Blu-ray Review: Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman
Movie title: Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman (1958)
Director(s): Nathan Juran
Actor(s): Allison Hayes, William Hudson, Yvette Vickers, , Roy Gordon, George Douglas, Ken Terrell
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Deliciously bad, Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman has become something of a cult classic. Released in 1958, the film was made for less than $90,000 and shot in just eight days. Despite primitive special effects and questionable shot selection, Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman grossed 480,000 during its initial theatrical run. The film was likely aided by its original one sheet featuring a supersized image of star Allison Hayes.
A boozy, neurotic heiress, Nancy Archer (Hayes) is stuck in a loveless marriage with the philandering Harry (William Hudson). Nancy is ready to divorce him after she catches him canoodling with “girlfriend” Honey Parker (Yvette Vickers). Upset, Nancy speeds off into the desert to gather her thoughts. Instead, a run-in with a large alien who is fascinated by her Star of India diamond necklace changes her life forever. Neither Harry nor the townspeople believe Nancy’s story about an alien encounter. Harry sees it as a way he and Honey can have her committed to a sanitarium. Searching the desert for evidence of her story, Nancy runs into an alien whose radiation causes her to grow into the 50 Ft woman of the title. Now ridiculously tall, Nancy uses her newfound power to get back at those who have wronged her.
While the final confrontation between an engorged Nancy and her cowering husband Harry is certainly amusing, although ridiculous. The shoddy special effects (Could 50-foot Nancy’s hand look more fake?) greatly contributes to the cheap appearance of the film. However, since the story is impossible to take seriously, its easier to put the special effects in the “so bad there good,” category. Still, when we are promised a 50 Ft woman (in the title, no less) its a disappointment we don’t see big Nancy (aside from a huge hand) until the film’s final 10 minutes. By then, who cares.
Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman isn’t trying to be anything more than the shlock it is. In that sense, the film is a success. If you’re a fan of the ridiculous in film, there are worse ways to spend 65 minutes of your time.
Framed in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Warner Archive has delivered another solid 1080p transfer. Despite its minimal budget origins, Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman looks great. The image is sharp. A few moments of softness are likely due to the source. Blacks are deep and inky; shadows are clear, and whites are clean. There are no age-related defects in evidence.
Given its age, the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono sound mix handles the material well. Dialogue is clean, clear and concise throughout. While music sounded a bit thin in a few spots, it remains intelligible throughout. Sound effects are mixed well. Any hisses, crackles and pops have been successfully removed.
English SDH subtitles are included.
The following special features are available:
- Audio Commentary with Film Historian Tom Weaver and Actress Yvette Vickers
- Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:53)