Thursday, October 10, 2013

31 Days of Halloween - Day 10 - Movie 3

In the seaside community of Piedras Blancas, someone, or some thing, is tearing the heads off of the citizens. Everyone suspects the lighthouse keeper knows something, but little do they suspect that the culprit is a legendary monster of local legend.

The Monster of Piedras Blancas (1959) is a pretty gruesome movie for its time. Severed heads are plentiful. A child is decapitated. The monster itself is a literal mix of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Mole People, and the Metaluna mutant from This Island Earth with a rather ridiculous scream. The monster's physical appearance is not too surprising since one of the producers is Jack Kevan, who left the make-up department at Universal Studios where he worked on their 50s monster classics.

The movie stars genre regular Les Tremayne as the town doctor, pinup girl, Jeanne Carmen as the lighthouse keeper's daughter, and Don Sullivan as the young hero. Sullivan would go on to star in The Giant Gila Monster and later invent hair conditioner and apple scented shampoo.

I recall rather enjoying this movie the previous times I'd seen it it, but this time I found it tedious. It was really trying my patience even with it's short 70 minute running time. There seemed to be endless scenes of repetitive speculation each time a body turned up and lots of scenes of people going to one place or another to have other repetitive conversations, or just standing around planning instead of doing.  Not a lot actually happens until the climax with the monster's attack on the lighthouse.

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