"Who" you ask, "is Pamela Duncan?" Ms. Ducan was the hot sweater-clad star of the 1957 Roger Corman classic movie "The Attack Of the Crab Monsters." You remember that one, don't you? How could you forget?
Here's the deal: Take one team of Nuclear Scientists, an adventuresome hard guy, a couple of sailors and demolitions experts, add one inevitably hot science-babe in a push-up bra, and dispatch the whole lot to a remote pacific island to study what effect nuclear fallout caused by recent test has had on lifeforms there. Shake well, bake at 350 for 67 minutes.
What do you get? What else? Monster crabs!
I mean, Crab Monsters!!! (Monster crabs is what you get from a weekend at the MTV beach house.) Giant mutant Crab Monsters with human eyes and a bad habit turning scientists and sailors into crab kibble.
The Attack of the Crab Monsters was along the lines of other giant mutant crawly things that are created by mankind as a result of his bumbling around with nuclear energy. 1954's "Them" had giant nuclear ants eating Los Angeles. "Tarantula" came out in 1955, starring Leo G. Caroll as a mad scientist and Clint Eastwood as a napalm-dropping pilot in his first movie role. And, yeah, it was a giant spider that terrorized the earth. Later came "Mantis," "The Attack of the Giant Leeches," and "Squirm" with the electrfied worms.
But for sheer camp, its tough to beat "Crab Monsters." First of all, suppose you were marooned on a Pacific island with nothing but a bunc h of dynamite and some very large man-eating crabs. Who would you want to be marooned with you? Sorry, Ginger and Mary Ann aren't available.
Of course! The Professor! And there he is! Russell Johnson starred as "Hank," the stud-muffin demolitions expert that saves the world by fying the crustaceans with high-voltage, and buys it in the process, thus allowing Pam Duncan (Martha) to live happily ever after with her dorky scientist financee Richard Garland (Dale).
But wait, it gets better! Yes, for these are not just ordinary giant mutant man-eating crab monsters, these are intelligent giant mutant man-eating crab monsters who can talk!
Giant Mutant Crab Monster:"So you have wounded me! I must grow
a new claw, well and good, for I can do it in a day, but will you grow new lives
when I have taken yours from you?"
Me: "Dude! The crab's talking to me! What's in this stuff?"
I know you're wondering just how giant mutant man-eating crab monsters can speak. Easy. Brains. I'll let Nuclear Physicist Karl Wiegand and fellow scientist Dale explain.
Dale: "That means that the crab can eat his victim's brain,
absorbing his mind intact and working."
Karl: "It's as good theory as any other to explain what's
Well, hell yeah it is! You got a better theory, Cowboy?
Anyway, this movie scrared the hell out of me when I was a little kid - and I mean "little." Giant Crab Monsters biting the heads off of people was not my everyday Catholic school fare. Pretty soon, though, I was hooked. Monster movies reigned supreme! I saw them all, countless times over. I can still which guy buys it, monster fare, and when and how for about 50 or 60 of them. But I'll always remember "The Attack of the Crab Monsters" with particular fondness. It turned me on.
Goodbye, Ms. Duncan. And thanks for the memories.