Saturday, August 10, 2013
The Monolith Monsters
Svengoolie was running "The Mummy's Hand", which I opted to shake off. Instead, the Dread Dormomoo and I are watching Universal's "The Monolith Monsters", one of the finest late Fifties SF thrillers. No A-bombs, no giant bugs; instead a meteor lands in the desert and becomes a force of nature. No malevolent will, just mindless mayhem.
I am reminded of Washington, DC.
The obsidianesque shards begin to grow when wet. The rains descended, the floods came, the rocks grew. They grow into towering crystals until the ground no longer supports them, and they topple, crashing to splintered ruin on the ground. Then those shards begin to grow and spread. Dreadful catastrophe approaches the little desert town of San Angelo.
I cannot recommend this movie enough. It was a refreshingly different concept when made, and remains so today. The visual effects are well done, the miniature work is apparently shot at high speed to give a feeling of weight and menace to the growing monolith crystals, as well as to the solution at the end of the movie.
Les Tremayne is standout in his portrayal of the town's frustrated newspaper publisher. SF stalwart William Schallert has a fun little bit as a meteorologist being pressed as to when the rain will stop.
Here is how I got it.