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Featuring the classic line, “You can’t drop an atom bomb on Chicago!” Read my full review here.

I was particularly fascinated with this movie when I was a kid. Read my full review here.

Not the greatest of Jack Arnold’s films, but a fun watch. You can read my review here.

The making of one of the ants for the classic sci-fi film, THEM! Read my review here.them1them2them3

discardedsuit

 

This appears to be a discarded alien uniform from Earth vs The Flying Saucers (1956).  An amazing image I’ve not seen before, and so I thought I would share it with you. A special thanks to Steve Niles for sharing on his Tumblr Page.

Julie Adams meets the Gill-Man

Julie Adams meets the Gill-Man

Great things happen when horror aficionados get together. When horror writer, Steve Niles, befriended make-up artist, William Forsche, via Facebook, they realized they shared a love of classic movie monsters and monster make-up. To cement the relationship, Mr. Forsche sent Mr. Niles three discs with thousands of rare, big reference monster photos from his personal collection. Being an extra generous human being, Mr. Forsche allowed Steve to share these images on his Tumblr page, concisely titled, Steve Niles Tumblr.

Many of these images I’ve rarely seen (occasionally coming across one in a horror forum), and some of them I’ve never seen. Because of the rarity of these photos (covering the gamut of horror films from Lon Chaney in Phantom of the Opera, through the Universal horror classics, to Ridley Scott’s Alien), I thought my readers may be interested in seeing them, too. Steve Niles has been publishing the collection daily, up to the daily Tumblr limit. It’s an absolute wealth of material, and Steve promises he has barely scratched the surface. However, I’ve decided to post some of the shots from The Creature movies (Creature from the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature, and The Creature Walks Among Us) as I have a personal fondness for the Gill-Man, and I know many of you love these films as well.

Now, enough words and onto the pictures:

An assortment of potential Gill-Man masks.

An assortment of potential Gill-Man masks.

First Gill-Man head. A more sleek design - never used.

First Gill-Man head. A more sleek design - never used.

Another view of the first Gill-Man head - never used.

Another view of the first Gill-Man head - never used.

Gill-Man with the original Gill-Man head. Also note the odd split chest piece. Actors Julie Adams and Richard Carlson standing off to the side.

Gill-Man with the original Gill-Man head. Also note the odd split chest piece. Actors Julie Adams and Richard Carlson standing off to the side. Obviously not the towering Ben Chapman (who played the Creature on land) in the suit.

Gill-Man with the now familiar head designed by Milicent Patrick. Still, the odd split chest piece, and Richard Carlson and Julie Adams standing to either side.

The Creature poses near a tree. The classic Gill-Man head, but the unfamiliar split-chested suit.

The Creature poses near a tree. The classic Gill-Man head, but the unfamiliar split-chested suit.

The Creature in all his glory.

The Creature in all his glory.

More Gill-Man glory.

More Gill-Man glory.

The Gill-Man, Julie Adams, and Richard Carlson. I love all three of them!

The Gill-Man, Julie Adams, and Richard Carlson. I love all three of them!

Filming Revenge of the Creature. Ricou Browning portrayed the Creature underwater.

Filming Revenge of the Creature. Ricou Browning portrayed the Creature underwater.

Gorgeous Milicent Patrick, designer of the Creature, clowns around. Ms. Patrick also served as eye dressing in many television programs and feature films.

Gorgeous Milicent Patrick, designer of the Creature, clowns around. Ms. Patrick also served as eye dressing in many television programs and feature films.

That’s it for now, but be sure to check out Steve Niles Tumblr for more images, including images from The Creature Walks Among Us, which I’ve neglected here. Also, give a murmur of gratitude to William Forsche, who allowed Steve to share these images with the world. Lord knows that I appreciate it!

If you’ve wondered where I’ve been as of late, I’ve been visiting Jose and his companion,  Stephen (a talking gorilla) at Mephisto’s Castle. I would have been back sooner, but it’s a large estate, with plenty of rooms. It’s easy to get lost. Jose invited me, and he extends a similar offer to you:

Perhaps you’d like to stay a while and have a look around the place for yourself? Be sure to take the lantern with you. These halls can be quite treacherous at times, and you have no idea who (or what) you might literally run into. We have strange guests who like to pop in at odd hours, but pay no mind to them. Just try not to wander too far from the grounds. The leeches out by the lake grow pretty big and there’s no guarantee that the demon trees won’t try to snatch you away.

While I was there, I shared a little story of my own. Check it out, and then get lost in Mephisto’s Castle yourself. You won’t regret it.

If you are like me, you first took notice of Hank Patterson as Fred Ziffel, the owner of Arnold the Pig in the TV series, Green Acres. By the time Mr. Patterson took this role he was almost completely deaf. However, the producers were so impressed by his performance that they allowed a dialog coach to sit off camera and tap his leg with a yardstick to cue him for his lines.

If you don’t remember Hank Patterson from Green Acres, you have certainly seen him in one of his slew of TV performances, including a continuing role in Gunsmoke as Hank Miller the stableman. Or perhaps you remember him from one of his appearances in The Twilight Zone, including one of my favorites, “Kick the Can.”

But here at Exclamation Mark, we remember Hank Patterson for his appearances in a spattering of B movie greats. His most prominent role was probably in 1955’s Tarantula with John Agar and Mara Corday. Patterson played Josh (see image above), the nosy hotel clerk who listened in on Dr. Hasting’s telephone conversations. In 1958, Hank made an appearance in another giant spider flick, Earth vs The Spider. He portrayed Hugo, the high school janitor who let the teenagers into the gymnasium where the over-sized spider was supposed to be dead. Of course rock and roll music rejuvenated the beast and Hugo met a grisly end.

