Friday night at the home drive-in: Day the World Ended (1955)

Day the World Ended (1955) by #RogerCorman

w/#RichardDenning #LoriNelson #AdeleJergens

In a world devastated by a wide-scale nuclear war, all that remains are teetering ruins and a handful of scrappy survivors.

”ATTACKED… by a creature from hell!”
“The terrifying story that COULD COME TRUE!”
“A new high in naked shrieking terror!”

#Horror #SciFi  
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

We’ve become used to post-apocalyptic movies and TV shows that deal with zombies. We used to see a lot of post-apocalyptic movies about people in the desert fighting over gas, or water, or the last fertile woman on the planet. Day the World Ended (1955) is a much earlier post-apocalyptic story of survivors simply trying to stay alive. They wind up stuck together in a house in valley that was somehow protected from the radiation fallout that is killing people and animals everywhere else (or something like that).

A threat of mutant monsters from outside the valley looms over the survivors, but as with many of the best movies of this kind, the real danger comes from within the group, as tension between the survivors begins to rise… Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)

It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) by #EdwardLCahn

w/#MarshallThompson #ShirleyPatterson

In the distant future – 1973 – a rescue team is sent to find out what happened to the first manned flight to Mars.

“It has to kill us or starve and we’ve got to kill it or die.”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958) must surely have been an influence on the makers of Alien (1979). There were others, of course. Planet of the Vampires (1965) is often talked about – and deservedly so. Shivers (1975) may have been another, less talked about inspiration. But watching It! The Terror from Beyond Space last week, all I could think about were the similarities to Dan O’Bannon’s (and Ridley Scott’s) masterpiece.  Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: War of the Colossal Beast (1958)

War of the Colossal Beast (1958) by #BertIGordon

w/#SallyFraser #RogerPace #DuncanDeanParkin

Believed dead after falling from the Hoover Dam, the Amazing Colossal Man reemerges in rural Mexico, brain damaged, disfigured, and very hungry – where he steals food delivery trucks to survive.

“The towering terror from Hell”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I’m pretty sure that I saw The Amazing Colossal Man (1957) at some point. In fact, I think I watched it on TV many years ago – perhaps on Not Quite Classic Theatre. For some reason, I have not seen it in recent years. I’m surprised to learn that I don’t have a copy lurking somewhere in my collection. 

I do, however, have a copy of its sequel, War of the Colossal Beast (1958). It’s part of a Samuel Z. Arkoff Collection double feature DVD that I picked up a few years ago. I love those double feature DVDs. One does have to wonder, however, why they didn’t put these two movies together?! It seems like a no-brainer idea to me. What a perfect, ready-made double feature. As far as I can tell, they never even released The Amazing Colossal Man in any of their sets. Maybe there was a rights issue, or something, Who knows? Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: Blood of Dracula (1957)

Poster for Blood of Dracula (1957)Blood of Dracula (1957) by #HerbertLStrock

An angry teenager at an all girls boarding school becomes the subject of a monstrous experiment.

“In her eyes … desire! In her veins … the blood of a monster!”
“Who am I? What am I doing, I – I’m living a nightmare!”
“I know what you are, and I know what you’ve done to me!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

Blood of Dracula (1957) goes deep for me. I saw it way back when – I’m not even sure how old I was the first time. I probably saw it on TV (although I’m not 100% sure about that). I eventually bought a copy on VHS – and I watched it several times over the years. It surprised me to learn that it didn’t really rate very well in review books, etc. I always found it irresistible… Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: The Alligator People (1959)

Poster for The Alligator People (1959)The Alligator People (1959) by #RoyDelRuth

w/#BeverlyGarland #BruceBennett #LonChaneyJr

While hypnotized by two psychiatrists, a woman describes the mysterious disappearance of her husband – on their wedding day – and the horrifying events that followed…,

“Her Honeymoon…Shattered by an Unbelievable Horror!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I did not see The Alligator People (1959) on TV when I was young. I had never heard of it, in fact, until I found a DVD copy in a bargain bin one day. As anyone who knows me can attest, any movie called The Alligator People – made in 1959, no less – has got to come home with me. And this one was no exception… Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: The Vampire (1957)

Poster for The Vampire (1957)The Vampire (1957) by #PaulLandres

w/#JohnBeal #ColeenGray #KennethTobey #LydiaReed

After a small town doctor mistakenly takes experimental pills made from the blood of vampire bats – he finds that he might be turning into a monster.

