HorrorFam.com’s founder, Lauren Spear, and her father, Robert Tharp (former practical special FX artist), share their “desert island” picks for the best genre movies throughout the decades. Here, “best” means “movies they enjoyed the most”… and they’ve enjoyed a lot of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy films over the years! Did your personal favorites make either of their Top 10(ish) lists for each decade? Find out!
“Part One” of a two(?!)-part series.
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Lauren Spear: Hi, Everyone! I’m Lauren Spear of HorrorFam.com and, today, I’m here with my dad: Robert Tharp! And we’re going to talk about movies throughout the decades. Hey, Dad!
Robert Tharp: Hey, Honey!
Lauren: So, we were talking about, basically, our “desert island” lists of movies that we’d, you know, take along with us from each decade. Not necessarily the “best” of the decades or the “most important,” but the ones we enjoy the most.
Rob: Yeah. Why would I want to be on a desert island with movies that are way too important for me to enjoy?
Lauren: Yeah! So… We start with the 1930s all the way through the 2000s and we’re not going to do all of them today, but this will be the first of a series, I suppose…?
Rob: Or we could finish them off all today and think of something else to do next time.
Lauren: I think my voice would probably wear out before we got all the way through the entire history of movies.
Rob: Let’s jump to it! What do you have for your picks for the ’30s?
Lauren: I actually don’t have a lot from the ’30s. *sheepish laugh* There were… a lot of important movies, obviously. The Universal Monster movies — original Dracula, Frankenstein — and Freaks… all those movies. But I think those are important and, you know, they have their place, but they’re not necessarily ones I’d want to bring with me.
Rob: What about The Invisible Man? You liked that one when you were a kid.
Lauren: I do enjoy The Invisible Man. Yes.
Rob: You liked the pants dancing down the road singing.
Lauren: I still like that! *laughs*
Rob: Everybody likes dancing pants.
Lauren: Yeah. Who wouldn’t like dancing pants?
Rob: Or The Wizard of Oz?
Lauren: Yeah, of course. The Wizard of Oz. That’s on my list. I meant to put The Invisible Man on my list, but I forgot.
Rob: I’ve got it on my list here.
Lauren: And… Mad Love. That one’s on my list.
Rob: That one’s awesome.
Lauren: It is awesome.
Rob: Peter Lorre… He was the best when it came to being madly in love.
Lauren: *snort* Yeah… *laughs*
Rob: I’ve got King Kong on my list.
Lauren: I like King Kong, but it was just…it’s just…
Rob: Too sad?
Lauren: Yeahhhh. It’s too sad.
Rob: That’s how I felt about the Hunchback of Notre Dame. That’s why that one — although I really like it as a good movie… It depresses me.
Lauren: Yeah. That’s kinda how I feel about Frankenstein and King Kong. Those are good movies and they’re important… but they bum me out!
Rob: Still, Wizard of Oz had the scariest bad guy in it until Darth Vader showed up in the ’70s.
Lauren: Yeah, I suppose…? *laughs*
Rob: They both look good in black.
Lauren: They do both look good in black. That’s true.
Rob: Want to move onto the ’40s now?
Lauren: Oh! Uh… Sure!
Lauren: Oh, and one thing I should mention is that our lists are more… “genre” movies than just strictly horror movies. Because, for one thing, there weren’t always a ton of horror movies for the decades. Or, the ones that there were weren’t that great… So, we also included some sci-fi and fantasy movies in our picks.
Rob: These are our picks! Other people can pick stuff of their own and they can get in touch with you and say “Why didn’t you include this?” and “Why didn’t you include…?”
Spanish Dracula from the 1930s was fun to see! I didn’t see that until I was older, but the stuff that I had read that said it was better than the original… I thought they had some pretty good points. The guy that’s playing Dracula isn’t as good as Bela Lugosi and Renfield isn’t as good… But, the other people were as good or better! And the movie moves a lot quicker.
Lauren: Ah, okay. Well… pacing would be good.
Rob: And you can tell that the—
Lauren: I haven’t seen that one, but now I might have to check it out.
Rob: Well, the girl in the original Dracula — Helen Chandler is the actress… I had the hardest time telling whether she was under Dracula’s control or not because her performance didn’t change a whole lot. But, Lupita Tovar—
Lauren: *laughs* That’s true!
Rob: Yeah. I mean, she was a zombie either way! But, Lupita Tovar in the Spanish Dracula: Way better!
Lauren: Oh, okay.
Rob: So, worth checking out for Lupita.
Rob: She just died a couple years ago. She was like 107 years old…
Lauren: Oh, wow. Aw. Shoutout to Lupita.
Rob: Yeah. Wherever you are now.
Rob: Okay. So!
Lauren: Well, that was a bummer note.
Onto the ’40s?
Rob: It was horrifying. *laughs*
Lauren: It was horrifying.
Rob: Okay. Top ’40s movies!
Lauren: Well, I think we probably have a lot of the same ones for the ’40s.
Rob: Let’s find out.
Lauren: Well, I have your favorite movie: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
Rob: So much my fave.
Lauren: Yeah. It’s like The Monster Squad for your generation. *laughs* All the Universal Monsters in one movie.
Rob: Yeah, pretty much. All the ones that mattered at the time.
The Creature hadn’t come along. [Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein] was 1948, so the Creature gets a pass.
Rob: But it had Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman, and—
Lauren: The Invisible Man!
Rob: Yeah. Uh, spoiler there. But the Invisible Man turns up too.
Lauren: Which The Monster Squad didn’t have so, you know, it evens out.
Rob: It may have! *laughs*
Lauren: “It may have!” *laughs* Yeah! He was just in the background the whole time and nobody noticed and he didn’t say anything.
Rob: Yeah. Top pick for the ’40s for me was A&C Meet Frankenstein. I love the comedy and it had my favorite three monsters from the Universal series in it, so top marks for that.
I used to watch it every Halloween. They would show it once a year, on Halloween night, from 4:30-6:00[pm] and that would be when I would have dinner, get into my costume, and — when the movie ended — go out and trick-or-treat.
Lauren: Yeah, well, it’s still our yearly Halloween movie even now!
Rob: Yeah. I must’ve seen that… Wow. Too many times to count!
Lauren: Yeah, me too. *laughs*
Rob: Okay, well, what else is on your list? I’ll see if it’s on mine.
Lauren: Well, I put The Wolfman because we watched that again recently because my husband, Frank… You know Frank!
Rob: Hey, Frank!
Both: Shoutout to Frank!
Rob: Bread and butter.
Lauren: Well, um, he hadn’t seen any of the Universal Monster movies, so we were introducing him to those and—
Rob: He was pleased to meet them!
Lauren: He was pleased to meet them. Yes.
And, when we re-watched The Wolfman I was like, “Oh yeahhh. I remembered liking this movie and… I still like it!”
It was really funny because, like, that one scene where he’s peeping on that chick… and then he’s going out on that date with those two girls and it’s like, “Oh! So, he was a ‘wolf’ before he turned into the Wolfman!”
