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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Monster > Creature > Science Fiction > Nuclear radiation > Alien > Murder > Thriller > Stalker > Gi > Creepy Creature Double Feature, Volume One: Monster From The Ocean Floor/Serpent Island (all 1954) + Volume Two: The Crawling Hand/The Slime People (all 1963/VCI DVDs)/Crush (2012/Millennium Blu-ray)/

Creepy Creature Double Feature, Volume One: Monster From The Ocean Floor/Serpent Island (all 1954) + Volume Two: The Crawling Hand/The Slime People (all 1963/VCI DVDs)/Crush (2012/Millennium Blu-ray)/Gorgo (1961/VCI Blu-ray)/The Green Slime (1968/MGM/Toei/Warner Archive DVD)/Manborg (2011/Dark Sky DVD)


Picture: C & C-/C/B-/B-*/C+/C     Sound: C & C+/C/B-/B-/C+/C+     Extras: C/C/C/B-/D/C     Films: C/C/C/B-/C+/C-



PLEASE NOTE: The Green Slime is only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner Archive series and can be ordered from the link below.



Here is a decent group of B-movie genre films you should know about…



The first two volumes of the Creepy Creature Double Feature offers bad movies we know are bad and are issued in this spirit.   Volume One offers the uber cheapie Monster From The Ocean Floor (1954) known as Roger Corman’s very first major hit and is still discussed today, including in how bad it was, is and always will be.  It is not very good, but it is amusing and event historical as it is hysterical.  It is worth a look and reminds us how cheap used to be fun.  Extras include a Corman audio interview, text trivia, Original Theatrical Trailer and even Deleted Scenes.


Tom Gries’ Serpent Island (1954) has Sonny Tufts in the same scenario, but in color, with a bad voodoo side story and hilariously sloppy editing and filmmaking at its hackneyed best.  The print here is very bad (more on that below) which hurts the presentation’s fun, but the then $18,000 budget (that would be actually a tenth of the cost to do the same film today on film or even HD) is somewhat ambitious for its time, but the way it takes itself seriously is to be commended, especially because they should all be laughing throughout.  There are sadly no extras.


Volume Two offers two more howlers.  Herbert L. Strock’s The Crawling Hand (1963, known as one of the worst films ever made on many such lists) as an astronaut returns only to have his hand (and really arm, dressed in his astronaut suit sleeve) go on its own and kill people (Oliver Stone could not make this work in The Hand back in 1980, so you know the idea is doomed to be a joke in The Addams Family franchise) but we also get some unintentionally funny moments all over the place.  The hoot of a trailer for Hand is thankfully included.


Robert Hutton’s The Slime People (also 1963) had more governmental happenings as in this wreck about slime-dripping (latex?) monsters a few people left behind in a federal evacuation must face.  The storyline is wacky, script a goof fest and this also has made some of those worst-of-all-time lists.  Yes, it is so bad, you have to see it to believe it.  Again, a good pairing of similarly bad films that should all be in print.


An Original Theatrical Trailer and audio interview with co-star Susan Hart are the extras.



Malik Bader’s Crush (2012) is part of an increasing number of attempts to update the bad, dated 1980s domestic enemy within sexual obsession thriller, but using increasingly younger actors.  This time it is Crystal Reed as the “psycho chick” and Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class) is the sports jock target of her soon to be highly unwanted affections.  The idea is that we are to assume this is for an audience that has never seen this before, but in the digital and home video era, what does that mean anymore?


There are a few moments that are not bad, but this is more thriller than character study, especially at 94 minutes with some of the twists and turns not always believable and that sabotages the few that are plausible.  The makers are probably betting one of these actors will become a big star and the curio factor will eventually make this profitable, but that is a poor excuse for a lack of a good, consistent script.


As well, after 9/11, all the terrorist attacks and that this aspect of the thriller genre is played out, does the yuppie or post-yuppie in jeopardy enemy within thriller really hold any water anymore?  Not enough by a long shot.  The 1980s are over, but too many filmmakers have not gotten the message yet.  Sarah Bolger of TV’s The Tudors also stars.


A Making Of featurette is the only extra here, but you get the impression they were trying to make this work, even if they did not succeed much.



VCI has issued Eugéne Lourié’s Gorgo (1961) in an upgraded Blu-ray that is one of the best surprises on the list.  The ultra-cheap King Brothers made this Godzilla rip-off with shades of King Kong (Gorgo is brought to Piccadilly Square to make money for the capturers) and set it in London, where few of the giant monster films have been set (Konga might be one of the others) that MGM issued, was a moderate hit and has a following, a following that has bought the VCI DVD versions often.


Now on Blu-ray, you can really enjoy and appreciate how good some of the film turned out, that it is better looking than the previous DVDs would have you believe and has William Sylvester among the British cast.  We have see it all before, somewhat, but I like the way this is handled and despite the budget limits, model work is fun, the monster is not the worst we have ever seen (and he is not in CGI) and the script at least knows its way around the genre.


Truth be told, outside of Toho, giant monster movies that work and are memorable are few and far between.  As cheesy as this is, Gorgo holds a special place in that subgenre with King Kong, Ultraman, Super Inframan and Gamera.  Now you can see for yourself why.


Extras repeat an old featurette on the film and an Original Theatrical Trailer, but add some new features including Daniel Griffith’s new documentary on the film entitled Ninth Wonder Of The World!, a Video Comic Book, French Comic Book, Pressbook Gallery, Photo Gallery, Lobby Card/Poster Gallery, Toys & Collectibles Gallery, Production Notes, Restoration Video Clip and Isolated Music Score & Sound Effects track which is a great way to see the film in a different light.



