Hazel Court passed away Tuesday at the age of 82. She starred in Hammer Studios’ groundbreaking The Curse of Frankenstein as well as several of Roger Corman’s Poe flicks – Premature Burial, The Raven, and The Masque of the Red Death. She also starred in Dr. Blood’s Coffin. Additionally, she did a lot of TV work in things like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Boris Karloff’s Thriller, and The Twilight Zone. Her last role, that I am aware of, was an uncredited part in Omen III: The Final Conflict.
John Hawks points us to something near and dear to my heart. Monster movies and Science. More specifically, The Biology of B-Movie Monsters. Where we learn, for example, that the ants in Them were sporting some mighty serious bling:
These giant bugs have a problem, and I can think of only one way out for them. The joints must be made of some very hard material (to minimize wear) with good mechanical properties, and only one material will fit the bill–diamond. You scoff? Diamond is only carbon, and living things have a lot of experience in manipulating carbon. So why didn’t the characters in Them! notice that the giant insects had diamond-lined joints? In Them!, you’ll remember, the giant ants are finally defeated by burning out their nest with flamethrowers. As I said, diamond is just a form of carbon, and like the more prosaic forms will burn quite nicely. The evidence literally went up in smoke.
I love it!
Actually it was Chad over at Uncertain Principles who mentioned Jurassic Park and Tremors and links to an excellant discussion of the first Tremors movie (at last count there are four Tremors movies). Minor quibble the line uttered by Rhonda “…so maybe they predate the fossil record…” is total BS, but other than that Jennifers’ analysis is on target. What about the second and third movies in the series?
Robert Sterling had a wide and varied career. He played
Topper George Kerby in the 1950’s TV series Topper, was in Showboat and even made a Blondie movie (Blondie Meets the Boss 1939). I am most familiar with him through his turn as Capt. Lee Crane (lucky dude got to smooch on Barbara Eden) in the 1961 movie “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea”
That’s him next to Walter Pidgeon…
Mr. Sterling passed away yesterday at the age of 88.
I had someone land at my site by doing a Google image search on “Karloff, Tea, Cigarette”. Since I had mentioned on my Halloween post that this was one of my favorite pics, here it is:
The picture was taken on the set of Frankenstein during a break in filming. Note Boris Karloff is holding a tea cup in his right hand and Colin Clive has a cigarette in his mouth and is in the process of striking a match. The juxiposition of the image of Frankenstein (brutal, mindless murderer – or at least he is often portrayed that way) with the tea cup is priceless.
Although it sounds pretty cheesy (the science aspects suck), this is actually a first rate movie. Seems to be a low budget film and I don’t recognize any of the stars. It was released in 1953 during the era of the “invaders from outerspace” but veers off in a different direction from most (another exception being “I Married a Creature From Outer Space”).
The movie starts with some communications engineers trying to track down the source of a mysterious disturbance in their radio frequencies. They meet a lady who, along with her husband and a friend, has just been attacked by a strange person wearing what appears to be a deep sea divers outfit. Several other deaths occur and an oil refinery is blown up before it is realized the stranger is, in fact a visitor from outerspace who crashed on earth. From here the movie turns into a sensitive portrait of the alien’s attempt to survive a hostile atmosphere and evade capture. Unfortunately, the protagonists realize too late what is going on and the alien dies (he is unable to survive in earths atmosphere for very long without his breathing apparatus).
Most of the films from this era dealt with horrible alien invaders hellbent on kidnapping earth women for deviant alien sex (one wonders if this would be the alien equivalent of bestiality?) and this film is a notable exception. Anyone with an hour to spare should check it out!
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