Saturday, May 12, 2012


When I was a kid – like lots of other boys my age – I liked monster movies. Or... perhaps I should say I liked the idea of monster movies. I'm talking about the really old classics like Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, etc. But this was before VCRs, and if you wanted to see one of those old movies your options were limited to catching it on one of only 3 or 4 television stations. The better but more difficult option was "Nightmare Theater" on Friday nights around 11pm or midnight, and I remember seeing "The Mummy" and "Frankenstein vs. The Wolfman" but being too scared to stay up by myself. The easier option was "Science-Fiction Theater" on Saturday afternoons, but the sci-fi movies weren't as prized as the horror films. Nonetheless, I saw more of the sci-fi movies and there were a couple I never forgot from those Saturday afternoons that scared the pants off me!

One had a doctor who gave some kind of injection into this guy's shoulder and later, when it's hurting like crazy, the guy pulls his shirt back and there's an eye growing in the skin! It scared me so bad I never forgot it. I tracked the movie down several years ago and it's called "The Manster." The basic storyline is the mad scientist Dr. Suzuki, experimenting with unsuspecting victims, in this case Larry Stanford, a foreign correspondent working in Japan. I'm not sure what the doctor's goal was, but the reporter spends most of his time drunk and enjoying himself with geisha girls. Soon he gets the eye on his shoulder and the urge to kill someone. Eventually a full head pops out, followed by more killings, police chases and... the plot isn't hard to figure out. Yes, it was a B movie – and it probably wasn't that good when it was new, but it was kind of fun to watch again.

(Click here to see that scary eye scene!)

The other was called "The Monolith Monsters" and I've seen it again since I was a kid and it's actually pretty good. A geologist finds a mysterious black rock in the desert and brings it back to his office. But when water accidentally spills on it during the night it starts to bubble and hiss. The next morning another geologist finds the office wrecked with big black rocks and the first geologist is dead – he's been turned to stone. It turns out that when water contacts these rocks (which are fragments from a meteor) they grow into gigantic black crystals, toppling over and growing again from the fragments and destroying everything in their path... and there's a rainstorm coming! But what scared me so much (and remember I was probably 8 years old) was that I picked up interesting rocks wherever I went – like lots of boys my age – but you can be sure I became very careful about which rocks I picked up after watching that movie!

(If you're really interested and have an hour the window below is the whole movie - the preview/trailer just didn't do it justice.)

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