The big bugs are BACK at KPR's next Cinema a Go Go - Friday, May 12 7:00pm at historic Liberty Hall in Lawrence, KS. Tickets will be available at the door.
There are giant creepy crawlers galore in The Black Scorpion (1957). Things get buggy in a big way south of the border when volcanic activity unleashes an underground nest of giant, ravenous scorpions on the Mexican countryside! This one pretty closely follows the blueprint of Them! (1954), a classic giant monster movie about enormous ants created by a A-bomb tests in the desert. In fact, the creepy sounds made by the scorpions are the very same sounds used for the giant ants in Them!.
The Black Scorpion does have one thing going for it - special effects supervised by stop-motion animation pioneer Willis O'Brien. O'Brien's the guy who brought the original King Kong to life in 1933. While most of the hands-on work in The Black Scorpion was handled by O'Brien's assistant Pete Peterson, there are still some great effects sequences here.
From the same year as The Black Scorpion comes another big bug epic, The Deadly Mantis. Once again, an exploding volcano is the culprit - freeing a 200-foot praying mantis from the Arctic ice.
Pretty soon, this hungry beastie is chowing down on Eskimo villages and soldiers stationed in remote outposts, then heads south for Washington D.C. (maybe it's planning to run for office).
The Deadly Mantis re-hashes all the usual tropes of big bug movies. The special effects are decent enough, even if the plot's pretty wheezy.
The Deadly Mantis stars two actors soon to achieve stardom on TV - Craig Stevens as Peter Gunn and William Hopper as private investigator Paul Drake on Perry Mason.
Tickets for Cinema a Go Go will be available at the door. Friday, May 12 7:00pm
Retro Cocktail Hour - Kansas Public Radio, 1120 W. 11th St. - The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66044 • (785) 864-4530 • (888) 577-5268