Greetings, my most excellent friends. Ye Olde Dragon here, and I’ve always been a huge fan (and occasional purveyor) of Cinema Du Fromage, or simply put, Cheesy Movies.
Today, June 25th, is the anniversary of three of the CHEESIEST, most amazingly bad movies (let alone imagi-movies) ever made. These are of the so-bad-they’re good, but just to make fun of, ilk.
Fifty-nine years ago today, the world was introduced to the reason you shouldn’t drop acid – you might produce a movie like Phil Tucker’s ROBOT MONSTER (1953). I’m not saying he necessarily DID do drugs, but it would explain a lot of that movie, between the bubble machines, the bad dinosaur stock footage and, of course, the title monster being a gorilla suit with an antenna-ed diving helmet for a head. On top of this, it was in 3D, which was all the rage. See this with someone you love. You’ll need them to comfort you.
In the year 1959, producer Ken Curtis (yes, Festus, from GUNSMOKE) and director Ray Kellogg unleashed a gruesome twosome upon movie audiences, with the double bill of THE GIANT GILA MONSTER and THE KILLER SHREWS. The budgets were nonexistent, and the grandest thing about them were probably their movie posters (see below). In GIANT GILA MONSTER, a normal sized lizard was dragged and pushed thru undersized trees and buildings, sometimes with the hand ‘guiding’ it in view. The hero, a singing tow truck driver (Don Sullivan) is more annoying than dashing, as is his singing and a proclivity for putting his knee up on the nearest available prop. In KILLER SHREWS, the VERY wooden cast (including producer Curtis) headed up by James Best (the future Roscoe P. Coltrane on DUKES OF HAZZARD) are on the run from a bunch of Labrador Retrievers covered in shag rugs and rubber rat tails and fangs. Needless to say both of these gems ended up on MST3K and remain, to this day, two of the most popular episodes. Find out why for yourselves.