Monster from Green Hell – USA, 1957 – reviews

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‘The mammoth monster that terrified the Earth! Too awesome to describe! Too terrifying to escape! Too powerful to stop!’

Monster from Green Hell is a 1957 science fiction horror feature film directed by Kenneth G. Crane from a screenplay by Endre Bohem and Louis Vittes. It was produced by Al Zimbalist (Robot Monster; King Dinosaur; Cat-Women of the Moon).

The film’s strident score was provided by Albert Glasser (The Amazing Colossal Man; Earth vs. The Spider; Tormented).

Plot:

In preparation for sending a manned rocket into space, American scientists Doctor Quent Brady and Dan Morgan are put in charge of a program that sends various animals and insects into orbit to test their survival rates. After one of their rockets carrying wasps malfunctions and goes off course, a computer calculates that the rocket is likely to land somewhere off the coast of Africa.

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Sometime later, in Africa, Doctor Lorentz and his daughter Lorna perform an autopsy on a native and determine that he died of paralysis of the nerve centers caused by an injection of a massive amount of venom. Arobi, Lorentz’ African assistant, then informs him that a monster is believed to be terrorising people and animals in an area known as Green Hell.

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Several months later, Brady reads a newspaper account of turmoil in Central Africa caused by gigantic monsters and surmises that the wasps in the missing rocket were exposed to huge amounts of cosmic radiation because an earlier, minimal overexposure had resulted in the birth of a spider crab twice the size of its mother. Brady and Morgan request a leave of absence from Washington and head for Africa to investigate…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“You might think it impossible to make a mostly boring film about giant, radioactive wasps, especially when the giant, radioactive wasps look like the ones in Monster from Green Hell. These are some of the most comprehensively failed atomic bugs in the business, making even Roger Corman’s notorious Crab Monsters look good by comparison.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

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‘Crane’s monstrous film incorporates ingenious trick photography, model work, and stop-motion animation, as well as extensive footage culled from the 1939 Spencer Tracy picture Stanley and Livingstone. The result is not so much a movie as a patchwork.’ Time Out

‘The script calls for a socko conclusion with a hive of wasps on the rampage. Money and time must have plain run out, for we see only a couple of angles with more than one insect. Instead of a real sequence, editor/director Crane can only come up with a meaningless, freeform dissolve montage. Every effect shot we’ve seen before is double-exposed with lava flows and boiling magma and intercut with some of the dullest ‘observers’ I’ve ever seen. Bad movie, + bad effects, = dissatisfaction.’ DVD Talk

‘Dialogue is so dull and stupid that you have almost no choice but to laugh. “Instinctively I knew something was going to happen,” the hero solemnly tells us; “the only trouble was, I didn’t know what.” … Adolescent kids in the 50s must have felt pretty disappointed, heading to theatres to see giant insects but forced to watch people tramping through African brush lands looking for water.’ David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

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Buy Claws & Saucers Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

Cast and characters:

  • Jim Davis as Doctor Quent Brady
  • Robert Griffin as Dan Morgan
  • Joel Fluellen as Arobi
  • Barbara Turner as Lorna Lorentz
  • Eduardo Ciannelli as Mahri
  • Vladimir Sokoloff as Doctor Lorentz

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