Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Horror Thoughts ‘13—Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957) **

NR, 62 min.
Director: Roger Corman
Writer: Charles B. Griffith
Starring: Richard Garland, Pamela Duncan, Russell Johnson, Leslie Bradley, Mel Welles, Richard Cutting, Beach Dickerson, Tony Miller

You know you are a film fanatic when you just can’t wait for the fake film festival you created just so you have an excuse to see bad b-movies like Roger Corman’s “Attack of the Crab Monsters”. Right out of the nuclear age of horror flicks that permeated the late 50s, “Attack of the Crab Monsters” is in many ways a wonderful piece of schlock even though it really isn’t any good.

So, a bunch of scientists disappear from an island that was dowsed in nuclear radiation from the U.S. Government’s tests of the atomic bomb. Another set of scientists is sent out to continue their work and hopefully discover what happened to the first crew. I think the best part of this whole movie is that within the first five minutes of arriving on the island one of the military grunts is beheaded by something in the water along the shoreline. Beheaded! And everyone is just like, “Well shucks, isn’t that some bad luck for that guy. Too bad.” Gee, that couldn’t have anything to do with what happened to the previous crew, could it?

In typical b-movie fashion, Corman keeps his budget down by using noises and shadows to evoke the monsters for most of the movie. The crab monsters, once they’re revealed look kind of good. Sure they don’t actually move and although there are supposedly several of these crab creatures, only one is ever seen at a time. It makes it a little easier on Corman to get the concepts across to have the crabs take on the brainpower of the people who have become their victims. No effort is made to explain how the crabs can recreate the victims’ speech, but that probably for the better.

No, “Attack of the Crab Monsters” isn’t a good movie despite the fact that I’m so enthusiastic about it. This is what Horrorfest is all about though, seeing a bunch of movies I might not ever watch any other time along with a bunch of movies that I absolutely love. The results are a rollercoaster of a month when it comes to entertainment value. You gotta take the good with the bad, and sometimes even the bad is a little good.

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