas gift that combines something she enjoys with what I was sure would be a really BAD movie. I was in a grocery store of all places when I passed by a large bin of $4.99 movies and, much like Spidey's “spider-sense,” my “B-sense” began to tingle. And there it was...The Bourne Identity starring Richard Chamberlain as Jason Bourne and Jaclyn Smith as Marie!
This version is similar to the popular remake except for a few subtle differences:

  • Jason's car tires always squeel with a super-loud sound effect. There's one scene where his car slows to a stop but they still use the sound effect, “SCREECH!!!” And when it slowly drives off, “SCREECH!!!”
  • Although Jason Bourne is supposedly the world's greatest assassin, he can't fight. One of many funny moments is when, after being beaten to a pulp BOTH TIMES in fist fights with enemy agents he later tells Marie, “I can't remember, but I MUST be an assassin! I'm TOO GOOD at killing people!”
  • In contrast to Matt Damon's character, this Jason Bourne is a complete A-hole -- bickering, whining and unintentionally getting innocent people shot with no regard.
  • Foreign governments really don't care that much about catching their man. In one scene, Jason and Marie are being followed by a suspicious policeman in Germany but they escape by walking just a little faster! In another scene, Marie is questioned in Canada by the Canadian government at Parliament. When they leave her in an office by herself, she decides to leave. And she does! All the way back to Germany!
  • Whereas Marie was a strong female character in the remake, Jaclyn portrays the character more in style with our favorite horror films of the 1950s. There's one scene where she's in a car with a U.S. agent and declares “I have to go help Jason!” When the agent refuses to let her leave, she simply breaks down and cries on his jacket.

But the ABSOLUTE BEST moment is when Marie rushes to save Jason (he needs saving a lot in this movie). She opens fire and then emits a cry much like the way a crow says “caw!” It was so funny, we played it over and over.

Click here to play a video clip of "Caw!" in Windows Media Video format.

 


Sound of Horror (195? it doesn't really matter.)
Cave-exploring fortune hunters discover a stone egg and bring it back to their nearby cabin. Somehow, all six people fail to notice it hatching on the fireplace mantel over the course of several days (although to their credit, some of that time they were distracted by two women who thought it appropriate to suddenly dance for the men.)

Anyway, what should emerge from the egg but a human-size dinosaur that my wife called a “black and white Barney”, which also has the ability to become invisible so you can understand their dilemma. Sounds pretty exciting, doesn't it? Except what I described accounts for about 3% of the film's total running time. Most of the movie is spent talking about things so dull no struggling screenwriter should be forced to type them.

Anyway, they trick Barney into leaving the cabin through a window (how it fit through the window sort of escapes me.) But in a nutshell, if they leave the cabin, they'll hear the “Sound of Horror” (the dino's roar) and be ripped limb from limb, but if they stay inside, then we're treated to about 90 minutes of the Sound of Boredom. In the film's highly-anticipated ending, the dinosaur's invisibility flickers when it sees two guys holding axes (nice timing, invisibility!) What occurs next is the greatest footage of guys throwing axes at an invisible dinosaur ever filmed! Feeling confident they killed it (although there's no actual body to see) they drive off into the sunset only to have the sun shine a little brighter in their vehicle when the top is suddenly torn off! They all flee except for one heroic old man who douses himself with alcohol and sets himself, the car and Barney on fire as we hear the Sound of Horror screaming in the flames.

I felt sorry for the old guy but, hey – if it ends this movie, que sara sara! So in conclusion, pray you never hear the worst sound imaginable: the sound of someone saying to you, “Come on in…we're about to watch Sound of Horror!” AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Warning from Space (1956)
I often write about experiencing pain while watching bad movies. Little did I realize, after watching this Japanese rickshaw-wreck, I would soon be feeling arguably the worst physical agony a male can endure.

The movie, directed by Koji Shima of “Otoko to onna no sei no naka”  fame (kidding), features the most laughable alien costumes in all B-dom -- actors dressed in the shape of 5-pointed stars. To be specific, cushiony, seam-showing, waddling alien star creatures with one big eye in the center. Despite a great scene where one of the creatures creeps onto a porch and peeks through a window as if thinking, “I hope no-one notices me,” there isn’t much that’s, oh what’s the word, “good” about this movie. It mostly features scientists unendingly debating the visitors’ existence.

