Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a love letter to the less popular B-Movie monsters of the 1950s.
It’s probably hard to find Dracula scary once you know the atomic bomb exists.
And really, maybe the post-war shift from the gothic to the gargantuan isn’t all that surprising. Art is a response to real-world anxieties. And when the world’s anxieties change, art follows.
In the 1950s, genre mores mutated from romantic shamblers like the Mummy and Frankenstein to, well, mutants. Not just mutants, but a veritable menagerie of atomic age beasties. Mangled men and irradiated insects stalked the screen. Alien anxieties, fueled by the space race, heralded a batallion of murderers from beyond the stars.
1950s genre films are easy to laugh at and even easier to dismiss. They’re hyperbolic, campy, and partial to dressing up their small budgets with a hefty dose of melodrama.
And yet, this is what reckonings look like: they’re sloppy, scrappy, and scrambling to cash in on what ails the audience du-jour. And in that messiness, 1950s genre films are teeming with variety. This is an era full of monsters, if not particularly iconic ones. Most of these ghouls may have faded from public memory — some of them immediately.
But that is, as the video below ultimately argues, part of the fun: the eagerness, the break with tradition, and the endearing excitement over new territory.
Watch “The B-Movie Monsters That Time Forgot!“:
Who made this?
This video comes courtesy of the fine folks over at Little White Lies, a film-obsessed magazine based in the United Kingdom. The above video was scripted and edited by Leigh Singer. You can follow Little White Lies on Twitter here. And you can check out their official website here. You can subscribe to their YouTube account here.
More Videos Like This
- For another taste of Little White Lies‘ work, here’s a montage of every single Matt Damon cameo.
- More work from Little White Lies: here’s their montage of how Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar uses sound design to construct vibrant, tactile worlds.
- If there’s one man who knew monsters of all shapes, sizes, and cultural impacts, it was Ray Harryhausen. Here’s a four and a half minute chronological compilation of every Harryhausen animated creature that appeared in a feature film.
- Here’s the Museum of Modern Art on why B-Movies never won Academy Awards.
- Want to know what under-valued B-Movie monsters would look like in the 1980s? Well, good news, the extremely good Q: The Winged Serpent exists.