CREEPY CLASSICS presents...
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 first on our Creepy Classics/Monster Bash News Page. See the latest thoughts posted by viewers ther now.
Concept submitted by Mike Adams of Cartaret, New Jeresey.
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Saturday May 4, 2013 - MOVIE - Science Fiction "THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD" (1957).Radiation brings to life an underwater caterpillar that grows to enormous (heck, monsterous) proportions. THIS was a great Saturday night flick on TV with all the neighborhood kids huddled around the TV. "Mom, make some popcorn!" Suggested by Mike Adams, Carteret, New Jersey. (Note: This was our first film back in 2010, before westarted adding reader comments -- so it's repeat to get YOUR commets this ime around!)
I remember seeing this film first on WNEW's Creature Feature out of New York back in the early 1970s. I still recall the building excitement for that fateful Saturday night. You see, I had first caught a glimpse of this ugly, big brute of a monster in the pages of FAMOUS MONSTERS magazine...so I knew the creature was a big caterpillar-type thing. I didn't know at the time that Tim Holt had been a big cowboy star in years before this film was made, or that he was in the great TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE with Bogart.
I didn't know at the time that two character actors in the film would become household favorites for me in the future: Milton Parsons ("Proposition 14-A") and Hans Conried (5000 FINGERS OF DR. T and my daughter's favorite actor!), Back in the earl 1970s I only knew I was in for a monster movie!
And...that's what this is. No intentions of some great philosophical, profound piece of art...just a sheer entertaining monster movie. That's what they delivered. It may be non-sensical at points....but, it's never boring and has some great 1950s "shock scenes" like when you first see a bulging-eyed corpse. The monster looks good, even if it moves like a herky-jerky muppet.
And, you know, to me, there's some more scary, or repulsive about a monster that's 12-15 feet tall than 150 feet tall. It's too one-on-one. It sees just you and yet it's too big to handle.
THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD is a fun sci-fi with goofy science and loads of fun.
-Ron Adams, Ligonier, PA
J50smonstakid(:, Kingman, AZ
"The Monster That Challenged the World" is a neat little giant monster movie. What makes it stand out is the acting by people who generally are not associated with science fiction films.
Tim Holt was a western star and was one of the co-stars of the classic "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre". He brings a sense of conviction and realism to the role. Han Conried plays it straight as the scientist trying to figure out what is happening. Audrey Dalton plays the love interest. She's very natural, not flashy. You can believe that she is a widow with a young daughter.
The giant mollusk is pretty cool. It looks realistic and menacing enough not to make one laugh when it appears.
"The Monster That Challenged the World" is a fine little monster film that provides the viewer with enough thrills to merit repeat viewings. It's on my list of favorite giant monster films.
-Doug, Chicago, IL
When I think of Monster That Challenged the World....which is quite often, I think back to the first time I saw it. I don't that's uncommon at all. I imagine most of us classic monster movie fans are the nostalgic type who like to look back thankfully on fond memories. It was a Saturday (of course) evening when I put on channel 5 (in NY) and walked right into the movie. A young couple was swimming and having fun. I felt pretty unsettled right from the start. The water was very dark and ominous, and with a title like "The Monster that Challenged the World", it wasn't hard to figure out were the monster was lurking. Besides....when you have fun in a monster movie you're putting yourself on the menu. I figured that out at an early age.
Within moments the girl was screaming and being dragged down, and out of sight. Talk about hitting the ground running. This movie would go on to deliver some truly sincere frights. The scene when they find the aforementioned girl really made my squirm, but what would happen just a minute or two later would definitely engrave itself on my frail psyche forever! The monster advances toward one of the divers who is helpless to free his tank from the seaweed. Suddenly it has him in those nasty looking pincers and is (what I believed at the time) crushing his skull. We see his face through the diving mask, and I think that was what drove it home. His face was already shriveling and it was too late to save him. This scene ranks as one of the most memorable moments in monster movie history for me.
Within seconds I was out of the room and down the hall into the company of mom, dad, my sisters, my brother, the dog, or anyone else who was around. It was a path I had taken many a Saturday, courtesy of movies like The House on Haunted Hill and The Curse of the Demon. As with any movie that truly frightens me, eventually it became a favorite of mine. A movie like that is like a workout at the gym. It becomes a test of strength and endurance. With each viewing I would become braver and more steadfast, until I could handle it, even learning to laugh at some of the comedy relief thrown in. Later on I would learn to appreciate the way the movie was also character driven. The writers did a bang up job with character development. Although most of them are rather stereotypical for movies of that genre, they still manage to rise above being banal. We do learn to care for them and take concern for their well being.
Above: Milton Parsons challenges the world!
Most of all, this movie introduced me to the wild world of Milton Parsons. The oddball Lewis Clark Dobbs, curator of the museum, who eventually is the real hero! Alright, that may be a stretch, but face it, he eventually does help them discover the monsters' hiding place. Milton manages to steal all his scenes, repeatedly lamenting about "Proposition 14A , you know, the one that was defeated." Hopefully after Lewis's heroic efforts, and a backing from the U.S. military, "Propostion 14A" will get pushed through and he'll get that extra room in his museum. After seeing Milton in this, I would see him in just about everything! "Hold That Ghost", The Hidden Hand", "The Haunted Palace", the Brady Bunch, I love Lucy, The Night Stalker, The Monkees, The Twilight Zone, just to name a few. This was one busy character actor.
A few years back I had some friends over on a Saturday night, and as we were channel surfing, we came across "The Monster That Challenged the World!" It was on one of Encore's channels. Most of us were familiar with it, but I was the only one who wanted to watch it. I thought "how great is it that someone's actually showing this on a Saturday night?" No one else seemed to care. I think that's why when Ron and Bob and I started the whole "Saturday Night Movie, I chose this as the first movie. I knew that there are many kindred souls out there who could watch this and think " it's very great that we're showing this on a Saturday night." Thanks for tuning in again.
Mike Adams, Carteret, NJ
Not a bad little flick at all and I enjoyed it more now than when I was younger. Despite a snail's pace start (sorry, couldn't resist!) with stock footage and dry narration, MONSTER picks up steam quickly with some nice gruesome touches (the victims of the monster look pretty grisly for the period) and a right cool monster - love the scene where it lurches out of the water next to the boat. Parts of this remind me a lot of JAWS: the aforementioned scene and where Jody is grabbed at night in the water.
Good performances by Tim Holt (all those Westerns and a great turn in THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE), Audrey Dalton and Hans Conreid help move the film along .
Despite the predictable 50's Horror flick rationals (Earthquakes plus radioactivity equals a monster), MONSTER is well written and directed and is certainly worth checking out.
When visiting relatives in California some years back, we flew over the Salton Sea and it's certainly big enough to house LOTS of monsters-lets hope an earthquake doesn't unleash any! ***
Unlike like a lot of 50s monster movies this one delivered the goods! Plenty of on-screen time for the monster(s), which was important to a kid watching "Thrillerama" on a Saturday night in Chicago! Heck, it's still important today! Great movie.
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