Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks-Monsters but no vampires, werewolves, zombies or aliens


When we think of movie monsters, we normally go to vampires, werewolves and zombies...Oh My! We also pick aliens but this week we are to steer clear of these and choose other movie monsters. Now I know I could go directly to King Kong, Godzilla, dinosaurs etc... but I decided to go all 1950's since that decade just loved horror films dealing with atomic bombs or man playing God which resulted in strange monsters. This weekly film series is the brainchild of Wandering Through The Shelves where you find out the theme and pick 3 films that correlate to that theme. Head on over to her blog to check out what the others have chosen...here are my 3

1. THEM-1954


A little girl found lost in the desert is found and, the police know they are in trouble when she starts screaming,"THEM". Due to atomic testing, ants grow to be gigantic and start finding fresh food....people. With the help of the police, a scientist and his pretty daughter and the FBI, they kill the colony but they realize that 2 queens escaped and headed to L.A......of course. To stop the colony from growing, they head over to LA to save the city. Believe it or not, Santa Claus, I mean, Edmund Gwenn, from Miracle on 34th Street, co-stars in this film. It's actually pretty good and it started the craze of these big monsters ready to do damage.

2. TARANTULA-1955


This movie really freaked me out when I was a kid and, of course, I watched it more than once which resulted in nightmares that I had many times and still do! In fact, I dream this same dream with the tarantula coming over a golf course towards my dad and myself and my dad is trying to outrun the spider in the car we are in. The last time I had this dream was 3 months ago and I have been having this dream for over 40 years. So, the plot is about a scientist who decides to play God by fiddling with growth hormones to increase the world's food supply. He works on animals that become huge including a tarantula but he also works on his own assistants who keep dying. Before the one dies, he tries to destroy the lab which sets the spider free. The new assistant to the mad scientist, a pretty lass, comes to help and teams up with the local Doctor to destroy this spider. I'm getting shivers just writing this so I am stopping. Watch for a very young Clint Eastwood in a role of a young soldier.

3. ATTACK OF THE KILLER SHREWS-1959


Oh this is a silly one where a group of scientists on a remote island have been playing around with shrews as test subjects in an attempt to make humans small to help stop food from becoming scarce. Of course, the scientist goofed and made mean nasty huge shrews who now want to eat the humans. Yes, there is a pretty assistant in the mix. You can tell dogs were used with some sad looking coats on top of their back to make them look like killer shrews....oh and their bite is poisonous. How will they escape the island? OK The trailer is fun to watch because it shows, at the end this cool cat...not part of the movie:)


Bonus pick

TO CATCH A KILLER-1992

go ahead 38 seconds to see the preview

What could be a worse monster than man himself. We hear about it every day on the news and there are many shows dealing with people who kill others, destroy animals, lives and the planet. I chose this TV  Miniseries which was very chilling and Brian Dennehy is brilliant in this role as John Wayne Gacy. This monster, who was even cited by Nancy Reagon for bringing happiness to kids in hospitals as a clown, was responsible for the rape, torture and murder of over 30 young men.  The acting is powerful and I felt great unease watching this film. At one point, Dennehy was able to master this look, as if he were hypnotized, before wishing to kill this unsuspecting victim, only to "come out of it" and tell the man to leave. I have experienced this look when I was little and it gave me chills to see it again.

What movie monster would you choose? Mothra anyone? How about Gamera? Any Ray Harryhausen fan?

50 comments:

  1. Oh my, none of these I have heard of, maybe that is a good thing.

    Betty

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    1. I thought most people would know Them. That film isn't too bad unless you are like me and scare easily

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  2. I've seen them all!
    Mystery Science Theater 3000 had fun with Attack of the Killer Shrews. They said the shrews looked like dogs with bath mats attached.
    My best pick - Tremors. Classic and high grade B movie monster flick.

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    1. Tremors is a classic! I laugh at the Uber Gun couple:)

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  3. I think Them will be popular today. Attack of the Killer Shrews sounds unintentionally hilarious.

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    1. I will find out soon enough which one will be popular. The Killer Shrews is hilarious

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  4. Hi, Birgit!

    As you might expect this is one of my favorite film genres. I have seen all three of your featured movies multiple times. Many of these films share a similar plot. Nuclear tests by the military or experiments by scientists yield giant mutant insects or animals that run amok and threaten the human race. A scientist always happens to have a pretty daughter and somehow she always manages to end up in peril, alone with the creature, and the handsome young male hero, usually a military man who is in love with her, always rescues her from the beast in the closing minutes of the movie. I never got tired of the familiar formula.

    My big brother took me to see Them! in the summer of '54 when I was 4 years old, one of hundreds of horror films I saw as a boy. What a great cast. In addition to Gwenn you had the wonderful actor James Whitmore, James (Gunsmoke/The Thing) Arness and Fess (Davy Crockett) Parker. The movie was intelligently handled and the suspense palpable.

