Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Allen's Brain reviews "The Black Scorpion"

Okay, so not a review, so much. I just watched this for the first time the other night. It really was pretty decent, special-effects-wise.

Let's see... Mexico. A volcanic eruption releases giant scorpions from their subterranean habitat to destroy villages and eat people and livestock. Can Amercian Richard Denning and Mexican professor Carlos Rivas save the lovely Mara Corday, (veteran of other B-movies, like Tarantula) and her ranch, and Mexico City from gigantic black scorpions? Can you tazer a scorpion to death?

It's 1957, and the giant stop-motion scorpions are by Willis O'Brien, who did the original King Kong. Boy, can they skitter swiftly and move convincingly! And when they strike, I cringed a little. It was pretty unnerving for the time. And for fans of the classic King Kong, one of the creatures from the famously missing spider pit sequence appears in a subterranean scene in Black Scorpion!

Sure, the close-up shots of the monsters' faces are goofy, with their pupilled eyes and drooling giant mandibles flanking a mouth full of saw-tooth teeth (much like the poster art)! Sure, you can read "Lionel" on the side of the train that the scorpion wrecks! Sure, the science is bad! (A live scorpion crawling around inside a bubble in a hunk of obsidian?)

My biggest question is why they decided to go with "Black Scorpion," instead of "Giant Scorpion."

I'd watch this again. Of course, I like old stop-motion flicks. O'Brien and Harryhausen were brilliant.
Keep in mind, I also like giant bug movies, like "THEM!" "Tarantula" and "The Deadly Mantis," or pretty much any other "giant thing (probably atomic in nature) attacks civilization" movies.


EegahInc said...

Love Black Scorpion! And you're right, the attack sequences are actually creepy.

Rocket Scientist said...

One of my favorites! I think the realism hits when they bring the obviously REAL truck of sides of beef to lure the giant scorpions.