Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL (1958). Director: Kenneth G. Crane.

Two scientists (Jim Davis and Robert E. Griffin) shoot animals into outer space to gauge the effect of radiation on them. Unfortunately, some wasps wind up being over-exposed and crash land in Africa in a place the natives call Green Hell. Now the wasps have mutated into gigantic monstrosities that threaten to overrun all of Africa. There's some okay stop-motion animation and the scenes with the monsters -- often portrayed by full-size mock-ups complete with out-sized stingers -- are fun. The movie is padded with exciting stock footage from previous jungle epics. Davis and Griffin aren't bad (especially the latter) but Barbara Turner as doctor's daughter Lorna is amateurish. Eduardo Ciannelli as a guide and Joel Fluellen as a concerned native add some flavoring to the proceedings. The giant wasps look nothing like they do in the film's poster. Good score from Albert Glasser, as usual. NOTE: For more on this film and others like it, see Creature Features: Nature Turned Nasty in the Movies.

Verdict: Generates some positive buzz. **1/2.

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