Welcome to the 'Sci-Fi Film Fiesta Screen Gems' page. A variety of movies, film clips and documentaries will be featured on this page for your enjoyment. Although there will be an element of Sci-Fi contained in each one, you'll see that they also fall into other genres, many of them also come from eras outside of the time period broadly covered by this blog.
Caltiki, The Immortal Monster (1959)
Destination Space (1959)
Intended to be a pilot for a prospective TV series about space travel, Destination Space was produced in competition with the pilot for Men into Space series. The latter series eventually went into production.
During an attempted launch of the first manned lunar orbital spacecraft, a meteor smashes into a space station, damaging it. Later it's discovered that an overload within the rocket will cause a nuclear explosion within minutes. Much of the footage was taken from Conquest of Space (1955).
Killers From Space (1954)
Having gone missing after a plane crash following a nuclear test, scientist/pilot Doug Martin turns up apparently unhurt. He is given sodium amethol, but his story about being captured by aliens who are intent on conquering the Earth with giant monsters and insects sounds too far-fetched to be believed. Martin is determined to use technology to destroy the aliens.
War Of The Monsters (1966)
A giant monster that emits a destructive ray from its back attacks Japan and takes on.....Gamera!
Curse of the Aztec Mummy (1957)
The evil Dr Krupp tries to get possession of the Aztec princess Xochitl's jewels located at Xochitl's tomb and guarded by Popoca, the warrior mummy.
Robot Vs Aztec Mummy (1958)
In this sequel, the evil Dr Krupp is after valuable Aztec treasure from the tomb of a centuries-old living mummy, Popoca. He builds a robot to defeat the mummy.
Man with Two Lives (1942)
A man is brought back from death at the same time a vicious criminal dies in the electric chair. However, the man's soul is now taken over by the electrocuted gangster, who embarks on a vengeful crime wave.
Gammera the Invincible (1966)
An atomic explosion awakens Gammera--a giant, fire-breathing turtle monster--from his millions of years of hibernation. Enraged at being roused from his sleep, he sets out to do a Godzilla and punish Tokyo.
Yongary Monster from the Deep (1967)
Life Returns (1935)
A doctor who has spent his career working on ways to revive the dead sees his chance to prove his theory by performing his procedures on a recently deceased dog.
Doctor X (1932)
This 1956 film is loosely based on the novel of the same name by George Orwell. This is the first cinema rendition of Orwell’s story. Not as effective as the1954 television version of the film featured in this blog. What do you think?
Teenage Zombies (1959)
While boating, a quartet of teens accidentally discover an island run by a mad scientist named Doctor Myra who, backed by foreign agents from "the East", intends to turn everyone in the United States into a zombie.
The Phantom Empire (1935)
An ancient continent called “Mu” sank beneath the ocean but a few of its inhabitants managed to survive in caverns beneath the sea. Cowboy singer Gene Autry comes stumbles across the remnants of this civilization which is buried beneath his own Radio Ranch. The Muranians possess technology and weaponry such as television and ray guns. Greedy speculators from the surface world want their rich supply of radium and it is up to our hero Autry's to prevent all-out war. Cowboys vs Aliens anyone?
The Invisible Killer (1939)
A fiendish killer uses sound waves to commit murder.
WILD WOMEN OF WONGO (1958)
On the tropical island of Wongo, a tribe of beautiful women discover that the other side of the island is inhabited by a tribe of handsome men. They also discover that a tribe of evil ape men live on the island, too, and the ape men are planning a raid on the tribe in order to capture mates.
White Pongo (1945)
A diary seems to contain proof that a white gorilla of myth exists that local anthropologists believe is the evolutionary missing link. A safari is formed with a group of individuals, some of whom have their own agendas for going,
Tomorrow's Children (1934)
A young woman wishes to marry her boyfriend and raise a family, but because her own family has been deemed "defective" by the state health authorities (alcoholism, physical deformities, mental problems, etc.,) she is ordered by a court to undergo sterilization so that her family's "defective genes" won't be passed on to any more children. A desperate search is undertaken to find a way to stop the forced sterilization before it's too late.
THE APE MAN (1943)
Using similar ideas from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The story involves the character, Dr. Brewster, with the assistance of his colleague, Dr. Randall, conducting scientific experiments on himself. These experiments result in the transformation of Dr. Brewster into a half-man, half-ape creature. Gradually Brewster’s animal tendencies predominate until he resorts to murder in order to acquire human spinal fluid needed to return him to full human form.
Things To Come (1936)
Things to Come is a science fiction film collaboration between writer H. G. Wells (based on his own work), producer Alexander Korda, and designer and director William Cameron Menzies. It presents to the viewer a prediction of a century of turmoil and progress, including world war, disease, dictatorship, and, ultimately, utopia.
The Monster Maker (1944)
Non Stop New York (1937)
A British chorus girl is the only witness to the murder of a lawyer by a gang man. In order to save an innocent man's life from execution, she must fly back to New York and testify in his favour. She flies back in not just any old plane. She flies back in a massive futuristic art-deco transatlantic plane with two-levels and external decks and which can fly from London to New York in 18 hours!
Atomic Attack (1950)
The Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette
Byline: Mary Chilton Chapman
The story centres around a family that lives 50 miles from New York City. The mother and her two daughters try to escape from the fallout of an atomic bomb that has fallen on New York City. A surprise nuclear attack, presumably by the Soviets, referred to as "the enemy" has been launched against the US.
