TUESDAY, AUGUST 07 2007
Warm and cloudy. The day had a certain dim murk that wasn’t entirely unpleasant, but August seems to be clearing the decks a little earlier than usual. We’ll see. Still perfect, as far as life goes; outside all night, working, the Oak Island Water Feature happily ploshing away. (It ran dry at 11 AM this morning, though.) I hope to have a greater report on the State of Things tomorrow; I’ve finished the great majority of the outside projects to which I had committed, and tomorrow looks like a grand time to relax and woolgather. For now, the oldest of dodges: Screengrab Tuesday!
It’s been a very long while since we’ve had a Cheesy B-Movie Sci-Fi Screengrab Tuesday – probably because I saw all the ones that were available on DVD. Well, a new compilation of “Cult Classics” is out, and it included “Attack of the 50-foot Woman,” a distaff version of the “Amazing Colossal Man.” That latter movie freaked me out as a kid, mostly because the ACM had his face blown down to skull level towards the end, and looked horrible. It’s a nifty enough film in retrospect, although not as good as the "Incredible Shrinking Man" or the underrated “The Fellow Who Stayed the Same Size But Moved Slightly To the Left.” “Woman” has a certain kitschy reputation, mostly from its poster and the supposed feminist (or pre-, or anti-feminist) subtext, as well as the “camp” value that supposedly makes anything bad worth watching. Well, no. It’s a cheap movie, not without its charms, but mostly dreck. I suffered for you. Here's the evidence.
After a scene in which the obligatory TV newsman reports on increased UFO sightings, we meet Nancy on a lonely road, auditioning for a role in “Tonsillitis, the Silent Killer.”
She is at present a 5' 5" foot woman and is not attacking anything except for bottles of gin. She’s also a rich woman with problems aplenty, including the sight of a glowing orb that’s landed right in the road:
Her other problems? Well, while she's out weaving around in a booze-haze encountering luminescent balloons, her husband - a smooth empty ne’er-do-squat - spends his time in a roadhouse with local bar-harlot Yvette Vickers. Not that you can blame him:
Her teeth and eyes were glued together by an atomic blast, but she's still hot:
The next day Nancy persuades her husband to go driving in the countryside to look for the glowing sphere. They find it, which proves she wasn’t hallucinating. Alas, the sphere contains a half-naked giant in a leather vest who goes by the name of Uncredited:
He wants her diamonds. Because no species capable of interstellar travel could reproduce compressed carbon. (Or fix teeth.) He scratches Nancy, which apparently transmits Monsterism. A few days later, she’s a big girl now:
What’s odd about this shot is the hand, of course – it’s so obviously fake you can’t take it seriously for a second. But it seems as if they employed some cheap trompe l'oeil FX here, shooting the hand very close to the lens, with the other action back a distance. If they were going to do that, why not use a real hand?
The nurse is horrified by the way this film has turned out so far:
Seconds later, Giant Nancy awakens and informs both her nurse and husband that Social Security may be bankrupt in forty years!
Later we meet the OG, or Original Giant again, and note two things: he is translucent, since he comes from the planet known only as Goiter IV, and he has just visited one of those mall stores where they trace your ancestry and sell you a fake “Family Crest” based on your name:
Later Nancy gets out of bed dressed in a giant bedsheet and wanders through town. The film loses all credibility here, because she's not trailed by 20 guys trying to look up her sheet. In real life some good ol' boys would pick up a fallen pubic hair, tie it to the bumper, git some cardboard. and dry-ski down Main Street all night. Like the OG, she is transparent and not exactly 50 feet tall and not exactly attacking. She looks like a statue in the parking lot painted with radium:
She's looking for her husband, who has done what most men would do if their rich insane alcoholic grew to 50 feet, namely, go dancing with the county slattern we met above. And she finds him! Heeeeere's Nancy:
She rips off the roof and grabs her husband, then walks into a power line. Bzzzzpt. Finis. Verdict: avoid, unless it's 2 AM, and it comes on TV, and you know you'll be awake for ninety minutes. In which case: don't touch that dial.
Today we have two pages in the Tuesday Funnies section; here you go. And of course buzz.mn right now, and all day long. See you there!