Rob: Yeah. He’s a total horndog.
Lauren: Yeah! That was something I didn’t pick up on as a youngster! So, it was fun watching that one again as an adult and being like, “Ohhhh. I see what they’re doin’ there!”
Rob: Yeah. Giving him access to a telescope in a small town? That, uh, that probably wasn’t smart.
Rob: Yeah, that was fun doing that with Frank. And, it made me remember back how much I enjoyed watching these movies with you when we were…
Well, when you were growing up. I was already grown-up by the time I was your dad.
Lauren: I would hope so!
Rob: Yeah. *laughs*
Lauren: Though, actually, thinking back on it… I’m older now than you were when I was born and—
Rob: You’re doing way too much math.
Lauren: Well, yeah. But just, like, oh man… I’m so immature and you were already my dad five years before now and, like, “Oh man. How did he manage that?”
Rob: I knooooow!
Rob: And I had no previous “dad” experience!
Rob: Still, you were very new at being a child soooooo, you know… We were even.
Lauren: Yeah, that’s true. It all worked out.
Rob: One way or another…
What else is on [your list]?
Lauren: Shadow of a Doubt! I have Shadow of a Doubt on [my list]. That’s probably my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movie.
Rob: That’s the one with Uncle Charlie, right?
Rob: Yeahhh. That one… If you people out there in Horror Movie Fandom Land having seen Shadow of a Doubt, that one is really good. It’s suspenseful and it’s well-acted and—
Lauren: Yeah, it even has some moments of humor.
Lauren: But it’s mostly like, “Oh mannnn. Worst. Uncle. Ever!”
Rob: Yeah. In a genre that invites uncle comparisons, Uncle Charlie gets top marks for being a bad uncle. *laughs*
Rob: And yet, he’s still kind of a sympathetic character. That’s a good choice.
I’ve got on here… Return of the Vampire with Bela Lugosi. Which I actually prefer to the original Dracula that made him a Dracula movie star.
Lauren: Gosh… You know what? I don’t remember if I’ve seen that or not.
Rob: Return of the Vampire was not done at Universal, it was done by Columbia, I think. And they couldn’t call him “Count Dracula” because Universal woulda smacked ’em. So, he’s, uh… I can’t remember what he’s called. Some other nobleman who’s not Count Dracula.
But he’s got a werewolf assistant — who looks quite a bit like Lon Chaney’s Wolfman — and [Bela] gets a lot more talking time than he did in Dracula.
He wears the same Dracula outfit and acts exactly the same as he did as Dracula, but he had a little more time to talk and he’s got a werewolf that looks great. And, Return of the Vampire was the first vampire movie that had the vampire do an on-screen meltdown.
Rob: Yeah. At the end of the movie — seventy-year-old spoiler alert! — the werewolf finds religion, becomes a useful citizen, and drags Dracula…er…Bela…out into the sunlight. And they cast a lifecast of Lugosi, cast it in wax, put it over a skull, did the makeup on it, and then melted it down.
Lauren: Okay. Yeah. I have seen that scene.
Rob: Yeah. It’s brief, by today’s standards; but, back in 1943… Or was it ’44? Anyway: Back then, that was a shockeroo!
Lauren: Yeah, I’ll bet!
Rob: And, occasionally, when it would be broadcast—
Lauren: That was a decent effect!
Rob: Yeah, it was.
Lauren: I remember that!
Rob: It looked good. They should’ve shown more of it.
Lauren: Nah. Nah. Less is more sometimes!
Rob: When it broadcast on television, sometimes they would show that part and sometimes it would get cut out. You considered yourself a lucky kid if they broadcast the version that left that in.
Lauren: Ohhhh. Oh, man. What a terrible thing to cut out!
Rob: Yeah, well, back in the ’50s and ’60s, you were not only subject to movies being edited by the station to allow for running time to include all the car commercials and whatnot, but there was also the censorship editing that they would do if they cared enough to. *chuckles*
Rob: Anything that looked like it might be distasteful might hit the cutting room floor.
Rob: Local stations were usually better about broadcasting movies in-tact than the National network broadcasts because [the National broadcasters] had a lot more areas to make sure they didn’t offend.
Yeah… You young whippersnappers that grew up with VCHes… and… VHSes?
Rob: And BVDs…
Rob: Yeah! All those movies at your fingertips… Well… You don’t know what it was like!!
Rob: Say, “Okay, Boomer.”
Lauren: Wha— *laughs harder* Noooo!
Rob: Well, that’s mine. What else you got?
Lauren: Well, I think you’ve got some more on your list too, but…
Rob: We’re trading.
Lauren: Well, uh, I think this is on both of our lists: The Thief of Bagdad.
Rob: Good one.
Lauren: Yeah. I have the Criterion Collection special edition of that one. I love that movie!
Rob: That one’s great. It’s a good kids’ movie, but it’s also good enough to have adults sit through — even without any kids for an excuse — and enjoy it.
Lauren: Yeah, that movie always makes me really hungry for sausages.
Rob: Yeah. “Aladdin” wishes for sausages for his first wish…
Rob: And they do look good!
Lauren: Yeah. It’s like, “Oh man. What? That’s a waste of a wish!” and then you see them and you’re like, “Oh yeahhh. I can see why he wished for those.”
Rob: Yeah, he wishes for some of the sausages his mom makes and, gosh, she must’ve been a good cook. I’m surprised he was so buff.
Yeah… his mom’s sausages looked delicious.
Another movie that one is real similar too, with the same actor — Sabu — was The Jungle Book. I really liked that. Up until the most recent one that Disney came out with, that one was far and away my favorite [Jungle Book adaptation]. Great technicolor, great special effects on the talking animals, and it was the closest to the original Rudyard Kipling stories. And, that would also include the most recent one, which was good but it wasn’t as close to the stories they’re based on as the one with Sabu from the ’40s.
Lauren: Yeah. I really didn’t like the cartoon version.
Rob: No. I saw that in the theater when it first came out and I was real disappointed by it. I know it was popular, but I was kind of a[n] “if it didn’t stick to the book, then I don’t like it!” [fan]. And… that one didn’t. *laughs*
Lauren: Yeah. And, uh…ehhhhhhhh… It was just kinda ugly. *laughs*
Rob: That too. Not Disney’s best.
Lauren: Well, speaking of talking animals and whatnot—
Rob: Okay. Let’s.
Rob: Let’s do it.
Lauren: Noooo. That… That was a segue.
The animal in—
Rob: *loud whisper* Sorry!
Lauren: That’s okay. *laughs*
The animal in this one doesn’t exactly talk, but… But there was an animal!
Mighty Joe Young.
Rob: That’s a good one.
Rob: It’s like a friendlier version of King Kong.
Rob: One that doesn’t make you cry at the end.
Lauren: Yeah, exactly. It was like King Kong, but it didn’t make you cry at the end. Things turned out okay for that ape!
