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The Classic Sci-fi Ultimate Collection - Volume 1 (1955 - 1958)  

Number: 673

cover The Classic Sci-fi Ultimate Collection - Volume 1

IMDB Rating: star star star star star star star star star star

Country: , 395 minutes

Spoken Languages:

Genre(s): Sci-Fi

Director: Multiple

Cast: John Agar, Grant Williams, Joanna Moore

Medium: Original DVD

Plot Outline:
A quintet of fun '50s science-fiction thrillers from the Universal vaults make their DVD debut in this three- disc set that's sure to please fans of vintage creature features. Arguably, the best of the lot is The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), with Grant Williams as a businessman whose exposure to a radioactive cloud causes him to decrease in size exponentially until he is literally microscopic. Based on a novel by legendary fantasy writer Richard Matheson, director Jack (Creature from the Black Lagoon) Arnold's balance of suspense (Williams' battles with a house cat and common spider) and pathos (the effect his condition has on his marriage) make it one of the most memorable science-fiction films of the decade, and a favorite even of those with only a passing interest in the genre. On the entirely other end of the spectrum is The Mole People (1956), a loopy pulp adventure with John Agar and Hugh (Leave It to Beaver) Beaumont as intrepid adventurers who discover a lost city and the title creatures at a top of a Middle Eastern mountain. Campy to a fault, with a logic-straining script and ridiculous monsters, The Mole People is also a goofy good time for B-movie mavens. Agar, whose faded star power forced him to seek work in low-budget films during the '50s and '60s, also turns up in the effective Tarantula (1955), a fast- paced "big bug" creepshow modeled after Them!. (1954), and featuring a cameo by Clint Eastwood as a jet pilot; the rest of the set is rounded out by the truly wacky Monster on the Campus (1958), with Arthur Franz as a college professor whose exposure to a prehistoric fish turns him into a rampaging Neanderthal, and The Monolith Monsters (1957), about fragments of a meteor that grow to colossal heights when exposed to water and threaten a small desert community. For TV babies that grew up on a steady diet of Saturday afternoon monster movies, The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection offers a nostalgic trip back to those cathode-soaked days, but without the barrage of commercials. The set offers trailers for each film by way of extras, as well as an anamorphic presentation of The Incredible Shrinking Man; the rest of the titles are presented in full screen.

Tarantula (1955)
In the Arizona desert, Rrofessor Gerald Deemer is experimenting with growth hormones in the hopes of finding a way to increase the world's food supply. His partner in the project was recently found dead in the desert, suffering from a disease that normally takes years to advance but in his case seems to have afflicted him in only a few days. The local doctor, Matt Hastings, is puzzled by the strange case and with Deemer's recently arrived - and very pretty - assistant Stephanie Clayton tries to figure out what is going on. When cattle remains are found in the countryside, the evidence points to a giant tarantula as the culprit. (1 Hr. 21 Mins.)

The Mole People (1956)
A party of archaeologists discovers the remnants of a mutant 5000 year old Sumerian civilization living beneath a glacier atop a mountain in Mesopatamia.(1 Hr. 18 Mins.)

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
Scott Carey and his wife Louise are sunning themselves on their cabin cruiser, the small craft adrift on a calm sea. While his wife is below deck, a low mist passes over him. Scott, lying in the sun, is sprinkled with glittery particles that quickly evaporate. Later he is accidentally sprayed with an insecticide while driving and, in the next few days, he finds that he has begun to shrink. First just a few inches, so that his clothes no longer fit, then a little more. Soon he is only three feet tall, and a national curiosity. At six inches tall he can only live in a doll's house and even that becomes impossible when his cat breaks in. Scott flees to the cellar, his wife thinks he has been eaten by the cat and the door to the cellar is closed, trapping him in the littered room where, menaced by a giant spider, he struggles to survive.(1 Hr. 21 Mins.)

The Monolith Monsters (1957)
A strange black meteor crashes near the town of San Angelo and litters the countryside with fragments. When a storm exposes these fragments to water, they grow into skyscraper-sized monoliths which then topple and shatter into thousands of pieces that grow into monoliths themselves and repeat the process. Any humans in the way are crushed or turned into human statues. The citizens of San Angelo desperately try to save themselves and the world from the spreading doom.(1 Hr. 18 Mins.)

Monster on the Campus (1958)
The blood of a primitive fish exposed to gamma rays causes a benign research professor to regress to an ape-like, bloodthirsty prehistoric hominid. (1 Hr. 17 Mins.)

Comments: Universal Studio Home Entertainment;UPC025193093226;;3-Disc Box Set;

Loaned: No

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