• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Attack Of The 50 Ft. Woman

TITLE: Attack Of The 50 Ft. Woman
YEAR: 1958

GENRE: Science Fiction

A fair amount of younger science fiction fans may laugh at many of those low budget productions of the 1950’s, but the truth of the matter is that those movies paved the way for the giant blockbusters seen on the big screen today. The true heyday of sci-fi would have been that era, when classic films such as The Thing From Another World, Them!, and the early Godzilla films were causing 50’s teenage girls to swoon in the theaters and younger boys to sneak into showings where their parents did not want them. The most popular of these films were ones involving giant bugs, monsters, or overgrown humans terrorizing small townAmerica. One of these limited budget extravaganzas was Attack Of The 50 Ft. Woman, a memorable science fiction exploitation classic that was short on special effects but huge on a fun experience at the movies.

Nancy Archer (played by Allison Hayes) is a wealthy socialite in a loveless marriage with Harry (William Archer). Along with her drinking problem and a lengthy mental health history, Nancyis a mess of a woman. When Nancy sees a spaceship out in the desert and has an encounter with a 30 foot tall alien the townspeople including Sheriff Dubbitt (George Douglas) and his deputy Charlie (Frank Chase) think that she is off on another psychotic binge. Harry uses the situation to his advantage to try to have her declared insane so he can swipe her $50 million and run away with his much younger and just as devious lover Honey Parker (Yvette Vickers), and when that does not work Harry attempts to kill his estranged wife through a drug overdose. The drug causes a chain reaction in Nancy’s body and causes her to fall into a coma and during her slumber she grows to an enormous size. Nancy awakens from her coma and discovers her transformation, and does what any scorned woman would do: extract revenge against her husband and his whore.

The main positive in favor of Attack Of The 50 Ft. Woman is the fact that the film is so much fun to watch, mostly because it never takes itself too seriously. The film has a quick pace and is a surprisingly well shot film when the special effects are not being used. There are several scenes that may have been in place during the time of the film’s initial release but are pretty comical, especially the dancing scene at Tony’s where Deputy Charlie cuts a mean rug with Honey during a bee-bop song. The special effects are not very good at all even for the era but they add a MST3K element to the film: the huge hand that is supposed to be the giant Nancy is obviously rubber and is quite flaccid even while reaching for her despised husband, Harry’s stunt double is a mannequin in a  bad suit during the film’s climax, and the effects where Nancy are super imposed to make her look huge give her almost an angelic glow. Hayes (a former Miss Washington D.C.) and Vickers (a former Playboy model) both look fabulous and are dressed in a way that is still conservative as would be expected for the day yet display their ample assets as effectively as possible.

Hayes and Vickers were both starlets in the B-movie circuit in the 1950’s and both died terrible deaths: Haynes died from lead poisoning due to doctor-prescribed calcium supplements, and Vickers was found mummified in her home after rotting in her favorite chair for literally months. Attack Of The 50 Ft. Woman also gave fandom one of its most endearing images from the one-sheet poster: a huge, scantily clad woman terrorizing a highway that interesting enough is not a scene from the movie. Nevertheless, Attack Of The 50 Ft. Woman is a film that may be short on special effects but is an entertaining piece of art in the hands of the right fans. Newer, more immature fans may laugh at the effects, absurd plotline, and overall cheesiness of Attack Of The 50 Ft. Woman, but it is an important addition to the history of science fiction films and is worth a viewing from fans who understand the importance of those early movies that paved the way for Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas.

* * * 1/2

–Mark

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