Longtime readers of this site will know that I’m a big fan of old cruddy b-movies, of all decades and persuasions, generally written about in Schlock & Awe. There’s something particularly fun about b-horror and b-science fiction from the 1950s and 1960s, in that they can really look crummy if done with a particularly low budget, but they can also look about as good as any other movie. That’s the crap shoot; they can look fine but still be about werewolves or whatever. In fact, some of these movies might do okay by today’s standards if moderned up a bit. Just a bit.
This is where artist Nick Acosta comes in. On top of the cool concept art and character designs he does, he also likes toying with video and the art of the movie trailer. Now, trailers these days tend to give away all the best parts of the movie and be entirely too long, so this is exactly the MO used by Acosta on three b-movies, all of which were featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Using music by the likes of composers Michael Giacchino (LOST), Sean Callery (24), Murray Gold (Doctor Who) and the rock band The Mars Volta, Acosta gives us a 5-minute version of everything you’d like to know about these less-than-stellar films.
First, we have 1966’s immortal bad movie classic Manos: The Hands of Fate, which of course is Spanish for “Hands: The Hands of Fate.” An as-yet incomplete HD restoration of the traditionally terrible-looking horror movie is happening right now so Acosta used that where he could… and it’s kind of amazing to see Torgo in hi-def.
Next, the first of two 1957 Bert I. Gordon films, this one is the movie that launched Peter Graves as the king of bad sci-fi, along with giant grasshoppers which were really just regular grasshoppers moving across a postcard of Chicago, The Beginning of the End.
Finally, Gordon’s film that surmises that, who needs grasshoppers; maybe atomic weapons just make people big and giant!
These are all very well done. Can’t wait to see what schlock Acosta tackles next.