You know the old saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”? I am pretty sure that saying definitely goes when the woman in question is the size of King Kong. To be honest, I feel like the movie studios missed out on a great movie tagline there but then again, I have heard several critics actually say similar things when referencing this movie so I guess everyone was pretty much thinking it. This is one of those movies that has long been considered one of those must see sci-fi classic movies. I got this movie as part of a three movie box set, which I had bought so I could own The Giant Behemoth. The fact that it also had Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman was just an added bonus.
The plot: A television newscaster reports of a strange red object seen in the sky around the world, and reports that it should be over the California desert any minute. Nancy Archer is driving along the desert highway when a glowing sphere lands in front of her, causing her to run off the road. When a giant hand reaches for her, she gets out of her car and runs away. Meanwhile, Nancy’s husband Harry is in a local bar with Honey, his girlfriend when he was separated from Nancy, and explains to Honey that he went back to Nancy because of her money. Knowing Nancy’s history of drinking and mental instability, Honey suggest Harry try to push her into snapping again so she can be committed again, thereby giving Harry control of all her money. Nancy stumbles in to town screaming for Harry, but the sheriff doesn’t quite believe her and sends his deputy, Charlie, to go bring Harry there but Harry bribes Charlie to say he couldn’t find him. The sheriff and Charlie accompany Nancy to where she saw the “satellite” and the giant but when they get there, they see her car but no sign of the satellite or the giant. Nancy returns to her mansion, and begins to argue with Harry about his flirting with Honey. Harry manages to placate Nancy and she apologizes, then Harry gives her some sleeping pills and going to see Honey again. The next day, Nancy’s doctor, Dr. Cushing, checks on Nancy, then discusses her condition with Harry. Nancy and Harry get into another argument but after Nancy gets upset over a news story that makes her out to be a liar, she makes plans to go out to the desert to look for the satellite, and asks Harry to go with her, and agrees that if they don’t find the satellite or the creature, she will commit herself back into the sanatorium. Harry and Nancy travel along the desert roads and as it starts getting dark, they find the satellite and Nancy rushes out of her car towards it. When the giant appears and begins reaching for Nancy, Harry fires a revolver at it but when the bullets have no effect, he gets back in the car and leaves, leaving Nancy by herself to face the giant. Harry returns to the mansion and begins packing his suitcases but Nancy’s butler, Jess, questions Harry about where Nancy is and the two end up fighting and Harry smashes him in the head with a bottle to get away. As Jess calls the sheriff, Harry goes to Honey’s hotel room and tries to get her dressed so they can leave but Charlie shows up and takes them to wait for the sheriff at the station. Nancy is found on the roof of her pool house and Dr. Cushing exams her, who says that she has been exposed to some sort of radiation. The sheriff questions Harry about what happened but Harry and Honey both claim that they were together all night, but after they leave, Dr. Cushing tells the sheriff that Jess wouldn’t lie. Not wanting to risk Nancy waking up and telling the sheriff what happened, Harry fills a syringe with the sedative and prepares to inject Nancy with an overdoes, but when he gets to the room, the nurse, who was woken up by Harry’s movements, turns on the light and screams when they see that Nancy has grown to giant proportions. Dr, Cushing calls in a specialist, Dr. Von Loeb, and they have no idea how Nancy grew so large and decide to keep her sedated and restrained until they figure out what to do with her. The sheriff is looking around the mansion for clues as to how Nancy got onto the pool house roof and discovers a giant footprint in the yard. The sheriff and Jess follow the footprints into the desert and discover the satellite as well as the revolver, proving that Harry has been there. They enter the satellite, where they discover Nancy’s diamond necklace, as well as several other diamonds, and figure that the diamonds are used to power the ship but before they can grab the necklace, thegiant appears and chases them out of the ship. They run to the car with the giant following and the sheriff fires both his revolver and shotgun at the giant with no effect. The sheriff manages to stun the giant when he throws a grenade at it but the giant destroys the car before getting back in the ship and leaving. Back at the mansion, Nancy regains consciousness and begins yelling for Harry and Charlie goes looking for him, but Harry refuses to go back to the house. The doctors manage to sedate her, but Nancy wakes back up almost immediately and, breaking free of her chains, she proceeds to tear the roof off of the mansion and heads out to find Harry. Charlie finds the sheriff and Jess as he is driving to the Archer’s house and when they arrive at the house, the doctors tell them what happened and they head into town. When Nancy reaches town, she first searches Honey’s hotel room, and then heads to the local bar and tears the roof off of the building. Charlie had gone to find Harry and Harry grabs his gun and begins firing at Nancy but the bullets have no effect on her. Nancy drops some of the support beams onto the table that Honey is hiding under, killing her, then grabs Harry and begins walking off with him. The sheriff fires a shotgun at a transformer as Nancy is walking by it and it explodes, killing Nancy, as well as Harry, who died in her hand.
Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman got mostly favorable reviews from the critics, currently holding a 75% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus seemed to be that it “may well be one of the worst science-fiction films of all time, but that’s not to say that it isn’t thoroughly enjoyable.” The movie only had a budget of $89,000 but it made $480,000, making it a box office success. Due to the financial success, there was talk of a sequel but it never went much further than discussion. A remake, starring Sybil Danning, was considered in the mid 80’s but nothing came of it. In the early 90’s, a remake was made starring Daryl Hannah.
This movie is definitely one of those so bad it’s good type movies. The acting was pretty decent for the most part, with William Hudson (Harry) probably doing the best job. The story was somewhat unique for it’s time, as similar themed movies had already come out but this was the first time that a female became the film’s main antagonist/monster. Considering the low budget of the film, you can expect the special effects to be bad; and they were, which made for some of the movies enjoyment. The main flaw in the special effects was the bad screen effects used to make the alien and Nancy appear like giants. The problem was that they appeared see through, so you could see the screen/scenery behind them as they moved on screen. Like I said, that is part of the movies charm and help makes it so much fun to watch.
Rating: 3 out of 5