Rob: Yeah, I like that one. I like King Kong better, but I like Mighty Joe Young and it’s got a more mellow vibe to it.
That was Ray Harryhausen’s first—
Lauren: Yeah! Ray Harryhausen did that one.
Rob: Well, he did part of it. Willis O’Brien, who did King Kong, did the bulk of it. But, Ray Harryhausen was his assistant on that movie and that was one of his earliest animation jobs was working on that.
Lauren: That’s interesting ’cause, like, Ray Harryhausen became such a huge… I guess… star for special effects.
Rob: Yeah, he was the stop-motion animation superstar guy!
Lauren: Yeah… So his name just kinda gets top billing now and…um…
Rob: Willis O’Brien.
Lauren: Yes. *sheepish laugh* This O’Brien fellow… I wasn’t even really aware that he had worked on that. And now, hearing that he did the bulk of the work, it’s like, “Ohhhhhh. That’s unfortunate.”
Rob: No, it’s a good thing! You know? He kinda passed the torch to Ray Harryhausen and Harryhausen was good enough to run with it.
Lauren: Yeah, I guess that’s true. But he should still be credited for his work. So good for you for doing that!
Rob: Yeah. Shoutout to Willie!
Lauren: All kinds of shoutouts today!
Rob: You want to stick with the ’40s or shall we move on?
Lauren: No! I still have some for the ’40s!
Rob: Do it.
Lauren: The Ghost Breakers. That’s kind of a horror-comedy. One of the first horror-comedies.
Rob: That’s the one with Bob Hope, right?
Lauren: Yes! It actually… I think it came out before Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein?
Rob: Yeah, it did.
Lauren: So, yeah. It was one of the first horror-comedies. And I like it! I like a lot of Bob Hope’s movies.
Rob: Yeah, that one had a scary zombie in it too.
Lauren: Yeahhh. An old-school zombie.
Rob: Yeah. One of those not radioactive but voodoo zombies.
Lauren: Yes! A classic voodoo zombie.
And then… These are just some of my favorite movies in general…
I Married a Witch with Veronica Lake and, uh… Oh, God. I just forgot his name!
Rob: Cecil Kellaway.
Lauren: No! *laughs* Well…
Rob: Come on. He’s in it!
Lauren: Yeah, he is in it. But I meant… March. What’s his…?
Rob: Fredric March.
Rob: Who was also one of the only actors to win an Academy Award for a horror movie when he played Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Rob: Which, for some weird reason, they pronounced “Jee-kel.”
Lauren: Yeah, that is weird.
Rob: Yeah. Points off for that.
Lauren: Yeah, points off.
Rob: But he was still Dr. Jekyll.
And [the other movie on my list is] The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.
Rob: Good choice!
Rob: When I was a kid in the ’60s, I used to watch a TV series called The Ghost and Mrs. Muir that I didn’t realize, at the time, was based on that movie. I didn’t the movie that you saw until years later and I thought, “Ohhh! This is way better than that TV series! That TV series was stupid!” *chuckles*
Lauren: I love that movie so much. It’s one of my [all-time] favorites. I just love the idea of a woman who’s a ghostwriter for a ghost. *giggles*
I like a lot of ghost-themed movies… But, uh, yeah. That’s definitely one of my favorites. It’s got it all! Y’know?
Rob: Yeah, I can see how that would be a favorite of yours because it’s real romantic and yet it’s got that fantasy element to it.
Lauren: Yeah, it’s romantic… It’s got the kinda supernatural-fantasy elements to it. It’s got some comedy. It’s got a lot of drama — sad stuff. It’s got everything!
Rob: Okay! There it is. Four stars. If you haven’t seen The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, you should check it out.
Oh! And it also has a really good soundtrack. The score by Bernard Her—
Rob: Bernard Herrmann.
Rob: Yeah. He got real famous for doing great scores for genre movies — Hitchcock movies in particular.
Lauren: Yeah, he did. Yeah. He did a lot of the music for the Sinbad movies and Jason and the Argonauts…
Rob: The Harryhausen movies.
Lauren: Yeah. Ah, man… Those have great music! But I didn’t find out until much later in life that it was all the same dude doing my favorite movie scores! *sheepish giggle*
Rob: Yeah. Danny Elfman seems to have picked that baton up and run with it from the late ’80s on for so many of Tim Burton’s fantasy-type movies, in particular. You look… “Oh yeah… Danny Elfman doing the music again…”
Lauren: Yeah. Very recognizable style.
Rob: Okay. Are we still doing the 1940s? Because I’ve got a couple left here…
Lauren: Yeah. I think I went through my entire list…? But it looks like you’ve got a few more.
Rob: Just to touch on briefly.
Lauren: Oh! Well… I also wrote down Here Comes Mr. Jordan.
Rob: I haven’t seen that one in ages!
Lauren: Yeah, it’s kind of a weird one.
Oh! And I… We both have lil notecards that we wrote our picks on so we wouldn’t blank out when we got in front of the mic and get flustered—
Rob: Didn’t work, did it?! *laughs*
Lauren: I have a bunch of notes on the back [of my card] of…stuff. But, uh, it’s Dad’s turn. So, uh… go for it.
Rob: Okay, real quick: Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman. Which is my favorite of the Universal sequels.
Lauren: It’s a crossover team-up kinda movie.
Rob: Yeah, it was the first of the Universal team-up movies. And I think the first 20 minutes of that are the absolute best Wolfman movie of the Universal series. And…once he meets Frankenstein…that movie just goes nuts!
Rob: It’s just off the chart… I don’t know if “horrible” is the right word, but it’s fun all the way through.
But, the first part is a really good straight scary movie with the Wolfman as the star.
Lauren: It does get pretty bonkers!
Rob: Yeah, once he meets Bela Lugosi as the blind Frankenstein monster…
Lauren: Yeahhhhhhh. That was…
Rob: …and they don’t mention he’s blind…
Rob: Yeah. He’s blind from the previous movie, but he was also talking in the voice of Igor whose brain was transplanted into Frankenstein’s head in the last movie. But, when preview audiences in the ’40s saw Frankenstein talkin’ in Bela Lugosi’s voice saying, “I vill rule zee vorld!” they just started laughing and rolling in the aisles. They thought it was ridiculous!
So, Universal cut out all the parts where he was talking. Cut out any reference to his being blind and ended up making Bela Lugosi’s first and only performance as the Frankenstein monster the worst in history! And, the—
Lauren: So that’s what happened!
Rob: Yeah! The image of Frankenstein sticking his arms out straight and stomping around looking vaguely robot-ish… That was because of that!
Lauren: Ohhhhh. Okay!
Rob: He was pretending that he was blind, and it just kinda stuck. That’s the new Frankenstein walk — with your arms sticking out like you’re afraid to bump into stuff.
Lauren: Oh! Okay… Well! That explains a lot.
Rob: Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman: Half a really good horror movie and half just a…a…
Lauren: A mess.
Rob: A mess… But a fun mess.
Lauren: It’s a fun mess, yeah.
Rob: And there’s a great fight scene between the Wolfman and Frankenstein at the very end of the movie.
Lauren: Plus, you get two monsters for the price of one.
Rob: Exactly! That’s why I would buy Batman and Superman “together” comics — World’s Finest comics. I’d get my two favorite heroes for the price of one!
Lauren: There you go! And what was that price, Dad?
Rob: Twelve cents.
Lauren: Oh my God. *laughs*
Rob: And it was worth it!
Lauren: I’m sure!
Rob: Okay! Are we done? Or did you want to do more?
Lauren: Well, you’ve still got some more on your list. You’ve got, like, two… I’m looking over your shoulder and you’ve got two that start with “House.”
Lauren: And I see a cartoon on there.
Rob: House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula. Two more sequels in the Monster Marathon series from Universal. If you like the other ones, then check out those too.
And, Pinocchio is on here because… It scared me when I was a little kid watching Lampwick get turned into a donkey for being a wicked child that smoked.
Lauren: You are a wicked child that smokes!
Rob: Stop it!
Rob: Annnnnnnd, yeah. Great animation. I think, if I had to pick a favorite Disney cartoon, it’d probably be Pinocchio.
Interesting thing about Pinocchio: All the bad guys get away scot-free! Nobody gets caught, nobody punished, nobody gets accidentally-on-purpose dropped off a cliff to their doom…
Lauren: Oh my God.
Rob: Monstro the whale gets knocked cold but apparently will be just fine.
Lauren: Yeah, you’re right! Wait…
Rob: The fox and the cat? They’re out there still. Coachman’s out there still.
Lauren: Oh my G—
Rob: Stromboli just drove away! He didn’t have Pinocchio as a prisoner anymore, but he’s fine.
Lauren: Oh my God… Yeah. You’re right. But… But wait! This was during the ’40s! Wasn’t the Hays Code around?
Lauren: But… But how did they get away with that?!
Rob: That is totally unusual. They ruined so many movies during that period by having to apply that “any bad guys will be punished for their evil deeds.”
And yet, in that movie, Pinocchio, none of the bad guys get punished. No evildoers are brought to justice. The fact that Pinocchio escapes with his life is the best that you’re able to do in that movie.
It was so lifelike in that regard, don’t you think?
Lauren: Speaking of Disney cartoons…
Rob: You want to?
Lauren: Well, we were! *laughs* But, uh, I wrote down…
I don’t really like Fantasia that much, but I—
Lauren: Yeah. It’s… It’s super boring. But, it is interesting for the “Night on Bald Moutain” segment.
Lauren: Yeah. It’s like, “Oh, whoaaaaaaaaaaa! It’s the Devil!” Which I guess is the Chernabog…?
Lauren: A Slavic mythology demon? But Walt Disney called him “Satan himself” when [“Night on Bald Mountain”] appeared on the Wonderful World of Disney…
Rob: Looked like [Satan] to me! …When last seen.
Lauren: Either way, it’s like… There’s a devil — a demon! — in a Disney cartoon. That’s pretty intense.
Rob: Want another trivia nugget?
Rob: Bela Lugosi picked up a day’s pay going in and modeling the gestures for the animators for the, uh, Balrog or whatever he is…
Rob: Chernabog! …for that segment of Fantasia.
Lauren: Ohhhh. Okay!
Rob: They had him come in for the day and filmed him making this Bela Lugosi hand gestures and whatnot and they didn’t rotoscope him, that I know of, but they used him as their…
Lauren: As reference.
Rob: Animation model.
Lauren: That makes sense.
Rob: For animating his flamboyantly devilish gestures.
Anyway, Bela’s done his day at Disney and is a limited part, but an important part, of the movie Fantasia.
Lauren: Very cool.
Rob: Let’s think about that for a second…
Rob: Okay, let’s stop.
Lauren: Oh! For other terrifying Disney cartoons of the era, I wrote down Dumbo. Because the “Pink Elephants on Parade” is just… Ohhhhhhhhhhh. Whooaaaaa! What is happening?!
Rob: That’s enough to put you off drinking for an extra year or so! *laughs*
Yeahhhh. That part was amusing for adults and disturbing for children.
Lauren: Yeahhhhhh… It’s… We were talking about this the other day! There are so many scenes in movies that, at least for me, I watched as a child and kinda went “Wait. Did I dream that or did that really happen? I need to rewatch this to see.” And that was one of those scenes that was like, “Did I fall asleep and have a nightmare or was that actually in the movie?!”
Rob: Well, it’s actually in the movie. And, yeah, I could see… That’s disturbing.
Also: Those clowns! This was way before Killer Klowns, but those clowns were acting really disturbing!
Lauren: The clowns were disturbing!
Rob: They were not behaving in the way that clowns were expected to behave back in the earlier days.
Lauren: Clowns are always creepy. Even back in the ’40s in a cartoon! Clowns are creepy.
Rob: There was a real brief period when clowns were acceptable… With Howdy Doody and Clarabell the clown. And then Bozo the clown. And Ronald McDonald. Clowns… Clowns were jolly good fun and presented as such.
But, yeah. By and large, clowns are really scary and disturbing.
Rob: Lon Chaney, Sr. knew it in those old silent movies and it’s still true today. *chuckles*
Rob: Shoutout to the Chiodo Brothers for their Killer Klowns [from Outer Space] and Stephen King for Pennywise.
Lauren: Yeah! *laughs*
And I wrote down a couple, like, noir films… The Maltese Falcon. The 1940’s version… I really enjoyed. And that book is one of my favorite books.
Rob: Excellent choice. Not a genre movie, but anybody that’s interested in watching a good movie…
Well, it does have Peter Lorre! So, there’s a tie-in there.
Lauren: Yeah. There you go!
Yeah… These are just kind of like “honorable mentions” or just things from the era that I’m like, “Well, I also like theeeeeeeeeeese… They didn’t fit with the lists, but I really like them and want to talk about them!”
Rob: Might be your only chance to get them in so… Go ahead and get ’em in.
Rob: Good one.
Lauren: Yeahhhhhh. *giggles* The, uh… I guess the main villain in that… is a writer and he was talking about how he got paid fifty cents a word and, when I was first starting my writing career, I was like “Whooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! He’s making fifty cents a word?? In 1940’s dollars?! That guy is… whoa. He’s at the top of his game!”
Rob: Yeah. He was top dollar and, considering the amount of talking he did in that movie, he was making a fortune!
Lauren: Yeah. Exactly! If he was getting paid by the word and he wrote as much as he talked… He was doing okay!
Rob: *laughs* Mr. Easy Street!
Lauren: I was like, “Yeah! I wanna be like that guy… But without all the murder!”
Rob: Well, you know… There’s good and bad. No job’s all gravy!
Lauren: And, uh, I also wrote down Citizen Kane. Like… It’s one of those movies that everyone should see. And it’s known as “the greatest movie of all time” even now…
That’s kind of weird because that was so long ago!
