Help me identify an obscure 50s/60s sci-fi movie?
February 6, 2019 10:57 AM   Subscribe

This was an amusing little B-movie on a rainy weekend when I was a kid, but I have only one really specific memory by which to search for it.

This was a black and white, super low-budget film (more on that in a second), and I would put its production somewhere in the late 50s or early 60s. The setting for this film was not quite dystopian, but did suggest a present/near-future in which there had been significant radiation accidents that led to mutated creature(s?) terrorizing ordinary folks somehow.

That could probably be dozens of movies, I know. Here's the specific part. As it dawns on two of the characters how serious things are and what's really happening, one of them admits that he worked for the military on some atomic weapons research. Different animals had been exposed to heavy doses of radiation and morphed into monstrous shapes. The ex-military guy says that they were not allowed to take pictures of the creatures, but they were allowed to draw sketches, and - what luck! - he has those sketches with them. ("Why would they let you draw sketches if they...never mind...") We are shown a series of them with ominous music going in the background. But the sketches are terrible. They're clearly rough concept art that had been pitched for the movie, but which the super-low-budget could not realize. At best, they look like an elementary school kid's sketchpad before learning about perspective or anatomy. So, unintentionally hilarious, but cheesy and fun.

Does this ring any bells for anyone?
posted by el_lupino to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you recall what any of the monsters that appears in it were / looked like?
posted by ryanshepard at 11:03 AM on February 6

Not really, aside from big buggy-eyes and lots of extra limbs.
posted by el_lupino at 11:18 AM on February 6

Elements of Tarantula (1955) here, but I'm not confident that's it - did you see this in the US?
posted by ryanshepard at 12:18 PM on February 6

Yes, in the US. And an American cast, which I presume would imply an American crew and production.
posted by el_lupino at 12:20 PM on February 6

Downl...uh, buying a copy of Tarantula now.
posted by el_lupino at 12:28 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]

No, in the end, it wasn't Tarantula. Thanks for the suggestion, ryanshepard.

(I mean, Tarantula is even a reasonably competent movie. Shots are in focus, the actors seem to know most of their lines, and someone paid some attention to continuity.)
posted by el_lupino at 3:50 PM on February 6

You might try searching on Fantastic Movie Musings and Ramblings. (This kind of reminds me a bit of Them!, but I haven't seen it in a long time...)
posted by gudrun at 7:24 PM on February 6

gudrun's suggestion, plus a bunch of searching, got me the answer: Day The World Ended (1955). You can watch the whole thing on YouTube. (Skip to 31:37 for the scene I was remembering.)

posted by el_lupino at 7:56 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]

"Beginning of the End" ?


posted by james33 at 6:03 AM on February 7

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