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“I beg of you all not to lose your heads … in any sense of the word.” This is especially true when those about you are losing theirs. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Jeff Mohr, and listener guest host Jerry Chandler – as they watch some heads being lost and marvel at the stop motion animation world of The Black Scorpion (1957).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 88 – The Black Scorpion (1957)
Volcanic activity frees giant scorpions from the earth who wreak havoc in the rural countryside and eventually threaten Mexico City.IMDb
- Directed by: Edward Ludwig
- Writing Credits
- Screenplay: David Duncan and Robert Blees
- Story: Paul Yawitz
- Special & Visual Effects by
- Willis H. O’Brien, supervisor of special effects
- Pete Peterson, animator (as Peter Peterson)
- Ralph Hammeras, additional effects (uncredited)
- Wah Chang, creator: scorpion puppet (uncredited)
- Richard Denning as Dr. Hank Scott
- Mara Corday as Teresa Alvarez
- Carlos Rivas as Dr. Arturo Ramos
- Mario Navarro as Juanito
- Carlos Múzquiz as Dr. Velasco
- Pascual García Peña as Dr. Delacruz
- Pedro Galván as Father Delgado
- Arturo Martínez as Major Cosio
- Fanny Schiller as Florentina
The Black Scorpion features stop motion animation as supervised by Willis O’Brien and executed by Pete Peterson, Ralph Hammeras, and Wah Chang, and it does not disappoint in that category. Jerry first saw it before he was ten and it made a lasting impression. Scorpions were a bit of a childhood phobia for Whitney, so understandably, she was “a bit” uncomfortable with the film. Chad spent his childhood capturing scorpions and unsuccessfully trying to verify that the arachnids in The Black Scorpion behaved just as real-life scorpions behaved. He also loved that other creatures were found in the underground world of the giant scorpions. Jeff, too, was a big fan as a child and never missed a chance to catch The Black Scorpion after school.
Your Decades of Horror: The Classic Era Grue-Crew give this somewhat lesser-known giant insect movie a big recommendation for the special effects if for nothing else. As of this writing, The Black Scorpion is available to stream VOD and on physical media as a Blu-ray disc from Warner Brothers.
Chad, Whitney, and Jeff give a big Grue-Crew thank you to Jerry Chandler! They had great fun discussing The Black Scorpion with him and loved his comments on the giant insect subgenre.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. The next episode in their very flexible schedule, chosen by their next super-secret guest host, will be Peeping Tom (1960).
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To each of you from each of us, “Thank you so much for listening!”