The Black Scorpion

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The Black Scorpion

Post  BoG on Thu Mar 04, 2010 2:28 pm



Giant scorpions invade Mexico, threatening stars Richard Denning & Mara Corday (above),
with stop-motion FX by legend Willis O'Brien (best known for King Kong/1933).

This has some slow spots but then there's that central sequence of the two guys (including star Denning) descending into the cavern from hell. Besides the visuals of the giant creatures, the entire sequence is informed by that constant howling of the monsters. A little kid has stowed away "to help" and ends up getting chased by some sandtrap spider-thing. The whole sequence is quite nightmarish and very well done. Denning is a little stiff and too cool here; halfway down, the two men spot a giant scorpion in the cavern wall; Denning doesn't even blink. Time to take a photo; OK, proceed. Giant scorpions don't seem to impress Denning's character one iota.
 

Later on, there are the scenes with the derailed train and all the passengers getting chased by the scorpions. Again, there's a nightmarish tone to these scenes which elevate this above the average big monster picture of the fifties.  Willis O'Brien - ya done did it again. I agree, though, there a couple close-ups of the giant scorpions(s) - drooling - which could have used some trimming. In the plot, there are a bunch of giant scorpions in Mexico but, towards the end, there's just the largest one, maddened by hunger or something. A wild ending. BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10

On the DVD, there's a very intriguing special feature - test footage of 2 sequences. The first is named 'Las Vegas Monster' and is a long one featuring what looks like an enlarged, mutated gibbon trying to get into a shack. Then a truck arrives and the monster attacks the truck. Then the thing attacks a helicopter - all very well done and surprisingly smooth. The 2nd one is called 'Beetlemen Test Footage' and is shorter, but in color. This footage was done by Pete Peterson, the assistant to O'Brien at the time. The footage was discovered in a trunk of Peterson's after his death in the 1960's.


Last edited by BoG on Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:48 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Scorpion Stats

Post  BoG on Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:33 pm

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