Every weekend we're watching movies together...whether you're in Pennsylvania USA, or Sydney Australia. It's a throwback! Back to the days when you had the anticipation for waiting till the weekend to see the classic horror or science fiction film that was listed in the TV Guide. The plan is to watch a movie at 7:30PM on Saturday night in your own time zone. Or, if you can't Saturday night...anytime during the weekend. Then, we'll all get together and e-mail our thoughts on the film...a few paragraphs...or simply a sentence if you'd like. They after-viewing reviews appear on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.

Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Carteret, New Jeresey.

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Creepy Classics Spotlight Movie - THE MONOLITH MONSTERS

Every week, readers here are selecting a movie to view...then we all try to watch it together utilizing our DVD/video library. This past Saturday night, many of us watched THE MONOLITH MONSTERS (1957). This was suggested by by Kirk Smith, Twin Falls, Idaho. Details about movie nights to come are HERE. Please include your name and location after your comments, so we can see how we're all joining together from diffeent locals around the globe!

I was at the CHILLER THEATRE Expo in Parsipany, New Jersey over the weekend and viewed this one with Creepy Classics' friends Mike Adams, Bob Pellegrino (phone's for you), Dan Weber, and Leonard Hayhurst. This movie is an odd one....remembered because of how different the "monsters" are in this. Often referred to as the "big rocks" movie. A meteor falls to earth (footage cribbed from IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE) and its fragments have the bizarre property of growing to behemoth proportions when in contact with water. Of course, the rain comes. A bit talky at times, but cleanly shot by the ace Universal production team. What are your notes, or thoughts on it? Keep 'em brief and remember we're not in a classroom...just a bunch of friends hanging out watching movies! -Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA.

Hey Synchers!
Welcome to my commentary on my second lifetime viewing of Monolith Monsters. It has been many moons since I saw this as a child, but I do remember seeing and liking it, but do not remember where or when. I am happy to be reacquainted with it with you guys, so here it goes.
This flick starts out with some cool music!
Les Tremayne! One of my favorite character actors, featured in many great George Pal flicks.
Very interesting and original concept - monster rocks!!!
I love the music, adds life to otherwise mundane scenes. Overdone? Yeah, but I love it!
Cool effect on that growing rock.
The Incredible Shrinking Man! I don´t remember him being in anything else I have ever seen.
Creepy, Ben is a statue. Shades of Medusa!
Negative cleavage on every mineral. Positive extinction point. Scriptwriters mumbo jumbo!
The little girl is turning to stone! That is wild, will they get to the hospital in time, will it help???
It looks lifeless...doesn´t all dust and rock look lifeless????
Silicon makes us flexible? They were really stretching this to explain the content!
Rain! Now the action is going to begin!
I can´t believe that all that time and they haven´t thought to put some water on it. Well I guess the rain will open their eyes!
Coffee! Thats the ticket.
William Schallert! Another great from Star Trek, Get Smart, just saw him in Tobor the Great. He is here uncredited.
Paperboys to the rescue!
Cool effects! The Monolith Monsters are neat!
Combine the ingredients! Thats the ticket...duh!!!
On blowing up the dam...You can´t do that, it is privately owned!!!
Cool shot over the shoulder from the town looking to the Monolith Monsters. Great effect!
Great Effects!
Group hug!
Don´t blow up the dam...unless you are sure it will work ...Ha Ha Ha what a joker!!!
I thought this was a swell movie. Cool effects, original idea, never done before or since. Some creepy moments too with the petrified people. A lot of goofy non-science for some laughs, that´s part of the fun. I thought it had some great music too.
See you next week for Target Earth!
Ken Blose, Sonora, Mexico

What a great way to spend 77 minutes!!! Grant Williams and the always sexy Lola Albright try and find a way to stop towers of giant rocks from smashing a small desert town and eventually taking over the world.
This one is a great treat and while it isn't a Universal big bug movie it is a Universal 50's sci-fi classic with a very unique monster.
The story moves at lightning speed and is very tight. This is my second favorite Universal monster film next to Tarantula.
Excellent choice for viewing and a perfect Saturday afternoon flick.
Kevin Coon, Twin Falls, ID

