Relive and thrill to the science fiction movies of the ’50s (through 1962), when jujubes and popcorn with extra butter went arm and arm with mad women (Attack of the 50 Foot Woman), weird teenagers (I Was a Teenage Frankenstein, Teenage Zombies), ill-fated matches (I Married a Monster from Outer Space), victims of scientific experiments (The Fly), and all those things that kept dropping in from outer space (The Blob, The Brain Eaters).
As Warren meticulously and unfailingly points out, special effects were infantile («They fall into a huge spider web which strongly resembles a cargo net,» Earth vs. The Spider), budgets incredibly small («As Jack Moffitt noted, ‘the giant spaceman must be a fugitive from medieval France since, on his chest, he wears a shield bearing the fleur-de-lis. On his back, is an Assyrian bull, indicating he may have had his cleaning, pressing and mending done in Babylon’,» Attack of the 50 Foot Woman). From The Astounding She-Monster, another small budget reminder: «In the first day of filming, the She-Monster bent over to kill one of the characters and ripped (her) suit in the back … so in all subsequent scenes, the She-Monster makes exits and entrances facing the camera. Of course, this means she is walking backward much of the time, but aliens are weird.»
The book is filled with witty, fanatically in-depth critiques, with insider anecdotes. In addition to detailed plot synopses and production data, Warren cites good and bad reviews from the period, then adds his own analysis of how the film stands up after two or three decades. Credits add to and correct other publishedsources. Fantastic photographs, drawings, appendices and index are included.
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