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 didn’t make it really big. They were handsome enough. But I guess blonde men in the 40’s didn’t 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 Corday’s 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.
SCORPION ON THE TRACKS! SCORPION ON THE TRACKS!
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. You’ll 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…