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Thursday, Aug 2, 2012
Welcome to our weekly field guide to 1950's horror and sci-fi movies and the creatures that inhabit them. This week: we go digging in the dirt with The Mole People

Alternative titles: Subterranean Homesick Blues; Notes From Underground


POSITIVES:
Hilarious introduction from USC “English Professor”
Effectively claustrophobic setting, with good underground lighting effects
Snappy dialogue (at times) and truly bizarre dance sequence
Two non- or semi-human civilizations/species for the price of one! (Three, if you count the French guy)
High Priest has weird, four-stranded facial hair
     
NEGATIVES:
There are sheep. Living underground. What do they eat?
Pointless ending


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Thursday, Jul 26, 2012
Welcome to our weekly field guide to 1950's horror and sci-fi movies and the creatures that inhabit them. This week: a raging cosmic hurricane crashes against the sandy shores of This Island Earth

Alternate titles: I Never Metalunan I Didn’t Like; What Is It About Aliens and Bad Hair?


POSITIVES:
Big-budget production features lavish sets and good special effects
Committed cast turns in a solid performance
Sense of wonder engendered by what’s going on “out there” (and reinforced by the title)
Very cool monsters and an unexpected ending
It’s in color!


NEGATIVES: 
Monsters, although cool, are thin on the ground
A great deal of setup is necessary for the plot, but drags a bit


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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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