So anyway, I’m watching this movie on the couch having just devoured an entire chocolate Easter bunny (who incidentally told me he hated The Giant Claw and therefore had it coming).  It’s late and I’m desperately trying to keep my eyes open to see the conclusion. Now pay attention because this is where it gets good. Right at the end of the movie when the astronauts launch…I fall asleep. I wake up a few minutes later and now they’re showing different astronauts. Confused, I manage to stay awake and can’t help but notice it’s now almost 1 a.m. “How freaking long is this movie?!” I check the time duration on the DVD player only to discover that I had slept through the end of Warning from Space and, instead of returning to the main menu, the player went to the next movie on this 4-movie compilation DVD, Assignment: Outer Space. “AAAHHHH!” Feeling angry, cheated and exhausted, I go to bed only to be jolted awake minutes later by a pain in my abdomen that’s all-too familiar to me – KIDNEY STONES! I won’t bore you with the details, but just so you can relate it feels like getting kicked in the groin. For hours. As I writhe on the living room floor trying not to wake up my family, yet searching for a gun to put in my mouth, I wonder: Which is worse -- the kidney stones or the Warning from Space/Assignment: Outer Space double feature?

Pigs (1972)
Well it finally happened. I've been beaten. I have failed to watch, in its entirety, a movie so long and boring, so God-awful it beggars description. How could a director mess up such a great premise? A farmer raises flesh-eating hogs. As luck would have it, an attractive escaped mental patient wanders into town, gets a job at the local diner and begins killing people, in turn, providing food for the pigs. It's a win-win situation! It's your basic "one-hand-washes-the-other-then-that-same-hand-kills-leaving-the-second-hand-to-feed-the-pigs" story. When I read "flesh-eating pigs" on the VHS box, I imagined pigs invading unsuspecting livingrooms on a feeding frenzy. I never imagined the livingroom sustaining the horror would be my own - as this movie played. Pigs is a movie devoid of any memorable dialogue, acting or editing process of any kind. Like a good soldier, I wanted to see it through to the end but I just couldn't take it! The Lord of the Rings trilogy is like a 15-second Super Bowl ad compared to this thing! It's as if the director was given ALL THE FILM IN THE WORLD to shoot with and yet captured nothing! Scene after scene of people talking...and walking...opening doors...sitting down...standing up...AND NONE OF IT TELLS A STORY!

(7 days later --)
I did it. I couldn't let this swine flu end my streak. So I huffed and I puffed and I am successfully watching the conclusion of Pigs. Turns out all I needed was a week-long intermission. The length of this thing is just unbelievable. I don't mean the actual, timed length of the movie, I mean how long it seems when you sit through it. I even fast-forward and the action didn't move any faster! How can that be?! As I type this, Pigs is still playing in the background like that burning yule log channel at Christmas time. But I WILL wait it out. And when it's over, I will clutch my pillow and cry tears of joy. And in the morning, I'll bash the videotape with a canned ham.

House of Wax (2005)
 
I think we can all agree that car windows are pretty tough. Other than a Douglas-fir breaking the chains of a runaway Canadian logging truck, most things will not penetrate a car window. Imagine my surprise when the movie's villain, Vincent, hurls a pole through the passenger-side window, through the driver-side window and through the head of Paris Hilton. And while in Miss Hilton's case the end definitely justifies the means, there is simply no way this full time wax artist has the pitching arm of a harpoon gun. There are also scenes of fingers being snipped off with tin cutters and achilles tendons being cut with scissors. Of course these scenes come after minutes upon minutes of nothing! For example, meddlesome teenagers encounter a sinister backwoods hick and…nothing happens. Their camp is invaded at night and…nothing happens. I'd rather get a bikini wax than watch House of Wax again.

Dead Birds (2005)
With my wife out of town, I rented three new release horror movies. Two of which not only conquered my time but also ran it up the flagpole like a pair of jockey shorts for the neighbors to see. (A "spoiler warning" implies there's something good to spoil so I'm not sure it applies here, but be warned -- I will give away the end of the movie.)

Dead Birds is set in the Civil War about a rogue band of confederate soldiers that rob a bank and hide out in a house haunted by a guy who killed his own family. An interesting premise but it takes soooooooooooooooo long to get to the scary scenes. I think Charleston was taken in less time. There's one scene where I watched a soldier fall asleep, wake up and then fall asleep again. DID THAT REALLY NEED TO BE IN THE MOVIE??? The "scary" scenes are very predictable. A word of advice: If you find a ghost-child huddled in the corner with his face covered, don't walk up to him because he'll just stick his scary monster face right in yours. C'mon, you KNEW that, right?

