CineSavant Column

Saturday October 1, 2022



December must be Women’s Empowerment Month at The Warner Archive Collection. I’m informed that the month will have just two releases, but we readily admit they make a pretty incredible double bill.

Yes, both John Huston’s The Night of the Iguana and Nathan Herz Juran’s Attack of the 50-Foot Woman will hit Blu-ray simultaneously, hopefully in time for the holiday. The two stories do have similarities — some of the women in the Tennessee Williams story want to tear up the town, and then tear up Richard Burton.

I wish the WAC had more leeway to include creative collector extras: It would be fun to see samples from the syndicated TV version. Allied Artists padded Attack to make it better fit TV movie slots. Meaningless, generic text scrolls were added, a ‘prologue’ was created by previewing a scene from later in the film, and a sequence or two were step-printed to slow down the action. Not only was this irritating, it frustrated film collectors like Joe Dante. The 16mm prints that fell into collector hands were always the bogus futzed versions.



This link offering from correspondent Christopher Rywalt came in at just the right time: last week some friends were asking each other (over Zoom) if we traded bubble gum cards when we were kids. Associate and fellow editor Todd Stribich talked about his fab Baseball Card collection, and then actually showed us his perfectly preserved collection of original Mars Attacks!  cards . . . he even has a pristine ‘check them off’ card, unsullied by little kid ink marks.

Anyway, Christopher sent along this link to a Dangerous Minds post showing a set of Hammer Horror Trading Cards from 1976. Actually, they seem to be a “Shock Theater Picture Cards + Bubble Gum” set.

I never saw this particular set but the humor is as awful as I remember. A picture of Chris Lee with blood on his lips bore the caption “It sure doesn’t taste like tomato juice!”  I will pause for laughter.


Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson