“THE BLACK SCORPION ( 1955 ) ~ Mara Corday, Richard Denning, Carlos Rivas ~ Directed by Edward Ludwig ( whose directed Deanna Durbin, Edward G. Robinson and John Wayne )


This time, Mara Corday is Mexican land baron, Teresa Alvarez. Mara kind of looks like Raquel Welch. Richard Denning plays Dr. Hank Scott, geologist and your blonde hunky stalwart hero with the square jaw. I always wondered why he and William Lundigan didnt make it really big. They were handsome enough. But I guess blonde men in the 40’s didnt go over big ( other than Alan Ladd. ) The geologist and his colleague Dr. Arturo Ramos 


( Carlos Rivas looks like a cross between Valentino and Alexander D’Arcy ) investigate an earthquake in a little town in Mexico where people are also being mysteriously killed and not due to the quake.

Erupting volcanoes…subterranean caves…prehistoric scorpions.


There’s the obligatory visit to a laboratory to get the skinny on the science of what scorpions are all about.


All of this is happening on Cordays land and she wants to go along to help destroy them. She knows the country like the back of her hand and is a good shot too.

“I wouldn’t ask to come along if I didn’t think I could help.”

No damsel-in-distress is she. Denning doesn’t mind at all. Of course it’s an instant love match. He kisses her.

Corday:    “Why did you do that?”

Denning: “Maybe I wanted to see what you would do.”

Corday:    “How did I do?”

Denning: “You did alright.”

It’s witty repartee like that that makes sci-fi movies what they are today.


Denning’s and Rivas’ characters are lowered into the bottomless pit of a cave looking for them. They get what they came for; more scorpions than you can shake a stick at. And every time there’s a close-up shot of one of them things, it’s slobbering mess. There was a cool, terrific battle between a scorpion and a thirty foot worm, thanks to the magic of stop-motion animator Willis O’Brien. It also gets mighty tense when the bucket carrying Denning and Rivas is destroyed by one of the cave-dwelling scorpions and the men have to be hoisted up by rope…with scorpions nipping at their butts. 


Ooooh, that was chiling when a scorpion sidles up to the train tracks and meets a crowded commuter train head-on. Then it attempts to impale the people inside the tossed toy train car. Yeah, the budget was probably a little less than a fully loaded Lionel train set. But why these scorpions start attacking each other instead of getting some more humans, is beyond me.


What caused the gigantic growth of these scorpions in Mexico? Could it be the water? Why did they grow to such a gigantic size? How can they be destroyed as they head to Mexico City. Youll just have to watch the movie to find out. Again, my empathy goes  to seeing these creatures attacked by the military complex. Poor things.

Next on Page ↓ 3: The silliest monster in the history of motion pictures…


  1. That was awesome. I love the schlock almost as much as the good stuff. I have to say, I hate emoticons and the term LOL, but I really did laugh out loud several times. One was when you said, “… funny it leaves no shadow on the desert floor” and I’m thinking:

    Funny, its feet seem to not even touch the desert floor.

    By the way, don’t count Neil DeGrasse Tyson out just yet. I have a feeling he’s a big old fanboy. He was at Comic-Con about five years ago, and totally geeked out of the starship, Enterprise. It wouldn’t surprise me if he wasn’t a schlock fan too. Great piece. Thanks for jumping in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Chris. And Congratulations!!! It was a pleasure to participate in your first blogathon. And I loved the topic too…sci-fi and your blogathon title. Now I must get down to the business of reading everyone’s entry. You’ve given me hope re: Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Fanboy, ey??? Well then, first I must go to the spa and then get my hair done. Of course a mani-pedi. Then…


  2. There were a lot of actresses in the B movies of the 1950s — Mara Corday, Adele Mara, Mala Powers, etc.– who bewildered me with their ubiquity. No wonder my generation grew up confused and mistrustful…. we were just trying to keep them straight!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am glad you turned me on to your web site. I enjoy reading it. I am refining The Purple Heart. I have some questions.

    -Is there a word limit?

    -Do I submit it directly to the site, or will people be directed to my site.

    -There is a sci-fi blogathon on your site, are you taking submissions?

    I don’t know the protocol about web sites, but I love films and would like to add my two cents.

    Thanks for any information.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Bob ~ First, second and third of all THANK YOU for checking out my blog. Look, I’m no academician or brainiac. I’m just a girl who LOVES classic films. This ain’t Film Comment. So now that you know where I’m at in the scheme of the world…

      ( 1. ) I can’t wait for your submission of “The Purple Heart” for our ORDER IN THE COURT Blogathon. ( 🙂 )

      ( 2. ) No there is no word limit. I mean we’re not looking for the Encyclopedia Britannica ( THAT doesn’t age me none… ) but your post can be as long as it needs be for you to say what you need to say.

      ( 3. ) The Sci-Fi blogathon that you probably saw was Blog of the Darned’s “BLOGATHON FROM ANOTHER WORLD.” He was hosting it and that blogathon ended over the weekend. ( There’s a bunch of great submissions over there if you have time to check ’em out. )

      ( 4. ) Your two cents would be welcomed, I’m sure. When you’re ready to submit your post for “The Purple Heart” I would put you in my Guest Essays section which you can look for on my blog. You can send your completed post to my e-mail at It’d be great if you can get me your completed essay by May 10th. But if you have your own blog that you want it to be sitting on, that’s fine. I will send folks the link to your blog and your post during our blogathon (6 / 10 – 13).

      Hopefully this answers your questions. Thanks again Bob for checking out my ‘Couch.


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