Saturday, September 19, 2020

Monster Crap October 2020 Poll: John Saxon Month

That was John Saxon back 10 years ago when I met him at Monster Mania. He was a really nice guy and had no problem getting this picture with me as I was just about to leave the hotel and head home. I promised myself that next time I see him, I would get his autograph. Sadly, that day never came and now he has sadly passed away. 2020 has been a hell of a year thus far and this death of a guy who was really nice along with being a great actor who was in many cult films really depressed me, even though he did live 83 years. So because of all of this, I have decided to give one of his films a honorary Monster Crap induction here and lo and behold, I have 14 to choose from. 

Here are the choices. 

Battle Beyond The Stars (1980)
You Can Definitely Count On Roger Corman To Make A Rip Off Of A Hit Film And In This Case, It Is The Star Wars Phenomenon That Was 3 Years Before. Oh And It Just So Happened To Come Out The Same Year As Empire Strikes Back Because Of Course, It Did. 

Beyond Evil (1980)
John Saxon & Lynda Day George Have To Deal With Demon Possession In A Historic Colonial Mansion In The Philippines.

Blood Beach (1980)
There Is A Creature Under The Sand That Is Eating People And The Cops Led By John Saxon Have To Find Out About It And Then Stop It. This Film Also Starred David Huffman Who Sadly Would Not Have A Long Career Due To Being Murdered Five Years Later.

Cannibal Apocalypse (1980)
Atlanta Gets Overrun By Cannibals Infected By A Disease That Came To Us From Vietnam And Sadly, John Saxon Is One Of Them In This Italian Film That Tries To Was Released At The Same Time As Cannibal Holocaust

Hellmaster (1992)
John Saxon Is Turning Unknowing College Students Into Monstrous Killers With A Drug Called The Nietzsche Drug And Three People Must Stop Him And His Zombie-Like Army.

Lancelot: Guardian Of Time (1997)
The Beastmaster As Lancelot Is Sent Back In Time To Stop An Evil John Saxon & His Minions From Killing King Arthur Before He His King And Accidentally Get Sent To Modern Times. Oh, You Know This Sounds Awful.

My Mom's A Werewolf (1989)
Susan Blakely Is A Bored Housewife Who Wants Some Fun In Her Life And Unfortunately Catches The Attractions Of John Saxon, Who Just So Happens To Be A Werewolf

Night Caller From Outer Space (aka Blood Beast From Outer Space) (1965)
An Alien From A Moon Of Jupiter Has Come To Earth And Wants To Use Women As Breeding Stock So It Is Up To John Saxon To Stop It. 

Planet Earth (1974)
John Saxon Is Part Of A Team That Tries To Restore Civilization And Peace To The World After A Nuclear War Devastated Earth Years Before. There Are Problems Like Mutants And Amazons Who Keep Men As Slaves. 

Prisoners Of The Lost Universe (1983)
Accidentally Warping To A Different Dimension, A Bunch Of Normal People Have To Deal With Crazy Shit In This Prehistoric Like World Like A Tribe Of Savage Cavemen And A Warlord Played By John Saxon Who Seems To Be A Bit Too Familiar With Technology From Our Dimension 

Queen Of Blood (1966)
John Saxon Takes On A Green Skinned Alien Vampire. Others In This Film Are Basil Rathbone And Dennis Hopper. 

The Bees (1978)
In This Mexican Horror Film Financed By Our Old Pal Roger Corman, John Saxon Takes On Killer Bees In A Film That Where The Studio Got Paid By Warner Bros. To Delay The Film So It Would Not Beat Their Terrible Killer Bee Film Called The Swarm To Release First.

Zombie Death House (1988)
John Saxon Gets Behind The Camera To Direct A Movie Where An Evil Federal Agent Uses A New Drug To Create An Army Of Unbeatable Warriors And He Is Also In Front Of The Camera As You Guessed It, A Villain. 