Rob: That is a great movie and everybody should see it at least once, but I consider the “greatest movie ever made” one that I can watch over and over and not get bored with it.
Lauren: I wanted to mention it just for historical reference. Like, “Hey! Remember the 1940s? We came out with the greatest movie ever made! And… nothing else has topped it since then, apparently!”
Rob: Citizen Kane got beat out for best picture at the Oscars by one that I actually have never seen called How Green Was My Valley.
Lauren: I’ve never even heard of that! *laughs*
Rob: Yeah. Most people haven’t. But that was what beat Citizen Kane for Best Picture. And… That’s one that I’m going to have to add to my Bucket List because I’ve always known that and I’ve always been curious: What was the movie that beat Citizen Kane like?
Lauren: Yeahhhhhh! Now I want to see it.
Rob: Maybe we can watch that together at some point. I’m sure it’s on one of those bazillion streaming channels.
Lauren: Possibly, yeah.
But, yeah… It’s like… Citizen Kane is the “best movie ever made” and it’s kind of like that “best thing since sliced bread.” Like… Really? Sliced bread? I mean… We’ve come out with so many things since then! *laughs*
Lauren: What about the VHS player? That was pretty cool!
Rob: Yeah, but… what a crunchy sandwich! *laughs*
Lauren: And then I wrote this down as an honorable mention, but I think it actually made your Top Ten: La Belle et la Bête?
Rob: Yeah. Only that’s French. Give it to ’em in English.
Lauren: Oh, uh, Beauty and the Beast… French version.
Rob: Yeah. That movie is truly awesome. It’s got amazingly good special effects and makeup. The Beast looks like a version of the Wolfman, but—
Rob: Yeah. Better-looking.
And, yeah…! It’s just a great movie. All kinds of special effects and…
Lauren: The set design is really, really nifty.
Rob: Yeah. Yeah! Ordinarily, my taste in foreign films runs more towards Santo and vampire women, but [La Belle et la Bête] is definitely worth seeing.
And you don’t have to speak French because the movie’s got great subtitles.
Lauren: Yeah. Also, it’s primarily just… visual. It’s almost like a music video where you don’t really need to know what they’re saying to understand what’s happening.
Rob: That’s true. That movie could’ve easily been a music video in the ’80s.
Lauren: Yeah! A really long music video!
Rob: …without very much music.
Lauren: Yeah… aww.
Rob: But, visually, it would’ve made a good music video.
Rob: Okay. Are we done with the ’40s?
Rob: Do you want to do the ’50s? Or do you want to stop?
Lauren: Let’s do the ’50s!
Rob: Nifty ’50s! Let’s do it!
Lauren: Okay! All right…
Rob: Can we take a smoke break?
Lauren: *snort* …Sure.
Lauren: Okay. We’ll be right back!
Lauren: Okay! Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd… We’re back! And Dad has not been turned into a donkey! So, we’re going to proceed.
Rob: Why would I be turned into a donkey?
Rob: Oh yeah! From smoking. Okay. Nice one.
Lauren: Yeah. That… That was earlier in the show.
Rob: Lil callback.
Lauren: The 1950s!
Rob: Whew! Okay. Made it to my decade!
Lauren: Yeah! The decade of your birth!
Rob: Okay. I don’t want to date myself. Why don’t you go first?
Lauren: I don’t want to date myself either…
Rob: Top pick?
Rob: Me too.
Lauren: That’s also the…?
Rob: First one that I wrote down.
Lauren: First one that I wrote down!
Lauren: Best movie of the ’50s: THEM!
Actually, the HorrorFam.com logo is… Well, our primary mascot, Zander the mutant ant, is based on the ants from THEM!
Rob: Excellent choice.
Lauren: Yeah. But we dressed him up in ’80s clothes so he’s cool!
Rob: He was cool even naked.
Lauren: *stammers* Uh, yeah, well… Yeah. I guess?
Rob: THEM!, for me, was the most awesome movie ever. I didn’t see it in the theater. I saw it on television and it had awesome giant ants and it took place… Well, the climax of the movie took place in Los Angeles, where I grew up, in locations that I recognized… And it just got top marks all around!
Lauren: Yeah! Like, whenever we hear that weird squeaking noise in real life from…various things…it’s always like: *gasps* “Giant ants! They’re coming! THEM!!”
Rob: Whenever the belts on my car aren’t gripping right and start making that squealing noise…
Rob: Yup. Yup. I think, “Man, I’ve got giant ants under the hood.”
Rob: Okay. Any people that haven’t seen THEM!: You’re seriously deficient and you need to go out and rent or — better yet — buy that movie and watch it over and over until you’ve caught up with us.
Rob: What else is on your list?
Lauren: Well, I actually have two William Castle films for the ’50s. I’ve got House on Haunted Hill and The Tingler.
Rob: Can’t argue. Both great movies.
Lauren: Yes. *laughs*
Both starring Vincent Price.
Rob: I’ve also got The Thing…
Lauren: You know, I like the last…hmmmm…like, I guess, ten minutes of that movie?
Rob: *dramatic horrified gasp*
Lauren: I know. I’m sorry.
Rob: It’s not your fault.
Lauren: I really liked the 1980s remake of that movie. And I love the monster from the original Thing from Outer Space. Wait… is it Thing from Outer Space…? Thing from Another World!
Rob: Thing from Another World.
Lauren: Yeah. Thing from Another World! Sorry. My brain is bleeehhhhhh. I’m still getting over being sick. Dad is as well. He was also hit with “The Crud.”
Rob: It’s true. I’m sorry.
Lauren: You don’t have to be sorry! *laughs*
Rob: Okay, well, whether it’s because you enjoy it or historical reference movie… It is definitely worth seeing.
Lauren: Yeahhhhh. I do love that monster. James Arness as the Thing…
Rob: He was also the star of THEM!
Lauren: That’s true!
Lauren: But he’s not a monster in that one.
Rob: No, he’s the hero in that one.
Rob: And he wasn’t too crazy about playing a monster in the movie The Thing. He thought he was way too handsome to be a monster.
Lauren: *skeptical/disagreeing noise*
Rob: Okay, [his handsomeness] is debatable! But he did make a good monster in that movie whether he liked the job or not.
Rob: And, by the time he was in his 80s, he kinda mellowed about having played the monster. Up for… years, I guess, he wasn’t real happy with anybody that would bring up that he had been that monster and would kinda blow ’em off if they asked for an autograph.
Okay! Another personal favorite from the ’50s is The Crawling Eye.
Lauren: That is also on my list!
Rob: Or, The Trollenberg Terror as it was called originally. It’s an English movie with Forrest Tucker and Caroline…Munro… No! Janet Munro! Caroline Munro’s later.
Lauren: The girl from Darby O’Gill and the Little People.
Rob: Right. And Swiss Family Robinson.
Rob: Which… isn’t a terror movie, but she’s in it so… *sheepish chuckle*
Rob: Yeah. The Crawling Eye is an alien invasion movie. It’s got psychic possession and zombies and… If you look at it logically, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it’s a lot of fun movie!
