Attack of the 50 Foot Woman Reviews
There are of course differences between the two movies, the biggest being this movie is virtually unexplained from the get go. The story starts off with a white sphere that lands on Earth, this rather bizarrely shaped spacecraft appears to contain a giant, a giant that attacks a lone woman in a car. Now this woman (Nancy Archer) is a wealthy lady with a creep for a husband (Harry) who is merely after her money, not only that, he flirts around with another woman at the local bar because apparently, who cares. Strange choice in women too because Nancy is by far the looker in the story, and she's loaded! win win! Unfortunately our protagonist also has drink and mental issues, so of course no one believes her giant story. Nevertheless after much shouting and arguing Nancy manages to get her husband to accompany her and go look for the alien craft. This leads to Nancy getting abducted by the huge giant and (after getting found later on the roof of her house) inexplicably growing to epic proportions...well 50 foot, obviously. Its then finally that Nancy realises what a shit her husband is and rampages off to get him.
So story is weak and unbelievably padded out. Most of the run time leading up to seeing the giant version of Nancy is merely dialog, lots of chat between Nancy and Harry as they bicker over their life in general, Harry scheming with his bit on the side in the bar and the goofy police as the comic relief. Aside from the marital issues that we keep having to trudge through, we do get the occasional scene that raised my interest levels somewhat. Of course things do get more intriguing when the sheriff and Nancy's butler Jess go off and find the alien craft, then venture inside to discover the alien may well be powering his craft with jewels. This is why the giant first attacked Nancy, because he wanted her precious diamond necklace...but why not just go to the local jewellery shop?
Now, the giant...wow! this movie really is the epitome of a low budget 1950'S sci-fi B-movie. You like crappy cheesy effects? voila! these have got to be some of the best around. First off the alien giant is nothing more than a big bald white guy, no mask, no mutations, no other-worldly features at all, just a bloke. Secondly, he appears to be wearing some kind of medieval costume, something that wouldn't look out of place during the Middle Ages in England. Now you could say that maybe, just maybe, this alien came from a planet and race that just happened to dress like that, some kind of uniform perhaps. But truthfully, I merely get the impression its just something that was picked up quickly because they obviously had no money and they just needed something that looked odd or different, it was probably a costume from another movie.
The highly amusing thing about all this are the optical effects used to create this giant and the giant Nancy later on. From what I can tell, it appears that a double exposure effect had been used to project large moving images of both actors against their backgrounds, one layered on top of the other. Unfortunately this hasn't worked too well, OK...the results are disastrous! Both performers appear transparent against their respective backgrounds at all times, they look like giant ghosts roaming the countryside, what's more, they aren't even that big looking. Towards the finale there are some models set up for Nancy to grab and destroy which does work much better, but its little too late I'm afraid, I don't understand why they didn't use models for all these shots, hell even if they were bad models it would still look better than having giant badly exposed ghosts walking around. Holy crapenspiel! don't even get me started on the big floppy, papier-mache hand effects that occur throughout, they were awesomely awesome.
The effects are just one problem amongst many though, nothing is really explained in this movie which is a problem, I wasn't expecting anything mind blowing here don't get me wrong, but its all so random. The alien craft comes to Earth for no real reason, accept maybe needing jewels to power his ship, but he lands in the middle of nowhere, surely he would know the best place to find jewels and isn't there any planet closer than ours??!!. Then he attacks a lone female purely because she has a big diamond? I mean, you can't find any other big jewels anywhere else?? Plus, why are you so big Mr alien? why is your craft a white sphere? has does that even work? how do jewels power it? why aren't you wearing some kind of space suit? can you survive on our planet without one? how do you fit inside your spacecraft?! Can someone also try explain to me exactly why Nancy grew into a giant, what did he do to her? how did Nancy fit in that bedroom when she had grown to her epic size? and why are these giants bulletproof? I'm going overboard here aren't I.
Now while all this sounds hilarious, and it is indeed, Its still very difficult to mark this movie up. Had there been much more giant action then the film would have been more fun, simple as that. The problem is, all we're left with here is a pretty dull sci-fi that only sparks to life towards the end, other than that the only decent scene is when the sheriff and Jess the butler find the alien craft, that's it. Its quite clear to see from the actors that no one really knew how to play all this, do they go all out and try to be serious with the material, or do they embrace the stupidity of it all and have fun. No one knows, some go with it, some don't, its all over the place, and what's worse is nothing makes any sense in the slightest. If you like bad effects then welcome to thunderdome baby, just don't expect anything else...like a good time.
It's never a good thing when a movie that's barely over an hour, feels like thrice that length.
I thought I'd start of 2011 with something campy and fun, and Attack of the 50 Foot Woman looked like it might fit that bill. Nope. My first movie of 2011 is also my first cinematic mistake of the year.
Far too much of the movie is spent on a normal sized woman (Allison Hayes) complaining and whining about her husband's infidelity with a local floozy, instead of on a 50 Foot Woman attacking things, as I was led to expect from the title. The whole thing is horribly boring up until the last ten or so minutes, which are mildly entertaining by virtue of how stupid it all is and how truly atrocious the special effects are (even by the standards of the 1950s). Seriously, once you see the "giant hand", you'll be regretting your decision to watch this, just like I did.
There are tons of other campy or bad (in a good way) older movies to be found, don't waste your time with this one.
