Archive for jets

No Fizzle In This Missile

Posted in Aliens, Godzilla, Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Lost Missile1958’s The Lost Missile is categorized as a sci-fi movie, but it’s kinda sorta not really. For one thing missiles – lost or not – are pretty much fact. (What do you think we’ve been shooting at Godzilla for the last 60+ years – milkshake straw wrapper spitwads?) Secondly, there’s no uninvited space alien or laser guns to show said party-crashing extraterrestrial the door. Matters not – The Lost Missile is a gripping moment-by-moment flick with battle-ready military, explode-y bombs, real estate damage, and more importantly, panicking.

The Lost Missile

So this unidentified missile — about the size of a vertical submarine — is zooming through space, aimed STRAIGHT AT EARTH. Dang – of all the flippin’ planets out there, it had to choose us. Wanting to show off their military superiority, a nation on the other side of the world (they don’t say who, but I’m looking in your direction outer Mongolia) shoots a rocket (or “missile”) at it. Nice move – they only succeeded in diverting the runaway weapon right into our atmosphere. And I say “our” because it’s heading straight for New York by way of Canada.

The Lost Missile

What follows next is pretty exciting, even though 90.3% of the movie is built around stock Civil Defense footage showing people evacuating the city by heading into bomb shelters, movie theaters, basements and apocalypse-proof hall closets. (It should be noted that doomsday’rs head straight for the bars.)

The Lost Missile

Thankfully, a scientist and his science fiancée (or would that be “sciencée”?) have been working on a hydrogen warhead in-between practicing for their honeymoon. The plan is to stick it in a ready-to-launch rocket and shoot it at the missile, thereby blasting it into nuclear fallout particles/morsels to rain harmlessly down upon our breathable faces/lungs.

The Lost Missile

Lots of exciting footage of real Air Force jets ineffectively firing missiles at the lost missile, which is wreaking Rodan-like destruction in its low-atmosphere trek around the world. Yeah, they gotta fluff the pillows with taut apprehension as it liberally applies to school kids, countdowns, relationship-y stuff. But even with the weapons of mass distraction, The Lost Missile brings home the excitement groceries.

Giant Bug vs. Enormous Bug

Posted in Classic Horror, Giant Monsters, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Scream Queens, TV Vixens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Deadly Mantis

There is only one thing The Deadly Mantis (1957) has over the almost identical Them! (1954), a nuclear monster movie hailed by the American Film Institute as one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time: The bug looks cooler. Yeah, I said it.

The Deadly Mantis

The giant ants in Them! look like someone stuck pipe cleaners into a couple of potatoes and spray-painted ’em with Rust-oleum™. The giant mantis in The Deadly Mantis looks exactly like a mantis, all alien-esque, spindly and icky. (While we’re on the subject, The Outer Limits Zanti Misfits (1963) look more like what ants are supposed to look like minus the big bulging eyeballs, though I’ve seen a few of those things crawling around just after last call.)

The Zanti Misfits

Taking the page-by-page format of the “giant insects eat civilization” right out of the Them! playbook, the title 200 foot-long Mantidae (biology name) was de-iced after a volcano thawed it from its icy cube in the North Pole. (I didn’t know they had active volcanoes in the North Pole. Snowball fights, yes; but lava?)

The Deadly Mantis

The military stationed up there (building a massive early detection network) sustains severe preliminary damage as the mantis feeds itself on mess hall chow (servicemen). Then it flys south, theorized to be heading to South America where I here it’s warmer than the North Pole and more suitable for getting an all-around tan. (Note to self: Use that tanning salon coupon before it expires.)

The Deadly Mantis

On its way for a vacation, the mantis buzzes Washington, D.C., and takes a poop rest on the Washington Monument, totally mocking visiting hours. Jets are dispatched, but the launched missiles rarely connect with their exoskeleton target. (Note to the city down below: the air force was just trying to help, man – get over it.)

The Deadly Mantis

One heroic pilot accidentally rams his jet into the bug due to London-grade fog that seems to be covering the entire East Coast, ejecting before ka-BOOM! The mantis hits the ground and crawls into the Manhattan Tunnel, mimicking the giants ants that took up homeless camp residence in the vast Los Angeles drainage tunnels and mocking New York Port Authority’s toll charges. The bail-out pilot leads the charge into the tunnel, armed with chemical gas can bombs, and throws it right onto the face of mantis. In your face, deadly mantis!

The Deadly Mantis

But for all its plagiarized similarities to Them!, The Deadly Mantis has two very funny scenes. One is with a bunch of military guys jailhouse rockin’ each other in the rec room as there are no dames around at the North Pole, and the other where a scientist and a dame (visiting journalist covering the story) and a military dude are theorizing how big the monster is, guessing that it’s probably over six-feet tall. This while the mantis is right outside their window and rising up over three stories. I just about crapped sno-cones over that one.

In conclusion, while the sci-fi sorta classic The Deadly Mantis looks good, it isn’t as good as Them!

P.S. For more big bug fun, watch 1957’s Beginning of the End – it features REAL giant grasshoppers. Those things goon me out for some reason.

Beginning of the End