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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Killer B' Movie Collection


Distributor: Fabulous Films Ltd / Fremantle Media Enterprises
RRP: £59.99
5 030697 039538
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 19 September 2017

At last on Region 2 DVD comes a nine-film collection of Science Fiction Monster B-Movies spanning three decades from the 1940s to the 1960s. Each film is on a separate disc, with a collective running time of 713 minutes. This release from Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media Enterprises incorporates The Blob, The Deadly Mantis, The Creature Walks Among Us, The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes, Reptilicus, The Man From Planet X, The Time Travelers, The Angry Red Planet, and Doctor Cyclops...

The Blob (1958)
A gelatinous blob from outer space terrorises a small town and, as it continues to grow in size proportionate to its consumption, only a teenager and his friends can convince the police of the danger and join forces in an attempt to halt its progress. Not a bad film which these days is more known for being Steve McQueen’s first major role. McQueen just about convinces as a teenager who actually looks much older. This was originally to be the B-feature to I Married a Monster From Outer Space, but preview audiences enjoyed The Blob much better (mainly because more happens in it) and so the billings were reversed.

The Deadly Mantis (1957)
Just like Godzilla, this giant carnivorous praying mantis is revived by atomic testing from its million year natural cryogenic sleep in the frozen Antarctic. After a number of aircraft are brought down in mid-flight, the authorities track it heading for a major city. This is silly, but it’s wonderfully silly. It’s exactly the type of film when you can disengage your brain and just have fun.

The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)
This is the third and final outing for The Creature From the Black Lagoon. In this one the creature is captured, turning the film into more of a moral tale. Is it closer to amphibious reptile or man; and, like Frankenstein, who is more of a monster the creature or the man? For a more detailed study of this film please see my review of August 2015 on this site.

The Beast With 1,000,000 Eyes (1955)
A spaceship lands in the California desert and its presence sends the nearby animals into a rage, so that they attack a local ranch. Roger Corman is undoubtedly best known for his film versions of Edgar Allan Poe horror stories, but he also made a number of low budget movies – this being one of them. He took over the directing duties when he decided he didn’t like what had been done with the film so far. It didn’t even have a beast, so he instructed one to be made.

Reptilicus (1961)
The frozen tail from a giant lizard is discovered and taken to Copenhagen to be studied. However, the rest of the body regenerates from the tail and the giant, acid-spitting creature goes on the rampage. The option to blow it up is not viable as it would split into separate monsters. Another fun movie in the vein of Godzilla. It’s a Denmark and USA co-production. There were two versions: a Danish one and an American English-speaking one.

The Man From Planet X (1951)
On the mist-shrouded coast of Scotland a spacecraft from a newly detected planet hurtles to Earth. Communication seems impossible as the occupant speaks only through tonal notes. However, its intentions appear plain: to display its might by attacking the local villagers. An ultralow budget event made for two buttons and a second-hand comb, but which amuses all the same.

The Time Travelers (1964)
This looping time premise has a bunch of scientists enter a visual representation of the future and fall foul of corrupt officials and aggrieved mutants. This one has shades of The Time Machine about it; stepping into the future and the presence of mutants. I can also see where the idea for Irwin Allen’s Time Tunnel came from. It balances a fine line between ultimate destruction and whimsy.

The Angry Red Planet (1959)
A survivor of a manned expedition to Mars tells the story of what took place there. An alien city, a watching Martian, a giant attacking amoeba, and deadly trees – all tinted a wonderful red/yellow. And you haven’t lived until you’ve seen the rat-bat-spider-crab! This one is definitely a gem.

Doctor Cyclops (1940)
When he no longer needs them, a scientist shrinks his (frankly gullible) colleagues. They must become inventive to fight back in an attempt to put a stop to the Doctor’s work. For such an old film this one is really impressive. The visual effects are years ahead of their time. For a more detailed exploration of this film check out my review from August 2017 on this site.

These films will be considered trash by some people and pure gold by others. I very firmly fall into the latter category. Yes, they are cheap. Yes, they are somewhat ridiculous. But they’re also brilliant, compelling, larger than life, harmless, enjoyable fun. I have recently returned to them; re-watching those I already own and locating some of those I wished to have in my collection. The vast majority of the 1950s B-Movies are only available on Region 1 DVD – which is one of the reasons I originally purchased a region-free player. So this Region 2 collection of nine examples (six from the 1950s) comes as a really pleasant surprise.

It is probably a shrewd move to select colour films for a first collection, but there really is no reason to shy away from the black and white ones. The majority are great, and there are a handful of real classics. I can’t recommend this set enough. May there be many more.

For reviews of 1950s Sci-Fi Monster B-Movies (and plenty of other stuff) visit my new website


Ty Power

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