Hank Patterson’s roles in these B science fiction/horror pictures were never significant, but he always added a dash of spice, or a slice of reality. In Monster on the Campus (1958) he played the kindly night watchman; in Beginning of the End (1957), Hank is the father who describes his last visit with his daughter before her entire town was demolished by giant grasshoppers; and in The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), Mr. Patterson is the drunk who utters the line, “Not another drop! Not another drop as long as I live,” when he sees the 60 foot giant.

When he started out, Hank Patterson had aspirations of becoming a serious musician. However, he ended up playing piano in vaudeville shows until he worked his way to California where, fortunately for us, he made his way into the movies and television. Perhaps Hank is not the biggest name in B movie science fiction and horror, but his presence always adds a touch of cantankerous charm.

References:

Hank Patterson at IMDb.

IMDb filmography.

Hank Patterson’s Biography at MSN Movies.

From IMDb:  (Note: I usually take the film description from the DVD/VHS case. However, in this instance, the DVD case is so full of inaccuracies that I thought I’d avoid confusion and use a plot synopsis from IMDb. – MM) Weird events in the life of atomic scientist Cal Meacham (Rex Reason) culminate in an invitation from the strange-looking Exeter (Jeff Morrow) to work at a secret lab in Georgia, supposedly for the cause of world peace. Other scientists are already there, including the gorgeous Ruth Adams (Faith Domergue). They quickly discover there’s more to Exeter than meets the eye. Is he benevolent? It may take an interstellar journey to find out.

Mark says: This Island Earth is one of my favorite science fiction films of the 1950s, and in fact, of all time. It has everything a B movie enthusiast could want, starting with a stellar cast.

Rex Reason (The Creature Walks Among Us) is Dr. Cal Meacham, a capable scientist with a sonorous voice that commands authority. This is my favorite role for Mr. Reason, and unquestionably the role for which he is most remembered. Faith Domergue (It Came from Beneath the Sea, Cult of the Cobra) plays fellow scientist and love interest, Ruth Adams. Ms. Domergue is ideal as the sensuous genius. Finally, Jeff Morrow (Kronos, The Giant Claw) is Exeter, the alien agent on mission from the distant planet, Metaluna. Ironically, Exeter exhibits more human qualities and pathos than our hero, Dr. Meacham. Morrow is a veteran of 1950s B movies, and though I’m not always impressed with his performances, he really shines here as a human sympathizer from outer space.

In smaller roles, Robert Nichols (The Thing from Another World) is Meacham’s assistant, Joe Wilson. Joe’s attitude towards his boss can be characterized as “adoring.”  This aspect was picked up by Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996), with some humorous results. Lance Fuller (The She-Creature, Voodoo Woman) is Brack, Exeter’s assistant, who is less than sympathetic to the human cause. The Monitor of Metaluna is played by Douglas Spencer, who I most fondly remember as Scotty in 1951’s The Thing from Another World. Rounding out the cast is Russell Johnson (Attack of the Crab Monsters, It Came from Outer Space) as Steve Carlson, one of the few people at the alien compound who has not been subjected to the Metalunan “Thought Transformer.”

Besides a great cast, This Island Earth features some stunning visuals and special effects, enhanced with vivid color created by the three-strip Technicolor process. Though simple by today’s standards, the creative matte paintings, colorful sets, and miniatures are some of the best of the era. We are also treated to a cool flying saucer and lots of impressive explosions. For me, the limited technology lends to a heightened sense of fantasy, and I would argue that these effects stand up even today.

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From the DVD case: They came from deep beneath the earth’s surface: grotesque, reptilian creatures covered with slime, forced from their subterranean lair by underground nuclear testing. Setting up an almost impenetrable dome of fog over L.A. to lower the city’s temperature and make the surface more habitable, they’ve emerged from the sewers and cesspools, impervious to attack and mad as hell. Now, Los Angeles has been evacuated, its empty streets shrouded in a permanent twilight. Except for a small band of survivors, the Slime People have the city all to themselves. Holed up in a television station, pilot Tom Gregory, Professor Galbraith, his daughters Lisa and Bonnie, and marine Cal Johnson have been left behind doomed to a fate worse than death, unless they can find a way to penetrate the wall of fog that imprisons them.

Mark says: Robert Hutton (Invisible Invaders, The Colossus of New York) stars in and makes his directorial debut with The Slime People.  Hutton’s inexperience as a director is painfully evident from frame one. Any chance the film had for building suspense is blown in the first few minutes of footage. Without buildup or fanfare, we are introduced to the creatures as they emerge from their sewer lairs. The monsters, undoubtedly, are the highpoint of this movie, but exposing them so early on seems premature and demonstrates poor showmanship. Or perhaps the philosophy was to hook the audience immediately before they could walk out from this talky and mostly non-action filled flick.

Though released in 1963, The Slime People seems more at home with the cheapie science fiction fare of the latter 1950s.  All the elements are here: a cheesy premise, subpar acting, rubber-suited monsters, and an exceedingly low budget. Hutton states the budget for the film was $56,000, with three or four thousand dollars going to the creation of the Slime People costumes alone. Still, he was able to bring the movie in under cost, allowing the excess money to go for advertising. Roger Corman himself couldn’t boast more efficiency. Well, maybe.

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