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Attack of the Crab Monsters(1957)

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Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)

In the halcyon days of his youth, director Roger Corman was nothing if not prolific. The record year for the most number of Corman-directed movies released is 1957, with an astonishing nine films bearing the credit line. Several exploitation sub-genres were covered, including horror (The Undead), rock n' roll (Carnival Rock and Rock All Night), Hawaiian drama (Naked Paradise), teenage Bad Girl (Sorority Girl and Teenage Doll) and the somewhat unclassifiable The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent. The most important of the nine Corman films released in 1957 were the two included in a science fiction double feature made for distributor Allied Artists: Not of This Earth and Attack of the Crab Monsters.

Not of This Earth was an inventive and creepy vampire-from-outer-space tale, and was the second feature on the bill. The top-line feature, Attack of the Crab Monsters, was also written by Charles B. Griffith, and was bursting with intriguing ideas in fact, it probably contained enough interesting ideas for five movies. As the film opens, a Navy seaplane arrives on a small atoll in the Pacific. Ensign Quinlan (Ed Nelson) has brought a team of scientists to study the effects of radiation on the sea and animal life. This is the second group to arrive following nuclear testing nearby the first group, the McLean expedition, has mysteriously disappeared. The new group consists of nuclear physicist Dr. Karl Weigand (Leslie Bradley), land biologist Dale Drewer (Richard Garland), marine biologist Martha Hunter (Pamela Duncan), botanist Prof. Jules Deveroux (Mel Welles), geologist Dr. James Carson (Richard H. Cutting), and technician Hank Chapman (Russell Johnson). As the group travels inland to search for the McLean party's encampment, Quinlan watches as shipmates arrive on a supply raft. Seaman Tate (Charles B. Griffith) loses balance and falls overboard. He has an encounter with an oversized crab, but his crewmates Ron Fellows (Beach Dickerson) and Sam Sommers (Tony Miller) don't realize that; but when they pull Tate up, his head is missing! The expedition gathers to watch the Navy seaplane take off, and react in horror as it explodes in mid-air. The scientists continue their work; McLean's journal tells of a mutated earthworm he discovered, while constant low rumbling quakes seem to be chipping away at the land mass of the island. One night, Martha is awakened by the voice of McLean calling her to a large pit that connects with caves. At the pit, Martha encounters Jim, who says that he heard McLean calling his name also. The expedition comes to realize that the tremors are rapidly causing the island to crumble into the sea, and that the source is coming from below. They cannot call for help because their radio has been sabotaged, and the party begins to be picked off one by one. The culprits, as the survivors discover to their horror, are a pair of oversized mutated crabs who absorb the minds of the people they devour and communicate telepathically with the living!

Writing in Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, Bill Warren had high praise for the inventiveness of this menace: "The explanation is bizarre but not irrational. It's science fantasy, not science fiction, but it holds together and is remarkably intelligent for such a low-budget film. ...The crabs are composed of matter made of free atoms. We see that knives and bullets pass through the crabs without harming them at all, or even leaving holes. ...There are only two crabs, but they each have as many minds as they have devoured. One crab consists mostly of the minds of the previous expedition to the island, the other (the female) mostly those who have vanished since the start of the film. Each crab began only as a crab; now they are essentially group intellects acting with crab-like purpose."

The film achieves a bizarre dream-like quality, although that was almost certainly unintended by Griffith and Corman. The setting itself is uncertain since the island is unstable and constantly crumbling; this sense of isolation and dread is greatly enhanced by an effective score by Ronald Stein, with a prominent trumpet theme, accented by strings and organ. The film also includes some bizarre, unsettling visuals there are quick shots of gore, including a severed hand, and nothing can quite prepare the viewer for close-ups of "talking" guns and ashtrays metal conduits for the crabs' telepathic communications.

The crab props themselves are odd looking, to say the least. In his script, Griffith refers to them as black, yet the final props are bright, almost white a strange choice for a menace to be filmed against rocks and sand. Griffith also intended for his crabs to have eyes on stalks, yet the monster makers here didn't make them that way. As Warren observes, the builder "...seems to have been seduced by the plot idea that the crabs have the minds of people, and the entire front of the crabs wound up as a caricature of the human face. The eyes have lids, for god's sake, and are mounted partway up the shell where no self-respecting crab has ever had eyes. There's a suggestion of a nose, and a straight, expressionless mouth just beneath the lip of the shell."

