Tuesday, May 17, 2016
John Agar, a B-movie icon to many of us creature feature fans, is the "hunky country doc" who has a great deal of perplexity in regards to the discovery of the first dead scientist's acromegaly body and won't let it alone although the sheriff gets tired of him questioning Carroll's diagnosis due to its improbability. How does one develop acromegaly so suddenly? Arriving is a biology student, Mara Corday, pretty but brainy, fitting the typical casting choice at the time: bun black hair, genie bottle figure with lucious hips, and sophisticated and chic costuming. Agar and Corday eventually hop in a convertible and speed away, hoping to put some distance between them and the giant spider after it demolishes Carroll's mansion (and eats him!).
Jack Arnold has endured positive revaluation. His The Incredible Shrinking Man and Creature from the Black Lagoon are classics that have left lasting legacies. I think he also left behind fun secondary B-movies like Tarantula (1955) and Return of the Creature for us to enjoy just as Saturday sci-fi darlings with a bucket of popcorn. The big spider eclipsing large swaths of Arizona desert with its imposing shadow, as unlucky town folk stumble upon it or are tending to their livestock when it emerges is just a treat for me, an ever loving monster movie fan itching for the occasional "when abnormally huge earth creatures attack" fix. Agar's pleasant personality and on-screen charm offer an appeal to go along with that. The dialogue can be amusing to listen to as well, particularly when locals react to the spider.
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Dracula's Daughter ('36)
Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)
Mad Love 1935
Doctor Gogol: Did you ever hear of Galatea?
Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: Gala - who? Not wanting a statue of him, are you?
Doctor Gogol: I don't want a statue of Galatea. You see, she was a statue herself. Pygmalion formed her. Out of marble, not wax. And then she came to life in his arms.
Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [calling to his assistant] Start the motor, Henry. There's queer people on the streets of Montmartre at this time of night.
Doctor Gogol: [handing him his card] Here, a hundred francs if you deliver the statue to my house.
Lavin - Waxworks Proprietor: [reading card] It's a go, Dr. Go... gol. First thing in the morning.