Day Nine: The Monster of Piedras Blancas

Halloween Countdown: The Monster of Piedras Blancas

Is it the poor man’s Creature from the Black Lagoon?  Naw, it’s just a native Californian doing a little beach combing.

Anyone who read Famous Monsters of Filmland — or in my case Vincent Price’s Horror of the Silver Screen, a one off horror fanzine– will no doubt remember a grainy black and white picture of a monster caressing a bloody severed head.  The beastie looked like a cross between the Creature from the Black Lagoon and a deformed pig.  Underneath the picture was a blurb telling me the name of the film was taken, The Monster of Piedras Blancas.  I stared and stared and stared and wondered,” Why don’t they ever show this on TV?”

Years went by.  The magazine fell apart.  Even with the arrival of cable TV, with its seventy-seven channels of dreck, The Monster of Piedras Blancas remained elusive.  Sure, they’ll run Dana Carvey’s crapfest, The Master of Disguise one hundred and sixty-seven times in a week but hoary old black and white monster films? Nope.   I wasn’t able to get a copy until last year.  It’s crazy, but true.

Was The Monster of Piedras Blancas worth the wait?  Yes and no.  There is no way it could have lived up to the movie I imagined as a kid.  On the other hand, it’s packed to the rafters with 1950 micro budget horror film awesomeness that the adult me keenly appreciates.

I recommend it to anyone who likes films such as The Mole People or This Island Earth, they share the same spirit of corny monster fun and also the same monster parts.  The molds for clawed hands of the molemen and the feet of the space mutant are artfully reused.  I hope that I don’t sound sneering and derisive.  I love this movie.  It’s more fun than any of the heartless, big budget films I saw in the last year.

Starring :

Les Tremayne
Forrest Lewis
John Harmon
Pete Dunn
Jeanne Carmen

Irvin Berwick

Irvin Berwick

Two of five Vincents

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