(EDIT: the scheduler thing still isn’t working well. I’m trying my hardest to see what’s going on but until I can figure it out bear with me. There are more movie reviews coming!)
(This entry is part of “Monster May,” a look at classic and iconic monster movies all leading up to the United States premiere of Godzilla on May 16. For more on what’s going on this month, check out our original post here.)
The Monster: The absolutely not so terrifying Nancy Archer.
Average Size: Height, 50 ft; Weight, at least 2 tons.
Claim to fame: Starting a monster trope.
Remember a couple days ago we talked about Ginormica from Monsters vs. Aliens and I said it was basically a homage to old Monster tropes? Well, this is why. Susan’s growth inducing meteorite hit was actually referencing Attack of the 50 Foot Woman scene-by-scene. Now, that’s not to say they plagiarized it, but they took the important concepts and twisted it to make the feared Ginormica.
If you’ve seen MvA, you know the basic premise (sort of). There’s a weird “flaming ball of fire” going around all over the world or something, until it lands in the desert of a deserted part of California. Well little does she know, Nancy Archer (Allison Hayes) is driving furious down the highway when she crashes into this weird ball thing. She understandably gets freaked out, and it only gets better when a giant hairy hand reaches out towards her. She freaks out and heads back into town where she tells the sheriff (George Douglas) and his completely incompetent deputy (Frank Chase). Now they have a couple reasons not to believe her:
1. She has a habit of drinking.
2. She spent time in a mental institution.
3. She said she saw a giant satellite crash to Earth with a giant man inside.
They laugh and tell her to go home, but not before the deputy tells Nancy’s husband, Harry (William Hudson). Oh yea, who happens to be having an affair with some blonde girl named Honey (Yvette Vickers), but doesn’t wanna divorce Nancy because Nancy is rich and if they divorce he doesn’t get any cash.
Well his wonderful girlfriend suggests he go along with this “giant man” thing and then stick her in an institution and run away laughing with his cash. He thinks that’s a good idea, except for OH YEA SHE GREW TO 50 FEET. Because of uh… “Radiation.”
Well the doctors try to keep her sedated, but she of course wakes up, because no one wants to watch an hour long movie of a 50 foot woman sleeping peacefully. In fact, no one wants to watch an hour long movie of ANYONE sleeping.
So she wakes up, realizes her “husband” is totally cheating on her for her money, and then generally breaks things until she finds her husband, grabs him like a rag doll (spoilers, it actually is a rag doll), and then gets fried against some telephone wires. Cue famous final line:
Now this movie is important because it literally started a trope. There are so many “human becomes a giant because of alien science” including: Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader, The Amazing Colossal Man, a 1999 reboot of Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, and Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfold. I’m not even kidding. These are ACTUAL movies that came out based on this one film.
That aside, it’s a classic early B-movie. The plot is pretty dumb, the acting is shoddy at best, and the effects aren’t that great.
If you really really want to do a giant monsters marathon though, you NEED this movie. It’s good for laughs and clocking in at an hour, it’s not gunna take too much time to breeze through it. Basically put: it’s a classic example of “so bad it’s good.”
Rating: Paste. Like I said, it’s not the best movie in the world, but it’s certainly not as bad as say, Sharktopus or anything like that. It’s enjoyable and fun, and like any good B-movie, it’s over quickly enough that you don’t begin to hate yourself for watching it.
(Tomorrow J. J. Abrams takes a spin in at the monster genre… sorta. Come back tomorrow to see what we mean!)