War Wolves (2009)
Veterans Of The Middle East Has To Deal With Werewolves Who Want One Of The Vets Back As He Was A Former Leader Of Their Pack. John Saxon And Tim Thomerson Are Also Hunting The Werewolves In This Straight To Syfy Film. 

Poll ends September 26 at 12 AM EST. 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Monster Crap Inductee: Attack Of The Crab Monsters (1957)

Monster Crap Inductee: Attack Of The Crab Monsters
Grab Them (Crab)Cakes

To bring an update on the interns, Chester has been adopted and Bella is back with my brother and his family in Georgia.

Ahh Roger Corman…your formula of always saving money on your films while making movies with monsters will always make you full of precious induction material. And thanks to the Summer of the Fans, we will be doing another Roger Corman film, but unlike past ones….this one will be one that Roger Corman directed.

Yeah, our boy Roger Corman was once a director before he became just a producer too. In fact, Roger Corman directed 56 films between the 1955 to 1990, with his first being 1955’s Five Guns West and his last being 1990’s Frankenstein Unbound. But 2 years after his first film, Roger Corman would direct this film about giant killer crabs with a budget of $70,000.

For the cast, Roger would hire regulars for his films that would be in other Roger Corman films (including Mel Welles, who was the flower shop owner in the original Little Shop of Horrors) and only two who would do other things. But with that all done, let’s get to the induction.

We begin this film with…

Title Card With Paintings Of Sea Monsters

We then get a worded exposition about where we are about to go.

We then get a shot of the globe.
Which Is Round, You Dumbass Flat Earthers
Seems Like A Beautiful Night At Sea
Oh Goddammit, Who Forgot To Tell Us That A Nuclear Blast Was Happening Today? Now We’re Radioactive….That Can’t Be Good
Then we have one the actors read bible scripture for some reason and then we go to a crew of people landing on an atoll.
Obviously Not Bikini Atoll Since We Done A Lot Of Nuclear Tests To Make That Island So Unlivable, But One Close By Obviously.
On this boat are all of our characters that have names.
From Left To Right (Faces Only): Dale Brewer, Martha Hunter, Jules Deveroux, Dr. James Carson, & Dr. Karl Weigand
Lt. Quinlan shows up to explain that he feels a lack of welcome and thinks the original missing team here are dead.
He Has A Hat On
Deveroux thinks their souls may still be around and calls out for them, which gets no response.
We Also Now See The Guy In The Back Who Is The Mechanic, Hank Chapman.
Most of the team except Quinlan go to the research buildings as the lieutenant tries to get the men with the rest of the cargo. One man falls into the water.
Okay…..The Water Is No Way That Deep From Where That Guy Fell.
But of course this happens so a crab monster can come by and use his pincer to chop the guy’s head off.
That Guy Who Lost His Head Is Also The Writer Of This Movie, Charles P. Griffith….Who Later On Directed Some Films Like Monster Crap Inductee “Up From The Depths”
We then see our final two characters in this film in Seaman Ron Fellows and Seaman Jack Sommers.