Actress Pamela Duncan had some resistance to shooting the underwater sequences in the film (at the theme park Marineland of the Pacific), especially where sharks were concerned. As she told Tom Weaver (for Marty Baumann's The Astounding B Monster), "They said 'Don't worry about it. The sharks won't attack you.' I said, 'You tell that to the sharks! I'm not about to go swimming with sharks!'" Duncan had further trouble with the scuba gear: "It was men's equipment too big for me, and I couldn't reach the valve. So I went shooting back up to the surface, and that was the scene! Roger said, 'Go down! Go down! I need the shot!' And I had the courage to say, 'You just got it!' Corman had me taken to a swimming pool to try on the underwater gear. I couldn't handle it, even in a swimming pool!"

Mel Welles (interviewed by Tom Weaver in Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes) didn't have too many kind words about the film, saying "That, in my opinion, is one of the worst pictures ever made." He pointed out that the movie became an almost instant reference in the pop culture, however: "I think the only thing that saved that picture was the title comedians all over the country began to crack jokes about it, and it really became a pop-art kind of cartoon." Welles went on to admit that "the making of Attack of the Crab Monsters was nothing but fun. Fun and absurdity." As with almost every other crew member interviewed about the film, Welles remembers the monster mock-up in particular: "When they made Them! (1954), I think they spent about twelve or fourteen thousand dollars for each of those giant ants. Roger spent a few hundred dollars building that crab...They discovered that the crab was made out of Styrofoam, and so it wouldn't sink. They tried winching it under the water, and it exploded there were all kinds of fun things that happened. There were problems, but they were problems you could giggle about."

Roger Corman was seldom noted for being an "actor's director" his discussions with players was usually nonexistent as he was too busy rushing the technical aspects to meet his self-imposed shooting schedules. Ed Nelson remembered one bit of direction he was given by Corman, however: "That's one example I always give of one of the most impossible lines I ever had to say in my life. We were shooting a scene on the beach at Malibu where one of my men was killed falling out of a motorboat. And Roger had me yell to the other guys in the boat, over the surf, with emotion (because the dead guy was supposedly a friend of mine), 'Bury him!' I mean, the boat was sixty feet away and the surf was pounding, and Roger wanted me to holler, 'Bury him!' with emotion! How the hell..." Nelson's actual line was "Cover him," but the point is taken nonetheless.

Attack of the Crab Monsters cost a mere $70,000 to produce, but it took in over $1 million at the box-office, making it Corman's most profitable picture up to that date. As Corman told Ed Naha (in The Films of Roger Corman: Brilliance on a Budget), "This was the most successful of all the early low budget horror movies. I think its success had something to do with the wildness of the title which, even I admit, is pretty off-the-wall. However, I do think a lot of its popularity had to do with the construction of the plotline. I've always believed that, in horror and science fiction films, too much time is usually spent explaining the characters in depth and developing various subplots. Genre audiences really come to these movies for their science fiction elements or their shock value. Of course they want to understand the characters and want to empathize with them all in order to share the emotions present. But they don't wish to do that at the expense of the other aspects of the picture. I talked to Chuck Griffith about this. Chuck and I worked out a general storyline before he went to work on the script. I told him, 'I don't want any scene in this picture that doesn't either end with a shock or the suspicion that a shocking event is about to take place.' And that's how the finished script read. You always had the feeling when watching the movie that something, anything was about to happen. I think this construction, plus the fact that the creature was big and ugly, won audiences."

Producer: Roger Corman, Charles B. Griffith
Director: Roger Corman
Screenplay: Charles B. Griffith
Cinematography: Floyd Crosby
Film Editing: Charles Gross
Art Direction: Karl Brainard
Music: Ronald Stein
Cast: Richard Garland (Dale Drewer), Pamela Duncan (Martha Hunter), Russell Johnson (Hank Chapman), Leslie Bradley (Dr. Karl Weigand), Mel Welles (Jules Deveroux), Richard H. Cutting (Dr. James Carson).
BW-62m.

by John M. Miller

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Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)

It was the practice in the 1950s (at studios like AIP and Allied Artists) to devise a double-feature program by coming up with the genre and the movie titles and to pre-sell bookings of that package to drive-ins and hardtop theaters. Once the "territories" were covered, the titles, along with a predetermined budget, could be handed over to a producer/ director like Roger Corman for the actual production. The titles and ad campaigns were geared for exploitation, of course, and Attack of the Crab Monsters proved to be one of the most famous titles of the era.

