Directed by Allan (PROGRAMMED TO KILL) Holzman, written by Tim (GHOST WARRIOR) Curnen, from a story by Jim (CHOPPING MALL) Wynorski and R.J. (BEASTMASTER 2) Robertson and starring Jesse (SILENT RUNNING) Vint, Dawn Dunlap, June Chadwick, Linden Chiles, Fox Harris and Michael Bowen.
Also known as MUTANT and SUBJECT 20, this Roger Corman-produced ALIEN rip-off is lurid, colourful, exploitative and splattery. It uses some of the sets that were featured in Corman’s GALAXY OF TERROR (1981), a film on which James Cameron was the production designer.
This story concerns space ranger Mike Colby (Vint), who arrives at a research station that is under threat from a mutant organism that has evolved from an experimental life form, known as ‘Subject 20’, that has been created by the group of scientists on planet Xarbia.
With some oddly edited moments and an okay electronic score, this film presents us with a mutated creature that turns its human victims into lumps of self-replicating meaty protein.
Obviously aiming at the young male market, the movie has the two female characters, Tracy Baxter (Dunlap) and Dr. Barbara Glaser (Chadwick), taking saunas & showers… even though there’s a monster on the loose!
Tracy and Barbara even try to communicate with the creature whilst wearing very short bathrobes. This doesn’t end well when one of the women gets transfixed by a spiked tentacle. Ouch!
So is this a classic creature feature? Well, it certainly doesn’t reach the heights of science fiction greatness, that’s for sure, but it manages to be a pretension-free sci-fi-horror flick that is a perfect example of the kind of exploitative, pulpy, gaudy production that got made in the 80s.
And the film definitely scores points for giving us a finale with a difference: we get to see the hero performing DIY surgery on a scientist suffering from cancer, so that he can remove the large tumour… and then feed it to the creature, which then proceeds to vomit itself to death!
Directed by Stephen Traxler, written by Stephen Traxler, starring Alan Blanchard, Judy Motulsky, J.C. Claire, Dennis Falt, Mello Alexandria and Win Condict.
Over in Venice Beach, California, a marine monster starts killing dogs, before going after people, but the local cops doubt that it actually exists. A journalism professor (Blanchard) starts looking into the murders, helped by Dr. John (Claire), and he discovers that the weird critter may actually be linked to nuclear waste…
Also known simply as SLITHIS, this flick was shot in 12 days on a budget of 100,000 dollars. There was a “Slithis Survival Kit” offered at drive ins!
The thing is, this man-in-suit creature feature could have been a 70s schlocky classic if more time had been spent on the monster attacks instead of focusing so much running time on the protagonist’s drawn-out amateur detective work. Oh well. There’s also one of the all-time worst pieces of ham acting courtesy of the actor playing a police lieutenant!
But, you know what? I do kinda like the shambling Slithis monster (played by Win Condict) when it is actually on-screen. The funky fella is a kind of bulky gill-man with suckers in its mouth and a dorsal fin on its humped back.
Director Traxler went on to handle production supervisor duties on movies including WATERWORLD, INVASION USA, GLEAMING THE CUBE and DRACULA’S WIDOW.
This science fiction creature feature was directed by Kenneth G. (THE SPLIT) Crane, written by Louis (I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE) Vittes and Endre Bohem, and stars Jim (THE DAY TIME ENDED) Davis, Robert (I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF) Griffin, Joel Fluellen, Barbara Turner and Eduardo Ciannelli.
The story centres on scientists, armed with grenades, trekking across Africa to find the wasps from a failed rocket experiment… that have turned into mutated giants!
The flick features lots of footslogging scenes. There’s so much walking! These sequences feature the main characters wearing Victorian-era clothing… so that the filmmakers can match the shots with bigger-scale stock footage scenes taken from 1939’s STANLEY AND LIVINGSTONE!
And after all that bloody trudging across Africa… the scientists are actually unable to kill the wasps with their grenades during the finale! Yes, the protagonists fail in their mission! But then… an erupting volcano fortunately intervenes and this wipes the critters out. How very convenient!
The plot for MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL is, as you may have guessed from my comments above, not too hot… but I kinda like the beasties!
