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Thursday, Jul 19, 2012
Welcome to our weekly field guide to 1950's horror and sci-fi movies and the creatures that inhabit them. This week: Count Dracula's Mexican relatives fight that empty feeling in El Vampiro, also known as The Vampire

Alternative titles: Sucks to Be You; Montezuma’s Other Revenge


POSITIVES:
Terrific moody atmosphere with plenty of swirling mist and torchlight
Unexpected human-into-bat moments
Inventive camera angles and crisp pace keep things moving along
Mexican movie exudes “foreign film” snob-appeal status


NEGATIVES:
Romance, thought not awful, is unecessary baggage
Sags a bit in the middle (sort of like me, come to think of it)


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Thursday, Jul 12, 2012
Welcome to our weekly field guide to 1950's horror and sci-fi movies and the creatures that inhabit them. This week: things heat up south of the border in 1957's The Black Scorpion

Alternative title: The Really Really HUGE Carnivorous Blood-Slurping Scorpion Whose Color Is Pretty Much Irrelevant


POSITIVES:
Scorpions are cool
Tons of monster screen time
Kooky Mexican scientist has frightening hairpiece
World’s dumbest soldier is put in charge of secret experimental weapon
Special effects supervised by Willis O’Brien, of King Kong fame


NEGATIVES:
Slow start
Stop-motion effects give way in city scenes to lame superimposed shadows
Cloying, annoying little kid. Why, God, why?


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Thursday, Jun 28, 2012
Welcome to our weekly field guide to 1950s horror and sci-fi movies and the creatures that inhabit them. This week: humanity bumps up against some unlikely lunar life forms in 1959's Missile to the Moon

Alternative title: Rebel Without a Rocket


POSITIVES:
Rollicking romping camp-fest featuring a Slinky Wedding Dance!
A bevy of lunar lovelies aka “International Beauty Contest Winners”!
Laconic James Dean clone with a heart of gold!
Lunar ambulatory rock monsters and a bone-chilling spider o’ doom!
Like sex with Salma Hayek, you just want it to go on and on and on and on


NEGATIVES:
You just want it to go on and on and on—but like sex with Salma Hayek, IT ALL ENDS TOO SOON


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Thursday, Jun 21, 2012
Welcome to a weekly field guide to 1950's horror and sci-fi movies and the creatures that inhabit them. This week: things get hairy in Bride of the Gorilla

Alternative titles: Monkey Business; Queen of Kong


POSITIVES:
Hey, there’s a gorilla!
Solid performances, especially from Gisela Werbisek
Cool ambiguity as to whether transformation is “real” or only in the character’s head (see photo below)


NEGATIVES:
Uh-oh, there’s a gorilla…
Glimpses of man-ape monster are fleeting indeed
Ambiguity isn’t as cool as extensive scenes of blood-slurping man-monster on the rampage would have been


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Friday, Jun 15, 2012
Welcome to our weekly field guide to 1950s horror and sci-fi movies and the creatures that inhabit them. This week: the adventure on Mystery Mountain that is The Brain From Planet Arous.

Alternative title: Earth Girls Are Easy (But Only Some of Them)


POSITIVES:
John Agar at his leering, grinning, demented best.
One of the most important characters is a dog.
Catastrophic events are accompanied by cackling laughter.
Low-budget masterpiece is barrels of fun.


NEGATIVES:
Somewhat erractic pace is slow at times.


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