Thursday, March 30, 2017

What Is The Historical Importance Of This Cave??????????????????

                           The image may seem vaguely familiar, to some.  This is the East Portal of Bronson Cave, which is part of Bronson Canyon, in the Griffith Park section of Los Angeles.  The spot has been used as locations in more films than I was ever aware of, including some A-list ones.  But the two I treasure the most are two Fifties trash classics--1958's "The Return Of Dracula," which I recently wrote about, and two years before, 1956's "It Conquered The World!!!!!!!!!!!"

                            Yes, darlings, this is the exact spot that cute little Cucumbo crawled out of.  The creature, who was so campy, that, when actress Beverly Garland first saw him on the set, remarked, "THIS conquered the world?." laughed, then kicked the thing over!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Crew members called him "Demmy Dimwit!"  Poor Cucumbo; how his feelings must have been hurt!  But he really comes through, crawling out of that cave, looking menacing as hell, while Beverly Garland acts up a Meryl Streep storm, screaming and hissing at it, banging on it with her fists, in a frenzied attempt to convince audiences she is genuinely terrified!  What a laugh!!!!!!!!

                                I am pretty certain film mavens have visited this spot over the years, for the same reason I want to.  If only Cucumbo would make personal appearances.

                                For the vampire film, this was used as his daytime lair, where his coffin was stored, and included the pit, into  which he abruptly falls, and impales himself on a stake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 But Cucumbo is the real reason to visit this place.  While recently watching the 'Dracula' film, I noted how familiar the place looked!  Now I know why!
                               Here is Cucumbo, doing his signature crawl out of that cave!!!!!!!!!!  Recognize it, now???????  And isn't he the cutest thing?????????????????????


Videolaman said...

"So that's what you look like!
Well, you're UGLY! Horrible!
Go on: try your intellect on ME!
You think you're gonna make a slave of the world?
I'll see you in HELL first!"

Gotta love Beverly Garland: sitting thru this mind-numbing piece of crap is worth it just for her penultimate confrontation with the Venusian cucumber (while wearing Lana Turner's discarded sweater, and carrying a shotgun bigger than she is).

Followed by the even more ludicrous finale, where despite this creature's apparent ability to survive a full-on assault by the military, Lee Van Cleef manages to destroy it by the rather expedient means of jabbing a flaming cigarette lighter into its eyeball.

When I was a young closeted thing in 1982, I remember my first out gay friend used this film, more specifically the finale, as a litmus test: if I understood why it was funny and appreciated Beverly for more than her nice rack, I would be admitted to the colorful world of gay. I passed that test by saying I thought the way she contemptuously, defiantly spits out "Go on, try your intellect on ME!" is one of the greatest single lines in junk movie history. Too bad you really do need to sit thru the entire story to fully appreciate her delivery: its the culmination of frustrated jealousy over her scientist hubby Van Cleef being hotter for this monster than he ever was for her ample charms.

Considering this movie had a budget that couldn't swing a kids meal at McDonalds, I've always wondered where in the hell Roger Corman found the cuke monster. No way did they build it just for this film: he couldn't afford it, plus if you look closely its actually quite old with hundreds of cracks in the paint. Was it a prop from an abandoned carnival? Too bad Ryan Murphy couldn't use it in "AHS: Freak Show".

The Raving Queen said...

That scene with Beverly Garland, plus her husband's classic line, "That alien happens to be a personal friend of mine!" make this thing a classic. That, and Cucumbo, of course. This film was ahead of its time, because those flying things popping out from underneath Cucumbo, like the Ponshinelles coming out of Mother Ginger's dress in "The Nutcracker," foreshadow drones!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe Cucumbo should be a New Age Mother Ginger!