    Tarantula starred movie scream king John Agar, Shirley Temple's husband. Agar also appeared in Revenge of the Creature, The Mole People, Daughter of Dr. Jekyll, The Brain From Planet Arous, Attack of the Puppet People, Invisible Invaders, Destination Space, Hand of Death, Journey to the Seventh Planet, Zontar: The Thing from Venus, Curse of the Swamp Creature, Night Fright, King Kong (the remake starring Jessica Lange), Nightbreed and The Naked Monster.

    The most memorable scene in The Killer Shrews is the one in which the humans protect themselves from being bitten by the screeching, ravenous beasts by duck-walking to safety under a metal dome that looked like a tortoise shell. (I'm going to search Amazon and eBay to see if that cat has a record album of piano favorites. :)

    I agree that human monsters are the scariest of all. Brian Dennehy is a great actor and I would like to see his portrayal of serial killer Gacy.

    Thanks, BB!

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    1. I am surprised by all the great actors in Them. Good ole John Agar had to make a living. How I wish these classic B horror movies would come back. I had not seen Shrews in so long but i thought they were in barrels, duck walking-hilarious! If you can see Brian Dennehy in this film...see it

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    2. Thanks for fine tuning my memory, BB. I haven't seen The Killer Shrews since the 60s. As I now recall they used a welding torch to cut large drums in half and make narrow peep holes so that they could see where they were going as they waddled under them from the bungalow to the beach. The shrews frantically gnawed at those peep holes trying to get at the people, but the slots were just narrow enough to keep their snouts and fangs on the outside. Do I have it right now? :)

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    3. Yes you do and I was laughing so hard at this. Nothing beats it

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  5. This is the second time I've seen THEM! today. I didn't even think of it but as you'll see I headed for the bottom of the barrel for mine this week and this is actually a high quality film as these things go. Love Edmund Gwenn in this as well as James Whitmore. It still does have some pertinent things to say...and that little girl and her screaming are so memorable.

    Attack of the Killer Shrews is cheesy fun now but I'm sure in the drive-ins it played in during the 50's it provided scares.

    Haven't seen Tarantula but it looks like it would be a similar experience to Shrews.

    Interesting twist on the theme with To Catch a Killer. A deeply disturbing film and story of course but Brian Dennehy is such a great actor it was worth watching once for his work.

    As I said this week I headed to the lowest of the low since this category is teeming with them.

    Tentacles (1977)-Balderdash about a killer octopus terrorizing a resort town, and not just in the sea but on land!!! Three Oscar winners, Henry Fonda, John Huston & Shelley Winters, and several other respected performers collect a paycheck.

    Empire of the Ants (1977)-Shady real estate agent Joan Collins and a bunch of potential suckers for her latest scheme land on an island in the Florida Everglades that thanks to toxic waste has been overtaken by giant mutant killer ants!! Crunch and munch.

    Night of the Lepus (1972)-Bizarre cheapie about a genetic experiment gone wrong. Killer rabbits terrorize the countryside!! Hilarity ensues. Poor Janet Leigh from Psycho to this in only a dozen years!

    Bonus-Killer Bees (1974)-Young man (Edward Albert) brings his fiancée (Kate Jackson) home to his family’s vineyard to meet the matriarch of his clan Madame Maria von Bohlen (Gloria Swanson), who has a strange bond with the bee colony that is the backbone of the family business. Worth catching for the cast alone. This is somewhat out of the perimeter since it was a TV Movie of the Week but it’s surely the best movie on the list!

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    1. Tentacles! Hahahaaa-I saw this when I was a kid and was amazed at who starred in this crappy flick. The Ant flick sounds great and i recall a TV movie about killer ants-Suzanne Somers gets it. Killer Rabbits? Did Monty Python write this?? :) Love Killer Bees especially Gloria Swanson at her best in this fun flick. I always wondered what poor Kate Jackson thought about when the bees were all over her at the end of the film

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    2. I have seen that Suzanne Somers ant movie!! When it was originally broadcast as a Movie of the Week it was called It Happened at Lakewood Manor but when it was released on video it was retitled less inventively as simply ANTS! with a picture of Somers, or more likely her double, with her arms crossed against her chest which is covered in...you guessed it ANTS! It was ridiculous junk that somehow managed to corral both Brian Dennehy and Myrna Loy! into appearing in it. EGADS.

      Night of the Lepus is right up there with Frogs as being one of the lamest, the rabbits are NEVER scary they look like regular bunnies next to miniature sets which is exactly what they are. Just awful.

      And Empire of the Ants is just plain bad, bad, bad!! It's from one of Joan Collins extremely fallow periods before Dynasty rescued her career.

