Let's talk about cheesy b+w SF and Horror movies

The kind they used to show on TV at 11:30 on a Saturday night. The good, the bad, and the really cheesy. You know the kind I’m talking about. Did that limited format produce any real gems admidst the multitude of stinkers? I think it did. Just today I watched “The 27th Day” and thought it was pretty good. But mostly you’d get “It Conquered the World”

Or, “Invasion of the the Eye Creatures.” (sic)

A couple that I enjoyed as a youngster:

Attack Of The Crab Monsters – Russel Johnson stranded on an island again, without Gilligan this time.

From Hell It Came – Can’t go wrong with a funky walking tree monster!

Tarantula was a winner.

My high school buddy and I smoked some reefer and watched The Monolith Monsters in his parents’ basement. Good stuff.

The Creeping Terror, arguably one of the worst movies ever.

As a kid I thought The Crawling Eye was all kinds of creepy.

Clint Eastwood in a (very) minor role.

I couldn’t have been more than 7 or 8 the first time I saw Invaders From Mars on TV. It’s also the first time I remember saying, “Hey, they have zippers going up their backs!”

I saw that movie on some rainy Saturday afternoon when i was a kid. Caught it again occasionally over the years until the modern era of movies on demand. Seeing an uncut commercial free version of the movie didn’t improve it. Still cool kind of movie for it’s time.

It made it shorter.

It! The Terror From Beyond Space

Really good story (by Jerome Bixby) hampered by less-than-shoestring budget. Alien is almost a rip-off of this film.

I just learned that the first “Creature Features” for the Chicago market aired 50 years ago tonight. A brief perusal of what they showed turned up three different Abbott and Costello films.

I saw that on a Sunday afternoon Creature Feature, on a little-watched UHF channel back when I was maybe 17 or 18. My buddy and I stumbled across it, after we’d done some yardwork at his place, and were ready for lunch.

What a hoot! The cheesy acting, the zippers up their backs, and the actors running down the same tunnel or cave, over and over again, made for a very entertaining afternoon.

I grew up on these movies, back in the 50s. Every Sunday, my best friend’s dad drove us to a movie theater where they showed a sci-fi double feature, complete with cartoons and newsreels, for 25¢. Then he picked us up when the movies were over. And those movies were actually scary to two little kids. Best time ever!

I saw that as a kid, and the scenes of people being sucked into the sand freaked me out. I remembered them, but didn’t recall what movie it was from. It was great to find it a few years ago and re-watch it.

Cheesy? You want cheesy? I give you what my friends and I suffered through, a double-header: C.H.U.D. and Class of 1984.

Those movies were bad individually, and the badness grew exponentially when shown together. Let’s see. C.H.U.D. had monsters coming out of the sewers and Class of 1984 had monstrous people taking over a school.

When it comes to B&W cheese it’s hard to beat the amazing Ape Woman trilogy. Starting with Captive Wild Woman the story of Paula DuPree is told in three head wobbling chapters. Cheap gorilla costumes and fake hair pasted onto the gorgeous, exotic, and mute Acquanetta are a constant assault on the sensibilities in this story of a gorilla transformed into a human woman. Acquanetta appeared in the first sequel Jungle Woman, then is replaced by another actress the final installment, Jungle Captive. These movies are so bad they were difficult to watch. I haven’t seen any of them in their entirety and I’ve had no desire to find out what I’ve missed.

C.H.U.D. at least tried, what with the environmentalist statement.

Probably the best of the genre were “The Incredible Shrinking Man” and “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”(original version). Also, personally fond of “Last Man on Earth” with Vincent Price is a rare “good guy” role and “Fiend Without a Face”.