“We are dealing with a man who is dead, but whose voice and memory live — how this can be, I do not know, but its implications are far more terrible than any ghost could be.”
A group of scientists studying the effects of nuclear testing on an island find themselves pursued by giant mind-controlling crabs.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Mind Control and Hypnosis
- Mutant Monsters
- Roger Corman Films
- Science Fiction
Maverick B-director Roger Corman made no less than nine films in 1957 — including this infamously titled mutant monster flick, featuring mind-controlling styrofoam crabs. The acting is just as campy as you might imagine from such a low-budget venture, with Pamela Duncan’s terrible performance as the busty female marine scientist “Dr. Martha Hunter” particularly noteworthy and giggle-inducing — and the dialogue is equally ludicrous:
Crab Monster: “So you have wounded me! I must grow a new claw, well and good, for I can do it in a day — but will you grow new lives when I have taken yours from you?”
Meanwhile, the storyline is simply too ridiculous to take seriously on any level, with atomically-charged crabs channeling the minds of the humans they’ve devoured through metal objects (?!). Despite such ludicrous plot devices, however, the story as a whole is surprisingly dull, especially in comparison with screenwriter Charles B. Griffith’s deliciously satirical collaboration with Corman two years later — 1959’s A Bucket of Blood. Only true fans of low-grade sci-fi need to bother checking this one out.
P.S. Fans of Gilligan’s Island will surely be thrilled to see “The Professor” (Russell Johnson) in a key role here; note in particular his final heroic act — very “Professor-worthy”.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Ridiculously campy performances and special effects
- Plenty of chuckle-worthy dialogue: “Once, they were men; now, they are crabs.”
No, but diehard Corman fans won’t want to miss it. Listed as a Camp Classic in the back of Peary’s book.