For the screenplay, Corman called on his friend and frequent collaborator, Charles B. Griffith. Griffith was interviewed at length for Corman's autobiography (How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime by Roger Corman with Jim Jerome) and said "When Roger first told me he wanted this crab picture, he said, 'I want suspense or action in every single scene. Audiences must feel something could happen at any time.' So I put suspense and action in every scene. Usually, I'd do a draft in two, three weeks, with very little discussion with Roger. Then he'd take my first draft and say, 'Let's tighten it up a little.' So I'd make a few changes and type it over with wider margins. That gave me a lower page count and Roger was happy."

Attack of the Crab Monsters was filmed partially at Leo Carrillo State Beach, a favorite location of Roger Corman's. The California beachfront can also be seen in such Corman-produced pictures as Monster from the Ocean Floor (1954), The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (1957), The Terror (1963), and Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965). Corman called the location "picturesque" because "the rocks come down right into the ocean."

Other filming locations included the famous and oft-used Bronson Caverns (for the cave interiors), and a large water tank at a nearby theme park, Marineland of the Pacific, for underwater scenes. Charles B. Griffith served triple-duty on the picture. He not only wrote the screenplay and played a bit part in the film, he also directed the underwater sequences. Griffith said, "I had recently seen Jacques Cousteau's first picture and loved it. I went to Roger and said, 'Hey, I'll direct the underwater stuff for a hundred dollars.' He grabbed the bargain. It didn't occur to Roger that I didn't know anything about diving or directing. Weeks later I think he went to Hawaii and shot two other pictures - he called and said the actors were going to my place to learn how to dive. Not from me they weren't." Another actor in Corman's stock company, Jonathon Haze, was an experienced diver and volunteered to donate the diving equipment to the crew, as well as instruct the actors. Griffith arranged to have Haze instruct him prior to the others.

Griffith encountered his biggest troubles when it came time to film the crab prop underwater: "The shoot in Marineland, the first time I directed, was horrendous and chaotic. We used a papier mache crab on an aluminum frame, with Styrofoam stuffing inside. The only problem was the crab wouldn't sink. It floated. As Roger watched, we had to keep loading rocks, cast-iron weights, and people on this crab just to get it to stay underwater."

The crab prop was also difficult to maneuver on land as well. As Beach Dickerson relates in the Corman autobiography, "I got the part of a scientist who comes ashore and the crab eats me. I also played the crab along with Ed Nelson. You never played just one role in a Roger movie. They brought this big crab out there and I asked, 'How's it going to work?' And no one knew how this crab was supposed to work. It was made of papier mache. We got some piano wire to help move the claws. I said, 'Well, someone's got to get inside the f**king thing and lift it up and you need two people in there.' Ed and I figured out that if we got inside, bumped asses, and locked arms at the elbows, I could pull him north, he could pull me south, I could pull him east, he could pull me west."

Ed Nelson was interviewed by Tom Weaver (in Attack of the Monster Movie Makers: Interviews with 20 Genre Giants), and his memory of the crab prop proved to be the most reliable; he said that "the crab was made by Dice, Inc., and it was a heavy piece. It was fiberglass, and I would say it weighed like a hundred forty pounds, something like that. What they did was, they had piano wires on the end of every elbow of the crab, and on a long stick way up in the air they had these wires connected. And people out of the frame would be holding up these sticks. They would alternate picking them up and lowering them, so the legs would move. That worked fine. Inside the crab was a hole no bigger than maybe four feet, and I would get in there. They would put pads on my shoulders and I would bend over and pick up the body of the crab and walk along, in a squat. In my hands I held two wires which worked the eyelids, and I could pull on those and the eyes would open and close. So I had that double job. Roger would set the camera up so that there would be rocks in front of the lens, down low, so that you wouldn't see my feet. And it worked pretty good."

Ed Nelson recalled one blooper from the film: "There is one place where you can see my feet [under the crab]... The girl scientist, Pamela Duncan... she is in a scientific lab, and she shows one of the professors stills of the Crab Monster that she has taken and she notices that the crab is pregnant. You cut to one insert of the photographs of the crab, and in that insert you can see my feet hangin' out the bottom. I saw it on the big screen in downtown L.A., and I said [loudly], 'They're my feet!'"

