|ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS
|Copyright 1957 Allied Artists Pictures Corporation.
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'
- Hank - Russell Johnson! In addition to being the only useful member of the group he hates crabs on general principle. Electrocutes himself and the last crab, thus saving mankind.
- Martha and Dale - Biologists in love, though Martha was just about ready to give Hank a test drive. Her boyfriend is a putz.
- Karl Weigand - Nuclear physicist, first to suspect the existence of mutated monsters, the last to get eaten.
- Jules Deveroux - French botanist who has one hand cut off by falling rocks. He does not even have time to contemplate how that will affect his sex life before a crab eats him.
- James Carson - Geologist and light snack.
- Two Navy Guys - Trained in demolition, though they must have been swabbing the deck when safety was taught. Crab chow.
- The Crab Monsters - Giant mutated land crabs with human eyes, not only are they nearly impossible to kill, the creatures absorb their victim's intellect by consuming the brain and can project voices through metal objects. (At one point an ashtray is speaking in Jules' voice.) Hank kills both of them.
|After a group of scientists studying the effects of nuclear radiation disappears there is only one thing to do, send another group armed with grenades and rifles to replace them. Unfortunately the floatplane, which transported the team, explodes on takeoff and leaves them marooned and their radio rendered temporarily useless by severe weather.
The Researchers begin conducting experiments on the rapidly shrinking atoll, never guessing what horrors await. Perhaps you are wondering why it's shrinking. Well, the mutated crabs are doing it to make killing the humans easier, despite have no problem killing the previous party on a full sized island. I guess they don't like having to chase down their prey. It is even worse than we imagined! In addition to being huge, mutated, man-eating, and nearly indestructible the monsters are fat and lazy to boot! Obviously people and atolls are fattening. Over the period of a few days the crabs destroy several square miles of rock. It is pretty darn impressive, but why did the scientists get worried when the clawed landscapers stole two cases of dynamite? Oh no! They might blow up a large boulder or two! The monsters ate half the atoll already, without the explosives, using dynamite would probably slow them down.
We are informed these were land crabs, and I'm hardly an expert, but all the crustaceans would appear to possibly be Dungeness Crabs. Considering the movie was probably shot along the California coast you have to agree it is a plausible hypothesis. Plus the monsters are always accompanied by strange clacking sounds which I suppose is their limbs and joints. Personally it reminds me of an evening at Red Lobster, listening to a fat guy two tables over attack his dinner with cracker and mallet. You sir, are a truly disgusting human being.
With the island reduced to a small rock outcropping and the last crab monster closing in all seems lost, until Hank climbs the antenna and brings it down on the advancing horror in a shower of sparks. Where the device was still drawing power from is beyond me, but my brain clicked over to "standby" during the opening credits anyway.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:
- Few things get more mileage than stock footage of cold war nuclear tests.
- God is available for voice-overs.
- The wild ocean looks just like an overstocked aquarium.
- Newly formed sinkholes should not have shrubs growing out of their sides.
- Marines have one natural predator: land crabs.
- When demolition experts play poker they use sticks of dynamite instead of money or chips.
- Crabs are mimics and ventriloquists.
- Oil flows uphill. (This is the only explanation possible, they walk downhill looking for the source.)
- Opening Credits - "Roger Corman." That should explain anything you see in the next ninety minutes.
- 5 mins - Maybe setting the nuclear bomb off near an inhabited area was a bad idea. Hope you people can swim.
- 7 mins - Very deep water and just six feet from shore.
- 8 mins - Don't throw grenades at the sea turtles! They are on the edge of extinction and this rocket scientist wants to chuck grenades at them.
- 16 mins - Actually he did say "Earthworm."
- 22 mins - Martha and Dale are perfectly dry, despite just emerging from the water.
- 31 mins - These scientists, some of which are kind of chubby, plan to climb that rope huh?
- 58 mins - Why does it matter where the oil is coming from?
- 63 mins - "One Million BC" earthquake anyone?
|Audio clips in wav format
|Starving actors speak out
|Martha: "Jim, you don't know what's down there!"
James: "What could be other than earth, water, and a few land crabs?"
|Karl: "We are unquestionably on the brink of a great discovery. It is not likely that that discovery will be of a pleasant nature."
|Dale: "That means that the crab can eat his victim's brain, absorbing his mind intact and working."
Karl: "It's as good theory as any other to explain what's happened."
|Crab Monster: "So you have wounded me! I must grow a new claw, well and good, for I can do it in a day, but will you grow new lives when I have taken yours from you?"
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