Open Water (2005)
While not a monster movie, I hoped that a film that's billed as "scarier than Jaws" would have me jumping out of my skin. Open Water is an independent film about a married couple that goes scuba diving and ends up being accidentally abandoned in the ocean by their tour boat. The couple's reactions didn't seem believable to me. For one thing, the moment they realize that their boat has left them behind, they calmly assume the boat will return for them. I would be freaking out, but that's just me. To pass the time, they make painfully boring small talk that seems to go on forever. Then they find candy and we get to watch them enjoy it. There's a REALLY exciting scene where they're stung by jellyfish! Then they begin to argue about who's fault it is. After an eternity of this I couldn't wait for the sharks to gobble up the Bobbing Bickersons! Here's something: I'm not even close to being the world's leading authority on shark behavior, but I thought sharks loved the smell of blood in the water. In this movie, the guy takes a bite in the leg from a shark, blood surrounds the couple, and then the other sharks just kind of hang out for a few more hours. Apparently blood only makes sharks mildly interested. The guy isn't really killed by sharks, he dies because of blood loss. When his wife realizes he's dead, she calmly just pushes him out to the sharks and watches as they feast on his body! (What the...???) After she eventually gets eaten, I realized Blockbuster sank their teeth into me for three bucks to watch people bob in the water for 90 minutes.

White Noise (2005)
My third pick was very good and really scary. I watched White Noise starring Michael Keaton alone at night with the lights off. It scared the bejeezes out of me and I made the dog sleep on the bed that night.

Alien vs Predator (2004)
   (Spoiler Warning!)
I love the movies Alien, Aliens and the first Predator movie so I was extremely pumped for Alien vs. Predator. After all, WHO COULD SCREW THAT UP?! What I didn't know until my buddy told me on the way to the Cineplex -- it's rated PG-13. Now, I'm not a big fan of blood and gore but I do know that to properly show a small alien head bursting through somebody'
s chest, it must actually be shown! Also, I think the History Channel has accurately proven there are no hieroglyphics depicting Predators enslaving mankind in order to teach them to battle Aliens! Just two more things: I don't think a tour guide would survive for long outdoors in the Antarctic wearing a t-shirt and I certainly doubt she would ever ride with a Predator on a makeshift sled!

Astro Zombies (1969)
   This meandering tour de crap produced, believe it or not, by Wayne Rogers (Trapper John of M*A*S*H) suffers from too much down time. John Carradine plays a mad doctor who has discovered a way to bring dead men back to life and controls them via radio waves. But mostly, he just conducts experiments. Hooking up a hose to a tube, looking at a dial, turning the dial, hooking up another hose … Don't they know the only thing we want to see in a lab is someone throwing a giant switch?! The most agonizing moment was watching him open a metal box held together by three screws. He removed one screw, then the other, then a third screw, (mind you, this includes having to watch him fumble with a screwdriver) opening the container and removing a circuit and closing the box. But then he forgot something in the box … and made us watch as he opened it AGAIN! I never knew being a mad scientist was such boring work. By the end of the movie, I was basically a zombie myself.

Monster from the Surf (1965)
   I taped this movie on AMC at 4 a.m., a timeslot it richly deserves. It's a silly film that would've been enjoyable had it been ridiculous from beginning to end like The Wild World of Batwoman . Unfortunately, Monster from the Surf remains at low tide with an uninteresting murder mystery, endless squabbling between son and stepmom and 10 minutes of surfing footage that looks like it was filmed 500 yards away from the beach.
   If you do happen to catch Monster from the Surf (the only explanation being you're tied to a chair in front of a TV while your house is being robbed), check out the teens singing the title track around a campfire. They can only be described as completely insane. I sat there, dumbfounded, and when I replayed the scene for my wife, she just stared in amazement; shocked and a little afraid. It's the dumbest musical number of all time, except maybe for Gene Kelly dancing to E.L.O. in Zanadu.

Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory (1961)
   When I purchased this movie for $5, saliva dripped from my fangs as I thought about the great full review I could write about this movie. Oh, and the graphics! My God, the graphics! But, alas, when will I learn not to watch werewolf movies? When?? When??? The movie starts promisingly enough with a werewolf on the prowl of a school for wayward girls. How could anyone mess up a movie with such a great premise!? But the "bad girls" are very blasé and do exactly as their told. 90% of the movie, as in most werewolf movies, is people wondering what is killing everyone. The werewolf is only in a couple of scenes. Such a tragic waste. I'm going to go howl at the moon now.

