I love documentaries on the horror / sci-fi genres, especially when you get to hear from the people that were directly involved with them. There are ALWAYS great stories that we usually never get to hear unless you catch one of them at a convention, or maybe an extra on DVD or Blu-ray. So when I first heard of this new 3-disc documentary called Monster! Martians! Mad Scientists! Horror in the Atomic Age!, it had my interests. When I discovered the price was only $15, I did have some doubts because it was so cheap, especially for 3 discs, but I figured at that price, it was worth taking the chance.
I’m glad I did!
The 3 discs are divided into time frame categories. The first one, entitled The Atomic Age, starts in the early ’50s and gives us a look back at that time and the films that were coming out. While this is about the movies, we get to hear and understand what was going on at that time period, with the constant threat of atomic destruction hovering over their heads, and how that effected the movies. The second disc, entitled A World Gone Mad, covers the second half of the ’50s with the big-bug movies, alien invasions, 3-D movies, and more. The last disc, called Fade to Red, covers the early ’60s and how times were changing, due to the Vietnam War, the Civil unrest, and how the films were reflecting that with more realistic gore and terror. Continue reading
The Creature Chronicles: Exploring the Black Lagoon Trilogy
Published by McFarland, 2014. 408 pages.
By Tom Weaver, David Schecter, & Steve Kronenberg
This should be a very simple review. If you want to know anything about Creature from the Black Lagoon, or its two sequels, Revenge of the Creature and/or The Creature Walks Among Us, then just buy this book. Just about anything and everything you need to know about those films is in this book. Tom Weaver, along with Schecter and Kronenberg, have researched and compiled so much information, from the cast and crew, premieres, design teams, press, music, down to all the screenwriters involved in them, all here in this book. It even has an introduction by Creature star Julia Adams.
Born Jan. 21st, 1921 – Died April 7th, 2002
Though he started his film acting career doing westerns, it’s the films he did in the ‘50s that made John Agar so memorable to horror fans. Agar was a staple when it came to battling giant monsters, aliens, and mad scientists. He always gave it his all, even when the script wasn’t the greatest, or even the monster that he was fighting against. He always gave a fun and entertaining performance, even when working with uber-low-budget king Larry Buchanan on a couple of films. He would even make appearances in more modern day films in titles like Clive Barker’s Nightbreed and the Tope Hooper directed episode of John Carpenter’s anthology Body Bags.
Of few of his highlights (and lowlights, depending on your feelings) would be Revenge of the Creature (1955), Tarantula (1955), and The Brain from the Planet Arous (1957), as well as Larry Buchanan’s Zontar: The Thing from Venus and Curse of the Swamp Creature (both 1966).