These creatures are a bit toy-like, but a certain amount of effort was put into them: stop-motion puppets (built by Wah Chang and animated by Gene Warren), plus a full-scale prop head and pincer, are used to bring the bugs to life on-screen. Actually, the full-scale bug head, with swivelling compound eyes, is quite impressive. So it’s a pity the movie didn’t utilise it more.
MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL was released on December 12th, 1957 in a double bill with HALF HUMAN.
Check out some posters for the movie…
A newspaper ad…
Here’s the pressbook for the MONSTER FROM GREEN and HALF HUMAN double bill…
And here’s the movie theatre herald (ad flyer) for the double bill of MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL and HALF HUMAN…
The chemical fallout from hundreds of rockets used to destroy an asteroid on a collision course with Earth causes all cold-blooded creatures to mutate into monsters of varying sizes. A large percentage of the human population is wiped out and survivors now live in isolated groups in underground colonies. Joel Dawson (Dylan O’Brien) is one of these survivors and, though he tends to freeze in tense situations, he decides to leave the bunker he has lived in for seven years to go on a trek to another colony where his girlfriend Aimee (Jessica Henwick) lives.
This movie is a lot of fun. The tone is light (my wife, who really dislikes monster films, even enjoyed it!), the characters are likeable and the various monsters are interesting and look good onscreen.
The first creature we are introduced to is a giant ‘ant’-monster that has managed to get into Joel’s bunker. Joel freezes when he encounters the beast, but he’s saved by his comrades.
Once Joel starts his quest above ground we are shown the sunny, rewilded world with lots of hints of how the place has changed (clusters of eggs attached to trees, etc). This landscape is nicely realised, I think, and it’s fun to see hive-caves in cliffs, areas of webbing, the carcass of a huge, dead arthropod in the distance and so on: these are all cool details that add to the enjoyment of the film.
When Joel enters some overgrown suburbs he’s assailed by a multi-eyed, toad-like monster that emerges from a stagnant garden pond. He survives the amphibious, long-tongued nightmare with the help of his new companion – a dog named Boy. And I just need to point this out: that dog is a good actor!
Joel, still rather clumsy and inept, next topples into a hole that’s actually a nest of worm creatures called Sand-Gobblers. This time he’s saved by two roaming survivors: tough guy Clyde Dutton (Michael Rooker) and equally tough little girl Minnow.
Joel travels with the pair for a while (they are heading to a mountain range where the colder weather and higher elevation supposedly will mean fewer monsters) and he learns useful survival skills and knowledge. For instance, he is told that Boulder Snails aren’t dangerous (“You can always tell in their eyes”).
Joel finally splits from Minnow & Clyde (because he’s still intent on finding Aimee) and finally becomes a bonafide monster-killer when he has to confront a nasty, long-bodied centipede monster that is intent on eating his dog Boy.
After encountering a friendly robot and some floating, glowing plankton-like organisms that light up the night sky, Joel finds himself in danger again the next day when he’s attacked by a Queen Sand-Gobbler.
Joel deals with this subterranean menace but has to immediately swim across a river that Boy has entered… and he gets covered in small, lamprey-mouthed leech-things that cause him to hallucinate. Luckily Joel remembers there’s a plant that can offset the effects of the leech venom.
Joel eventually reaches Aimee’s colony, where he has to come to terms with the fact that Aimee has moved on emotionally. We get a fun finale with some devious survivors and a massive crab, then Joel decides to head back to his own bunker, realising that the people there are his real friends.
LOVE AND MONSTERS is a feel-good creature feature that is reminiscent of a monster apocalypse version of the undead comedy flick ZOMBIELAND (2009). There’s lots to like, including the way Joel continually jots down notes and drawings of each monster he encounters so that he can create a survival guide.
All the monsters were well envisaged and I especially liked the look of the centipede monster and the sucker-tongued toad critter! The way the Queen Sand-Gobbler rockets beneath the dirt (with a shark-esque ‘fin’ poking above the surface) was nicely done too.
I think there’s a lot of scope for another romp through this monster world, so here’s hoping there’s going to be a sequel. Please!
Devoted to every kind of movie and TV monster, from King Kong to Godzilla, from the Blob to Alien.