Taking its cue from The Blob (1958, see the Criterion Blu-ray reviewed elsewhere on this site), Kinji Fukasaku’s The Green Slime (1968) was the Japanese Toei Studio’s attempt to compete with rival Toho (those Godzilla films, though we get no giant monster here) as well as what Gerry Anderson was doing on international hit TV series like Thunderbirds! and the success of the original Ultraman was also figuring into the equation.  MGM picked this import up to and backed it, even processing it in their own color format.


With a mix of Japanese, American Hollywood and other actors, a space exploration team is on a planet when one accidentally tracks the title substance back to the ship breaking the usual quarantine procedures.  Bad news for them all because when it comes into contact with blood, giant killer creatures result (not unlike The Slime People above) and the space crew has a war on its hands.


Done almost too seriously, it does not necessarily become funny, so we instead get this oddly cold film at times despite it not being serious science fiction.  The model work is not bad for its time, but any aspect of it that could compete with Toho and other companies was rendered aged that year by MGM’s own release of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey that same year.  Richard Jaeckel and Robert Horton lead the serious men cast, while Bond gal Luciana Paluzzi (Thunderball) becomes the love interest, et al.


The film reminds me of some similar scope and colorful Sci-fi productions of the time (Journey To The Far Side Of The Sun, Quatermass & The Pit, Planet Of The Vampires) that were ambitious productions that might not have been 2001, Alphaville or Fahrenheit 451, but still intended to be big motion pictures (Fantastic Voyage also falls under this category to some extent despite being an all-Hollywood production) even if they did not age well.  Though it eventually becomes a howler, The Green Slime is also worth seeing for the unusual moments that work, the ideas of the future that did and did not happen and the interesting chemistry the co-production and cats brings to it.


There are sadly no extras, though several trailer compilations (including a few we covered) do feature the hilarious original trailer you should see when you can.



Steven Kostanski’s Manborg (2011) has the newly-built title character (Matthew Kennedy) getting together with a band of stereotypical misfits (think every action archetype they can rip off) to take on Count Dragulon (I am not making that up) in a sometimes-comical mash-up of everything you have seen before in the worst possible ways.  Nothing here is fun, original, has much energy, spontaneity, propose or even pace to possibly work.


The lame opening is like a discount RoboCop/Six Million Dollar Man (or even Super Inframan, all reviewed elsewhere on this site) that looks like it will not work, then it starts badly and gets worse and worse and worse and worse and worse and worse.  The actors (guess we’ll call them that) look confused and clueless too often, let alone not being into their roles, what little there is too them.  Music is bad, editing worse and you could do this better at home with PlayDoh or Colorforms if you felt like it.  This is not even good fanboy work.  It is a mess and almost total disaster.  See it at your own risk and to think t=hose old B-movies above are more ambitious by comparison.


Extras have far more effort than the production and include a Short Film, Premiere Q&A, three making of featurettes, two long feature length audio commentary tracks, Bloopers & Interviews.



*The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers on Gorgo and Crush are the best performers here as expected, but still have their own separate issues with Gorgo being restored as well as a King Brothers film can be.  VCI has spent time and money to fix the film up as well as it can be, but even with a few more million dollars, nothing can fix the bad, cheap visual effects (et al) that are inherent to the film.  The result is that color looks as good as it can with a restoration that brings the film mostly back to what a British 3-strip, dye-transfer Technicolor print would look like, a little dark at times, but pretty consistent and a big improvement over the previous DVD editions.  Grain is expected, especially in some of the cheap optical printing from the original film, but I doubt we will see this one looking much better unless a very mint condition print is uncovered somehow.


Crush is an all-HD shoot that has some good shots, but also has a digital look at times, many shots that do not look as natural as they should and a few that are not bad.  Despite being 52 years newer than Gorgo, it cannot look manage to outperform it, meaning we also get too many generic shots.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 color image on Serpent is unfortunately the poorest performer on the list, originally shot in 16mm Kodachrome film stocks, this copy has none of that old format’s great color schemes or classic look, is fading, colors bleed and the print (possibly a poor 35mm blow-up or bad 16mm dupe) just does not show how good this could have looked.  The 1.33 X 1 black and white image on Ocean, plus anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 images on Hand and People, along with the newer anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 images on Manborg tie for second poorest presentations with the older filmed presentations having an excuse for looking bad.


Manborg is simply a soft, sloppy mish-mash of superimposed digital images throughout that looks cheaper than even its cheap intents and is just way too sloppy for its own good.  Visual productions like this show that the makers have a very limited understanding of the genre (we keep seeing them made) and makes the poor material that much harder to view.


That leaves the anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image on Green (shot in real anamorphic 35mm ToeiScope) the best of the DVD presentations with the MetroColor looking good, but not great.  I wondered if it would have had better saturation, richness and range on Blu-ray, but this DVD is just fine for what the film offers and we get a few dated effects shots that also give us more grain, but the model work is first-generation.


The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix on Crush is very narrowly the sonic winner here, but by default and ties with the PCM 2.0 Mono on Gorgo, which is a nice improvement from the old lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono DVDs VCI issued before.  Crush tends to have an inconsistent soundfield, though some moments are for dialogue or silence, but not badly recorded.  Gorgo shows its age, but has been cleaned up and is even a bit on the warm side, so it is a nice upgrade and much better than those DVD versions.


The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on all the Creepy films also show their age with background his and limited fidelity, save Serpent whose sound has somehow survived in a better form.  The lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on Green is a sliver better, but rates the same and has that howler of a title song that wants to be a Tom Jones Thunderball-like theme song.  That leaves the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Manborg with some mixed recording, sloppy editing (Is some of this on purpose?  It shouldn’t be.) and another unsatisfying aspect of that production.



To order The Green Slime, go to this link for it and many more great web-exclusive releases at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


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