Starring: Allison Hayes, William Hudson, Yvette Vickers
Director: Nathan Juran
Running Time: 65 mins
Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman is an American film about a woman who, after encountering a giant alien in the countryside, grows to a humongous size, and then sets about getting revenge on her cheating husband.
From the title of this movie, you know what you’re in for. A campy, low-budget 50s sci-fi horror that’s way more laughable than it is scary. And you’d be right, for the most part. Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman does the genre as ridiculously as any other film, but for one hugely disappointing feature – that it’s completely underwhelming, to a point where there’s even a lack of things to laugh at.
Firstly, I want to clarify that this isn’t a painfully bad watch in any way. For the majority of its very short running time, I was laughing like crazy at some of the worst things about the film. The acting is completely over the top, the visual effects are atrocious, even for the time, and the story is completely and utterly predictable.
So, if you want a film that you can watch quickly and have a good laugh at, this isn’t a bad choice, because, for the most part, it’s laughably bad in every way, and that can be a lot of fun if you don’t think about any of the other big issues.
However, there are some glaring problems about this film that don’t make it so fun to watch. For one, the attempts to create tension throughout the first 50 minutes are pretty disappointing. All the 50s sci-fi movies did this, leaving the majority of the movie without ever seeing the villain/alien etc. (due to budgetary reasons), but some did succeed in building a degree of genuine tension that makes you excited and interested as it goes on.
Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman doesn’t do that. Apart from laughing at the film, there’s very little else to persuade you to keep watching, and when the film lulls from its ridiculous hyperbole (which it does on a few occasions), it’s really a dull watch.
So, the lack of tension was pretty underwhelming, but by far the most underwhelming part of this whole movie is its climax. When the 50 Foot Woman actually attacks (for the final five minutes of the movie), it’s done in such a dull and disappointing way. With such a cool concept (and an even cooler poster), some proper destruction would have been really welcome, but instead, all we see is a faded large woman walking through a rural town, and then ripping off a roof.
Of course, budgetary issues are at the centre of that, but I’ve seen lower-budget 50s movies that achieved more than this, and that’s what made it such a disappointment to watch in the end. So, despite some laughably awful problems early, I’m giving Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman a 5.3.