GUILTY PLEASURE TIME: THE MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dick, May 1, 2006.

  1. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    I caught the preview trailer of this film in a Millerton, NY theater when I was eight years old, and begged my father to bring me back the following week. No go. Had to wait until until it turned up on WOR-TV.

    Really liked it. Saw it over and over until I'd memorized the music cues, the distinctive sound of the native bearer as he cries out when the giant wasp head emerges from the bushes (a precurser to the Wilhelm scream?), the buzz of the insect wings.

    I bought the Image DVD recently and, while it isn't perfect by any means, it's a fair representation of what I remembered from kidhood. The opening sequence is loaded with dirt, but the image is reasonably sharp and the contrast acceptable. Supposedly the finale, including an erupting volcano, was presented in theaters tinted orange. This is not present on the dvd, but the ending is so weak I doubt it would have helped.

    I still like the film. It's pretty abysmal - the acting is stiff and stagy (except that of Vladimir Sokolof, who's rarely terrible, but he has crappy dialog to spit out here), the stock footage from STANLEY AND LIVINGSTON is obvious, the process shots laughable.

    But damned if the musical score by Albert Glasser isn't pretty compelling, and a few individual moments are quite effective. One shot of the wasp appearing over the crest of a hill is sort of terrifying, although in that shot the creature's size has been increased about a hundred fold over what it appears to be through the rest of the movie. And the appearance of the wasp head (earlier described) emerging from the foliage to kill two natives is actually pretty scary, too.

    I think the director/producer/editor introduced the wasps much too early in the film, now that I stand back and objectify it. I'd re-edit the chronology so that the menace remains a mystery until at least halfway through, and eliminate the poorer process shots altogether. I'm not sure what I would do about the atrocious final ten minutes (except throw them away and somehow create an open ending of the you-can't-fool-with-mother-nature ilk), but there are moments in this film I have a kind of passion for and which allow me to watch the film from time to time even now.

    I think the DVD may be out of print, but it can be had easily and cheaply on eBay.
     
  2. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp

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    I have a trailer for this on an Ed Wood DVD I think. I kind of wrote it off, but damn, you got me interested.

    My guilty pleasure was "Day the World Ended " by Corman. It was on I found at a video store on a promo. It's basically a group of people who would never be found together (Rancher, Scientist, Mobster and stripper girlfriend IIRC), who can get out of their ranch house as one lone monster is waiting outside for them. It's actually is pretty clever in it's portrayal of the group dynamic.

    It looks like this one came out last month on DVD backed with She-Creature. I might have to pick it up!
     
  3. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    You may want to check first before buying as i have a feeling that it may be pan & scan as it was filmed 2:35 to 1.

    I have Monster From Green Hell on DVD, and it is a real guilty pleasure. Nice to see such films get mentioned once in a while as I am a big fan of 50's sci-fi films.

    Now if they would only bring out From Hell it Came on DVD, it would make a nice double feature with Monster From Green Hell.
     
  4. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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    No cropping issues to worry about re: THE DAY THE WORLD ENDED on DVD, because it's presented in 2.35:1 format. Don't recall offhand if it's anamorphic or not, though.

    TEENAGE CAVEMAN, however, IS cropped on DVD. [​IMG]
     
  5. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Thanks Jeffrey, I assumed it might be pan & scan because Lions Gate has a tendency to ignore OAR. Have to order it now!
     
  6. WarrenL

    WarrenL Stunt Coordinator

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    This is awesome!! I loved that movie when I was a kid and I can barely remember it but now I'll have to find it and own it. THANKS!!
     
  7. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

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    MONSTER FROM GREEN HELL was originally 1.85:1. The end sequence was in full Eastmancolor.
     

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