Oh shit, is he dead?
I saw this when I was nine years old - just the right age to be totally mind blown by the existential uncaring horror of the paper mache monsters. Same deal with Green Slime (rubber monsters).
Mild spoiler warning… The late sixties campy ending with Darren McGavin escaping, to a rock and roll soundtrack is good fun.
Them! Is a great film, well right up until they show the monsters, but until then the feeling of dread and the unknown nature of what they are fighting is fantastic.
The original Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I know the political message that was intended is kind of yuck, but the film itself if superb.
I have to note that Richard Matheson is one of my favorite authors in the genre and he did great work in books, TV and film.
Yes, once, but I’ve rewatched the original since and so can’t remember the remake. I do recall the replacements for the “mutants,” which were pretty cool.
I got high while watching this movie back in the early 90s and had the faux-profound (or actually profound?) weed realization that the film title is abbreviated “ISM”, which symbolized the isms (Communism, Socialism, Relativism, etc) that were seen as a threat to 1950s American normalcy…
I love movies where people shrink and of the many I’ve seen this one still has the most convincing effects.
Not a movie, but Girl in Landscape explores similar themes.
Afternoon TV sci-fi movie broadcasts blew my child mind, too–The Mole People, The Man with X-ray Eyes, Silent Running. Also grown-up movies that had a lasting impact though I understood them only very imperfectly–The Prime of Miss Jean Brody, The Apartment, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
Also had an important lesson about being thankful that you’re too big for your cat to eat.
Only while you’re still alive.
We’re all kibble in the long run.
I’m thinking cremation.
And having the remains sent to a cheese dairy that makes a decent Morbier.
The Blob absolutely terrified me as kid. From the jump onto the Old Man’s hand— which I could FEEL, I swear— to the horror of it squeezing thru the projector booth at the cinema, it gripped me with mind-numbing terror. For months, I’ll bet years later, I’d scream in my sleep, begging Mummy to not let the Blob get me. It haunted my psyche for the best part of my life.
Now, because I’m a terrible parent who wants to share my experiences with my kids, I sat them down for a viewing of the Blob. Boy wasn’t having it, and gave up halfway thru, shaking with the horror of the previous generation. Girl was totally into it, and sng that adorably incongruous song for weeks after.
For some reason, Vincent Price movies stuck with me for years. The Tingler was the worst of the lot. Not only is it a terrible theme for arachnophobes (worse than The Fly), but there’s also a scene where it terrorizes people in a theater. The ending is pure nightmare fuel for kids, too.
It’s been my experience that just because someone writes a book doesn’t necessarily mean they know what it’s about.
Case-in-point: Ray Bradbury spent most of his life insisting that Fahrenheit 451 was never about censorship, claiming instead that it was about the evils of TV. I think he may have gone to his grave being the only person who actually believed that.
Similarly Steven Spielberg spend decades denying that E.T. was about his parents’ divorce before finally breaking down and admitting to himself and others that yeah, it was pretty obvious in retrospect.
Ah, I love The Tingler. I recall my review from my first film class, wherein I stated that the lead scientist who searches for the tingler was played by Vincent Price, as Harry Reems was only six years old at the time.
I have early memories of several of these classics - 20 Million Miles to Earth, The Amazing Colossal Man, and others, but there’s one that always stuck with me. Growing up in a very rural Midwestern farm town in the early '60’s , a brand new WZZM from Grand Rapids (one of three channels that we could get) used to show horror movies in the late afternoon. One scene - a lump shaped monster searching through a ruined house, and then getting hit with an ax - has always stayed with me. To this day I still remember being riveted in fear but unable to look away. Years later I was able to identify the movie as War of the Worlds, and it is still a favorite. For me, one of the greatest contributions the internet has made is that the movies like this that I love - Earth vs. The Spider, This Island Earth, The Creature From Black Lagoon, and all the others, plus the “new old” movies being made like Attack of the Giant Spider and The Monster of Phantom Lake - are accessible. Even with flying saucers attacking, men shrinking, creatures lurking, and vampires jumping out of my closet, it’s a better reality than the one we’ve got right now.
I’ve never seen “The Incredible Shrinking Man”; my horror and sci-fi fare was rooted in the early-to-mid eighties stuff that was rerun on TV, and the occasional video rental. The movies that stuck with me though, that’s easy enough:
Pinchcliffe Grand Prix - not well known in the states, but it made me think about machines and how you could build them and make them do wonderful things!
Alien - Space can be a very bad place.
The Thing - Just because you don’t know about something doesn’t mean it won’t kill you.
Jaws - Kids can die horribly too, being cute is not a free pass on danger.
Jason and the Argonauts - If a god gives you a warning, you heed the damn warning or get crushed by a giant living statue/whirlpool/armed skeletons/literal rocks.
The Andromeda Strain - The government has resources to deal with crazy weird stuff. They may or may not be successful.
The Time Machine - Inventing a machine that’s fantastic can be very good, or very bad, or very sad.
Demon Seed - Holy hell, that one took years to unpack. My mother still wants to kick the TV programmer who put that one on the Sunday afternoon double-feature.
It’s so weird reading this. I saw this, it’s sound like, about the same age as you. It scared me so much that I measured myself every day to make sure I wasn’t shrinking. I am not sure traumatized would be the right word, but it was on my young mind for a long time. I have never watched the movie since, but have read the Wikipedia on it. I suppose that’s as close the 50-something guy is willing to go. I have never thought of it as a social statement, but it totally makes sense.