SOURCES:
How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime by Roger Corman with Jim Jerome

The Films of Roger Corman by Alan Frank

The Films of Roger Corman: Brilliance on a Budget by Ed Naha

Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes by Tom Weaver

Attack of the Monster Movie makers: Interviews with 20 Genre Giants by Tom Weaver

by John M. Miller

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Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)

The original theatrical running time of Attack of the Crab Monsters was a cool 62 minutes. When low-budget films were sold to TV for syndication in the late 1950s and 1960s, local stations needed a roughly 75-minute film to fill a 90-minute slot, so distributors added prologues and text crawls (and sometimes newly shot footage with the film's original actors) to pad the running time. In the case of Attack of the Crab Monsters, two approaches seemed to have been taken. For some markets, a "crab attack" from late in the film was simply spliced at the beginning, prior to the credits, as a sort of "teaser." The official padding, however, consisted of a long text crawl which set up the film:
You are about to land in a lonely zone of terror...on an uncharted atoll in the Pacific! You are part of The Second Scientific Expedition dispatched to this mysterious bit of Coral reef and volcanic rock. The first group has disappeared without a trace! Your job is to find out why! There have been rumors about happenings way out beyond the laws of nature.
This was followed by further padding, consisting of stock footage of explosions, tidal waves and other disaster footage, along with a booming Biblical narration: "And the Lord said, 'I will destroy Man, whom I have created, from the face of the earth; both Man and Beast, and the creeping things and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them.'"

Most of the cast of Attack of the Crab Monsters were veterans of other Roger Corman movies, and a few would later be considered part of his recurring but informal "stock company." Co-stars Richard Garland and Pamela Duncan also appeared the same year in Corman's The Undead (1957), for American International Pictures.

Richard Garland was the ex-husband of Beverly Garland, one of Roger Corman's favorite leading ladies; she played the lead in Swamp Women (1955), It Conquered the World (1956), Not of This Earth (1957), and Naked Paradise (1957), among others.

Mel Welles appeared in several Corman films; in fact his most well-known role was probably that of Gravis Mushnik, the owner of The Little Shop of Horrors (1960).

Russell Johnson proves to be a resourceful island hero in Attack of the Crab Monsters, but the similarities to his most famous role, that of "the Professor" Roy Hinkley on the TV series Gilligan's Island (1964-1966) end there; his character states at one point, "I'm no scientist." Prior to Crab Monsters, Johnson had already appeared in two big-budget science fiction films at Universal Pictures, It Came from Outer Space (1953), and This Island Earth (1955).

Like Russell Johnson, Attack of the Crab Monsters co-star (and part-time crab operator) Ed Nelson achieved his greatest fame in 1960s television, in particular a recurring role on the nighttime soap opera Peyton Place (1964-1969).

While some sources claim that a young Jack Nicholson was one of the people operating the crab from underneath the prop, there are more sources that deny this and say that the only two actors inside were Ed Nelson and Beach Dickerson.

The movie poster art for Attack of the Crab Monsters was quite spectacular, featuring a blonde in a bathing suit being gripped in the claw of a giant red crab. While the movie specified that there were only two crabs on the island, the poster art hinted at many more. The advertising tagline: "From the depths of the sea... A TIDAL WAVE OF TERROR!"

Corman's film directly inspired American poet Lawrence Raab to write a poem bearing the same name. Here is an excerpt:
Yes, we're way out there
on the edge of science, while the rest
of the island continues to disappear until

nothing's left except this
cliff in the middle of the ocean,
and you, in your bathing suit,
crouched behind the scuba tanks.
I'd like to tell you
not to be afraid, but I've lost

my voice. I'm not used to all these
legs, these claws, these feelers.
It's the old story, predictable
as fallout--the rearrangement of molecules.

from "Attack of the Crab Monsters" by Lawrence Raab (The Portable World, Penguin Books, 2000).

SOURCES:
How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime by Roger Corman with Jim Jerome

The Films of Roger Corman by Alan Frank

The Films of Roger Corman: Brilliance on a Budget by Ed Naha

Return of the B Science Fiction and Horror Heroes by Tom Weaver

Attack of the Monster Movie makers: Interviews with 20 Genre Giants by Tom Weaver

Compiled by John M. Miller

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Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)

"The most commercially successful of his early features, Attack of the Crab Monsters saw Corman refining his directorial style to produce a film in which a shock or the fear that a shocking event would take place immediately occurs in virtually every scene. As a result, in contrast to other creature-features of the period in which there were long barren periods, usually filled with speechifying, between attacks of the monsters, Corman's films have a speed and directness about them that remains appealing to this day, however tatty the films look. A further result of this strategy is an intensifying of the sense of disequilibrium that lies behind the films."
Phil Hardy, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Movies.