Hi all,
My brother and I loved this choice for this week's classic movie.Monolith Monsters was one of those smaller pictures that seemed to get overlooked, but had some great ideas and some pretty nifty special effects. First of all we loved the idea itself. I think this may have been one of, if not the first "ecological disaster" movies ever made. The idea that the most dangerous threat from outer space was an out-of-control reaction between an alien mineral and liquid water was GREAT, and easily matched the "hard" science fiction that was being written at that time.
The portentious opening narration by Paul Frees really set the stage, and the movie didn't really slow down from that point on. Grant Williams and Lola Albright were solid as the romatic leads, but Les Tremayne stole the show as the somewhat whiney newspaper editor looking for a "scoop". The REAL stars of the picture were the monoloths themselves, who were announced by the second-greatest stinger since the Creature from the Black Lagoon. No surprise that Jack Arnold co-wrote this one!
Our favorite scenes-when Dave Miller and Professor Flanders take the drive out into the desert during the rain storm and first hear, then see the giant monoliths growing and crashing down-very spooky!! Also, when the monoloths crash down onto the farm buildings; really nice use of scale models to show what a threat the monoloths really were!
Finally, the effects, credited to Clifford Stine, really stood out. A great 50's film and a great watch at any time!
Can't wait for the next picture!
-Paul Speidel, Winnipeg, Canada

The Monolith Monsters is often seen as the last gasp of the Universal set of sci-fi films. I feel that this film, along with Tarantula, stands as one of the best of the Universal sci-fi set.

As with Tarantula, the secondary story of The Monolith Monsters is just as interesting as the main one. However, that's where the similarities between the two movies end. In fact, The Monolith Monsters stands alone as an anomaly among the sci-fi films made at that time. First, there are no living antagonists alien or otherwise in the film. The monoliths themselves are inanimate objects. Secondly, the love interest is kept to a minimum. When it did appear, it felt genuine and not cloying or sugary. Lastly, and more importantly, the viewer cares about the characters. No matter how strange the premise of a film is, if you establish a bond with the characters, then you establish a bond with the film.

The premise of the film, on the surface, sounds kind of goofy. Several factors, however, keep it from slipping into goofiness. One factor is the actors involved. I really like the principal actors involved. They are Grant Williams, Lola Albright, and Les Tremayne. After his fine work in the film The Incredible Shrinking Man, he turns around and gives another fine performance in The Monolith Monsters. He comes across believable in the film and, more importantly, likeable.

His relationship with Lola Albright in the film also comes across as believable. Within the confines of the film, the viewer actually believes that they are actually in love. Another reason for my enjoyment of this film is Les Tremayne. He has starred in many sci-fi films including War Of The Worlds and The Monster Of Piedras Blancas. I best remembered him in a short-lived series he did in the seventies called Shazam. He played a character called Mentor. In The Monolith Monsters he played a newspaper owner who looked and sounded like a lifelong resident of the desert community.

Another interesting aspect of this film involve my two favorite sequences. None of them involve the monoliths themselves. One is where Grant Williams and a professor, played by Trevor Bardette, try to figure out how the rocks grow. I like how they volley back and forth different hypotheses until they figure it out. The same can also be said for the sequence involving Grant williams and Trevor Bardette trying to figure out how to stop the growth. I've seen this film several times, but I'm still sucked in to the suspense in those two sequences.
The special effects for The Monolith Monsters were done by Clifford Stine. His work prior to this film include Tarantula and This Island Earth. He does a fine job here. There is some really great model work and wonderful scenes of destruction. Special note must also be paid to the sound of the rocks crashing onto the homes. With this recent viewing, I noticed something I never paid attention to before. There is a scene, lasting only a few seconds, showing the entire town and the monoliths crashing towards it. It appears towards the end of the film. It melds several elements(live, matte shots, and etc.) into one great shot.

Earlier, I stated that this film was the last gasp of the Universal sci-fi set of films. Essentially, it is. The Monolith Monsters was the last time Universal kept it's heart beating in a sci-fi film.
Kirk Smith
Manito, Illinois

This week's movie was extra special because I too watched it with the Creepy Classics gang at Chiller. The only problem was that whenever the Monolith Monsters would come crashing down Bob Pellegrino would jump up yelling " my pool my pool!!!!" I can only imagine that he was having flashbacks to last winter when his neighbor's tree was blown down, crushing his pool. We had to constantly restrain him, and reassure him that his pool was fine. Other than that, I have to say that this story always struck me as being fairly original in it's premise. Universal did a pretty good job making a film about growing rocks watchable. Also it's always a pleasure to see Les Tremayne. I especially like when he rallies the paperboys to save the day! Looking forward to Target Earth this Saturday. I haven't seen that one in a while. Have a great week fellow viewers and meet me in front of the tv on Saturday night.
Michael Adams, Carteret, NJ