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  6. I still remember my parents taking me the the drive-in to see 'Them'. Many years later as an adult I saw it and couldn't figure out why I was scared. Maybe because I was only eight? Haven't seen the others.

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    1. Those flicks scared the people back in the day especially since there was so much talk about nuclear war and to hide under your desk in case an event happens

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  7. Some of them are so lame to look at these days haha I'm with Alex, Tremors would be my pick. Liked them all but Tremors 4.

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    1. Tremors 4 was really bad.I love the first one for sure. My heart belongs to those cheesy classics from the 50's and 6o's

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  8. Ooh good ones for the Halloween season.

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  9. I'll never forget watching Tarantula on late-night TV in the sixties and hearing the unseen announcer mispronounce the movie's name tar-an-TULLA.

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    1. Oh brother and yet seems to be perfect

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  10. I haven't seen any of those movies. I don't think I could watch a movie about John Wayne Gacy. I wouldn't sleep for months. His clown paintings that he did while in prison sold very well. I wouldn't want one.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I had no idea he sold clown paintings and that people bought them....sick society

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  11. I think I'd still be having nightmares if I had seen these as a child! I watched the trailer of Killer Shrews to see the cat - hilarious!

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    1. Yes...I had a tough time finding a trailer and when I saw this cat at the end...I knew I found the right one

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  12. I haven't seen any of these movies, but they sure would make a fun marathon for this season. :)

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  13. I rarely watch movies, but the spider one would freak lots and lots of people out.
    Thank you for joinging Words for Wednesday at my blog - I loved your entry.

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    1. Oh I'm glad you enjoyed my little entry:)

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  14. Ugh, creature features. Never been a fan. Funnily enough, my first hate in this realm was Them. My "friend" (that's a long story) wanted to watch that thing, and so I was stuck and bored out of my skull. That probably should have been the first clue to her betrayal. (Of course, we were like 7 at the time.)

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    1. I knew this would not be your genre at all. I think you mentioned this film a while back and how much you dislike it. We all have a genre we would rather not see

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  15. Oh gosh, John Wayne Gacy has to be one of the most terrifying monsters ever.

    I have never seen the movies but am traumatized just from the pic of the tarantula haha

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  16. I've seen the first two movies. My favorite 50s movie was the woman who grew 100s ft tall. I was probably 10 years old when I saw an Outer Limits story about an old woman trapped in a mirror. (Have I told you this before?) Couldn't look in a mirror for a long time. Sometimes that fear pops in on me.

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    1. Hahahaha. Just realized. I'm now an old lady looking at me in the mirror.

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  17. Well, King Kong didn't even cross my mind. I wasn't even considering it as a monster. Anyway, I'm not scared but kind of disgusted by spider so I'll probably avoid Tarantula, but Them sounds good.

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    1. Tarantula scared the bejeebies out of me. Them is quite good actually when you realize it was made in the 50's

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  18. Haven't seen ANY of these! Loved the Killer Shrew clip. Those shrews were reallyy scary! The clip had a cat playing a piano at the end of it - which was particularly amusing!

    That's Purrfect

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    1. Killer Shrews is so bad it's good. I know...that cat made me laugh

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  19. Great choices. I've seen bits and pieces of all, but unfortunately, not all of any of them. Need to step up my monster game.

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    1. Monster movies can be so much fun especially when they are so bad it's good.

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  20. These are great choices, Birgit - so much movies of their time! I haven't seen any of them - but I remember a film called Snake (I think) which scared the Bejesus out of me as a child! :)

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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  21. Most of the monster movies I have watched were courtesy of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I can't even think of the genre without hearing the snarky comments.

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  22. Yikes! Them looks pretty intense.

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  23. These are all new to me! The 50's seem to have produced some interesting terror flicks.

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  24. I did see the serial killer doc, of course--serial killers are my wheelhouse. It's been years, but I remember it being pretty good. If you like that sort of thing, try The Deliberate Stranger. It's a TV movie, so in two parts, and some of the '70s cheesiness (nice turtleneck!) dates it, but it's still really good.

    As for monsters, I think I'd go with the Mothman. The fact that there's been so many "true" sightings lends to the creep-out factor. Who knows what that thing is?

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  25. I love your selection of films. I love oldie B/W horror films about crazy animals gone wild. I remember as a kid watching one about spiders that were overrunning the cities. People would wake up and spider webs were everywhere. I don't remember much about it, but I do remember it frightened me. But I think it was a (relatively) newer one. At least at the time it was. I too remember Gamara and friends. Those were all great.

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  26. Wow. Tarantula must have really had an affect on you if you still dream about it.
    Hope you're feeling better.

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  27. I haven't seen any of these! It raises the question, though: is man the scariest monster of all?

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  28. I haven't seen any of these! It raises the question, though: is man the scariest monster of all?

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  29. Spiders freak me out, especially the big ones. YIKES!

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