Lauren: Yeah. I think about it… We live surrounded by mountains and it gets foggy up on those mountains quite often. Whenever you get up real early, you can see the fog up on the mountains…
Rob: Important plot point from that movie.
Lauren: Yeah! There might be giant eyeball monsters hiding up in those mountains!
Rob: Yeah. The eyeball aliens hid inside clouds on the tops of high mountains.
Rob: Great movie to watch with kids. It’s scary, but not too scary for most kids.
Lauren: Yeah! But… But that opening scene where the guy… doesn’t have a head is…
Rob: Well, yeahhhh.
Lauren: But… I mean…
Rob: Yeah? Go on!
Lauren: Yeah. *laughs* Yeah, I’d say it’s kid-appropriate.
Rob: Well, whether it is or not, I watched it when I was a kid and liked it… and I still do.
Lauren: Me too.
And… Darby O’Gill and the Little People. Same actress in both movies. And I think Darby O’Gill is on your list for [the 1950s]…?
Rob: Yeah. It sure is.
Lauren: And, that movie… It’s not a horror movie, but it’s got some pretty scary stuff in it!
Rob: It’s got great special effects. It’s got some really scary suspenseful stuff. And, it’s got… That’s the movie that got Sean Connery his job playing James Bond in the James Bond series.
Rob: Walt Disney cast him in [Darby O’Gill and the Little People] and the producers of the James Bond movies saw him in that and, although he wasn’t their first choice to play James Bond, he’s the guy that they went to based on his performance in Darby O’Gill.
Lauren: Well, he was great in that. He sings in that!
Rob: Yeah! Not particularly well… But, if you ever wanted to see James Bond sing, that’s the movie to do it.
Lauren: Yeah… Yeah. The banshee and the cóiste-bodhar… I guess even the leprechauns are a little unnerving?
Rob: Yeah, they’re a little disturbing.
Amazing special effects for the time period. They still hold up really well today. And, just like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein was a Halloween night tradition, Darby O’Gill is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition. If we watch a movie on St. Patrick’s Day: Nine times out of 10, it’ll be Darby O’Gill. Very Irish movie.
Lauren: Yup. So Irish you can barely understand what they’re saying!
Rob: Definitely have the closed captions on for that movie. There’s a whole lotta Gaelic and Irish slang that you won’t make heads or tails of without a scorecard.
Rob: Okay. You wanna go next…?
Lauren: Well, I put down Night of the Hunter.
Rob: That’s a good one.
Lauren: Yeahhhhh. I didn’t see that one until I was an adult, but I was like, “Whoa! This movie’s intense!” *laughs*
Rob: Yeah. Robert Mitchum is really mondo creepy in that movie.
Lauren: Yeah. And, if you ever see… There’s cartoons and other movies and stuff that parody the writing across his knuckles…
He plays a—
Rob: He’s a bogus preacher!
Lauren: Yeah. He’s a bogus preacher and he has “love” tattooed on one hand and “hate” tattooed on the other… And that imagery comes up in a lot of spoofs and I never really got the reference until I actually saw the movie and went “Ohhhhhhhh! So that’s what that’s from! …Whoa. This movie’s creepy!”
Rob: That movie’s way creepy and I’m surprised that nobody’s remade it.
Robert Mitchum played another creepy murderous serial killer-type in the early ’60s in a movie called Cape Fear.
Lauren: They did remake that one.
Rob: They remade that with Robert De Niro in the Robert Mitchum part. And that movie’s also creepy — and kind of disgusting — but I don’t think that Robert De Niro, as good an actor as he is, was as good as Robert Mitchum for being a scary creepy guy.
Lauren: Battle of the Roberts.
Rob: Yeah. Scary Bobs!
Lauren: Yeah… And… I put down The Blob.
Rob: Classic, classic ’50s monster movie.
Lauren: And it’s got just… the best theme song.
Rob: Burt Bacharach did the theme music for The Blob.
Lauren: Yeah. As “The Five Blobs.”
Rob: Yeah. He went on to do all those 1960s hit songs. But the theme song for The Blob is great.
Lauren: Yeah, I love that. And there’s that one line that Steve McQueen says: “If that were true then today would be just like yesterday… Good old yesterday.”
I say that fairly often in my day-to-day life.
Rob: Steve McQueen and the gal that plays his girlfriend in that movie was Andy Griffith’s girlfriend or wife in the Andy of Mayberry TV series for a long time.
Lauren: Ohhhh. Okay.
Yeah. [The Blob] was one of those adults-playing-teenagers movies.
Rob: Steve McQueen insisted that he never claimed that he was a teenager in that movie — he was like their older friend.
Lauren: Riiiiiight… I guess that’s technically true, but… *laughs* But why did they have an older friend? That’s weird.
Rob: Eh. Sometimes it happens.
Lauren: Yeah, I guess so.
Rob: They never carded him.
Okay… I’ve got Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the original version, on my list.
Lauren: Yeah. I have it on my list too. But I have it as, like, number 11 [out of 10].
Rob: Well, it rated higher than that for me. I saw that when I was a kid and it scared the pants off me.
Lauren: That’s got Morticia Addams in it.
Rob: It does.
Lauren: Well, that’s not her actual name, but…
Rob: Carolyn Jones.
She was also in King Creole, which I love. I love that movie.
Rob: Yeah, that’s Elvis’ best movie, I think.
Lauren: Yeah. Elvis Presley.
Rob: Maybe… Maybe not his “best” movie. I like Follow That Dream too.
Lauren: Ehhh… I don’t know.
Rob: Wait. We’re getting off… We’re getting off on a tangent!
Lauren: Oh yeah. Enough about Elvis!
Rob: Yeah. Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Real good scary suspenseful movie.
And… one that’s in the same vein, that came out around the same time, was from England called Enemy from Space. It was called something else in England. Quatermass 2 was the title in England…
Lauren: Ohhhhh. Okay!
Rob: Yeah. Quatermass was the name of the rocket scientist who was the scientist hero in a series… A TV series and then movies that came out of England.
Lauren: I know I’ve seen at least one of those. I think it was… Quatermass and the Pit or something…?
Rob: Yeah. That was Five Million Miles to Earth. That came out in the ’60s, but yeah… Quatermass is the main character in that.
Rob: Another one on my list is also from England… It’s a real early Hammer movie called X the Unknown. Which, if you haven’t seen it, check it out. Because, if you like The Blob… It’s very very similar to The Blob.
[It’s] a little more documentary-style and…
Lauren: Documentary-style? Hmmm.
Rob: Yeah. It’s in black and white.
Lauren: That’s interesting.
Rob: It’s like English scientists and soldiers versus the Blob as opposed to technicolor American ’50s teenagers.
Rob: The Blob might be more fun, but X the Unknown is good. And it’s worth seeing at least once.
Okay. You do [a movie]!
Lauren: Okay. Well, for, I guess, alien-type movies… I put down I Married a Monster from Outer Space.
