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anonymous kph

A is for Attack of the Crab Monsters

Attack of the Crab Monsters is directed by Roger Corman, and that means it's very efficient. It has to be. Film costs money, you know!

My primary complaint about this film, and I know you won't believe me when I say this, but it's true, is that the movie isn't long enough. It feels like everything clicks along, bang bang bang, and then the crab monster is attacking on that final morning, and then-- Wait, how did they manage to end that in two minutes?

But they did. With a little more time, the movie could have been expanded to flow better. It would have felt a little less "noomi noomi noomi noo, oh look here comestheendOFTHEFILMOHGODNO--!"

The movie begins with the arrival of a group of scientists (and others) to a remote tropical island. Their intent is to study the effect of radioactivity on the locale, and if possible, discover what happened to the first team of scientists -- the ones that mysteriously disappeared a few months prior.

The team consists of a nuclear physicist, a botanist, a geologist, two biologists (one land, one marine), a tinkerer/handyman (Russell Johnson, who later was "The Professor" on Gilligan's Island), and a couple of Navy demolitions experts.

Their plane returning to Enewetak Atoll is destroyed, and a mysterious storm has blown up that is cutting off all radio communication. Strange rumblings shake the island, and a sinkhole opens up, exposing another entrance to some sea-level caves that run underneath large parts of the island.

The mysterious monsters start to pick off scientists one-by-one. As there are no black scientists in the group (it was 1957, after all), the first one to go is the Frenchman. But! He still is heard throughout the rest of the movie.

Because, you see, these mysterious monsters are crab-shaped beings made of (sort-of-)solid energy ... and when they eat a person, they absorb his mind into their energy matrix, and can communicate telepathically with his "voice." Which means that Roger Corman gives us a giant parade float covered with a painted dropcloth rising dramatically out of the water and taunting our heroes with an outrageous French accent.

The crab monsters are also causing the mysterious rumblings and explosions that are knocking the island into the sea -- in an attempt to cover their tracks, and corner the few remaining survivors. They can't attack directly because (being energy beings) they find electricity totally inimical -- they're composed of negative energy instead of positive energy, and -- well -- moving along....

At this point, there are three survivors, one crab monster, and a small amount of island left. And the film resolves in two and a half minutes.

Thanks, Roger.

Comments

"taunting our heroes with an outrageous French accent."

I don't suppose there are hamsters and elderberries involved.
Nope. But while this movie does precede both Monty Python and the Holy Grail and History of the World, Part One, the accent is arguably worse....