Ron & Creepy Classics Fans;
Saturday 04/17/10 THE MONOLITH MONSTERS (1957) Universal, John Sherwood (Dir). Rating Three***Stars. Actor Grant Williams starred in two (2) of the 'Classic' Universal Sci-Fi features of the 1950s'. THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957) released in April (same rating) and this one released in December. Both featured effective SFX, a strong supporting cast, with a intelligent script.
THE MONOLITH MONSTERS (TMM) features one of the most creative and unusual 'Monsters' or better yet natural threats ever conceived. A object, dormant and inanimate that becomes a relentless force when activated by the simple addition of water. The significance of this film is showing how a major studio, that provides a adequate budget then lets loose it's creative staff can create a minor masterpiece. TMM shows a sense of sophistication.
ROBERT, Chicago, Illinois

The core concept is less sensational, but more plausible, than other sci-fi thrillers of the era.  Although the idea of giant silica crystals growing out of control is a wonky concept from a scientific point of view, it feels a lot more credible that the threat of giant spiders, scorpions or grasshoppers seen in other films.

The film has great a pace.  It moves quickly and the tension builds steadily.  All the technical attributes (cinematography, music, special effects) get the job done without screaming for attention.  The shock scenes are simple but effective.  The moments when we see Ben, the geologist, frozen as stiff as a statue in his office or Ginny walking zombie-like amidst the ruins of her house really stick with you.  In fact, “simple but effective” might be the best way to describe this film.

It’s always nice to see familiar faces like Grant Williams, Les Tremayne and Bill Schallert.  Williams had a very likable screen persona.  It’s a pity that his screen career didn’t go further.

One the debit side of the equation, there’s a hint of formula that is starting to creep into the script.  The narration in the film’s opening moments echoes the science lecture at the beginning of WAR OF THE WORLDS.  The use of a little girl in peril reminds me of a similar ploy in THEM. And the “blow up the dam to save the town” finale calls to mind the ending of TARANTULA

Today, the scenes of Ginny in the iron lung seem almost Disney-like in their appeal for audience sympathy.  However, I imagine that they had a whole different meaning for audiences of the 1950s, when the threat of polio was still a recent memory in the minds of the general public.

Other assorted thoughts:

The meteor explosion in the opening reel looks like it might have been stock footage from IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE.

If filmed a few years earlier, this film would have been a good candidate for 3D.  Seeing the silica towers crashing down into the face of the audience could have been a real “wow!” moment in that format.

I’m not sure if THE MONOLITH MONSTERS is the most appropriate title for this film.  A title like this probably consigned it to the Saturday afternoon matinees right out of the gate.  A movie as well crafted as this deserves a better title, although I can’t think of one off the top of my head.

I’m glad that the silica meteor landed in the desert and not in my backyard.  If it had, my county would have been long gone a few weeks back.

All in all, I find THE MONOLITH MONSTERS to be a minor but effective film.  For me, this one holds up better than many of the better known sci-fi films of that era.

Favorite quote – “The desert’s full of things that don’t belong.”

-Steven Thornton, LaSalle, Michigan


"I would give the following letter a round of applause, but my hand has turned to stone thanks to THE MONOLITH MONSTERS."

This past weekend, since I didn't have a copy of Monolith Monsters here
at home, I thought i would go to the video shop and rent one.  I went in
and the clerk said to me when I told him the movie I wanted, "What!  You
must be crazy.  You must have ROCK's in your head".  I went outside
and was feeling depressed since they didn't have the movie.  So I decided
to go to the nearest tavern and get STONEd.  Then I realized that I don't
drink and decided to do something a little more BOULDER. I went down to
the nearest pond near my house and decided to throw some PEBBLES
across the water like I used to do when I was a kid.  I tired of this immediately.
I then went home and a friend of mine had called and left a message on my
answering machine.  He wanted to know if I had seen where they were going
to remake the MONOLITH MONSTERS.  What!  The producer must have ROCKS
in his head.
Larry B., Okalahoma City, OK

The Monolith Monsters, what a great choice for a Saturday night
viewing. I really like this film. The copy I watched was on the
Universal laser-disc set - "The Golden Age of Science Fiction
Thrillers Volume II. A very unique idea for a monster movie and the
acting was pretty good as well.
Mickey Blanchard
Hopewell, Va.

