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September 16, 2019, 02:00:32 AM
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Latest Member: Brightwing 48 Forum  |  Information Exchange  |  Reader Comments  |  The Black Scorpion « previous next »
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Author Topic: The Black Scorpion  (Read 42798 times)
« on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

Let me see. Two guys. A gal. The Professor. And Mary Ann. I mean the military. Strange sounds in the night. Mysterious deaths. Escapees from the country fleeing to a major city and menacing it. Hmmm?! Does that remind anyone of an film Warner Brothers made three years earlier? Specifically, "Them." I guess there were only so many film ideas available at Warner Brothers. Enjoyed, the video of the train wreck though. Enjoy
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

Pancho (The Dog) dies (offscreen*); Juanito lives**. See, there is no Dog.

*Well, he runs off in the direction of the attacking monsters, then the Li'l Bastard gets a look on his face to compete with that of the Li'l Bastard from "The Beast From Hollow Mountain" when he first sees the title critter. There's no dog-scream, but you get the idea if you aren't sound asleep at this point. Wow, traumatized Li'l Bastards were all the rage back then, weren't they?

(**Well, maybe. I'm assuming the scene where Juanito is picked up and hurled back down into the cavern before it is sealed up was edited out. Too bad. It would have been the movie's shining moment.)

Check it out: Juanito actually HELPS the tick-critter get out of its trapdoor-lair to attack him. He sees this rock moving (in a scary cavern full of flesh-eating monsters from Hell), walks up, and helps the monster underneath lift it up. Without Juanito's aid, it would have starved to death in its own nest! Juanito: dumber than a rock.

The tiny scorpion sealed in "amber" (snicker) squeaks like a wounded rodent when it is released. The giant scorpions roar. I'm trying to picture what a giant mouse would sound like.

The slobbering scorpion-head prop is actually effective when the Big Daddy Scorp is fried: the prop's eyes are bugged-out and boiled white. Yikes. Too bad they couldn't show the same thing when General Stupido picks up the "live" projectile. (Look how emotional the guy manning the switch is when he realizes his screw-up cooked his CO. Maybe they should've used a prop-head for him, too.)

Rich with the bouquet of rotting beef carcasses.  

David Fullam
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM »

Black Scorpion may not be the best bug film, but it's lots of fun. Willis O'Brien's effects are quite good. I hear they were done in a rush, so that will explain the re use of scenes and the visible wires on some of the scorpion models. Even so, the scorpions kick some major booty and are fine additions to O'Brien's body of work. Give the producers credit for using stop motion instead of live scorpions. I'll never forget the shock I got when I saw the film for the first time. I'm talking about the scene where the Mexican picked up the live electrode and got killed. Totally unexpected and a wild twist to the climax.

All in all, a great popcorn film.
Black Scorpion
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

Trivia question from the origanal script. What was the name of the cowboy who fell into the cave? Is it:
A) "Splat"
B) "Ahhhh Splat"
C) "Ohhh Shiii... Splat"
D) "Wheeeeeeee Splat"
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

What would the cowboy in the cave's conqueror name be (For instance Attila The Hun)
A) "Eaten by Scorpions"
B) "Cave Pizza"
C) "Look Out Below"
Dr. Maniac
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM »

   If you feel a touch of deja vu while wacthing THE BLACK SCORPION it's because the actors playing little Juanito and the scientist who orders a testtube of tequilla were both in THE BEAST OF HOLLOW MOUNTAIN.
   Willis O' Brien and Pete Petersen's special FX are very good, I doubt that giant mockup of the scorpions head was their idea.  The whole underground sequence and the attack on the train probably induced nightmares in many youngsters who saw this when it was brand new.  The empty travelling matte as the last scorpion wanders through the streets of Mexico City making smorgasbord out of the populace is now legendary but Obie and Pete really did the best they could ith the limited time and money they had (and they had less of both the next year when they did THE GIANT BEHEMOTH!).  Besides there are enough standout effects scenes to more than make up for the shortcomings.  
     Okay so the similarities to THEM are unmistakable but heck both films came from Warner Brothers so what did you expect?  The next time this movie is on do yourself a favour and watch it . . .aw heck, tape it while you're at it.
Green Hornet
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

Three things: first, didn't they keep calling the kid "Juanita"? That's a GIRL's name! Second: the scientist was given a Mendosa light machinegun, but he used it like a SINGLE SHOT rifle. Or maybe they didn't trust him with the REAL thing? And third, the TV series by the same name follows in the movie's tradition of goofy badness.
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM »

I am proud owner of this movie !! Some bad, so improbable, so much fun to watch.

