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Black Scorpion (Sous-titres français) [Import]
A series of volcanic eruptions unleash giant scorpions in Mexico City. It's up to an American geologist to stop them.
Fans of '50s science fiction should be pleased by this "big bug" chiller, which offers a fine showcase for the talents of special effects master Willis O'Brien (King Kong). The Black Scorpion follows closely in the multiple footsteps of Them!, produced three years earlier by the same company (Warner Bros.)--again, giant insects threaten mankind, though here a volcano is responsible for unleashing them, and the metropolis in peril is Mexico City. Though direction, acting and scripting aren't on par with Them!, O'Brien's title creatures (which sport implausible yet creepy faces) are memorably monstrous, especially during hero Richard Denning's visit to their nightmarish underground lair. Warner Bros.' DVD features a surprising amount of extras for an older title. "Stop Motion Masters" is a short tribute to O'Brien by his famed student Ray Harryhausen; also included is O'Brien's dinosaur-laden opening for Irwin Allen's The Animal World documentary, and legendary test footage for two unfilmed monster projects by O'Brien's assistant, Peter Petersen. --Paul Gaita
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Top Customer Reviews
I have to place Black Scorpion in my top three Big Bug movies, along with Tarantula and Beginning of the End. Fans of Them will probably consider this heresy, but frankly, as fine a film as Them is overall, those big head-nodder ant props just never engendered much suspension of disbelief, let alone horror, in me, even as a kid. In contrast, Black Scorpion inverts the situation, with a pedestrian B-movie scenario framing some of the creepiest, scariest, and convincing Big Bug special effects footage of the era. A volcano in Mexico releases a horde of giant scorpions that roam the countryside, destroying and killing, grabbing people with their pincers and jabbing them with their stinger tails. Several beautifully animated stop-motion set pieces are featured, including the sequence in which the scientists descend into the volcano crater to explore the scorpions' underground lair and encounter cool and creepy wormlike and spiderlike creatures; the scene of the scorpions destroying a train and feasting on the screaming passengers, then battling a supergiant "king" scorpion; and the king scorpion's last stand inside a sports stadium, where it scoops up military vehicles like marbles and plucks helicopters out of the sky, slamming them to the ground, while the military bombards it mercilessly.Read more ›
We start with the obligatory narrative and a description of what may come. The narrator thinks that volcanoes are evil and bring destruction to farm land. To this land comes a pair of archaeologically strange doctors. They discover a fallen girl (that was just horsing around) and one of the scientists falls in love. The other states "man is born single."
I will not reveal the ugly threat that you already see on the cover. However I think they used them again in "Attack of the Giant Crabs". Also it is fun to look at the technology of the time; they use huge walkie-talkie's, flash cameras (out of flash range), and Bakelite phones. The annoying part of the movie is the kid that will not stay in the car; we all hope he gets eaten early in the story.
The Black Scorpion has always been one of my favorites. Why I don't know. But, in my opinion, it is one of the very few giant bug movies that actually looks good and doesn't have really bad acting. Willis O'Brian had some pretty good looking effects in this one. Although there were some scenes which they used a blackened cartoon scorpion and on the close-ups of it, you could see the matting. Also there is some stock footage that is in this film. Don't worry, it's only stock footage from this film that repeats now an then when the Black Scorpion attacks. That in itself gets somewhat annoying and because some scenes don't fit right. Like when the Black Scorpion attacked two smaller ones after they had attacked the train, a close-up of the Black Scorpion killing the other two was stock footage used in the cave scene just minutes earlier in the film.
All in all, a classic B movies that really isn't as goofy and bland as some of the other monster movies in the 50s and 60s. I would suggest picking this one up if you are a fan of the genre.
The Black Scorpion stars Richard Denning, who I remember most from the movie Target Earth (1954) and Mara Corday, a darkened hair beauty whose other notable films include Tarantula (1955) and The Giant Claw (1957).
The plot involves a very active volcano in Mexico and geologists Hank Scott (Denning) along with a colleague are interested in seeing this activity first hand. Corday plays Teresa Alverez, a ranch owner whose cattle is being mysteriously slaughtered and is having difficulties keeping locals around to help her round up the cattle as they believe some devil bull or something is responsible.
Turns out the active volcano has ripped open some giant fissures in the Earth, exposing a vast underground cavern containing mostly giant, prehistoric scorpions. The scorpions, being a might bit peckish after years of living under the ground, start venturing out into the Mexican deserts, stinging and eating whatever gets in their path. They are soon discovered, the military comes in, blows them up real good, and that's the end of that...or is it? Okay, no it's not, as the humongous scorpions find another way out, and begin to do cool stuff like attack trains and find their way into populated areas.
What really worked so well in this movie is the special effects...Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
* This is a review of the WB archive collection dvd-r version of the film as pictured in this listing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ron2900
Fabulous Harryhausen stop-motion animation effects. Hokey story and truly awful monster close-ups, but thoroughly enjoyable (especially for kids. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Hale & Hardy
They MIGHT be big. They MIGHT be bad. They MIGHT be bloodthirsty beasts, but you MIGHT think that the "buggers" in this film are quite bucolic if you aren't a fan of... Read morePublished on June 4 2004 by Sheila Chilcote-Collins
What's so great about this 50's classic is the use of the same scenes over and over---the face shots of the scorpion; when the big scorpion is killing the others, the close ups are... Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2004 by Michael Butts
OK, the first 20-30 minutes of THE BLACK SCORPION are indeed dull. We are treated to stock footage of volcanic activity, seemingly endless narration, and no real action of any... Read morePublished on Dec 20 2003 by Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein
This is one of the most underrated films from the era. Aside from the cheesy rubber scorpion head they use for close-ups, the effects still hold up today and the stop-motion... Read morePublished on Dec 15 2003
I bought this dvd today, and is amazing.
The stop-motion animation is very good, and the story is pretty good too, (maybe a little naif, but ok). Read more