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Black Scorpion [VHS]

116 customer reviews

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Black Scorpion [VHS] + Deadly Mantis [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Richard Denning, Mara Corday, Carlos Rivas, Mario Navarro, Carlos Múzquiz
  • Directors: Edward Ludwig
  • Writers: David Duncan, Paul Yawitz, Robert Blees
  • Producers: Frank Melford, Jack Dietz
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: December 13, 1993
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302814804
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,153 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Surfink on November 2, 2003
Format: DVD
After disappointing DVD releases, virtually barren of extras, of some of the finest SF/horror films in their catalog (Them, Thing from Another World, Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula), Warner Video finally redeems themselves somewhat with this excellent package (and concurrent releases of Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and Valley of Gwangi). While the extras are not exactly generous, they're of great interest to B-movie and stop-motion animation fans. I have to place Black Scorpion in my top three Big Bug movies, along with Tarantula and Beginning of the End. Fans of Them will probably consider this heresy, but frankly, as fine a film as Them is overall, those big head-nodder ant props just never engendered much suspension of disbelief, let alone horror, in me, even as a kid. In contrast, Black Scorpion inverts the situation, with a pedestrian B-movie scenario framing some of the creepiest, scariest, and convincing Big Bug special effects footage of the era.

A volcano in Mexico releases a horde of giant scorpions that roam the countryside, destroying and killing, grabbing people with their pincers and jabbing them with their stinger tails. Several beautifully animated stop-motion set pieces are featured, including the sequence in which the scientists descend into the volcano crater to explore the scorpions' underground lair and encounter cool and creepy wormlike and spiderlike creatures; the scene of the scorpions destroying a train and feasting on the screaming passengers, then battling a supergiant "king" scorpion; and the king scorpion's last stand inside a sports stadium, where it scoops up military vehicles like marbles and plucks helicopters out of the sky, slamming them to the ground, while the military bombards it mercilessly.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 6, 1999
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I caught this on AMC a couple months ago and was really impressed. I had never heard of this movie, and it certainly doesn't get mentioned with other 50's classics like Them, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Beast From 20,000 Fathoms or The Thing. Of course, it's a pretty standard formula of giant scorpions wreaking havoc in the wild, and then eventually making their way to civilization. The stop motion SFX are by Willis O'Brien, of King Kong, and they are really top notch in this movie. Especially in one scene where the heroes are lowered down into the cave of the giant scorpions--it ranks up there with some of the best sci-fi images ever filmed. I've always been a big fan of the O'Brien/Harryhausen stop motion work--maybe it doesn't look as realistic as the modern computer stuff--but to me it looks BETTER. I mean, we don't watch movies like this for realism, right? Those stop motion animators were real artists--not computer technicians. If you're a fan of this genre--check out The Black Scorpion.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on February 17, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Released in 1957, The Black Scorpion followed in a long line of giant bug movie, probably most notable 1954's Them!, which dealt with giant ants. The main difference being that in most of those movies, the gigantism in the creatures was caused by atomic radiation (I wonder how many men pondered radiating their private parts given that Hollywood seemed so determined to make us believe radiation would have the effect of embiggening things so?) and in this movie the cause was of a more natural reason.
The Black Scorpion stars Richard Denning, who I remember most from the movie Target Earth (1954) and Mara Corday, a darkened hair beauty whose other notable films include Tarantula (1955) and The Giant Claw (1957).
The plot involves a very active volcano in Mexico and geologists Hank Scott (Denning) along with a colleague are interested in seeing this activity first hand. Corday plays Teresa Alverez, a ranch owner whose cattle is being mysteriously slaughtered and is having difficulties keeping locals around to help her round up the cattle as they believe some devil bull or something is responsible.
Turns out the active volcano has ripped open some giant fissures in the Earth, exposing a vast underground cavern containing mostly giant, prehistoric scorpions. The scorpions, being a might bit peckish after years of living under the ground, start venturing out into the Mexican deserts, stinging and eating whatever gets in their path. They are soon discovered, the military comes in, blows them up real good, and that's the end of that...or is it? Okay, no it's not, as the humongous scorpions find another way out, and begin to do cool stuff like attack trains and find their way into populated areas.
What really worked so well in this movie is the special effects...
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By S. H. Towsley on September 12, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Willis O'Brien, the stop-motion effects wizard behind the 1925 LOST WORLD, the classic KING KONG, and SON OF KONG, had lots of other big ideas for movie extravaganzas, from CREATION to WAR EAGLES to LAND OF THE MIST to GWANGI. Unfortunately, in later years he only got to make lower budget films like THE GIANT BEHEMOTH and BEAST OF HOLLOW MOUNTAIN. This film, THE BLACK SCORPION, was his last real tour de force -- lots of giant scorpions & spiders, a train wreck, overturned trucks, a trip into a prehistoric cavern, and such. For 1957, given that its contemporaries were films like THE GIANT CLAW (a string puppet), this was really something. O'Brien and Harryhausen ruled the monster world during this era, for sophisticated effects.
Marred only by the inclusion of some incomplete matte shots, the usual goofy rubber monster head close-ups, and the stereotypical little boy named "Pepe", who seemed to be in a lot of these films, this is a fun movie in large part and historically interesting because this may be as close as we'll ever get to seeing O'Brien's censored "spider pit" creatures from KING KONG.
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