Rob: Good one!
Lauren: Yeah. That one’s kind of… Kind of bittersweet, I guess? Because it starts out really terrifying and then the alien, like, he kind of tries to be a good husband…?
Lauren: But he’s just… He’s not human. And he’s not her husband. And it’s like… aww.
Rob: Yeah, you feel kind of bad for him by the end of the movie.
Lauren: Yeah! At first you’re like, “Ah, man! They gotta get this dude!” Y’know? But, by the end, you’re like, “Aw, man… He’s trying!”
Rob: Yeah. *laughs* He’s not very good at being a husband, but he is trying.
Lauren: Yeah. *laughs*
Rob: Yeah, definitely one worth seeing and it’s got that gal that was in a lot of those in the ’50s… Uh, uh, blaaaahhhh… Help me out here? Gloria Talbot!
Rob: Yeah, she’s the bride of the alien from outer space.
Lauren: The girl with the blunt bangs.
Rob: Yeah. She does a real good job.
Lauren: Yeah, she does. She’s very good in that one.
Rob: Okay. One that’s on both our lists, I would assume, is Curse of the Demon.
Lauren: That is on my list. You’re correct.
Rob: There were almost no genuine horror movies during the ’50s. It was all about the science-fiction and radiation and stuff…
Lauren: Lotta mad scientists!
Rob: Yeah. Lotta madness.
But Curse of the Demon slipped in there and that movie’s terrific. Not only a great horror movie from the ’50s, but for just horror movies in general. That one’s top-notch.
Rob: Kind of a similar remake — or at least a hat tip — was that Drag Me to Hell movie.
Rob: If you liked that movie…
Lauren: I really liked Drag Me to Hell.
Rob: Mrs. Ganush is awesome!
Lauren: Yeah. I saw that in theaters and was like, “Oh wow!! This is great!” *laughs*
Rob: Yeah. If you liked Drag Me to Hell, backtrack and watch Curse of the Demon because that one is the one that made Drag Me to Hell possible.
Lauren: Yep. And, plus, I guess… spoilers? The monster — er, demon — at the end [of Curse of the Demon] is pretty neat.
Rob: Yeah. If you like big, drooly, hairy, cross-eyed monsters then that’s… that’s top-notch.
Lauren: I do!
Rob: Who doesn’t?!
And… This isn’t a horror movie, but it made both of our lists, I think: You Never Can Tell.
Rob: True! It’s definitely in the fantasy genre camp. It’s not horrifying at all…
Lauren: Well, I mean…
Cathy Tharp (Lauren’s mom): *from the kitchen* It is!
Lauren: …a guy kills a dog…
Cathy: *from the kitchen* Yeah. It’s a horror movie.
Rob: Oh. My bad. *chuckles*
Lauren: I don’t know if anyone could hear that but my mom just argued from the kitchen when Dad said that it wasn’t a horror movie. She was like, “It is!” *laughs*
Rob: Yep. Killing a loveable German Shepherd is horrifying and I’m wrong and the girls are right.
Lauren: But, this is one of those movies that, at least in my experience, no one’s ever heard of.
But, it’s basically… This woman’s German Shepherd gets murdered and comes back as a noir detective, more-or-less.
Rob: Yeah. A German Shepherd gets murdered because he… What was it? The dog inherited all the money…?
Lauren: What happened was, the dog originally belonged to, like, a bazillionaire and he, in his will, gave all his money the dog. And, if the dog died, then the pretty gal in it would be next in line for the inheritance. So, the bad guy kills the dog so that the girl would inherit the money, and then he tries to, you know, romance the girl so that he can marry her and, presumably, bump her off as well.
Rob: But the dog, after it dies from eating the poisoned meat that the skunk bad guy feeds it, goes up to Animal Heaven… Where all the animals have, like, a mystical “glow” to them. And the head of Animal Heaven sends the German Shepherd back in the form of a person so he can play detective and sniff out who the bad guy is who caused his murder… And prevent the gal who inherited the bazillion dollars being romanced and…
Lauren: Meeting the same fate.
Rob: Yeah. Being murdered by the bad guy!
Lauren: And, to make sure things go okay…
Rob: He gets a sidekick! *chuckles*
Lauren: He gets a sidekick… who is a former racehorse.
And so we’ve got sort of a noir detective and his plucky secretary who can run real real fast when she needs to! *laughs*
Rob: Yeah. She’s the fastest racehorse!
Lauren: Yeah. And, um… My dad loves cold cereal. And, uh… When I saw [You Never Can Tell] as a kid… The main character — the dog who is now a human — keeps kibble in his front pocket to munch on as a snack… And I used to put Cocoa Puffs in my pocket and pretend they were kibble and munch on them as snacks.
Rob: I didn’t know you did that!
Lauren: *embarrassed laugh* Yes! I would steal some of your cereal, stick it in my pocket, and pretend that I was also a dog detective.
Rob: Wow! You… You were a really “special” kid. *laughs*
Lauren: *laughs* Yeahhhhhh… Suuuuuuuuper “special.”
Rob: Yeah. Good one. One that I doubt anybody that’s listen has seen… But, if you haven’t seen it, try and track it down. It’s worth seeing. You Never Can Tell!
Lauren: Yeah. I had to get it through a Print-on-Demand company that I found through Amazon.
Rob: Okay, well, it’d be better if you got it yourself and didn’t borrow her copy. *phone ringing in background*
Lauren: Yeah, I think that’s it for my list… I put an honorable mention for Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Rob: Best monster suit.
Lauren: Best monster suit and—
Rob: Best one-piece bathing suit.
Lauren: *laughs* Yeah. And, we got to meet the man who played the Creature — Ben Chapman. Well, the land Creature…
Rob: That was one of the best moments ever was seeing you and Mom getting a hug from the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I never dreamed that I would ever get to see the two girls that matter most to me getting squeezed by the Creature. *laughs*
Lauren: Yeah! That was really cool.
And I also gave an honorable mention to Bucket of Blood.
Rob: That’s a good one.
Lauren: Yeah. I watched it again recently… I remembered watching it as a kid and just, like, rolling in the aisles, y’know? And then I watched it again fairly recently and I’m like, “This is still pretty funny, but I’m not rollin’.” But I still really enjoyed it and Dick Miller is always fun.
Rob: Yeah. Dick Miller is great.
Rob: I always have to give an extra half star to any movie Dick Miller pops his head into.
Lauren: Oh, exactly. At least a half star. Maybe a whole star! Any movie that Dick Miller is just like, “Hey. I’m here too.”
Lauren: Just like… Oh. Brilliant!
Rob: Okay. I’ve got one more on my ’50s list I wanted to get in and that’s Missile to the Moon.
Lauren: *laughs* Ohhhh…
Rob: It’s a remake of Cat Women of the Moon and… Missile to the Moon is even worse than Cat Women of the Moon.