Oh and we see that the island is full of crabs.
Get The Hammer And Butter Ready
Lt. Quinlan tells the rest of the death of Seaman Tate and also doesn’t like it here due to the lack of animal sounds. Weigard has questions about where the last team went since not a piece of anything was found of them. Quinlan says maybe they drowned when the typhoon hit (I guess a typhoon hit at some point). Our cast of characters go back to the beach when an earthquake hits.
Damn You, John Tenta…
Seaman Mac and another guy leave and promise to return in a month. James and Karl think that before the earthquake, there was sounds of explosions so something is going on. Seaman Ron and Seaman Jack ask Hank (who they assume is a scientist) why the team needs them, which Hank quickly responds that he is a mechanic and not a scientist.
I Mean, I Can Make You A Geiger Counter Out Of Bamboo Easy Peasy
He also tells us that radioactive fallout from the first H-Bomb test in Bikini Atoll came this way and the team is here to test the fallout. So everyone on the island, enjoy cancer later on in life. The cast of that terrible film with John Wayne as Genghis Khan could tell you that. Then we see the plane carrying Lt. Quinlan leaving.
It Explodes
A storm hits that night so the attempts to call HQ on what happened to Quinlan don’t get through.
Hank Is Probably Thinking Not Even His Coconut Radio Could Work
Dale says the navy will bring a rescue and Karl says that won’t happen as the navy will assume with the storm that Quinlan stayed. Dale says that they should then look over readings on the island while Hank tries to get in contact with HQ. After reading some of the last guy who was here’s journal (including bits on a 5 foot earthworm that never shows up in this movie), they all decide to head to bed. More explosion sounds and another tremor happens.
As most everyone went to bed, Dale and Karl start hearing crackling sounds. They look outside and see a branch hitting the wall so they go back inside. The next day, Martha goes into the water to collect sea samples. They try to make us think she is in trouble, but when she turns around she sees a ray.
Better Be Careful, One Of Those Things Killed The Crocodile Hunter
Dale shows up after a few minutes of looking around, they come back to dry land with Martha talking about how when she went through she used a black rock as a landmark and then the rock was gone when she went back. Dale then says he saw a big black shape move near her, but couldn’t make out what it was. James and Karl call down to them about finding something and when they all regroup where the seamen are also with them, they show that they have found a new hole on the island that wasn’t there a few hours ago.

They think it is about 50 feet deep. James wants to go down there, but Karl is against it. Dale makes Ron and Jack put lanterns around the pit so no one falls in during night. That night, both Martha and James hear a voice of McClane calling to them, saying that he is in the pit and they need to help him.

By the way, the way the guy’s voice sounds…he doesn’t seem to be in any real danger considering he supposedly survived a plane explosion so I don’t buy this. But they do and they go to the edge of the pit…well, Martha isn’t, but James decides that he is going to find out for sure via a rope down to the pit. Another earthquake knocks out Martha and we only hear James scream while looking at the rope.
Don’t Worry, That Actor Had A Better Role To Do That Same Year So He Had To Leave Quickly
The rest come by to check on the scream and see a knocked out Martha. Martha tells them that James is in the pit and she thinks he may have fallen. They hear his “voice” who says that his leg has been broken and that someone needs to come and help him. Unfortunately for the voice, the rope may be too short so they have to go via the caves and not the pit since they believe they both connect. Jules tells Dale to take Martha back to the house while he, Hank, and Karl look for James. Ron and Jack join the trio in searching for James as well.
While back at the house, Dale investigates some noise and get attacked by a crab claw.

Dale decides smartly to get away from that claw and back with Martha, but the claw cut the power and destroyed the radio so now there is no way they can call for help. Meanwhile in the caves, the search party finds the end of the rope and blood, but no James. They decide that they will not be able to find James in this darkness so they better go find him in the morning.
The next morning, they theorize why the creature did not go and kill Dale and Martha and theorize that it has to do with electricity, which they think the beast is afraid of. Martha says that when they came to this island, there was a mountain nearby and today, it is gone. Karl believes that everything that has happened on this island must be connected since it seems too much of a coincidence for it to be otherwise.
They go back to the caves to see if they can find James when an earthquake happens and Jules loses his hand.

Jules screams and faints, which the rest of the group decides that it is time to leave and get him some recovery. Ron and Jack show up and say they heard them call, which they did not. Back at the house, Jules is not happy about losing his hand as Martha gives him a sedative to help him sleep.
Wait…..I Thought The Power Was Cut, How Do They Still Have Electricity????
Well, that is sadly never explained (not even a backup generator explanation). Back at the tent, Jack and Ron are playing cards when they get attacked from an unforeseen force and their tent is destroyed.

