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Not Rated
Copyright 1957 Allied Artists Pictures Corporation.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • 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.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

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.)

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 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 formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note crabmonsters1.wav Martha: "Jim, you don't know what's down there!"
James: "What could be other than earth, water, and a few land crabs?"
Green Music Note crabmonsters2.wav Karl: "We are unquestionably on the brink of a great discovery. It is not likely that that discovery will be of a pleasant nature."
Green Music Note crabmonsters3.wav 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."
Green Music Note crabmonsters4.wav 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?"

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 



 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipcrabmonsters1.mpg - 2.6m
Hank the hero, well almost.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6
Attack of the Crab Monsters
Reply #25. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Dan
I was about 5 or 6 when I saw this film on television.  Scared the p**s out of me.  For a year afterword, clicking noises made my hair stand on end.  I kept expecting crab monster's to visit Skipper and Gilligan on their island!

I saw a bit of the movie a few years ago. Yes, it is so bad it is actually great. What fun to be scared by rubber claws and third string actors!  
Attack of the Crab Monsters
Reply #26. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by kjw
This movie was and is so good that I feel that Roger Corman needs to do an updated version of this film.And out of all of Corman's films,Crab Monsters just happens to be Corman's favorite movie.Since he likes this movie so much,he really needs to update it.Besides with the latest technology,Corman can do alot more with this movie.It can be much more scarier and creepier,and the monsters would no doubt be computerized looking crabs.

If done right this could be even more scarier than the original version of this film.The scene where Mel Welles gets his neck grabbed by the crab was pretty scary for a 1957 movie.And the scene where McLean is under the water and the crab takes his head off is also very creepy for it's time.Can you just imagine this being redone? With all the gore and gut films of today,alot can happen in a newer updated version of this film.Imagine having your stomach's guts removed from a giant man eating crab? Only these newer crabs don't talk or take over their victims personality.These crabs growl like they did in the original as well is in the updated 1988 version of "The Blob".

Only this version of Crab Monsters is to be taken alot more serious than the new Blob of 1988.Blobs are not monsters that growl.They only go over their victims bodies and that's it.I would love to see a newer and updated version of Crab Monsters,but with some blood and guts being taken apart by the crabs.
Attack of the Crab Monsters
Reply #27. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by R. Benzon
I saw Attack Of The Crab Monsters for the first time at a drive-in in Topeka in 1957 or 1958.  I was eight years old.  To this day, I can't look a crab in the face...on a dinner plate, on the beach, in an aquarium, wherever.  God, I love this movie.
Attack of the Crab Monsters
Reply #28. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Lark Logan
I have seen this film countless times when I was a kid growing up in New York.  There was a program on either channels WOR or WPIX called "Million Dollar Movie," which came on in the middle of the night.  Sometimes I would sneak out of bed to see what was on, and that's when I came across the "mind absorbing monsters."

This afteroon, some friends and I were were talking about cult horror movies and I mentioned "Attack of the Crab Monsters."  One of our friends had never heard of it and the rest of us had a good time telling her about how absurd it was, so much so, that it was entertaining.  This evening, I decided to Google it and found this site.  Thanks for posting the video clips.  It brought back fun memories!
Attack of the Crab Monsters
Reply #29. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by A Leaning
I saw this movie when I was a kid visiting my grandparents in Douglaston, NY back in the early 60's. It was a late night movie and my brother and I managed to see it because the room we were put in was downstairs and there just happened to be a TV in it. I was maybe 7 years old and it scared the bajezus out of us. We couldn't sleep afterwards. The wife and I were talking about scary movies and my memories of this flick came back. One Yahoo! search and lookie what I found!!! Thanks for the memories!!
I find crab to be pretty darn tasty!
Attack of the Crab Monsters
Reply #30. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by MV
This is a great film. Fantastic entertainment. A crab with teeth and big round eyes. Brilliant.  I'm sure I heard it snore in the cave.

Foolish, very Foolish !!!
Attack of the Crab Monsters
Reply #31. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Brian
I watched this flick just last night, although, admittedly, my fortitude failed me and I only made it about 75% of the way through before switching to War of the Worlds. Anyway, this movie, although essentially absurd, is so nostalgic that it's like wrapping a warm blanket around mytself when I watch it. My wife can't believe I'm still watching such crap. She doesn't understand that 60's mentality.
Attack of the Crab Monsters
Reply #32. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Robert W.
I thought this was a great movie!  To appreciate this film, you must not try to make a comparison between it and a modern sci-fi flick.  For there is no comparison between a low-budget, low-tech, B & W drive-in movie and the multi-million budget films of today with computer assisted special effects, and top-notch sound and film equipment.

For what it was, a low-budget, low-tech drive-in movie from the late 1950's, it is actually pretty good.  I suspect this film, like other Roger Corman offerings, is going to divide people down the middle. Half will ridicule it, and half will like it.  Either enjoy it for what it is, and what it has to offer, or if you don't think you could find enjoyment from ninety-minutes of a corny, dated, B & W low-budget horror film, then spare yourself and just skip it and fast-forward yourself to a more recent sci-fi movie.
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