I love the comforting feel of old black and white sci-fi/horror movies, especially of the low-budget variety. But are these four oldies actually goodies?
ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS (1957)
This is classic old school creature feature goodness and my favorite of these four films.
A group of scientists gets stranded on an island with a giant, big-eyed crab monster that kills them and can then imitate their voices to lure in more victims.
Along with big attacking claws and a very cool crab creature, the movie even has some (black and white) gore, a furry cutie in swim trunks, and the fricking Professor from Gilligan’s Island.
NOT OF THIS EARTH (1957)
Roger Corman’s original Not of This Earth is pretty much the same exact movie as his 1988 remake, which I blog about here. A bloodthirsty alien comes to earth and hires a live-in blonde bombshell nurse to give him daily transfusions. He has one rule—never go in the basement.
The alien’s male assistant isn’t as funny as in the remake, but the alien himself is creepier here—with cool monster eyes. He also teams up with a female alien at the end, plus the main girl has a long chase scene. Interestingly, unlike the overabundance of female victims (and their boobs) in the remake, this one predominantly features male victims.
WAR OF THE SATELLITES (1958)
Roger Corman on a budget, this is a minimalistic alien movie, yet delivers some impressive concepts.
A humorous couple making out in a car witnesses a “shooting star” hit the earth (too bad they’re not in the movie more).
Turns out the shooting star is some sort of rocket with a message for our government printed on the side. See, we’ve been trying to send a manned satellite into space, and the aliens say we need to stop that shit. But persistent buggers that we are, we send a new crew into space on a satellite, including sci-fi/horror icon Dick Miller of Gremlins.
Problem is, the lead scientist has actually become one of the aliens and intends to blow up the satellite.
War of the Satellites can easily be considered a template for the modern alien-on-a-spaceship genre, but there’s nothing too exciting about the film. It’s not nearly as much fun as the two films he made the year before!
CURSE OF THE VOODOO (aka: Voodoo Blood Bath) (1965)
This is really not a horror movie. It’s more a moral message to whities: black man is scary savage, will come get you, must destroy him.
Despite being warned that lions are sacred to a local tribe, a white hunter in Africa kills one. He’s like that dentist dude who killed Cecil the lion! This movie was so ahead of its time. Anyway, this hunter is cursed by one of the tribesmen.
When he gets home, he starts having nightmares about lions and tribesmen, and then begins seeing black men everywhere he goes…even invading his home. His wife researches the curse and finds out he has to go kill the dude who cursed him.
So white man heads back to Africa and runs over black man. Ah, the 1960s. This movie spits in the face of the civil rights movement and the animal rights movement. But I have to confess, the scene with the dead guy jammed all up in the grill of the hunter’s jeep is pretty classic.