Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude

Filthie's Mobile Fortress Of Solitude
Where Great Intelligence Goes To Be Insulted

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Old Fears Faced

When I was a kid I couldn't handle monster shows. Pop had just got a new fangled invention wired into the house called 'cable TV'. He was just jacked about it too: every football game, every hockey game - there wasn't enough beer in the world to be swilled for every game he was going to watch. He told us kids the Americans had all these great  cartoons too - every Saturday!

FFS - the first week we had it - it was Monster Week or something like that. I saw an SF yarn that left me with nightmares for several nights afterward but I never learned the name of it - until the other night.

I don't think it would be a spoiler alert; this film first aired in 1955.  But near the end, the hero clubs the chit out of the monster, escapes with the girl and preps the space ship to take off. And of course, before they can seal the hatches and get away - the monster wakes up and climbs into the space ship to confront the hero again later - just when everyone was heaving a sigh of relief and thinking they were finally safe!

Before you laugh, many of the other little kids on my street saw this too and were horrified by it, HAR HAR HAR! What I don't get is this: that goof in the rubber suit was able to terrify us kids almost to hysterics. And yet today, kids watch stuff like aliens and laugh and joke about it afterwards! I'm 55 and still nearly poop my pants in fear watching stuff like that!

It's a shame because when I watched This Island Earth again... the monster was just a guy in a rubber suit, the actors were all hams and the story was pretty corny. But it did evoke memories of old times when the world was still new and fun and terrifying too and made me smile.

I am hoping the old hands might help me out with another one from Monster Week. In it, the Limeys are digging a subway tunnel in Britain when they unearth a bunch of alien bug creatures that have been dormant for millions of years - and of course they all come alive and start burning London to the ground. Does that ring any bells with any of you? It was in black and white too. I would love to watch that one through the eyes of an adult if I could.

Hope y'all had a great Hump Day.


  1. Just before we got married my wife and I watched Phantasm (1979) at the local movie theater.
    During the film a young female patron in the row behind me asked if I could move my head and when I asked if she had problems seeing, she replied, "No, I don't want to watch any more, if you move your head just a little I won't be able to see the screen!"
    I found the movie unsettling and lost a bit of sleep over the next few days.
    The film set in the London subway is called "Five Million Years to Earth" and was released originally with the title, " "Quatermass and The Pit."

    It is an original color film, I've found out over the years that my memories of films being in black and white were because we didn't have a color television.
    We have watched it a number of times over the years and it holds up very well.

    1. That was a focked up movie. Moral of the story; NEVER pick up a hitchhiker named "Alchemy..."

    2. Thanks John! I will track it down!

  2. Yea I never saw any sense in movies that scared me. Heck I walked out of Alice in Wonderland when I was seven years old and preferred to walk home alone in the dark than to watch the scary parts.

  3. I always liked Dracula and the Frankenstein Monster. The one that scared me was The Mummy, because it couldn't be killed. The Wasp Woman didn't bother me a bit - I figured one good swat with a crowbar would put a severe hitch in her get-along, and said so. Dad thought it was funny, but Mom said, "That isn't a nice way to talk." This precipitated a few comments about 'get-alongs' from Dad, which Mom ignored. I didn't get it. Back then, anyway.

    Them!, the quintessential giant insect film was great, but it got me to thinking about homemade flamethrowers - which Dad nixed with a stern warning about TV, which is fiction, and burning down the house, which is reality.

    Unfortunately, reality intruded with sightings of Bigfoot, the Michigan Monster, and a host of other weird things. Oh well. We grow up, mature, and become old enough to buy our own security system.

  4. Glen,

    Your subway tunnel monster movie would be 'Quatermass and the Pit', AKA 'Five Million Years to Earth', originally a 6-part BBC TV serial, which was then made into a movie. Are you sure it was B&W, as the movie was in colour IIRC (TV serial was B&W).

    1. I thought it was black and white, DJB, but you are correct. It was colour. My old memory is starting to fail me from time to time. ;)