Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

A number of people have asked me how I came up with my blog name. "The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" was one of the earliest movies I can remember. I'll never forget when she ripped the roof off a bar where her husband was cavorting with some hussy. I thought I remembered a scene where she grabs a giant hypodermic needle (intended for her) and spears a scientist with it. My friend Joe corrected me--that was from "The Amazing Colossal Man." In ACM, the gigantism is caused by exposure to plutonium. The doomed hero adds about 52 feet to his height, and then wreaks havoc (in Las Vegas!) whilst completely bald and wearing a diaper the size of a football field. It's as if Mahatma Gandhi was supersized and became very, very angry.

I saw these movies, as well as many other sci-fi horror films, in an ever-changing series of rec rooms belong to my parents' friends. My folks went to monthly card parties, and it was not uncommon for children to tag along and retreat, with the host's kids, to the basement to watch TV. I was prone to nightmares, so these Saturday night horror-fests were just the thing to keep me up for weeks. One that really scared the hell out of me was "Teenagers From Outer Space." The movie combined two favorite themes of 50s B films: juvenile deliquency and alien invasion. What's worse than an alien invasion? An invasion of alien juvenile deliquents. The scene that did me in was early in the movie, when a snotty young punk of an alien (named "Thor" according to the entry in Wikipedia) zaps the little dog Sparky with a death ray. It reduces Sparky to a skeleton, which collapses to the ground with a horrifying rattle. I was probably about seven, and skeletons already figured large in my nightmares. It was bad enough that there were people skeletons, but the realization that there were dog skeletons...that was too much. I think my chronic insomnia started about then.

Teenagers From Outer Space at [Link]

UPDATE! Watch Teenagers From Outer Space here. [Link]


Josh said...

Sorry I've been lurking without comment for so long, but here it is. Both "The Amazing Colossal Man" and "Teenagers from Outer Space" were made into amazing episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the early 90s. I'm guessing if you were familiar with them you'd have mentioned it in your post, but they come highly recommended from me. "Teenagers" is available on DVD (and from Netflix) but I couldn't find ACM on DVD (i have an old VHS myself).

The Fifty Foot Blogger said...

Thanks for checking in, Josh! I knew that ACM had been featured on MST3000, but not "Teenagers from Outer Space." I guess the latter is considered to be one of the worse sci-fi movies ever made, right up there with Plan 9 From Outer Space.