Sci-fi

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

Carolina Cannonball

An atom powered rocket and a train car are at the centre of proceedings in this 1955 hee haw musical comedy from Republic. Singing low-brow comedienne Judy Canova and an able cast do what they can to overcome the insipid script. 2/10

The Invisible Avenger

An invisible ex-soldier breaks up a mob gang and saves a nightclub singer in Toho’s 1954 SF noir. An interesting premise of war-time test subjects living as outcasts is sadly pushed out by the clichéd gangster plot. Film has its moments, though. 4/10

The Atomic Kid

US scientists, Soviet spies and peanut butter brands want to know how Mickey Rooney survived a nuclear explosion in this 1954 comedy from Republic. Rooney puts on his best radioactive glow in order to compensate for a messy and dull script. 2/10

The Snow Creature

The first Hollywood movie about the Yeti sees the snowman stuck at the US immigrations office. But that is the only flash of originality in this amateurish slog from 1954, which settles for an unexciting urban monster hunt. 2/10