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Attack of the Crab Monsters

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Attack of the Crab Monsters (1956) starring Russell Johnson, Richard Garland, Mel Welles - directed by Roger Corman
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Attack of the Crab Monsters (1956) starring Russell Johnson, Richard Garland, Mel Welles – directed by Roger Corman

In Attack of the Crab Monsters, people are trapped on a shrinking island by intelligent, brain eating giant crabs. No, seriously.


Hoolar the Giant Crab. Doesn’t look fake at all, does he?
  • The music’s actually quite nice.
  • When they’re not on screen, the crab monster are both interesting and scary. When on screen, they’re simply silly looking.
  • For a low-budget film, the acting’s fairly good.
  • Poor Russell Johnson has the worst luck on desert islands.
    • He actually hazards a guess as to how nuclear radiation might have to do … something … with what happened on the island. On the missing first group of scientists.
  • Beautiful underwater cinematography with the mantas, etc.

Cast of characters

  • Richard Garland as Dale Drewer, biologist. Protagonist and love interest for:
  • Pamela Duncan (The Undead) as Martha Hunter, biologist. A lovely young scientist (of course), who helps look for the missing expedition, and scuba dives looking at the local wildlife under water. She also hears the voice of MacLane, the leader of the previous expedition, in the night
  • Russell Johnson (Gilligan’s Island, It Cames from Outer Space) as Hank Chapman, technician and handyman. In some ways, the central protagonist. Although he has less college education that the other members of the party, he clearly has the practical knowledge. Fixing the ruined radio, and devising the way to destroy the final crab monster, among others.
  • Leslie Bradley as Dr. Karl Weigand, leader of the expedition.
  • Mel Welles (The Little Shop of Horrors) as Jules Deveroux, biologist. A sweet older man, with a thick accent, who first loses his hand in a cave-in, and later his life. Only for the others to keep hearing his ghostly voice
  • Richard H. Cutting as Dr. James Carson, geologist. He falls into a pit, and is killed there.
  • David Arvedon (voice) as Hoolar the Giant Crab. Yes, there are in fact giant crabs on the island. Presumably mutated by atomic tests, they’re virtually indestructible. And hungry. For human brains. When they eat humans, they absorb the knowledge, intellect, and even personality of their victims. And, once she’s mated, she plans to destroy the island, migrate to the mainland, and … Rule the world! No, seriously.

Editorial review of Attack of the Crab Monsters courtesy of

In Attack Of The Crab Monsters, a group of scientists become marooned on an island while investigating the disappearance of researchers who were looking into atomic activity in the Pacific. They quickly fall prey to giant, mutant crustaceans that have the ability to absorb the minds of their prey. Starring Russell Johnson (Gilligans Island), Richard Garland and Mel Welles (Little Shop Of Horrors).

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