"It isn't believable, but it's fun as scripted by associate producer Charles Griffith and put on film by Corman and his cast."
Brog, Variety

"A below average exemplar of the current science-fiction vogue. The story is chaotic, the idea is wildly overexploited and the film in general verges on the lunatic, with remarkably poor playing."
Monthly Film Bulletin

"Average....suffers from a limited budget so that the monsters that provide the chief horror...are not as large or menacing as they should be."
The Hollywood Reporter

"...apart from some fairly successfully contrived trick shots, the film has little to offer. The story is muddled and scrappy; much of the explanation of the events which occur is hazy and, even when intelligible, unduly extravagant; the thrills often fail to materialize as they should and, instead, fall flat; the cast is unprepossessing and the acting rather weak. A few touches of mild spectacle are provided by some landslide scenes and by the sequences in which the crabs figure."
CEA Film Report

"Giant talking crabs with eyeballs and eyelids terrorize scientists on a Pacific atoll. Richard Garland and Pamela Duncan seem to be a couple, but she starts falling for blue-collar Russell Johnson. Ed Nelson dies early. Beach Dickerson dies in a tent. Severed heads, severed hands, and the crabs disappear when you zap them with electricity. Several descents into the pit. Several earthquakes. A giant crab claw keeps leaping into frame and attacking people. Great fun. Something suspenseful happens in almost every scene. Dickerson and Nelson played the crab. A Corman classic."
Director John Carpenter, "John Carpenter's Guilty Pleasures" in Film Comment, September-October, 1996.

"Crab Monsters has taken a certain amount of grief from filmic ignorati due to its colorful title, but it's a madly inventive film that is far better than one might expect. Like most of Roger Corman's movies, it has moments that redeem the poverty of the story's surroundings. And, as with many of his films, it's lively and entertaining, but has a premise that's incredibly grim if you stop to think about it....Due to their odd molecular makeup, human brains ingested by the crabs remain active within their bodies. In effect, each crab is now endowed with a committee of highly intelligent scientists' minds and now they're on the crab's side. Despite the often risible nature of the proceedings, there's something horrible in this idea."
Bruce Lanier Wright, Yesterday's Tomorrows: The Golden Age of Science Fiction Movie Posters.

"[Rating: **] Interesting early Corman thriller is hampered by low budget and some very silly monsters but Charles B. Griffith's script has many ingenious ideas."
Leonard Maltin, Classic Movie Guide.

"The size of the crabs was less memorable than their intelligence, an idea [Corman and Griffith] developed to lessen predictability. Day the World Ended [1955] and It Conquered the World [1956] were both crammed with episodes, but certain stretches of them were tedious and suspense waned when their monsters appeared. For Crab Monsters, Griffith had to make every scene shocking or suspenseful, thinking up situations that begged imagination to wonder how the crabs could be connected. ...Suspense was built bilaterally, alternating between the disappearances and the progressive, calculated erosion of the terrain. ...Audaciously the crabs expressed the dietetic adage 'You are what you eat' their mental attributes meant to balance limited mobility. When they first mutated, their driving force was hunger. Each consumed mind turned the knowledge of its owner to the enforcement of crustacean supremacy. Having eaten the McLean party, the male crab initiated most of the action up to Jim's disappearance. The female caught up by feeding on Weigand's associates."
D. Earl Worth, Sleaze Creatures: An Illustrated Guide to Obscure Hollywood Horror Movies, 1956-1959.

"The picture is set mostly at night, and sounds are used effectively for eeriness. There's a good deal of tension by the end, and for once it looks as if the hero and heroine might actually end up as a monster meal....In most other monster movies, the menaces are unthinking brutes. Here they are at least as intelligent as the people they are after, and have to be outsmarted as well as outmaneuvered. The idea of battling a giant crab directed by a mind that only moments before was a friend of yours is amusingly ghastly."
Bill Warren, Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties.

Compiled by John M. Miller

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Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)

JULES DEVEROUX (Mel Welles): We can only see a small part of the island from this spot, but yet you can feel... lack of welcome lack of abiding life.

