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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Film Review of "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman"

Here's a review I did of the movie "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman". It was on cable, so I couldn't miss the opportunity to watch/review a piece of 1950s cinema history. This review, like the movie, is an oldie but a goodie.


Jacob Martin

Film Review
“Attack of the 50 Foot Woman”

I like the odd movie, even if it’s so bad you can only laugh at it. I sat down to watch Attack of the 50 Foot Woman expecting 1950s cheese and primitive special effects, but I got a lot more out of it. Here was a film from the era when cosmic radiation could make anything possible (remember the origins of the Fantastic Four?) and the Cold War was at its frostiest. And it reflects its time like a pristine mirror.

Because frankly, I haven’t seen a film this sexist since I saw American Pie for the first time. The main characters, a husband (Harry) with a rich, nagging wife who has disdain for her husband’s canoodling with a redhead woman, and who has a history of being put in psychiatric care (she was once in an asylum), and placed there by her less than faithful husband to ensure he can spend time with the redhead lass, reflect a time when nobody really listened to women, thus their hysterical screaming/yelling was ignored largely in this film, whether for historical posterity or for simple misogyny in film making.

Even when the wife has been transformed into the 50 Foot Woman, her hubby is two timing on her and won’t come home. So she goes on a rampage, kills the redhead girl in jealousy, grabs her puny-by-comparison spouse, and walks off, only being stopped by an electrical tower explosion, and ends similar to the original King Kong, only with the line “She finally got her Harry all to herself”, as a shot of Harry’s wife clutching him in her hand.

As far as bad movies from a bygone era go, it’s not Ed Wood bad, simply cheesy and laughable. The special effects will cause grins of humor rather than the terror they were supposed to invoke in their day. However there are very sexist elements to the film, that you can only frown upon or snigger at, such as a conversation between two psychologists who work to help Harry’s wife recover from her delusions of seeing a “30 Foot Giant in a satellite”, concerning the supposed over emotional nature of women and what happens to their personalities when they get older. To them, Harry’s wife is a deluded, demanding she-bitch when all she really wants is for her husband to love her.

Though don’t let the blatant chauvinism stop you enjoying this movie, it’s one of the most entertaining films I’ve seen all week. The 50s will live on, in the form of “classic” sci-fi fare like this, not in the memories of the paranoia of the era which many people wish to forget (to their own peril).

I give this movie Eight and a Half “Hysterically Screaming 50s Diner Waitresses” out of Ten.

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