In The Black Scorpion, volcanic eruptions in Mexico free giant scorpions from underground who start terrorizing the people. Fortunately they attack each other until only one is standing … And that one is going to be killed in the stadium of Mexico City!
The Black Scorpion (1957) starring Richard Denning, Mara Corday
Giant prehistoric scorpions arise from the earth to cause devastation in Mexico? Check. American scientists coming to investigate strange phenomenon? Check. Beautiful female rancher for one of them to fall in love with? Check. Cute little boy who needs to. be repeatedly rescued? Check. Willis O’Brien’s animation being done on a shoestring? Unfortunately, check.
In short, The Black Scorpion is an enjoyable popcorn movie, but not groundbreaking in any way. The actors are all good, the animation of the monsters is fine — except for the closeups. Those are simply horribly cheesy, and take the audience out of the movie.
In short, The Black Scorpion is an enjoyable popcorn movie. It’s not great, but it is enjoyable.
It’s giant man-eating bugs battling humans to the death again … and the future of civilization hangs in the balance! When earthquakes release a swarm of giant scorpions from a subterranean cavern in Mexico, the oversized arachnids go on a voracious rampage, slaughtering everyone in their way before the Mexican army stops them all … Except the biggest, meanest and hungriest of the deadly invertebrates, which heads straight for Mexico City with a taste for humans in this 1950s science fiction classic.
Cast of characters
- Richard Denning (Creature from the Black Lagoon) as Dr. Hank Scott
- Mara Corday (Tarantula) … Teresa Alvarez
- Carlos Rivas (The Beast of Hollow Mountain) … Dr. Arturo Ramos
- Mario Navarro (The Beast of Hollow Mountain) … Juanito
- Carlos Múzquiz … Dr. Velasco
- Pascual García Peña … Dr. Delacruz
- Pedro Galván … Father Delgado
- Arturo Martínez … Major Cosio
- Fanny Schiller … Florentina
Trivia (courtesy IMDB)
- Willis O’Brien came in for ridicule with the close-ups of the scorpions, with their immovable bug eyes and massive drool.
- Willis H. O’Brien and Pete Peterson began filming the special effects of this film in a large remodeled dressing room at the Tepeac Studios in Mexico City, but when money became tight they finished the picture in Peterson’s garage in Encino, California.
- The trapdoor spider that attacks Juanito in the scorpions’ underground home is one of the original models left over from the famous deleted spider sequence in King Kong (1933)
- The volcano shown at the beginning was Paricutin which erupted in 1943 and was active for about a decade.
- The sounds of the scorpions are the same sounds as the ant chirps in Them!.
- A typical Willis O’Brien touch – in a long shot of the cage descending into the cave, a tiny stop motion bat flies across the screen. Only O’Brien would add another day’s work to a scene where it would be barely noticed.