The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
   I feel as though I'm recuperating after a night of binge drinking. Let me explain. It's the summer of 2003, and I've had it up to here (hand placed to chin) with wasting my money on summer blockbusters. After shelling out money at the theatre for the disappointing The Hulk , I felt the need to revolt somehow against Hollywood. But instead of boycotting movies, my plan was to “reboot” my entertainment neurons by renting the worst DVD I could find. A sort of "cleansing by fire." It would be my way of saying, “You want to hurt me, Hollywood? Here I am! Give me your best shot!” It did:

So I searched the Internet until I found a movie that cost $100 million to produce and reaped just $4 million from a few sitting ducks in the audience. That movie is The Adventures of Pluto Nash. Wandering the aisles of my local Blockbuster, I passed entire walls filled with other, more popular titles until I found Pluto Nash. One copy, all alone, it almost seemed to be hiding in shame.

Eddie Murphy plays Nash, owner of a lunar nightclub who's being muscled by gangster Rex Crater (notice the witty space names?) into selling his club. The movie's title and fun cover give the idea that it's a space-age children's comedy, except there's tons of foul language, a lot of violence and clever lines like, “How did they find us?! (Reply:) Obviously, you did something stupid!” Randy Quaid, who was so great in the Vacation movies, is especially wasted playing Nash's stiff, humorless robot body guard Bruno. The movie could have been better as a drama without all the space stuff if it managed to generate even a little interest. Instead, we're supposed to root for our hero as he fights for every movie-goers common dream: owning a nightclub?

Epilogue: Having viewed all 95 minutes of this movie, I feel almost hung over, lightheaded and nauseous, but I think my experiment worked. Every movie's going to look better to me after seeing this one. But the next time I feel the need to reboot, I'm simply going to run headlong into the refrigerator door. Shorter recuperating period.

Zoltan: Hound of Dracula (1977)
I'll tell you what's wrong with mainstream movies (you asked, right?). As soon as Hollywood has a hit on its hands it immediately copies it, meaning almost every modern movie can be classified under a few categories:

  • Cute girl overcomes the odds: Legally Blonde, Maid in Manhattan, The Princess Diaries
  • Cars and hot chicks: Fast and the Furious, Gone in Sixty Seconds, The Italian Job
  • Karate guy and Caucasian sidekick: Rush Hour, Bulletproof Monk, Shanghai Knights

But the great thing about B-movies is, just when you've reached your blockbuster saturation point, you can always reach out to your personal collection of movies and pull out a little gem like Zoltan: Hound of Dracula !

It's a sparkling little film about a batch of Dracula family coffins unearthed by the Transylvania authorities. One of the coffins contains a blood-sucking Doberman. When the vampirian hellhound is accidentally brought back to life, man's best fiend also resurrects the Count. He plans on carrying on the bloodline by finding the last known Dracula in the world who lives in L.A. His name? Michael Dracula (They say he lives just a stone's throw from his poker buddy Lloyd Frankenstein).

The movie starts out at a snappy pace. Drac's hound biting people right and left. But then Michael and his family go on the world's dullest camping trip and we're brought along for the ride kicking and screaming. The movie really grinds to a halt...literally. I own a VHS tape of this movie and for some reason the picture and sound just fade away about three-quarters of the way through. It's as if the tape itself can't take it anymore!

Robot vs Aztec Mummy (1957)
   There have been some great fights throughout history. For example, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman's bout The Rumble in the Jungle. So when the guy who created Robot vs. Aztec Mummy (we'll call him “Fern”...I don't know if that's his name but he was probably a Fern), thought to himself, “I want to make a slow-moving film about a slow-moving mummy, but make it different. I know! How about a slow-moving Aztec mummy! But who will he fight? A fierce, primal force of nature? No, how about a slow-moving robot!? Yeah, I'll put stovepipes on an actor's arms and legs so he can barely walk, let alone fight! And the fight itself will last about 4 minutes at the end of the movie! It's brilliant!”

So instead of spending 90 minutes watching this movie, I've come up with a more productive way for you to spend your time: Get a chair. Set it down in front of a large object made of wood. Now, stare at it until you see shapes appear in the wood grain. Maybe you'll see a bunny or perhaps a ghost yawning. Believe me...time better spent.

Alien Space Avenger (1992)
   My wife once asked me, “Why do some credits include the word “as”?  For example, the credits on Happy Days might list the actor's names and then read, “Henry Winkler as the Fonz.” They sometimes do this to emphasize a famous actor or a popular character. That said, you can understand how baffled I was to read, “Kirk Fairbanks Fogg as the Alien Space Avenger” on the back of the video box. What's even more baffling (other than the fact that I watched this movie) is that Kirk Fairbanks Fogg did NOT, in fact, play the Alien Space Avenger! The part of that forgettable character was played by an actress named Gina Mastrogiacomo (Yes, THAT Gina Mastrogiacomo!)

