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Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman Poster
Your January 2008 RMC Results Are In!

Tagline: "See a female colossus... her mountainous torso, skyscraper limbs, giant desires!"

Preshow Entertainment: Biograph Days, Biograph Nights

Hell hath no fury like a 50 foot woman scorned.


Way back in the 1890s, I mean the 1980s, a guy named Ira Gallen had a public access show called BIOGRAPH DAYS, BIOGRAPH NIGHTS on Manhattan Cable TV, hands down the worst company that ever existed (I believe their slogan was "Hey! We're worse than Fry's!"). Gallen had amassed what seemed like thousands of hours of old and rare clips from the early and Golden ages of television and movies. Though what caught my eye were toy and cereal commercials from the '50s and '60s (I even ended up buying some on VHS), I couldn't deny that his agglomeration rivals any studio vault.

Fast forward your Video Home System (that's VHS, for you young 'uns) to present day. I haven't seen them in, well, decades, so I yanked one off the shelf. And that's when the coincidence happened. While watching something completely unrelated on YouTube (that's a video website, for you old 'uns), I spot, off to the side, the name Ira Gallen. Yep, it turns out Gallen has uploaded much of his collection onto
YouTube. He also has his own site.

First up was a short called DAILY BEAUTY RITUALS featuring actress Constance Bennett. She demonstrated how to use cleansing cream, stimulator, and a complexion mask. Then, her maid tells her the bath is ready. This was followed by clips from the 1939 Academy Awards.
Preshow Entertainment ANTS IN THE PLANTS
The highlight was Hattie McDaniel's acceptance speech for GONE WITH THE WIND. It may have been the last time the Oscars had a heartfelt acceptance speech. Vivien Leigh went the polar opposite and "acted" her speech using (in)sincere eyebrows. We also got to watch half of a Max Fleischer cartoon from 1940 called ANTS IN THE PLANTS (also on YouTube).


(The first movie selected, the four hour mini-series LACE II, was quickly vetoed using The Mary Poppins Rule. We'll be watching it as part of a double feature, possibly at the next UMC. For more information, click:

When the title of a movie is 'NIGHT MOTHER, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES or FIVE EASY PIECES, you may not know what it's about before you watch it. But when it's called ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN, you're pretty sure. Though I suppose you may think it's about a woman born with fifty feet.

Perhaps the most fun bad movie around, AOT50FW is satisfying in spite of itself. A favorite of 60's TV show CHILLER THEATER (they even used a clip in
their opening, ATTACK works its magic on many levels. It's funny, campy, heavy on bad effects, and even scary (if you're a kid). And at 65 minutes, it's the shortest film screened at RMC.

It all begins, unnecessarily (like a lot of the scenes), with a newscaster informing us of satellite (he means UFOs, but this was a Sputnik-era world) sightings around the globe. Then he actually uses a globe to show us.

Allison Hayes as Nancy Archer

Enter Nancy Fowler (Allison Hayes), a woman so rich she wears the Star of India around her neck. Driving down Route 66, Nancy spots a spaceship, and then has an encounter with a giant translucent (it was a bad effect) man wearing some kind of gladiator uniform. Unfortunately, no one believes her. I know I wouldn't. Plus, it doesn't help that she is fresh out of the mental hospital.

Yvette Vickers as Honey Parker
Nancy is married to Harry Archer (William Hudson), a cad who doesn't even try to hide his affair with the luscious and devious Honey Parker (Yvette Vickers). In fact, he flaunts it for the whole town to see, including Nancy. This surely makes Nancy feel two feet tall.

Later, Nancy convinces Harry to go and find the giant man. When they do, Harry shoots at him to no avail (Of course bullets can't hurt him! He's see-thru!). Then, he leaves Nancy there to fend for herself. But Nancy is found alive, by the pool on her roof. It seems the giant brought her there, somehow knowing where she lived.

Later, the sheriff and Nancy's lifelong and loyal butler Jess discover the giant's ship, where upon entering they spot a row of fishbowl/crystal ball-ish spheres each housing a diamond. Apparently, the giant uses them to power his ship. When the two men look into the spheres, their faces distort, mutating them both into squinty Jack Nicholsons.

And then...Nancy starts to grow bigger. She's ten times actual size. And that could only mean two things - she won't be needing breast implants, and Harry is going to get his due. Sadly, it's not a very climactic due.

ATTACK was written by Mark Hanna and directed by Nathan Juran. Hanna also penned THE AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN (another really fun movie) around the same time. And Juran made the natural progression of becoming an Irwin Allen stable boy, directing eps of LAND OF THE GIANTS, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, TIME TUNNEL and LOST IN SPACE.

Allison Hayes as the 50 Ft. Woman
If you adore cheap'n'cheesy, you're watching the right movie. Did they even care about consistency? Probably not. How else would you explain the doorways in the giant's spaceship that are fitted for a man of average height. Or how a 50 foot woman fits in a small bedroom (at this point, we only see her large, fake hand which takes up most of the room). And now might be a fine time to tell you the best line in the movie. When the doctor (German accented, naturally) sees gigantic Nancy for the first time, he exclaims (off camera for some reason, which makes it even funnier): "Astounding growth!" We had to rewind and watch that line twice.

I have an affection for ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN for two reasons. 1) When I was a kid, I saw the scene where the giant picks up the car and throws it. For years, okay, decades, I didn't know what movie that scene came from. Since it was a giant MAN, I never entertained the idea it would be in AOT50F WOMAN. Then one day I was watching ATTACK and there it was. Finally! Movie closure for me! And 2) This may have been the movie that started my fascination with things larger than life. I am a huge (no pun intended) blimp fan. Have been since I was 7. Eagle-eyes among you may have already spotted the blimp icon on the RMC site. Also things like Seattle's
Space Needle and the Grand Canyon. And...giants. Giant people, animals, whatever. I even liked HONEY I BLEW UP THE KID. And the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? Don't even start.

But the true work of art here is the poster. Really now, does any movie poster even come close (well, besides the one for
EURO TRIP)? Premiere Magazine named ATTACK #8 of all movie posters, but they hired me twice so what do they know? And even though the picture on the poster never even comes close to happening in the movie, it's truly a work of art.

Not a work of art, however, is HBO's 1993 disposable remake starring Daryl Hannah and directed by Christopher Guest.

But the original ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN has found its way into American pop culture, and rightfully so. Maybe it's because of its timeless message: Men, if you're going to cheat on your woman, make sure you steal her Star of India and then leave town immediately, or a giant see-thru bald man from space wearing a gladiator outfit may irradiate her and cause her to grow 45 additional feet before coming after you.

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