Monday, May 8, 2017

Return of The Cult Classics: Attack of the Crab Monsters

Welcome one and all back to the page. For those of you who read over last week's Italian Exploitation Week...let's just say I do not want to have to give further examples of such for a bit. No more requests for that for a few, please. This time around I thought it would be fun to dust off these particular films and give them a view. I speak of..THE RETURN OF CULT CLASSICS!!!!

That being said I checking out films that have been requested or some that have been deemed too obscure for the readers of younger ilk and will spark memories for those of you that are 40+. Today's cinema treat hails from an old friend of ours on Rotten Reelz Reviews, Roger Corman and you cannot get more cult than the man with the nose for talent. Howabout a movie with atomic mutations? Tough, that is the film of the day. Lump it. This is Attack of the Crab Monsters.

Get me, I'm attacking the credits.

A gathering of scientists are off exploring a remote island (Santa Catalina Island in the Channel Islands in Cali) to observe, record and document the effects of nuclear weapons testing on the island's fauna and flora. Well this is the fifties, so bound the be radioactive giant monsters one would think. Trolled in via boat and seaplane, our team of fact finders is lead by Dr.Karl Weigand (Leslie Bradley of The Crimson Pirate, Attack of the Crab Monsters, Tarzan and the Trappers and Teenage Cave Man). His team consists of: geologist James Carson (Richard H Cutting of Magnificent Obsession, South Pacific, The Monolith Monsters, Attack of the Crab Monsters, Wagon Train and The Green Hornet),biologists Jules Deveroux (Mel Welles of Abbot and Costello Meet the Mummy, The Little Shop of Horrors, Wolfen, Chopping Mall, Lazer Tag Academy, Commando Squad and Invasion Earth: The Aliens Are Here) Martha Hunter (Pamela Duncan of The Ring, Fireside Theater, Dragonfly Squadron, Return from the Sea, The Undead, Blondie and My Gun is Quick) Dale Drewer (Richard Garland of Dragnet, Friendly Persuasion, Attack of the Crab Monsters, The Undead, My Gun is Quick, Lassie, 26 Men and Cheyenne) and technician/handyman Hank Chapman (Russell Johnson of This Island Earth, Lux Video Theatre, Badman's Country, Black Saddle, Gilgan's Island, Gunsmoke and The Horror at 37,000 Feet)

Staaaaaay..on those results, dear.

No sooner have they landed on the island that earthquakes start sheering the island down and one of the sailors falls in the water and he dies. Shocker. Dale and Martha go for a dip behind the rocks when Martha hears a voice from the distance sounding like an old colleague. One believed to be dead from the previous expedition. She and Dale explore a cave (That is the fricking Bronson Caves of Bronson Canyon of Griffith Park!!!) to find two energy based, giant crabs that seem to have the intelligence of their former friend.

Folks, back in the boat. This is Dinosaur Island.

Yup, crabs that hunger for brains and assimilation. Giant Zombie Borgs...that are crabs. Immune to conventional firearms (because every expedition needs guns and rifles) our plucky collective have to thing fast on how to handle these creatures before there is no more island from them to hatch a scheme to leave. What if the crabs mate? Will their brood be able to get to the mainland, scuttling from the bottom of the ocean?

Interesting side note is this film was released to the drive-ins as a double feature along with the original Not of This Earth. VHS, LaserDisc, DVD and even Blu-Ray have done the very same thing. Well DVD usually lumps the two movies in with some other Corman flicks but those are the less than official releases. Standard Black & White 35 mm, this film had a budget of 70,000 and the effects for the creatures are really not bad for the time period. The print was so bad I had to take screen captures from one of the many trailers I found on Youtube.

Actor/Producer Beach Dickerson was the crab operator and it was said that Jack Nicholson was bored being nothing more than a gaffer at the time also was a crab wrangler as well. One could say The Irishman has come along way since that. You gotta feel for Corman not being able to afford have Jack back on the sets. Many of you MST3K fans will recognize Richard Garland as Pendragon and Pamela Duncan as Diane/Helene from Season 8 of the title, The Undead. STAAAAAAAYYY!!!!!

I still feel a sonic screwdriver made of coconuts is the answer.