Movies from the Black Lagoon


By Tom Doty - For The Floyd County Times

A gangster teams up with a renegade Nazi scientist to wreak vengeance with an army of atomically powered zombies in this 50’s fright-fest from the makers of “The Wolfman” and “It! The Terror From Beyond Space.”

This one opens with an eerie sequence. A lumbering figure shuffles down an alley in the dead of night. The hulking brute makes it to camera just in time for the title to appear on the screen in big blocky letters. He is a scary sight with a dead eyes and obvious stitching over his beetle brows.

Next we see the same bulky giant piloting n auto at high speed down a country road. He alights at a mansion and enters through a window . Meanwhile we see that two men are controlling his actions via a radio whilst watching the action(through cameras planted behind the creature’s eyes) on a large screen television(50’s movies never missed an opportunity to attack this new thing called TV).

Turns out the window led into an office where a mob kingpin is counting his money. He never reaches the total as our zombie hit man proceeds to crush the life out of him. Body guards break in but their bullets don’t even slow down the monster which stiffly exits through the window.

The police arrive and are helped out by Dr. Chet Walker. He’s a 50’s version of CSI but it is obvious that the science of crime detection hasn’t developed many protocols since he tramps all over the crime scene while huffing on a pipe. He lifts prints off of the window and grabs a blood sample before heading home.

Home consists of a his devoted wife that rocks a fresh from the beauty parlor look and an apron ,in every scene , and is quick to mix him a martini. He is called out right way when the lab reports that his test are done(I don’t think he spends one second at a microscope himself). Turns out the killer’s blood was actually a chemical compound that contained a fair amount of radioactive material. The finger prints reveal that he was an ex-con who was killed a month earlier.

Walker quickly learns that the morgue is missing several bodies and the killings continue with a district attorney getting it next. he discovers that the victims all worked together to take down a gangster named Buchanan . Apparently the guy got away and is now exacting his revenge with these atomically powered stiffs. He’s an ornery one too and threatens to cause a reign of terror unless he is able to continue his campaign of revenge without interference.

The cops decide not to give in to terrorism so we are treated to a montage of train wrecks, car crashes , and airline disasters thanks to the radioactive corpse army. It all leads to a showdown with the zombie brigade as Dr. Chet’s stunt double engages Buchanan n an old fashioned slug-fest.

This is fun stuff and it never stops moving. The film is only an hour and ten minute long but it still zips along without regard for anything but action. This was obviously made to fill out a double bill but it is entertaining enough to help you kill an evening and still have time to paint the garage. It is presented in a special 60th Anniversary edition than includes absolutely nothing but the film so get to work laying down that first coat.

Best Lines: ” As Governor I am declaring a state of emergency. All police facilities have been alerted to prevent any further crimes by so-called atomic creatures.”

“This so-called blood is radioactive.”

‘Dr. Walker is of the opinion that these crimes are being perpetrated by dead men.”


By Tom Doty

For The Floyd County Times

Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.

Tom Doty is a columnist for The Floyd County Times.

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