Combustible Celluloid
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With: Allison Hayes, William Hudson, Yvette Vickers, Roy Gordon, George Douglas, Ken Terrell, Otto Waldis, Eileen Stevens, Michael Ross, Frank Chase
Written by: Mark Hanna
Directed by: Nathan Juran
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 65
Date: 05/19/1958

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

The Astounding Giant Woman

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This sci-fi cheapie from writer Mark Hanna (Not of This Earth, The Amazing Colossal Man) and director Nathan Juran (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, 20 Million Miles to Earth) has become a cult classic over the course of its 50-year lifespan. But is it because of the pathetic special effects -- a giant rubber hand and double-exposures -- or is it because of the two beautiful vixens that lead the cast? Voluptuous Allison Hayes (Gunslinger, The Unearthly) plays the title character, Nancy, the town's shrill, rich harpie -- drunk and uncontrollable and hopelessly devoted to her snake of a husband, Harry (William Hudson). Harry, on the other hand, is seeing sexy Honey (Yvette Vickers, from Attack of the Giant Leeches and Hud), nibbling on her neck in the local night spot. When Nancy sees a satellite and a bald giant, nobody believes her, and Harry thinks it's his chance to send her off to the booby hatch and inherit her fortune. But Nancy gets too close and becomes a giant herself. Of course, her roof-ripping rampage doesn't begin until the last ten minutes of the film, and it's pretty chintzy (her size is wildly inconsistent). Hanna and Juran make up for their lack of supernatural thrills by packing lots of talking, fighting, dancing and drinking -- as well as a few lame jokes -- into the movie's harmless 65 minutes. In 1993, Christopher Guest directed Daryl Hannah in an ill-fated made-for-cable remake.

DVD Details: The DVD comes with an entertaining commentary track by film historian Tom Weaver and Ms. Vickers, as well as a trailer. Warner Home Video has released Attack of the 50 Foot Woman in one of a series of box sets called "Cult Camp Classics." Volume 1: Sci-Fi Thrillers includesAttack of the 50 Foot Woman, Queen of Outer Space (1958), starring ZsaZsa Gabor; and The Giant Behemoth (1958). Volume 2: Women in Perilincludes The Big Cube (1968), Caged (1950) and Trog (1969), which wasJoan Crawford's final film. Volume 3: Terrorized Travelers includesHot Rods to Hell (1966), Skyjacked (1972), with Charlton Heston; andZero Hour! (1957). The best set, Volume 4: Historical Epics, includesSergio Leone's The Colossus of Rhodes (1961), Howard Hawks' Land of thePharaohs (1955) and The Prodigal (1955). Many of the discs come withcommentary tracks by various experts, and/or people who worked on thefilms, and most come with theatrical trailers.

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