The Black Scorpion (1957) (Blu-ray Review)

The Black Scorpion (1957) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Edward Ludwig
Starring: Richard Denning, Mara Corday, Carlos Rivas
Rated: UR/Region A/1:78/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Warner Archive Collection

After a volcano erupts south of the border, people and animals begin inexplicably dying. Earth scientists Hank (Richard Denning) and Arturo (Carlos Rivas) travel to the small town of San Lorenzo, Mexico to investigate. They soon discover that the eruption cracked open an underground cave that contained hordes of giant prehistoric insects, including the scorpions that have been responsible for the killings. Soon, Hank and Arturo come up with a plan to take these monsters down once and for all.

If you are wanting to see a movie from the 50’s that brings you that old school style of big monster effects, then you’ll probably be right at home watching The Black Scorpion. Really, the only issue one might have while watching is that it seems to take a bit of time to finally get to the Scorpion and any other creature this one has to offer up. Story-wise this is solid stuff. We have a good cast and the movie is shot well enough that even now the movie looks pretty fresh in HD. As a matter of fact, I don’t think we have any real issue that we normally don’t usually have with stuff like that this is a bit dated by today’s standards. I mean, it isn’t King Kong by any means, but what is? If you want cheesy interaction between a person and fake looking stop-motion monsters you’ll get your fix here. And I don’t want anyone to take that as a bad thing, the cheesier the better when it comes to a movie like this.

Story-wise it is simple stuff. An officer and his buddy go looking into some stuff after a volcano, find nothing and then find a baby and a body. This, of course, leads them to figure out why the body is there and that’s when the can of worms for our leads comes into play in the form of giant scorpions. From there we see them attack people, fight tanks, and do other cool stuff. The movie isn’t anything you’d give five stars to but it is fun and that’s enough for me. One cool thing about this release is on the extras you get a neat feature about stop-motion with the legendary Ray Harryhausen. That feature might be enough for some, but you get even more as this one seems to come with a nice list of extras that are about quality over quantity.

Extras

– Stop Motion Masters Interview with Ray Harryhausen
– The Animal World: A sequence that was created by Harryhausen and Willis O’Brien for Irwin Allen’s 1956 documentary, The Animal World.
– Las Vegas Monster and Beetleman Test Footage
– Trailer

Quality of Transfer: 88%