Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Terrifying Tuesdays: The Black Scorpion (1957)

From Antipodal Arapaima

This week I've decided to feature another giant bug movie.  "The Black Scorpion" (1957) is set in Mexico just after an earthquake causes the overnight formation of a new volcano.  Two geologists, American Dr. Hank Scott (Richard Denning) and Dr. Arturo Ramos (Carlos Rivas) from Mexico, set out to investigate this unusual event.  On the way to the village of San Lorenzo, which is near the volcano, they find a scene of disaster -- a farmhouse and police car destroyed, a dead policeman, and an abandoned infant.  The two scientists take the child to some friends of the family in the village, and meet the local priest, Father Delgado (Pedro Galván).  The priest tells them that others have gone missing in the area as well.  In addition, livestock have been killed and strange sounds have been heard at night, leading the villagers to believe that supernatural agents are at work.

Scott and Ramos begin their research on the volcano as the Mexican army arrives to begin disaster relief.  They meet a young boy named Juanito (Mario Navarro) from a local ranch, and the ranch owner, Teresa Alvarez (Mara Corday), with whom Scott falls in love.  Then one night the volcano erupts again, and the cause of the recent troubles is revealed to be giant prehistoric scorpions, released from the depths of the earth by the new volcano.  The scorpions head for the village, and the army's guns have no effect on them.  Come morning the giant arthropods return to the bottom of the volcano, where other giant invertebrates also live.  The authorities call in a reknowned entomolgist named Dr. Velasco (Carlos Múzquiz), and the three scientists must work together to find a way to deal with the scorpions before more lives are lost.

This is another above average example of the giant bug genre of horror movies.  In fact, a triple feature night of the movies "Them!" (1954), "Tarantula" (1955), and "The Black Scorpion" would be an excellent way to spend a cold winter evening becoming familiar with this popular format from the 1950s!

Interesting Fact: Mara Corday, the female lead in this movie, was also the female lead in "Tarantula".

Gore Guide (0=none to 5=extreme): 0

Scene from "The Black Scorpion" (from Row Three)

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