Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Black Scorpion (1957)

Director: Edward Ludwig

Writers: David Duncan, Robert Blees, Paul Yawitz

Composer: Paul Sawtell

Starring: Richard Denning, Mara Carday, Carlos Rivas, Mario Navarro, Carlos Muzquiz, Pascual Garcia Pena, Fanny Schiller, Pedro Galvan, Arturo Martinez

More info: IMDb


Plot: Volcanic activity frees giant scorpions from the earth who wreak havoc in the rural countryside and eventually threaten Mexico City.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Maybe.

Good movie.  Any flick with stop motion animation from Ray Harryhausen is worth watching.  The animation is great.  You've got giant scorpions attacking trains, tanks, helicopters, eating people, and all kinds of great stuff, and there's a lot more stop motion action than what you'd usually get with these giant mutated monster movies.  The practical monsters bits don't hold up so good.  The train attack alone is worth watching.  Scorpions all over the place chasing and eating the fleeing passengers.  The final battle is fantastic with the last and biggest scorpion trying to sting Army tanks and grabbing helicopters out of the sky.  Cool.  The actors do a good job and it's mostly a Mexican cast!  The story isn't as simple as some of this type but it's far from complex.  It satisfies its genre criteria.  The Warner Bros. DVD has some extras.  You get  a 3 minute short featuring an interview with Harryhausen, a 12 min featurette from THE ANIMAL WORLD (1956) with Harryhausen talking about his work with Willis O'Brien (it's a great piece of stop motion dinosaurs in violent action), test footage from LAS VEGAS MONSTER and THE BEETLEMEN (5 minutes) (VERY cool) and trailers for THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, THE BLACK SCORPION, THE VALLEY OF GWANGI and CLASH OF THE TITANS.

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