 Random note: The tick thing was actually a saved creation  from the original King Kong, from the infamous deleted (or never filmed, depending on your sources) scene where an explorer gets eaten by a giant spider.
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

A great film.  While "Them" still holds the title for best giant bug flick of the 50's, "Black Scorpion" gives it a good run for the money.  The big downfall here is the plot and characters; when the scorpions are on-screen these concerns can be brushed aside.  The stop-motion effects are great, and the scorpion face closeups work too, IMO.  After all these years, the scene with the guy on the telephone pole still gives me the chills.  Good stuff!
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

Next to "Them!," "The Deadly Mantis," and "Tarantula" this is my favorite giant-bugs-on-the-loose movie from days gone past. I got it for Christmas a couple years back, and for a movie made so long ago, alot of scenes give me the chills, including the scene of Dayazano's (sp?) friend getting pulled from the telephone pole in the scorpion's claws, then stung to death, the discovery of the dead Sergeant Vega with a look of terror on his face, and just about the entire sequence in the scorpions' underground lair.

The fight between a scorpion and the giant worm-centipede thing is brief but well done, and I'm also unusually partial to all the scenes in which the scorpions must interact with vehicles (Dayazano's truck, the train, and the tanks and helicopters in the climax). Usually, the vehicles look too obviously like models, but here they manage to actually look pretty good, especially the train.

And, yes, the trapdoor spider was a leftover from "King Kong," from the cut scene in which, after being shaken from the log bridge by Kong and falling into the canyon, the unfortunate crewmen who managed to survive the fall are attacked and eaten by giant spiders. The scene *was* filmed, but cut because 1930's audiences thought it was too horrific.

All in all, "The Black Scorpion" is not the greatest movie ever made, but is still among my all-time favorites.
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM »

 Yeah, The Black Scorpion is such a great movie. As other reviewers said, the scene where the telephone repairmen are attacked and killed by the scorpions is spine-chilling stuff. But here are some howlers about the scorpion behavior. First is that kinda gross heavy drooling. Sorry, but although it's impressive, would it make any sense for animals that live IN THE DESERT to constantly be losing precious water like that? No. And although I love the idea of scorpions acting as pack hunters more or less, here's how their society really works. I'll make it simple. Scorpions have no society. If a male and female meet, they mate, and the female stores the sperm until later. If they're of the same gender, they always fight. If they're evenly matched, they generally fight to a draw and then just keep away from each other. But if one individual is stronger or larger, it will quite gladly kill and eat its opponent. Also, scorpions actually prefer not to use their venom if they can. Instead, they just crush prey with pincers, only stinging if it's too big or too powerful for that. The giant scorpions would have been able to kill people in their lobster claws easily, without zapping them.
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM »

Great scene with the train crashing into the scorpion... let's talk special effects here.  Look closely and the words "Lionel Lines" appear on the tender behind the locomotive.  Any hope of this scene looking remotely realistic just got blown away by that oversight, heh heh.  Not to mention the tender is facing the wrong way, but I digress.  Has anybody ever seen Godzilla smashing tanks that have the word "Mattel" on their sides?  Hmm...
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM »

This is a great B-Movie. If you like claymation monsters and giant bugs and black and white, you'll get a kick out of it. Willis O'Brien ('King Kong') did the special effects, and for giant scorpions, worms, and ticks, they aren't all that bad. My favorite scene was when the group ventured underground and saw all the giant creatures. It had the same feel as Skull Island.
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM »

I lived; my little puppy died. It has been years and I amm still traumatized. i don'; appreciate this negativismos.
We movie kids have feelings too. Well, keep the welcome travelling matte out for me. Adios!
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2004, 01:00:01 PM »

Great Ray Harryhausen film.andrew, have you ever heard of the beast from 20,000 fathoms?The valley of gwangi?Jason and the argonouts?Clash of the titans?Watch them. All good harryhausen movies.
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