Hey, I'm Joe Bob Briggs again, and you'll notice that this is the time of night when we switch from color to black and white, because a movie like "The Hand," we've gotta pay like, 40 bucks, every time we use that flick, and the one coming up is designed for late Friday night, when nobody will remember what they watched tomorrow morning, and so we pay ten bucks for this one.
It's "The Creeping Unknown," made in 1956, and the best thing I can say about it is that it does eventually end. In other words, this is what's known in the industry as Toilet Time on TNT, but we warn you in advance.
This is the story of a rocket that goes up into space and comes crashin back down on an English farm and two astronauts have been eaten up by jelly fungus, and the third one is lookin a little green around the gills, and pretty soon he's hungering for blood and his hand is turning into a cactus and he's dining on animals at the zoo. But the last straw is when he turns into a giant rubber octopus and interrupts a live broadcast of the BBC. Even the British wanna nuke him at that point. What's really strange about this is that it started out as a PLAY, called "The Quatermass Experiment." How do you do a mutant creature sci-fi outer-space flick on a STAGE? And who would go to see that? Probly the same people that would go to see this. Guys named Ian.
Anyhoo, let's check those drive-in totals and then run this sucker. Five dead bodies. Three dead zoo animals. One dead lump of gooey protoplasm. One cheesy rocket crash. One twitching mutant zombie. And full of great dialogue, lines like "Something happened in here--something beyond our understanding!" I give, oh, about one and a half stars. We're tankin here. But hang in there. I'll give you some info to keep you going. It's only 79 dang minutes long. You can do it. Come on.
[fading] I hate it when you have to beg. It's a British stage drama! It's good for you!
"The Creeping Unknown, " Commercial Break 1 Joe Bob Briggs
You know, I realize this is an old movie. 1956. But don't those fire engines look like they were made in nineteen TWENTY six? I'm surprised they're not pulled by horses. And when they do the big "Let's hose it down" scene, it looks like three guys with garden hoses cooling off that rocket. All right, get on with it. The guy's twitchin in the ambulance. His friends are dead. Let's MOVE it a long. Jeezus, these things were slow.
"The Creeping Unknown," Commercial Break 2 Joe Bob Briggs
"Some fantastic invisible force converted two men into . . JELLY?" One of the great lines in sci-fi history. And how about that Judith, the wife of Victor the twitching mutant-man. That actress is named Margia Dean, and I think this was the first in series of one starring roles for Margia, bless her heart.
"The Creeping Unknown," Commercial Break 3 Joe Bob Briggs
Can we have JUST a few more guys in grey suits and trenchcoats standing around TALKING ABOUT IT? Please, if you're gonna show a monster movie, let's see some goldurn MONSTER action, is that too much to ask? Coming up now is Judith's big moment, where she gets to scream hysterically. Tell me if you don't admire this scream. This is a great scream.
"The Creeping Unknown," Commercial Break 4 Joe Bob Briggs
Now lemme get this straight. Victor is half-man, half-jelly, except for his hand, which has turned into a cactus plant. Does that about sum it up? I think so. But wait--it's time for the suits to TALK ABOUT IT some more. Ask me if I'm happy.
"The Creeping Unknown," Commercial Break 5 Joe Bob Briggs
You know, it's not like this is the fastest movie ever made. So these British guys, they decide that, right in the middle of it, they need a scene of Brian Donlevy getting dressed while talking to his wife and she's trying to give him a cup of tea. That'll really SPEED UP THAT PLOT, won't it? Okay, it gets moderately interesting right here. I didn't say fascinating. It gets BEARABLE for about eight minutes.
"The Creeping Unknown," Commercial Break 6 Joe Bob Briggs
Thora Hird was the drunk lady at the police station--great British character actress--best performance in the whole dang movie. Do you ever watch these old flicks and think, "Well, she's dead now. She looks so old, she's GOTTA be dead by now. I'm watchin a DEAD PERSON." All right, the big finale of "The Creeping Unknown." Well, the medium-sized finale of "The Creeping Unknown." . . .
Outro to "The Creeping Unknown"
Joe Bob Briggs
And there you have it. The giant rubber octopus with a monkey face gets fried on the scaffolding of Westminster Abbey, while the BBC looks on in horror. The British shouldn't even do horror films, you know? You can't have accents like that and be SCARED. It's impossible. But speaking of lame, next week's double feature on Monster Vision features the John Carpenter classic "The Fog," starring drive-in legends Adrienne Barbeau and Jamie Lee Curtis, and then "Superbeast," which is one of the top hundred movies filmed in the Philippines in 1972. Basically two hours of people wandering around in the jungle. And I'll be here to bring em to you, whether you like it or not. Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you to observe a minute of silence tonight for the Polish guy who locked his keys in his car this week. It took him three days to get his family out.
Remember, the drive-in will never die.
[fading] Did you hear about the Polish kamikaze pilot who flew 37 missions?
Original Airdate: 6/28/96
"The Creeping Unknown"
Joe Bob Briggs