“A New Kind of Killer to Stalk the Screen!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

The Vampire (1957) is a nifty little monster movie that I never saw as a child or teenager. It wasn’t until I purchased a Midnight Movies double feature DVD some fifteen odd years ago that I even became aware of the movie. It was paired with The Return of Dracula (1958), which I talked about few weeks ago. Both movies were directed by Paul Landres, but I was not familiar with him either.  Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: The Monster That Challenged the World (1957)

The Monster That Challenged the World (1957) by #ArnoldLaven

w/#TimHolt #AudreyDalton

An earthquake awakens century-old giant mollusks in the Salton Sea.

“Crawling up from the depths.. to terrify and torture!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

The Monster That Challenged the World (1957) goes way back for me. I may have seen it on Not Quite Classic Theatre, I’m not sure. But I definitely saw it on TV when I was young. 

It’s about an earthquake that releases a bunch of giant mollusks from the bottom of the Salton Sea. I guess they’re pretty hungry after a hundred years of hibernation, because they start eating people left, right and centre. Scientists and soldiers from the nearby military base must do everything they can to stop these beasts before they eat everyone on the planet… or something like that. Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: How to Make a Monster (1958)

How to Make a Monster (1958) by #HerbertLStrock

w/#RobertHHarris #PaulBrinegar

When a master monster make-up artist for American International Pictures is fired, he uses his creations to exact revenge.

“It will SCARE the living yell out of you!”

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I had heard mention of How to Make a Monster (1958) for years, but I didn’t know anything about the movie. It turns out to be kind of an early post-modern horror film, in that it is about a special effects make up artist working at American International Pictures – the very studio that produced this movie. We see posters for I Was a Teenage Werewolf and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein – two actual American International Pictures movies released in 1957 (the year before this one). We see, supposedly, the werewolf from the first film and the monster from the second film shooting a new film together, in which they fight. This is, of course, reminiscent of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) – which was NOT by American International Pictures.  Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: The Return of Dracula (1958)

Poster for The Return of Dracula (1958)The Return of Dracula (1958) by #PaulLandres

w/ #FrancisLederer #NormaEberhardt #RayStricklyn

A vampire murders a Czech artist, assumes his identity, and moves in with his cousins in California.

“There is only one reality, Rachel: Death. I have come to bring you Death.”

#Horror #Vampire #Dracula
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I just can’t seem to get out of 1958. Last week I commented on the fact that I have been watching a lot of movies from 1958 (or thereabouts). After finishing that blog post, I turned to my horror library behind me and grabbed a double feature DVD that I have been having a hankering to revisit. The first movie in the set was The Return of Dracula (1958), and part of what attracted me to it was that it was a bit of a departure from the movies about giant monsters that I have been watching as of late. The Return of Dracula is about, well, Dracula; a vampire. 

What I didn’t notice is that it’s another movie that was released in 1958. Continue reading

Friday night at the home drive-in: Earth vs the Spider (1958)

Poster for Earth vs the Spider (1958)Earth vs the Spider AKA The Spider AKA Earth vs the Giant Spider (1958) by #BertIGordon w/#EdKemmer #JuneKenney #EugenePersson

Teenagers & their high school science teacher join forces to battle a giant mutant spider.

“50 TONS OF CREEPING BLACK HORROR!”

“Bullets Won’t Kill It! Flames Can’t Hurt It! Nothing Can Stop It!

#Horror #SciFi
#NotQuiteClassicCinema
#FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn

I seem to be in a real 1958 mood lately. My home drive-in has been screening movies from that year, or thereabouts, for a couple of months now. Perhaps it’s an attempt to teleport back to an earlier, more innocent, time of my life. Not that I was alive in 1958. That would make me about as old as I feel. No, but I watched a lot of movies from 1958, or thereabouts, in the 1980s on my favourite weekly television event – Not Quite Classic Theatre. Continue reading