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The Black Scorpion (1957).

September 19, 2008

The Scoop:
“The Black Scorpion” is another big critter flick, in general pretty emblematic of the era. The one difference is that this time the stop motion creature effects were created by legendary effects master Willis O’Brien, near the end of his career.

A volcanic eruption in Mexico unleashes a plague of giant scorpions on the surrounding villages. The obligatory studly scientist guy (Richard Denning) fights them, accompanied by his Mexican sidekick (Carlos Rivas) and girlfriend (the luscious Mara Corday). Everything goes just about as you expect it would, with a little Anglo paternalism toward the locals along the way. O’Brien’s work, some of the best of his career, provides all the high points; however, because producers Jack Dietz and Frank Melford saw their budget run out too quickly, several effects shots were never finished properly and were replaced with traveling matte silhouettes.

This one is strictly by the book, distinguished only by the high quality of “King Kong” auteur O’Brien’s animation.

Best Line:
“This looks like a job for us!”

Side Note:
The following year, Corday would go on to be a Playboy Playmate.

Companion Viewing:
“Them!” (1954) and “The Beginning of the End” (1957).

B-Movie Central.

Take a Look:
The trailer:

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