Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) was a low-budget sci fi horror film produced by Bernard Woolner,directed by Nathan H. Juran (credited as Nathan Hertz) and written by Mark Hanna. The film starred Allison Hayes, William Hudson and Yvette Vickers and was released by Allied Artists Pictures.

 The film was an attempt to cash-in on the success of other films featuring size-changing humans, The Amazing Colossal Man (1957) and The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), but substituting a woman as the protagonist instead of a man.

The story concerns the plight of an abused wealthy heiress, played by Allison Hayes, who grows to enormous size after a close encounter with an alien being. She then goes on a rampage seeking revenge against her cheating husband.

Hayes, noted for a string of b-rated quickies, had hope that this film would lead her to being cast in higher budget A-list films. In the October 1958 issue of Gent magazine, Hayes appeared in a modest semi-nude pictorial. The article touted her role in the film. Hayes also modeled for the Frederick’s of Hollywood catalog around this time. Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman (1957) director of photography and executive producer Jack Marquette told Tom Weaver in an interview published in Attack Of The Monster Movie Makers that Allison was a ‘great gal...very co-operative."

This film was made right after the success of Sputnik. The UFO is repeatedly called a "satellite" in the film because the writer thought that meant any spherical shaped spacecraft. The giant bald space alien is played by Michael Ross, also the bartender in the film.

The film had a meager budget of $98,000.00 and was shot for $88,000.00. $10,000.00 under budget in only 8 days and it shows it.  Nathan Juran, was so embarrassed by the film’s low budget and poor quality that he insisted on being billed as "Nathan Hertz" (Hertz was Juran's middle name).

When Allied Artists saw the finished film that they wanted some of the special effects redone. But because the expense would have been too great the film was released as shot and double billed with Roger Corman’s War Of The Satellites (1958).

The ad for this movie was designed by Roger Corman and is in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection and was listed as #8 of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere magazine.

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) is a favorite among the fans of 1950’s sci fi horror films.  The film was no real redeeming qualities. Bad script, bad acting, bad special effects. Like a baby that is so ugly it’s cute, this movie is so bad it’s good.

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