Elsewhere, Jules hears the voice of Ron and Jack, saying they have found James. Jules gets up from his bed and asks where they are, which they respond that they are outside. They then say that he has to be very quiet and without thinking about that for even a second, he goes to the voices that are near the pit. He then gets grabbed by a pincer and killed.
Kinda Deserved This Death, Buddy
Jules’ screams wakes everyone else up and Dale calls out to Jules. The voice of Jules responds and says that he is okay. He says that the screams were from him in his sleep, but of course, they checked his bed and he is not there. Karl asks where he is and the voice says he is in the same place where all of them will be and he will be back tomorrow night. Karl says that Jules is definitely dead, but cannot explain why they all heard his voice.
In the morning, they all find the tent of Jack and Ron destroyed and the two seamen missing. They also realize that most of the dynamite that the two had is missing as well. They then pick up the explosives that are remaining and then wait for the voice of Jules to speak to them again. That night, the voice returns and says he would like all of them to see the remarkable thing that has happened to him…in the caves the connect to the pit. James’ voice also shows up and says that he is doing great as well. They then go while having some equipment prepared for what they find.
In the caves, Dale, Hank, and Karl search with flashlights. Karl yells that they are here and demands that the voices show themselves. They then find what they have been talking to.
Yep….It’s A Crab Monster
They shoot at it and throw explosives at it, but neither of those work. But a cave-in does kill it.

Karl then removes a pincer from the downed creature.
Great, Now You Have Dinner For A Few Days.
Oh and by the way, there is a second one to (which everyone should have guessed since the title says Crab Monsters, not Crab Monster.
Oh No….Mr. Krabs Is Pissed
They set some dynamite and get the hell out of there. Jules’ voice says that they have made a grave mistake as they just destroyed the voice of McClane and James. Back at the house, they do experiments on the pincer.

They conclude that the crab is a freak created by radiation. They also realize that anything the crab eats will be assimilated into it, which is why we can hear the voices of Jules and the others even though the crab monsters ate them. Hank now asks why the crabs are blowing up the island, which is an easy answer in that it gets to them. Oh and they realize that the crab that is still alive is pregnant.
Congrats…..We May Have A Whole Bunch Of Crabmen On The Island
Hank says that they have to kill it, but Karl is hesitant as he would rather capture it and wants to do more experiments on it. Suddenly, Hank finds out that the crab can be disintegrated by electricity.

They suddenly then create a trap that involves electricity, as Hank says this is easier to build than a modern airplane.
Now I Need To Figure Out How To Make Shark Repellant. They Are Obviously A Lot Tougher Than Crab Monsters.
Of course, Karl just wants to trap it and just wants to use it on one of the entrances to trap it, which Martha says they will need to find a new one since the old entrance is now underwater. An explosion than signals to them that the crab is now using the dynamite so they must hurry. Don’t ask me how he is using dynamite, just go along with it.
They send Hank and Martha in to go into one of the caves to set the trap. In the cave, they find the crab sleeping.
Complete With Snoring Sounds
Hank goes to try and take a sample. But of course the crab just so happens to wake up so they better run. Through land and through water, this crab chases them. The crab comes up onto land and Dale tries to shoot at it, knowing that it will just annoy the beast. The crab yells at them that they have wounded him, but he will grow a new one within a day.
The explosions continue and now the idea of capturing the beast is dead. Now Hank has created a generator which they hope to use to call for help, although they only have the receiver working and not the transmitter. We get more talk between Martha and Hank and we see that Hank really has a crush on her, even though Martha is seeing Dale.
Meanwhile, Karl and Dale find out that this island also has oil in it and now Karl wants to see where the oil leads. They split up to follow the two oil streams, but basically it means Karl is a dead man walking. When the crab comes, Dale is able to escape, but Karl ends up setting off the electricity trap and electrocuting himself into a state of temporary paralysis.

Dale, Hank, and Martha try to get to him, but the crab gets there first and Karl is a goner.

