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COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Sci-Fi Creature Classics DVD Review

Created: 03/24/2014 3:04 PM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

There is nothing I enjoy more than a great “B” film from the ‘50s or ‘60s.  I like seeing all of the silly and crazy monsters that were dreamed up by writers and movie producers to try and scare people.

Back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, there were a ton of sci-fi and horror films that featured mutated monsters and beings from another planet.  At the time, there was a lot of interest in space and also the fear of nuclear war in America, so that’s why I think a lot of the horror and sci-fi films featured these kinds of monsters.

I just recently watched a great collection of sci-fi films from Mill Creek Entertainment called “Sci-Fi Creature Classics.”  This is a great four-movie collection that features: “20 Million Miles to Earth (1957),” “The Giant Claw (1957),” “It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955),” and “Mothra (1961).”

All four films come on one DVD, and you can access them from a really nice menu that features the four titles. 

The only film in the set that I had seen before was “Mothra,” but the other films I had not seen, so that was exciting.

“Mothra” is the only film that is in color, the other three are in black and white.  I actually enjoy black and white films.  I think it adds a creepier feel to the movie, and I also think it’s cool because that’s how people back in the ‘50s or ‘60s watched the film.

The movies look and sound amazing.  The quality of the films is great; they look crystal clear as if you were watching them in the theater for the first time.  I know that sometimes when old films get released on DVD they tend to look grainy, and there are scratches from the bad prints they were made from.  That is not the case with “Sci-Fi Creature Feature Classics.”

 I also enjoyed the stories a lot, and I thought the creatures look great and creepy in each film.

20 Million Miles to Earth” is about a monster that hatches from a container that was found on a U.S. spaceship that crashes into a town in Sicily.  The monster terrorizes the town and the military must try and stop it.

The Giant Claw” is about a giant bird-like creature that comes to Earth from outer space.  It starts killing innocent people for no reason, and a group of scientist has to try and figure out how to stop this creature that is bigger than any battleship and faster than anything they have ever seen.

It Came From Beneath The Sea” is about a giant radioactive octopus that attacks a Navy ship.  The Navy starts working on a missile that will be able to penetrate through its tough skin and kill it.  Before they are finished with the missile, the octopus discovers that its tentacles can survive on land, and they start attacking the city of San Francisco.

Mothra” is a strange film and is about an explorer who discovers a set of twins that are only six inches high.  They are also the protectors of a giant egg on a radioactive island.  The explorer wants to exhibit the twins and make money so he kidnaps them and takes them to Tokyo.  The twins then send a signal to the egg and Mothra hatches from it.  Mothra then goes to Tokyo looking for the Twins and destroys everything in its path.  Now people must try and figure out a way to stop Mothra because the military is not able to do it.

I really enjoyed Mill Creek Entertainment's “Sci-Fi Creature Classics” four movie collection DVD a lot.  I thought the films selected in this set were great and very fitting.  The movies looked and sounded great.  If you are a fan of sci-fi, horror, monster movies or B films, I would highly recommend that you check this set out.

Aaron Chalich is a KSTP.com entertainment columnist.


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