Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Introducing a New Feature: "If You Think Your Life Sucks, Watch..."

Greetings movie lovers!

Is it just me or is the world going to Hell in a hand basket? The Middle East is having a nervous breakdown. Both New Zealand and Japan have had major earthquakes. The economy is tanking, state workers are being stripped of their collective bargaining rights, Newt Gingrich is thinking of running for President and Charlie Sheen has become the poet laureate of the nation.

Could things get any worse?

While it's easy to believe our lives are especially pitiful when we hit a bad patch, it's always helpful to know that other people have it worse. And if you don't know anyone who's life is worse than yours, have no fear, for Junk Cinema is here with movies about people who's life is worse than yours!

Our new feature is to be called "If You Think Your Life Sucks, Watch..."

So, without further ado, let's begin.

If You Think Your Life Sucks,

Watch..."Attack of the 50 Foot Woman"(1958)

Think your life sucks? Check out the plight of poor Nancy Archer (B-movie goddess Allison Hayes).
Sure, she has 50 million in the bank and, yes, she does own the "world famous" Star of India diamond. But her husband Harry (William Hudson) is a no-good-nick with a floozy named Honey (Yvette Vickers, a B-movie tramp expert) stashed at the local no-tell motel. Nancy also has a bit of a drinking problem. And a history of nervous breakdowns. Her doctors, meanwhile, think her troubles are due to early menopause. The townsfolk laugh behind Nancy's back, but tolerate her outbursts because she's the biggest tax payer around. The only person who is really cares about her is Nancy's long serving butler, Jess.

As bad as things are, things are about to get worse.

Driving out in the desert one night, Nancy comes face to face with a huge, glowing "alien satellite" (actually a gigantic ping pong ball, but why quibble?). Even more horrifying is the rubbery, king-sized hand that reaches out to snatch her--or cop a feel. Nancy freaks out, ditches her car and runs back into town babbling about her close encounter. Of course, since the whole town believes she's off her dot (and probably stewed, too) nobody believes her.

Meanwhile, Harry and Honey are planning to use Nancy's latest meltdown to their advantage. These two would like nothing better than to see Nancy back in the booby hatch, but the overwrought heiress insists her alien encounter was real. To prove it, she orders Harry to drive her out into the desert in search of her alien ping pong ball. They find it (parked by the side of the road!) and Nancy is over-joyed--until that big rubbery hand reappears and makes a grab for her again.

Rather than save his wife, Harry, the cad, steps on the gas peddle and zooms back into town--and into the arms of his floozy. Convinced Nancy is dead, the duo plan to make a run for it. Then Nancy suddenly reappears on the roof of her pool house. Her Star of India diamond if missing and she has weird blue scratches on her throat. The doctors don't know what to make of all this, but Harry and Honey see their best chance yet for knocking Nancy off for good. Sneaking into her room at night, Harry plans to give his wife a fatal over dose of morphine. His plans are foiled, however, when the nurse flicks on the light to reveal... that Nancy has grown 50 feet tall!

I'm not sure, but I think that bald alien guy has something to do with this...

Anyway, confined to her bedroom with the help of meat hooks and chains, all Nancy can do is wail, "Harry! I want my husband Harry!" Her doctors, trying their best to calm their super-sized patient down, insist he's next door "sleeping". Fed up, Nancy screams, "I know where he is! He's with that woman!" Then she breaks free from her restraints and bursts through the roof of her house--clad merely in her bra and panties, by the way.

Super-sized and super ticked-off, Nancy heads into town to reclaim her wayward husband.

"She'll tear the whole town apart looking for Harry!" yells her doctor.

"And when she finds Harry, she'll tear him apart, too!" yells a deputy.

Sure enough, Harry is dancing away the night with Honey, but not for long. Nancy rips off the roof of the local hot spot, smashes some furniture, grabs Harry in her enlarged paw and heads for parts unknown. While crowds scream and guns blaze, Nancy puts an ever tighter squeeze on Harry who gasps, "I can't breathe!"

Before long, it won't matter. An explosion at a power station electrocutes both the faithless husband and his strapping wife. Sighs Nancy's long suffering doctor, "She finally has Harry all to herself."

If "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" sounds a lot like "The Amazing Colossal Man", it's not an accident: both flicks were written by Mark Hanna. In the 1950's, cheesey sci-fi was obsessed with people either shrinking or growing if exposed to radiation. In Nancy's case, the alien was less interested in her than in her Star of India diamond, which he needed to use to refuel his satellite or some such thing. Although it wasn't nice of him to snatch her swag, at least the alien was gentleman enough to take Nancy home.

Ok, let's review. Rich, drunk, put-upon Nancy Archer has her favorite piece of jewelry stolen by an alien and consequently shoots up 50 feet tall. When she finally gives her faithless husband what he deserves, they both get electrocuted.

Still think you life sucks in comparison?

Of course it doesn't.

So, tune in next time for "If You Think Your Life Sucks, Watch..." for the cinematic reassurance that no matter how bad life your life gets, someone, somewhere, has it even worse.

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