I Like Ham 3: The She-Creature That Challenged Curly Howard From Beyond Space on the Day the World Ended in Yankee Stadium

Well, Steve, it's been a busy weekend. Friday I took the day off and went into the city, where I met up with my cousin, her husband, and his best friend to watch the Red Sox play the Yanks.

Pluses: Everyone was reasonably civil, considering that my cousin and I were obviously Sox Fans.

It was a nice night, and the new Stadium is nice enough.

Minuses: The seats at the Stadium are not designed for people much larger than, shall we say, Christina Ricci.

I had to leave after nine innings (the game went on to 15) in order to catch my train back to the Island. Also, I had to run to catch a connecting train. It's been about 15 years since the Baron did "run" well. And the Sox lost in the end.

All in all, though, a very nice night out.

Elsewise, I watched some old movies on disk, movies of the sort I used to love when I was a kid.

First was the 1956 film, Day the World Ended, one of the better 50's post-nuclear pictures, about a group of survivors who come to a safe zone where a survivalist ex-sailor has prepared a refuge, and where they are all stalked by an atomic mutant with bad intent. This one's actually pretty good - the sciense is rubbish, and the mutant manages to be both goofy and creepy, but it's quite atmospheric and genuinely scary in parts. The deus ex machina ending is a bit of an let-down, but overall it's quite good. Also, it features a young Mike Connors, back when he was still going by "Touch" Connors. Now, that was a name-change for the better!

Then came the 1956 epic, The She-Creature, about an evil hypnotist who regresses a woman to her previous lives, somehow summoning up a prehistoric she-monster that he uses to eliminate people that irritate him. This is an odd picture - somehow, everyone in it comes across as sleazy, not just the bad guys, but the cops as well - even the good-aligned protagonist ("hero" is too strong a word for this guy). The one exception is the rich guy's butler, a comic Scandinavian stereotype whose bow tie pops off when he gets flustered. You will find this guy uproariously funny - by which, of course, I mean "You will want to murder him by the second time he appears on-screen". Keep an eye out for the great Kenneth MacDonald in a bit part as a skeptical scientist.

After that was the 1957 picture, The Monster That Challenged the World, featuring Hans Conreid as a scientist battling giant snails that menace a small portion of California. This one is OK, though the monster isn't really all that world-challenging. It seemed much scarier when I was eight. Now, I just wonder how people managed to let giant snails sneak up on them.

The fourth picture was the 1958 film It! The Terror From Beyond Space. In this one, members of a Mars mission in January 1973 are all killed off except for one survivor. A second mission is sent to rescue the first - they figure the survivor murdered his crewmates, and don't believe his story of a monster. The set out back to Earth, only to discover that something unfriendly has gotten aboard their ship. The cover copy claims that the story-line of this film was lifted by Alien. I don't know as I'd go that far, but there are some similarities. It's nowhere near as good as that, but it's watchable. My favorite line: "What about Bob?"

Also, I picked up The Three Stooges: Curly Classics, which includes A Plumbing We Will Go, Men In Black, Micro-Phonies, Punch Drunks, Three Little Pigskins, and Woman Haters. You know, I was thinking about it, and there's nothing I've enjoyed more consistently longer than the Three Stooges, longer even than Doctor Who, Godzilla, or even comic books. I first saw them over forty years ago, and they still crack me up. Plus now with DVDs you can see how various lines of dialogue translate into other languages.

And so I say: "Retournes-y ou je t'arrache les amygdales!"

Views: 86

Comment by Doctor Hmmm? on August 9, 2009 at 9:06pm
Every one of those movies (except for the Stooges' shorts) sounds vaguely familiar ... but I'm pretty sure I haven't seen any of them. I think perhaps I've just seen too many movies like them.
Comment by Don Collett on August 9, 2009 at 9:41pm
"Retournes-y ou je t'arrache les amygdales!"

No thanks, I'd rather rely on a trained professional. :D
Comment by PowerBook Pete, the Mad Mod on August 9, 2009 at 10:26pm
I know all those Stooges shorts. They are among the best.
Comment by The Baron on August 10, 2009 at 9:09am
Doc, you might remember The She-Creature from the SciFi Channel years of MST3K. Day the World Ended was also MSTed early in the SciFi years, not as part of the regular show, but as part of an attempt to do a "live", viewer-participation event where viewers could IM comments as the film was being shown. As I recall, it was less than satisfactory as there was a bit of a timelag, so that the comments shown on-screen were always a scene behiond the part of the movie being shown.
Comment by Doctor Hmmm? on August 10, 2009 at 10:31pm
That could be it. I watched a lot of MST3K, but much of it only once.


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