This dramatization gives us an interesting insight into the fears, concerns, and Cold War thinking of the time.
Prehistoric Women (1950)
A primitive civilization of prehistoric cavewomen abduct men for-what else?- mating purposes. One of the captured men, Engor, appears to be more intelligent than the other men. This fine specimen manages to discover fire, go a few rounds with a monstrous giant and even tries to get hitched to the queen of the cave women. Ah well, a man's gotta do what he's gotta do!
Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952)
This was intended as the second serial featuring Commando Cody However, the hero featured here is "Larry Martin". It was also intended to be the third 12-chapter serial featuring the rocket-powered flying suit introduced in ‘King of the Rocket Men’ (1949).
In the story, Mars is doomed as it is too far from the Sun. The Martians, therefore, plan to swap the Earth's and Mars' orbits, thereby bringing Mars closer to the Sun while leaving Earth in Mars's old orbit. A hydrogen bomb is to be used to move the Earth further from the Sun. Simple! Look out for an impossibly young Leonard Nimoy, who plays one of the three Martian invaders, Narab.
Mesa of Lost Women (1953)
A couple who were found wandering half dead in a desert tell of a story about a mad scientist named Arana who was creating giant spiders and dwarfs in his lab on Zarpa Mesa in Mexico. His intention was to create a race of superwomen by injecting spiders with human pituitary growth hormones. The women developed amazing regenerative powers, but men mutated into disfigured dwarves. Spiders grew to human size and possessed intelligence. Need I say anything more?
Rocky Jones: Crash of the Moons (1954)
This consists of a three-part episode from the TV series ‘Rocky Jones, Space Ranger’ edited together and released as a feature. Rocky Jones tries to save the inhabitants of a planet that is doomed to collide with a moon, but is faced with resistance from the Empress of the planet.
UFOs: The true Story Of Flying Saucers (1956)
Quite an amazing and still enthralling UFO ‘documentary.’ It portrays the events of the first UFO sightings and features some fascinating UFO footage including two videos called the ‘Montana Film’ and the ‘Utah Film.’
Doctor Cyclops (1940)
A mad scientist by the name of Dr. Thorkel, working in the jungles of South America, has developed a process that will shrink living creatures using radiation piped from a radium deposit down a deep shaft. The process is then used to shrink human beings to doll size. This film is definitely a real gem for its time and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Horrors of Spider island 1962
A talent agent, D'Arcy escorts seven beautiful chorus girls to a club date in Singapore. En route, their plane crash-lands in the ocean. D'Arcy and the girls survive the plane crash and wind up on a remote island only to that find it is covered by spiders, with terrible consequences for those who are bitten by them!
OK, so the story’s not really important!
King Kong (1933)
In this film version of the classic ‘beauty-and-beast’ story, reckless, flamboyant and foolhardy documentary filmmaker Carl Denham convinces leading lady Darrow to sail off to parts unknown with him to film his latest epic. Of special note is Willis O'Brien's special effects and animation of Kong. Imagine what a young Ray Harryhaussen must have been feeling and thinking when he saw this film for the first time! Despite the flaws in the colourization process, the colour version certainly brings much of the film to life and highlights the beauty of Fay Wray.
Fay Wray & Kong
Planet Outlaws (1953)
This feature re-released for theatrical distribution in 1953 is an abridgement of Universal's 12-episode serial ‘Buck Rogers’ (1939) starring Buster Crabbe. Buck and his pal, Buddy (Jackie Moran) are awakened from suspended animation after 500 years, in the year 2500. An evil villain and his henchmen have been attempting to gain total control of the universe. It is up to Buck Rogers to thwart their evil plans. Funny word “thwart.” Th-w-ar-t! Thwart!
The Beast Of Borneo 1934
Russian mad scientist, Dr Boris Borodoff and his assistant, Alma search for a fully grown orang-utan to perform experiments on. The hapless creature is amazingly, the ‘Beast of Borneo’ itself! They are guided on their quest by animal hunter, Bob Ward.
The Clairvoyant 1934
Maximus (an impossibly youthful Claude Rains) is a small-time music hall mind reader who has unsettling flashes of precognition which he is unable predict or control. They do, however, occur whenever he is in the presence of Christine, an attractive daughter of a publisher. His beautiful wife, (Fay Wray) becomes extremely jealous of Christine. The gift of clairvoyance becomes a curse when Maximus is accused of causing the very disaster he supposedly predicted.
Unknown Island (1948)
John Fairbanks is a former Marine who, while on duty, discovered a previously unknown South Pacific island where dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals have managed to survive. Still traumatized by this experience, Fairbanks is persuaded to return to the island by Ted Osborne, an adventure-seeker photographer, who thinks that photos of real live dinosaurs could boost his career. He has also managed to convince his finance, Carole to finance his expedition to this uncharted dinosaur-populated island. The captain of their ship is a certain Captain Tarnowski, an untrustworthy and tough alcoholic who suffers from bouts of malaria which affects his mind. When they arrive at the island, they discover that John's story is true when they find themselves fleeing from hungry dinosaurs.
As you look at the ‘dinosaurs’ you may wonder at what had been happening during the 15 years between the making of King Kong (1933) and this film (1948). In terms of special effects, it was as if the world of special effects had regressed from the Classical age to the Dark