Hello Ron and All Other Fellow Loyal Creepy Classics WebSynchers Out There!! This is Dan Brenneis writing to you from the just-saved town of San Angelo, California!! Wow!- We just survived an onslaught of giant mountains of continously growing silicate rock crystals brought to earth on a huge meteorite! With all of the terrible deaths and widespread destruction happening here-and our loyal heroes and townspeople trying to save countless lives along with trying to find a solution to the ever growing menace (our town being crushed by the hugh monoliths cascading through the valley)- Wouldn`t you know it?!- The solution to our problem(s) turns out to be SIMPLE SODIUM CHLORIDE or SALT!!! As in "The War Of The Worlds" (1953) the "littlelest" or "simplest" things that the Good Lord has put on the Earth helps mankind defeat his enemy and survive another potential day of ultimate destruction!! THE END.

Seriously Folks- This is one of the most UNDER-RATED science-fiction films of the 1950`s and possibly the most ORIGINAL in terms of "CONCEPT" If filmmakers want to do remakes today (Which they do in spades!!) This is ONE film that I personally think could and SHOULD be remade- If done right with the right budget and people behind it- SAY STEVEN SPIELBERG??- Think how it could turn out! (Of course with today`s SPFX helping out the production!) That being said- The special effects in this little gem still stand the test of time! Great matte shots, miniatures and simple makeup work (by Bud Westmore) are used here exceedingly well! In my opinion the scariest scene in the whole movie is when Dave Miller (played wonderfully by Grant Williams) discovers his scientist friend Ben Gilbert (Phil Harvey) standing still in the hallway DEAD and PETRIFIED to stone!!--And the back of the laboratory is totally wrecked- with hundreds of pounds of the black silicate rocks laying around everywhere.Thus begins the mystery and suspense for our town`s (and film`s) protagonists! It is also always nice to see the solid character actors Les Tremayne {"The War Of The Worlds"} and the GREAT William Schallert do their work here as well.

William Schallert plays an overzealous and extremely technically-speaking weatherman, who gets the "gruff" of our lead hero (Williams) because he can`t understand the weatherman`s scientific jargon and wants his info in "plain" terms!! (I.E. When will the rain stop and then start again!--The Answer(s): In the morning and then in 2 days) Look for William in these other sci-fi/horror films as well: "Mighty Joe Young" (1949) "The Man From Planet X" (1951) "Invasion U.S.A." (1952) "Port Sinister" (1953) "Tobor The Great" (1954) "Gog" (1954) "Them!" (1954) "The Incredible Shrinking Man" (1957) "Hanger 18" (1980) "Twilight Zone:The Movie" (1983)-where he co-starred in an episode with Kevin McCarthy!! "Gremlins" (1984) and "Innerspace" (1987) William is one of the greatest character actors of our time, NO QUESTION!!- and would be a great guest for the MONSTER BASH!!!

It is a shame that Grant Williams did not have a bigger career- for he was a solid, dependable and very likable actor. He also was in the films "The Leech Woman" (1960) and of course his greatest role was as Robert Scott Carey- A.K.A. "The Incredible Shrinking Man". Lastly, pretty actress Lola Albright is always nice to see and she provides a nice love interest for our resident hero to confide in!! This is her only sci-fi/horror film of note but she has done lots of great TV work!!! My only question at the end of the film is: What happens when the water dries out along with the salt evaporating from the dam explosion covering the crystals! The salt water only temporarily halts the menace-doesn`t it, folks? Wouldn`t they start to grow again- Once the rains came back!!?? So From the thankful town of San Angelo, C.A. I bid all of you a good and peaceful afternoon until next week when we all watch and review the big city sci-fi drama that is "Target Earth" --

-Dan Brenneis-Strongsville,Ohio- Monster Bash Staff Member and LifeTime FilmFan Extroadinairre.

THE MONOLITH MONSTERS is available on the CLASSIC SCI-FI ULTIMATE COLLECTION DVD set from Universal. Get it at Creepy Classics in our Complete DVD Catalog under the "C" (for CLASSIC) section today.


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