50s sci-fi double bill:

What is "50s sci-fi"?

A 50s sci-fi is a science fiction film from the 50s (no points for guessing that). Lots of those films were shown in drive-in theaters where they accompanied 'better' films. Two for the price of one.
Atomic monsters (both human and animals), robots, aliens, prehistoric animals that for some reason weren't that extinct... there aren't many topics the 50s sci-fi didn't touch. (And don't forget it's the fifties: quite some prehistoric monsters were metaphors for the Evil Communism attacking the pure and decent American minds.)
Most of these movies were low budget or even no budget. Which is why you shouldn't look at the things you're not supposed to see (e.g. the strings on many monsters). Thanks to the Badmovies site, I can also offer you two scenes from the movies Im going to discuss. The first of this double bill is The Giant Claw.


Before we start, may I say I hope you've already eaten when you're reading this. Why? Well, after I'd seen this film for the first time, the bird's look and sound made me want to eat chicken after the words 'The End' had appeared on the screen. Don't say you weren't warned.

Fred Sears might have made Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, an okay film and one of the bigger examples for Tim Burton's Mars Attacks, but The Giant Claw is not that giant a film.
Yes, it's a prehistoric monster that flies in the air, attacks planes and cities and occasionally treats itself to a man on a parachute. The beast is giant, except in the scenes where it's considerably smaller, but who needs consistent proportions in a movie? Scary? It could be, but not if the monster looks like this...

Yes, admit it rather looks like a Sesame Street derelict. And by derelict, I mean Big Bird's evil cousin who occasionally has a plane for lunch.


The Killer Shrews was directed by Ray Kellogg (director of another turkey, The Giant Gila Monster) and tells us the story of a scientist who wants to breed giant rats.
Don't ask me why a scientist is on an island trying to breed bigger rats. That doesn't matter. All you need to know is that the rats are as big as dogs. Actually, they are just dogs wearing a rat mask.
Okay, don't trust my saying the sight is hilarious: watch it with your own eyes.

Yet the highlight in the movie is situated at the very end when the good guys try to escape the island walking under barrels so the 'rats' can't bite them. Ever seen an actor pretending to walk under a barrel? Ever seen a movie where the ending involves actors walking under tons? Pity!

And now... a scene. Hrm, I wonder what's behind that door? And I wonder what it sounds like!

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