(Full review coming soon - with better wording probably)
A woman discovers that her husband is cheating on her and has tried to have her murdered. She is furious but as part of the murder attempt she stumbles into some aliens that emit a radiation that causes her to grow fifty feet tall. With her new size she may be able to track down her husband and kill him.
"Bring a couple grenades and some tear gas."
Nathan Juran, director of The Boy who Cried Wolf, Jack the Giant Killer, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, 20 Million Miles to Earth, and the Deadly Mantis, delivers Attack of the 50 ft Woman. The storyline for this picture was entertaining and fun to watch unfold. I would have loved to see more scenes with the 50 foot woman. The acting was okay and the cast includes Allison Hayes, William Hudson, Yvette Vickers, and Roy Gordon.
"She's not well. She's suffering from severe mental exhaustion."
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman was a movie my wife came across while flicking through the channels and decided to DVR. We like these old school campy science fiction pictures and found this funny and fun to watch unfold. I wish this could have contained more scenes of the 50 foot women but overall, this is worth a viewing.
"Thank god we got the chains on her arms and legs."
But, as many might fairly assume, the woman does not attack until the very end of the film; and it's not as dramatic as the poster/cover makes it look.
Nevertheless, I found myself enjoying this feature, but it is definitely not for everyone.
It's probably only the film's cult status that prevents its having a status of Puppets in the Corner. Yeah, I know--you think there are films which have both. Only they have the former because of the latter. You think anyone had heard of [i]Manos the Hands of Fate[/i] before Dr. Clayton Forrester inflicted it on a horrified world? They had not. Movies people had heard of, they couldn't afford the rights to, for the most part. (They did a Godzilla movie or two; they don't have the rights to release them on DVD, though, hence a very expensive new version of the tenth box set.) Gamera started as just another cut-rate knock-off of everyone's favourite Tokyo-crushing lizard. This movie, though, is actually iconic. For real. Glenn Manning, a small selection of people not familiar with the Puppets in the Corner version have even heard of. Heck, right now, I'm picturing Mike Nelson in a bald cap. This movie? Shoot, they bothered remaking it in 1993.
Nancy Fowler Archer (Allison Hayes) is a bit of a lush. We find out from a newscaster (Dale Tate, who worked behind the scenes on some good movies) that a "satellite" has been spotted circling the Earth, and it's due to appear in California just any time now, and we know--no dummies, we--that that alcoholic woman heading out into the desert is due to meet up with it soon. Which she does while her husband, Harry (William Hudson), is drinking with Cheap Floozy Honey Parker (Yvette Vickers). Now, Nancy hasn't actually been drinking that night. On the other hand, try to convince someone of that when she returns to town with a tale of a thirty-foot monster attacking her. Only, yeah, thirty-foot monster attacking her. There is radiation involved, as when is there not, and Nancy starts to grow. She is still pretty unstable, and giant and unstable are a bad combination. So, you know, the titular attack. They are also citizens of a town pretty much full of unstable people of one stripe or another, so there's that, too.
For example, let's talk about Cheap Floozy Honey Parker a moment. She is, pretty much from the beginning of the movie, trying to convince Harry to kill Nancy. I mean, take out the aliens and the radiation and so forth, and you've got a decent little noir building up. Shoot, even with the aliens! Nancy has seen something which is there but which no one believes can be, and Harry and Honey hatch a bit of a plan to have her institutionalized. He married Nancy for her money; he's staying with Nancy for her money. Honey has no interest in Harry without Nancy's money in the bargain; she actually says so. They don't care if Nancy is or isn't crazy. They care if she can be made to seem crazy enough so that she'll get locked up, which will leave Harry to do as he pleases with Nancy's money. That's if they don't give her an overdose of what seems to be a sedative, which Harry ad Honey also discuss. Barbara Stanwyck she ain't--but she did appear on an episode of Stanwyck's TV show as well as, well, two movies which aired with puppets in the corner.
The alien craft is referred to, repeatedly, as a satellite. To anyone with even a modicum of relevant knowledge, it's pretty obvious how wrong that one is. On the other hand, all of this took place pretty much at the same time as the Sputnik launch. In the '50s, space and radiation were both new and scary. No one had ever gone up there before. Breaking the sound barrier was still new. It was only with the launch of Sputnik that space became a Big Thing to the average person. It was a scary time in a lot of ways--Stephen King has written of the terror the launch of Sputnik struck in his heart, and he was actually watching a sci-fi horror movie when the movie was interrupted for the announcement. Nancy and the alien and the growing and all that were part of a long list of so-called Atomic Horrors, and hers is only unusual in that the horror was both alien and atomic.
Still, it's worth noting that the real problem in this movie is, at that, the complicated relationship between Nancy and Harry and Honey. Noir's day was over, pretty much, all those gumshoes having hung up their fedoras and the dames having put down their cigarette holders. The story of Honey's working on Harry to get him to kill his wife would have flown ten years, maybe even five, earlier, with actual Barbara Stanwyck, but you couldn't build much of an exploitation movie on that anymore by 1958. 1958 was deep in the era of the drive-in, and this movie was really aimed at those days. No one ever wants to tell you what movie any given feature was on a double-bill with, but this seems to have been an honest-to-Gods B-picture, just made to sell popcorn and fill out the four hours or so of the picture show. Nancy, whose actress was twenty-eight at the time, was a bit older than most of the women whose predicaments would be shown in similar movies; these were really teen movies. It's not a good movie, but it isn't a bad snapshot of its time.