Rob: But, I—
Lauren: Again, this isn’t a list of the “best” movies; but, the movies we enjoyed the most. *laughs*
Rob: Yeah. There are a whole ton of movies that are way more “important” from the 1950s — or ’40s or ’30s — that have gone unmentioned.
Rob: [Movies] that we “should” be talking about that everybody else talks about…
Missile to the Moon! Look for it on one of your streaming channels.
Lauren: Yeah, it always seems to pop up on a streaming channel.
Rob: There’s even a colorized version of it now that makes it look like they spent an extra twenty bucks on it originally.
Rob: But, yeah… It’s great. It’s got rock monsters, it’s got the giant spider…
Lauren: It’s got skeletons.
Rob: It’s got skeletons! It’s got 1950’s bathing beauties as the Amazon women of the moon.
Lauren: “Take me to your leado.”
Rob: Yeah. Whenever I hear that I always think of that Boz Scaggs song “Lido Shuffle.” *chuckles*
Lauren: Yeah… “Leado.” What?!
“Drop the diamonds and run!”
Rob: Yeah. It’s a great movie.
Lauren: We quote that movie probably way more often than we should. *laughs*
Rob: Yeah. And we’ve seen it way more times than we should have.
Rob: Okay. One more real quick! Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. Loved that when I was growing up. Ray Harryhausen dinosaur monster.
Lauren: Ohhhhhhhhhhhh… Wait. Is that the one with kind of a giant chicken?
Rob: No. There’s no giant chicken in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. That’s that four-legged dinosaur that gets loose from the glacier and—
Lauren: What am I thinking of?
Rob: You were thinking of giant chickens. We’ve got a couple in the oven right now.
Lauren: No! *laughs* Wait… am I thinking of…? What was… Mysterious Island?
Rob: Mysterious Island had a giant chicken.
Rob: Beast from 20,000 Fathoms has a giant dinosaur that, uh, actually… Godzilla kind of a knock-off from that movie.
Rob: Yup. The Rhedosaurus from Beast from 20,000 Fathoms… Great early Harryhausen. And Lee Van Cleef is the heroic marksman at the end who shows up and takes care of business with the…the… “We’ve only got one shot at this!”
Lauren: The start of a cliche!
Lauren: That would last…years.
Rob: Till today and beyond!
Rob: Okay. Lots of great ’50s movies.
Lauren: Lots of great ’50s movies and… I think we’ve been talking for quite a while…
Lauren: Forever. Yeah. And, as Dad mentioned, we do have giant chickens in the oven sooooo we should probably wrap this up so we can go eat dinner.
Well, we’ll be back with the rest of the decades at another date.
Rob: Let’s do it.
Lauren: We’ve been making our lists and—
Rob: Checking them twice?
Rob: This is my first time on a radio show! This was fun. Did you have a good time?
Lauren: I did!
Lauren: Yeah! And I’m glad you had fun because I want to have you back on many many times.
Rob: Okay. I’ll check my schedule and see when I’m available to you.
Lauren: I will go bug you when you’re in the next room and be like “Hey. Hey. Dad. Hey, Dad.”
Rob: “Hey! Hey! Hey!”
…You never bug me. It’s fine.
Rob: I enjoy talking to you.
Lauren: Oh? Well, I enjoy talking to you too.
Rob: We should talk again sometime.
Annnnnnnnnnnnyway… Thanks to everyone who listened to us ramble today and we’ll be back next time!
Rob: Ramble on…
Lauren: Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey! It’s Lauren again!
And, if you’re like my dad and…me…thanks to my dad’s genetics, you might have pretty terrible eyesight! In which case, you need eyeglasses in order to watch the movies we recommended during today’s podcast.
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Movies Mentioned in the Podcast Episode
- The Wizard of Oz (Lauren Spear + Rob Tharp fave)
- Mad Love (Lauren Spear + Robert Tharp fave)
- King Kong (Rob Tharp fave)
- Hunchback of Notre Dame
- Spanish Dracula AKA Drácula (Robert Tharp fave)
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
- Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Lauren Spear + Rob Tharp fave)
- The Wolfman (Lauren Spear fave)
- Shadow of a Doubt (Lauren Spear fave)
- The Return of the Vampire (Robert Tharp fave)
- The Thief of Bagdad (Lauren Spear + Rob Tharp fave)
- The Jungle Book
- Mighty Joe Young (Lauren Spear fave)
- The Ghost Breakers (Lauren Spear fave)
- I Married a Witch (Lauren Spear fave)
- The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (Lauren Spear fave)
- Here Comes Mr. Jordan (Lauren Spear fave)
- Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman (Robert Tharp fave)
- House of Frankenstein (Rob Tharp fave)
- House of Dracula (Rob Tharp fave)
- Pinocchio (Robert Tharp fave)
- The Maltese Falcon
- Citizen Kane
- How Green Was My Valley
- La Belle et la Bête AKA Beauty and the Beast (Robert Tharp fave)
- THEM! (Lauren Spear + Rob Tharp fave)
- House on Haunted Hill (Lauren Spear fave)
- The Tingler (Lauren Spear fave)
- The Thing from Another World (Robert Tharp fave)
- The Crawling Eye (Lauren Spear + Rob Tharp fave)
- Darby O’Gill and the Little People (Rob Tharp fave)
- Night of the Hunter (Lauren Spear fave)
- The Blob (Lauren Spear fave)
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Robert Tharp fave)
- King Creole
- Enemy from Space AKA Quatermass 2 (Rob Tharp fave)
- X the Unknown (Robert Tharp fave)
- I Married a Monster from Outer Space (Lauren Spear fave)
- Curse of the Demon (Lauren Spear + Rob Tharp fave)
- You Never Can Tell (Lauren Spear + Rob Tharp fave)
- Creature from the Black Lagoon
- Bucket of Blood
- Missile to the Moon (Robert Tharp fave)
- Cat Women of the Moon
- The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (Robert Tharp fave)
These movies were mentioned during the show during our rambles, but they’re not from the decades we were focusing on:
- The Monster Squad
- The Sinbad movies
- Jason and the Argonauts
- Killer Klowns from Outer Space
- Cape Fear
- Follow That Dream
- Five Million Miles to Earth AKA Quatermass and the Pit
- Drag Me to Hell
- Mysterious Island
Additional Movies from the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s We’d Intended to Mention
Even though we had notecards and tried to stay on track, we accidentally skipped a few faves from our lists…
- Bride of Frankenstein
- Island of Lost Souls
- The Raven
- The Black Cat
- Sherlock Holmes and the Scarlet Claw
- Fiend Without a Face
Did YOUR favorite movies from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s make our lists? Let us know in the comments!Become a Patron!
Lauren Spear (née Tharp) is the owner of LittleZotz Writing, a super-respectable multiple award-winning website for freelance writers. She’s also the HorrorFam.com founder! Lauren grew up in the horror industry (her parents did practical special FX work for many of the horror movies you love from the ’80s and ’90s) and basically created this site so she could freely gas on about creepy stuff and stop having to pretend to be normal.