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Friday, April 3, 2009

1958

This was a high water year for sci-fi movies, and for the decade. 1958 produced more movies than the big year of 1957. Among them were the last two big classics of the decade, The Fly and The Blob. One reason for the increase in the number of films was the rise in sci-fi / horror hybrids. Several 1958 films listed below were a low-budget B films that were thin on the "sci" that catered to the growing popularity of the mosnter/horror genre.

Terror From the Year 5000 -- A misguided scientist with a time-travel machine allows a radioactive mutant woman from the future into 1957.

She Demons -- Shipwreck survivors land on an island on which a Nazi doctor is draining the youth/beauty from a bevy of young beauties in an effort to restore his disfigured wife.

Giant From the Unknown -- A very large and psychopathic Conquistador from the 1500s is awakened and goes on a killing spree.

Attack of the Puppet People -- A lonely toy maker cum inventor creates a shrink ray. With it, he miniaturizes some people to doll size so he'll never be lonely.

The Flame Barrier -- A space probe returns to earth in the jungles of Central America, but has brought a blob-like life form with it. It is killing the natives and expanding.

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman -- An unhappy heiress is touched by a giant alien. She grows to 50' tall, then goes after her philandering husband.

The Astounding She-Monster -- A sliky alien lands in backwoods California to deliver a message. Trouble is, she's met a gang of two-bit criminals and her touch is fatal.

War of the Satellites -- Aliens are preventing Earth's space program from succeeding. Some bold and defiant scientists defy the aliens and overcome alien sabotage to enter outer space.

War of the Colossal Beast -- Sequel to Amazing Colossal Man. Giant Glen Manning is discovered in Mexico and brought to LA. He rampages anew.

Colossus of New York -- A neurosurgeon places the brain of his recently killed scientist son into a 9' tall robot. It is not a happy mix and trouble ensues.

The Space Children -- An alien brain lands near a missile research base. It controls (or enlists) the children to sabotage the project.

The Fly -- Classic starring Vincent Price. Scientist son invents matter transporter but becomes fused with a fly which entered the chamber.

Space Master X-7 -- A satellite returns to earth with strange spoors which grow into a flesh-eating blob, "the blood rust". Scientist's wife travels country, unaware that she's a carrier.

Escapement -- An unscrupulous scientist is brainwashing wealthy patients via a mind-control dream machine. With it, he hopes to control their fortunes.

It: Terror From Beyond Space -- A returning rocket from a Mars mission harbors a monstrous stowaway which is killing off the crew, one by one.

Night of the Blood Beast -- An astronaut returns dead, supposedly, but revives. Inside him are larvae of an alien race. A caretaker alien kills people, but pleads that he's on a peaceful mission.

The Queen of Outer Space -- Earthmen land on Venus to find a civilization of beautiful women. They are ruled by queen. Zsa Zsa Gabor stars as the rebel leader who enlists the men's help.

Earth vs. the Spider -- A giant spider is discovered living in a cave. It is captured, but rampages through town before returning to its cave.

The Brain Eaters -- A mysterious metal cone appears outside town. Citizens begin acting mysteriously, as the cone "creatures" take over their minds.

The Blob -- Classic starring Steve McQueen. Meteorite lands, releasing a blob creature which grows as it consumes flesh. Soon, it's larger than a house.

I Married a Monster From Outer Space -- A young groom is replaced by an alien look-alike the night before his wedding. Others are taken over too as a prelude to an invasion.

The Lost Missile -- A mysterious alien missile comes into low earth orbit. It burns a miles-wide swath of the earth on each orbit. Can it be stopped before all of Earth is incinerated?

Cosmic Monsters -- A greedy scientist inadvertently warps Earth's protective radiation belts allowing harmful rays to mutate insects into deadly giants.

The Trollenberg Terror -- aka "The Crawling Eye." Upon a cloudy Swiss mountain, huge cycloptic aliens take over the minds of the locals to cover up their planned invasion.

Monster From Green Hell -- A rocket with wasps aboard spends too long in space. It lands in central Africa. The wasps have mutated into deadly giants, terrorizing the natives.

Fiend Without A Face -- Mysterious deaths around a special atomic-powered radar base turn out to be caused by invisible brain creatures, spawned by radiation and the mind of man.

From the Earth to the Moon -- Jules Verne's story of a trip to the moon is given a steampunk, but Cold War twist.

Missile to the Moon -- Remake of Catwomen of the Moon ('53), but with more beautiful moon babes and some menacing rock creatures.

Terror Is A Man -- Low-budget paraphrase of H.G.Wells' Island of Dr. Moreau with a hint of Frankenstein.

3 comments:

Mike Scott said...

It was a very good year, indeed! Not too many household names, but lots of interesting little gems like "Fiend Without A Face", "Earth vs. the Spider" and "The Brain Eaters" and besides the two classics you mentioned, I don't think "I Married a Monster From Outer Space" and "The Trollenberg Terror" fall too far behind the standard.

Most wanted on DVD:
"The Space Children" and "Colossus of New York"!

A couple of 1958 movies not mentioned:
"Monster on the Campus" and "The H-Man"

Nightowl said...

Hi Mike,
I had Monster on Campus and H-Man down as 1959. Only later found the discrepancy. I just got done with MoC yesterday. It actually made a good pairing with Hideous Sun Demon.

I agree that Married and Trollenberg are underrated.

Mike Scott said...

Quote: I had Monster on Campus and H-Man down as 1959.

Well, "The H-Man" was released in the US in '59. Did you catch it on TCM last week?