Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Astounding She-Monster, The Alien vs. The Marxists

Only 62 minutes in length, 1957's "The Astounding She-Monster" is a cool, low-budget film.  Only in these types of movies can a geologist have a quaint cabin in the San Gabriel Mountains, be the smartest guy in the world, end up with a rich and beautiful blonde socialite, and save the world.  Robert Clarke ("The Hideous Sun Demon") plays this guy, and Marilyn Harvey plays the socialite.  Together, using their wits, and Capitalistic philosophy (Ayn Rand would be proud), they defeat Marxist-mobsters.
As the movie begins an asteroid (space ship, actually) crashes near Dick's (Clarke) cabin.  Being a geologist, he goes to investigate.  Meanwhile, the beautiful Margaret (Harvey) is abducted from her Cadillac as she drives out of her Beverly Hills mansion by three mobsters (Nat, his girlfriend Esther, and some other stooge).  Esther is a lush but she is emphatic that she wants to be referred to as an "alcoholic."  She has standards, you know.  They drive her into the mountains but veer off the road avoiding a very shapely alien who walked away from her crash landing.  With the car out of commission, they march Margaret to a cabin, and now Dick is also one of their hostages.  Our shapely and glowing alien finds her way to the cabin and eliminates Nat's buddy.  This alien kills anything she touches as she spreads radiation.
The mobsters begin to panic as Dick and Margaret begin to play mind games on them.  Nat reveals that they kidnapped Margaret to milk a hefty ransom out of her millionaire parents.  He goes on to state that millionaires only get their money by sitting on the backs of a million little guys who are working their buts off.  Naively, Dick asks, "So all you're doing is redistributing wealth more evenly to the little guys?"  Nat responds, "If you're a little guy, you gotta move in and take what you can get.  You're only a criminal if you are a little guy."  Nat (the patron saint of the little guy) ends this makeshift version of "Firing Line" by telling Esther, "Shut up you crumby lush," as she tries to add her intellectual two cents.  Dick really gets under Nat's skin by suggesting that millionaires actually earn their money.  In 1957, these Marxists were the villains, now we elect them as our leaders.
As the two sides struggle to defend themselves against this mysterious alien, she picks them off one by one.  Will Dick and Margaret survive both the Marxists, and the alien?  Is Dick's defense of Capitalism the reason why public schools won't show this movie?  Is Hollywood's romance with leftist ideology the reason why Shirley Kilpatrick (who plays the alien) could not get another job until she changed her name to Shirley Stoler?  This is probably one of the deepest movies you will see today, but unlike most deep movies, this one is enjoyable.  

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