But anyway, on with the review. What do you get when you mix Star Wars, Terminator and Men in Black in a blender? The same thing you always get from a blender: a big mess. Four vicious little aliens take over the bodies of four gangster-types and look for Uranium to power their spaceship. Meanwhile, a struggling comic book artist happens upon them and uses their adventures for his own story.

According to the internet, Alien Space Avenger is available only in VHS format. If it's eventually released on DVD, expect a new cover illustration as this one eerily shows the World Trade Center in flames! It seems kind of fitting -- this movie may be the second biggest tragedy to occur on American soil.

The Werewolf (1956)
   I've never been a big fan of werewolf movies. "It walks like a man, but leaves teeth marks like a wolf! What could it be?" But watching Steven Ritch play the werewolf in this movie made me really appreciate the acting of Lon Chaney, Jr. in The Wolfman . The only thing more distracting than Mr. Ritch's overacting is the way he runs. I've never seen a werewolf flail his arms like a 5-year-old girl before. The werewolf in this atomic-age movie is created by a scientist when he subjects wolves to (you guessed it) RADIATION, baby!

This movie is a cinematic suppository, but there are a couple of funny moments. There's one scene where villagers are throwing torches at the werewolf. The scene of them throwing the torches is shot at night and the scenes of the wolfman dodging the torches is shot in the daytime. The other thing I found peculiar is that even after the werewolf wakes up in the woods as a barefooted human, he still manages to find his footware. Apparently, the night before, the raging wolfman still found time to carefully tuck his shoes and socks under a log for safekeeping.

The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas (1957)
   My time was recently squashed by the big hairy foot of a Yeti. Peter Cushing and Forrest do their best to make this picture interesting, but due to the lack of an actual monster, there's only so much they can do. In one scene, a terrifying hairy arm rips through a tent. Many, many minutes later, the same arm lies motionless on the snowy ground as they marvel at the rest of the creature that lies off camera. Finally, after I stayed up past midnight, they show the creature's face. He looks like Christopher Lloyd's character "Professor Plum" in the Back to the Future movies.

Curse of the Swamp Creature (1966)
   This American International Pictures production brings us one element rarely seen in their past movies: African-Americans! Unfortunately, in this film, when they're not stabbing each other, they're playing the drums. It could be considered racist except for the fact that AIP had been ruining the film careers of hundreds of white actors for many years. The film features the worst score I've ever heard. It sounds like three different soundtracks playing all at once. John Agar (Creature from the Black Lagoon) looks like he can't wait to move on to the next film. The same can be said for me!
   Best line of dialogue: “Be good baby...there's no-one here but us chickens.”

The Beast With a Million Eyes (1955)
Things you won't see in this movie:

  • A beast with a million eyes.

    Things you will see in this movie:
  • A puppet with two eyes.
  • Dick Sargent (Darren #2 from TV's Bewitched) beating up a mute rancher.
  • An old man with bottle glasses tells long stories about his bum leg (his leg and stories are both lame).
  • A woman attacked by chickens, under the power of alien mind control. (The chickens are thrown at her by off-screen stagehands.)


Attack of the Giant Leeches (1954)
   When a moonshine-swilling bumpkin in a rowboat shoots at a creature that looks more like an octopus than a leech, I fastened my seatbelt for what I thought would be a fun ride. I'm always optimistic about a movie in which a guy wearing a garbage bag attached with tentacles plays the monster. But a dull love triangle and two scientists arguing over the creature's fate consume the plot.  We don't actually see much of the creatures until the end. And even though sexy actress Yvette Vickers will quicken your pulse, she can't do a thing to speed up this movie's pace.

The Crawling Hand (1954)
   An alien overpowers an astronaut during a space flight, forcing ground control to destroy the rocket by remote control. (Thank goodness for explosive devices on manned space flights!)  A surfer and his Swedish girlfriend later find the astronaut's severed hand on a beach. (Oh, it gets better.) The kid does the only logical thing -- swipes the hand and takes it home. The hand escapes and goes on a killing rampage that only the sheriff played by Alan Hale (The skipper from Gilligan's Island) can handle! I was hoping he'd slap it with his skipper hat until it was dead, but that didn't happen. Instead, the evil hand is eaten by kittens. I'm not kidding -- that's how it ends.