They run while Dale lights the stream of oil, hoping to create a new cave-in to kill the beast. \

This of course doesn’t work and the crab telepathically taunts them by saying that the fire will eventually burn out and he’ll be after them again. They get back to the house and Hank sends a Morse code “S.O.S” to the navy. The crab then telepathically says this plan wont work as once the ships get here, this island will be gone, and with that, all evidence of the crab monsters’ existence so they can plan the future invasion of mankind. The three of them get out of the house before it is destroyed by the rising water.

Now the only thing that is left is a small bit of island and the electronic broadcast tower. They got grenades so it is time for a final stand against the monster.

The grenades do not work of course so it seems that it is all over. But Hank has one final plan. Once the crab monster is under the tower, Hank pushes it and himself onto the creature, sacrificing himself and killing the beast.

Both Dale and Martha are sadden by Hank dying, but they know that Hank gave his life to save them. The two hug and the movie just ends there.
Yep….It Is That Abrupt
On a double bill with Not Of This Earth, this film made an estimated $1 million on a $700,000 budget so the film definitely did good at the box office. Richard Garland and Pamela Duncan (who played Dale and Martha) would go onto be in another film together that same year called The Undead and most people might remember Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffing that film, with one riff being used by several people including Linkara.

As far as remaking the film, Jim Wynorski wanted to do so, but Roger Corman actually said no since this one is too close to his heart. And considering films that have been better, have been remade several times over…..that is saying something.
As far as the cast doing actual other things, not much happened to most of them, except for two. Richard H. Cutting (who played James) would have his biggest hit the same year as this film in the hit musical film based on a Broadway play South Pacific, which he played Admiral Keester. If you ever hear me make a joke about everybody needing dames, you can blame this film and this musical number.

But the bigger big break later on would come from Russell Johnson, and if you hadn’t gotten some of the jokes I made with his character, he was in Gilligan’s Island as the trusty Professor.

Unfortunately, as with a film at this time, almost everyone in this film is no longer with us. Richard Garland (who played Dale) had alcoholic problems that made his career fade and in 1969 at the age of 41, he passed away from issues caused by them. Richard H. Cutting (who played James) would pass away in 1972 at the age of 59 from kidney disease and uremia). Lesley Bradley (who played Karl) would die in 1974 at the age of 66. Robin Riley (who played an unnamed seaman) would die in 1983 at the age of 43. Tony Miller (who played Seaman Jack) would pass away in 1999 at the age of 72 from the combination of cancer and Parkinson’s Disease. Pamela Duncan (who played Martha) retired from acting in 1964 and in 2005, she passed away from complications due to a stroke at the age of 80. Mel Welles (who played Jules) would suffer heart failure at the age of 81, which killed him. Beech Dickerson (who did Seaman Ron and operated the crab pincer) would die at the age of 81 in 2005. Charles B. Griffith (the screenwriter and the person who played the seaman who got decapitated) would die in 2007, after suffering a heart attack at the age of 77. Russell Johnson (who played Hank) who die in 2014 at the age of 89 from kidney failure. Ed Nelson (who played Lt. Quinlan) would pass away in 2014 at the age of 85 from congestive heart failure.
My opinion of this film is sort of mixed. As far as watching it goes, it is an easy watch at an hour and seven minutes with enjoyable cheesy effects and some okay acting. However, having to write this induction was sort of a mess since several stuff in this film makes no sense and goes freaking nowhere. But I will say this, it was better this than the film I almost had to induct instead, where I would have to make jokes all the while dealing with the fact that the main actor is a serial rapist (so many tug of the collar moments there).
Now after several movies that were fun, maybe you people may get me and want to see me have some fun with these films. So let's see what enjoyable film you....

AHHHH!!!!! AHHHH!!!! AHHHH!!!! AHHHH!!!! AHHHHH!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!! AHHHH!!!!! AHHHH!!!! AHHHH!!!! AHHHH!!!! AHHHHH!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!! AHHHHH!!!!!