Author Archives

Janne Wass

Janne is a journalist and magazine editor from Finland, who in his spare time runs the science fiction blog Scifist.

Tarantula

A scientist trying to end hunger creates a giant spider that runs amok in a small desert community. This 1955 classic is not director Jack Arnold’s best work, but even so, it’s one of the best giant critter movies of the 50’s. 6/10

Timeslip

Reporters and police investigate a nuclear scientist living 7.5 seconds ahead of time in this British 1955 quota quickie. Ken Hughes directs solidly and the American stars turn in good performances, but the script fails to live up to its premise. 5/10

King Dinosaur

Bert I. Gordon’s 1955 directorial debut sees four scientists completely uninterested in exploring a new planet and doing “darn science stuff”. After battling stock footage and superimposed insects, they detonate a nuclear bomb and go home. 0/10

This Island Earth

With a more adult angle than most fifties SF movies, Universal’s 1955 big-budget splash dazzles both with wonderful visuals and clever ideas. That the screenplay mismanages these ideas prevents its inclusion with the bona fide classics. 7/10

Bride of the Monster

Ed Wood’s 1955 schlocker is a love letter to the film’s star Bela Lugosi and the monster movies of the thirties, and as such it is quite charming, despite its ineptitude. And despite ill health, Lugosi is magnetic in his last first billing. 5/10

Conquest of Space

An implausible, ill-conceived and sluggish script is the bane of George Pal’s 1955 Technicolor space epic. The visuals in this first trip to Mars are (mostly) superb, which make the bizarre plot and deadly dialogue stand out like a sore thumb. 4/10

Revenge of the Creature

The first sequel to Creature from the Black Lagoon sees the Gill-Man captured in a fish tank and prodded with sticks for “science”. Little is done with the interesting premise, and the thin script devolves into a routine monster-on-the-loose affair. 4/10