MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL (1957) Reviews and Film Detective Blu-ray news

 

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Monster from Green Hill will be released on a Film Detective Special Edition Blu-ray on March 8, 2022.

The confirmed special features will include an audio commentary and a new essay on the movie in a full-colour booklet, with more to be announced.

Meanwhile, here’s our previous coverage of this trash classic:

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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 film about an expedition investigating wasps that have mutated into giant creatures.

Directed by Kenneth G. Crane (The Manster; Half Human (US sequences); When Hell Broke Loose) from a screenplay written by Endre Bohem and Louis Vittes (I Married a Monster from Outer Space). 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 centres 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…

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Reviews:

“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

“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.” 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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“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

Cast and characters:

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

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Cast and characters:

Jim Davis … Dr Quent Brady
Robert Griffin … Dan Morgan (as Robert E. Griffin)
Joel Fluellen … Arobi
Barbara Turner … Lorna
Eduardo Ciannelli … Mahri
Vladimir Sokoloff … Dr Lorentz
Tim Huntley … Territorial Agent (uncredited)
LaVerne Jones … Kuana (uncredited)
Frederic Potler … Radar Operator (uncredited)

Filming locations:

Bronson Caves, Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park – 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California
California Studios – 5530 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California (studio)
Universal Studios – 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California (studio)

Filming dates:

2 April 1956

Technical details:

71 minutes
Black and white and colour
Audio: Mono
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1

Trailer:

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