JULES: I'm not so sure you are right, Monsieur Quinlan maybe their bodies are gone, but who can tell of their souls, eh? Maybe if I call to them they will answer their ghosts will answer. (calling): McLean! Hello!

RON FELLOWS (Beach Dickerson): Sam, how did a nervous guy like you ever get involved in demolition work?
SAM SOMMERS (Tony Miller): Nervous? I'm not nervous just a little high-strung, that's all.

DR. KARL WEIGAND (Leslie Bradley): Something in the air is wrong. Can you tell me what it is, Lieutenant?
QUINLAN (Ed Nelson): I don't know Sir. Maybe it's because there's no sound. No animal noises of any kind.

KARL: Lieutenant I don't want to annoy you again, buy nothing was left? Not a hair or a fingernail clipping? Only McLean's journal?
QUINLAN: Well, that's all, Doctor.
KARL: That they are dead, I can believe possible. But to vanish from the face of the earth?

DR. JAMES (JIM) CARSON (Richard H. Cutting): Did you hear those sounds just before the quake?
JULES: What sounds, Mon Ami?
JIM: The deep booming, rumbling...?

HANK CHAPMAN (Russell Johnson): I'm no scientist. I'm a technician and a handyman.

HANK (voiceover): Dr. Weigand's group is here to study fallout effects at their worst. Dr. James Carson is a geologist. He'll try to learn what's happening to the soil. The botanist, Jules Deveroux, will examine all plant life for radiation poisoning. Martha Hunter and Dale Drewer are biologists he works on land animals while she works on sea life. Dr. Karl Weigand is a nuclear physicist. He'll collect their findings and relate them to the present theories on the effects of too much radiation.

MARTHA (MARTY) HUNTER (Pamela Duncan): You know Dale It's funny but I was using a big black rock as a landmark, but when I swam back the rock was gone.

DALE DREWER (Richard Garland): Land crabs and seagulls everything else is dead.

CRAB/ MCLEAN: Martha. Martha Hunter. Awake. It is McLean. Come to me. Help me. Help me.

MARTY: Jim, you don't know what's down there.
JIM: What could there be other than earth, water, and a few land crabs?

JULES: But how do you know the caves connect with the pit?
KARL: Gentlemen, for reasons I have guessed, uh, these caves must join the pit. Because the pit was created from below, not from the surface.

HANK: Doctor, why did you try and stop me from throwing that rock? (at a small land crab).
KARL: I just don't like to kill anything even such ugly creatures as these.

DALE: Whatever it was that did this deliberately destroyed the radio. It had to be deliberate. Every piece of wiring has been ripped out and chopped to bits. Look every tube has been sliced neatly in half and it had to reach way inside to do it without wrecking these cabinets.

MARTY: Once upon a time there was a mountain. Yesterday when we came to this island, there was a mountain out there. Today there's no mountain.

RON (gambling with sticks of dynamite as chips): OK I'll betcha ten and I'll raise you ten.
SAM: (hands back cigarette): If you're not careful, you'll raise us both ten feet!

KARL: No, I do not believe in ghosts. We are dealing with a man who is dead, but whose voice and memory live. How this can be, I do not know, but its implications are far more terrible than any ghost could ever be.

CRAB/ JULES/ GUN: Be not shocked that the weapon speaks I transmit, so I must be received. Hearken to all things metal, for I may be in them.

KARL: The crab has free atoms all disconnected. It's like a mass of liquid, with a permanent shape. Any matter, therefore, that the crab eats, will be assimilated in its body as solid energy, becoming part of the crab.
MARTY: Like the bodies of the dead men?
KARL: Yes. And their brain tissue which, after all, is nothing more than a storage house for electrical impulses...

MARTY: Looks like we're on the verge of a blessed event. Notice the band of yellow fat around the base of the shell? It would indicate that she's in a very delicate condition, and pretty close, too. I for one should not like to be around to hear the patter of so many tiny feet.

CRAB: So you have wounded me. And I must grow a new claw. Well then GOOD. For I can do it in a day. But will you grow new lives when I have taken yours from you?

CRAB: By the time ships and planes could arrive, this island will have vanished beneath the waves of the sea. But you will not drown you will be a part of me. And as with McLean, there will be no evidence of how you vanished, or of my existence. We will rest in the caves and plan our assault on the world of men.

Compiled by John M. Miller

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