Tuesday, October 09, 2007

31 Days of Halloween - Day 9 - Movie 1

Tonight I watched a double dose of giant bug movies. While neither were of the same caliber of "Them" or "Tarantula," they both were mostly fun to watch. "The Black Scorpion" (1957) featured a whole mess of giant scorpions released from a large cavern, much like the cut spider pit scene in "King Kong" (1933), in the earth because of volcanic activity. This same volcanic activity has played geological havoc on a nearby village, making its citizens and their cattle easy prey for the nocturnal scorpions. It takes two geologists (Richard Denning and Carlos Rivas) with some help from the military to stop the scorpions who manage to wreck buildings, trucks, a train, a descent cage, a tractor, tanks, and a helicopter before going down for good.

The stop motion animation effects by "King Kong" (1933) animator Willis O'Brien, and Pete Peterson are good considering the limited resources, as are the close-up shots of a larger scale model of the scorpion's head. The only flaw with the effects is the terrible, transparent, superimposed scorpion used in a few shots. This movie also reuses it's footage almost as much as a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, particularly in regards to a miniature train which passes the same cave at least 4-5 times in succession. They might as well have been taking a trip across "The Flintstones'" living room.


Shawn Robare said...

I really need to see some giant bug/monster movies. I've made my way through a decent portion of horror throughout the years, but I'm sadly lacking in Sci-Fi experience beyond Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Giant scorpians do sound like fun (not quite the same, but it was fun in Clash of the Titans.)

Rozum said...

There's a lot of good stuff out there, and you'll have a lot of fun exploring it. As far as big bug movies go, I'd watch "Them" or "Tarantula," which are the best of the bunch.

"The Incredible Shrinking Man" is one of the best movies from this period, as is "War of the Worlds" and, my personal favorite, "I Married a Monster From Outer Space."