Movie Diary 11/2/2015

The Leech Woman (Edward Dein, 1960). Although it is terrible, it is not that terrible. Some solid horror conventions done in Universal’s drab 50s style, plus old Africa footage thrown in. Probably a dissertation on the era’s fear of female sexuality waiting to happen here.

The Leopard Man (Jacques Tourneur, 1943). From the Val Lewton crew – not at the level of Cat People or I Walked with a Zombie, but an atmospheric look at a border town. Instead of following a single protagonist, the storytelling is spread around the entire community – an interesting tactic. The nominal hero seems less sympathetic than the eventual murderer.

Attack of the Crab Monsters (Roger Corman, 1957). Listen, we all relax on Halloween in our own ways. This is Corman and screenwriter Charles B. Griffith in typical, swift-moving form. The land crabs eat people and assume their brain and speech functions –  a point that is often overlooked.

The Mole People (Virgil Vogel, 1956). Pretty outlandish plot for a Universal pic of this era, halfway between Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. It isn’t very good. John Agar ponders the possibility of smoking dried mushrooms.

The Wonders (Alice Rohrbacher, 2015). In the Tuscan countryside, a family keeps bees while the oldest daughter navigates adolescence. A certain loopy charm prevails. Monica Bellucci appears as a reality-TV host. (full review 11/6)

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