Were you an impressional youngster like myself in the ’50’s and ’60’s? Do you recall the stream of monster movies on television and in theaters? “Them”, “The Spider”, “The Black Scorpion”, “The Creature From The Black Lagoon” and who can forget classics like “The Blob”, “The Monster That Challenged The World” and “Godzilla”.

Every movie I watched back then scared the bejebbies out of me, including “The Monster That Challenged The World”. In that movie’s opening scene, a military jet has crashed into some lake in California and with no sign of the pilot, a rescue team in a boat searches for the body with a drag hook. As the music ramped up in pitch I knew something bad was about to happen. And oh, my, god, it did. The dead pilot’s body, head first, broke the water’s surface and I couldn’t get my eyes shut fast enough. The corpse’s bulging eyes and sagging skin were etched into my brain and for the rest of the movie, every time the music grew more ominous, I closed my eyes. I saw very little of the movie but I couldn’t get enough of being scared.

Special effects have improved tremendously over the decades and thrillers of old that kept me awake at night, including “The Monster That Challenged The World”, now seem almost comical if you don’t put them in context. What we watched those many years ago was state of the art technology, improvements on technologies of the decade before and it all went in to making monster movies that appeared as real to an impressional youngster back then as more modern movies do for audiences today.

What are your favorite monster movies, vintage or more modern? What do you think of the creatures in my book, “Terror Beneath The Bayou”? Do they rank high on the “scary scale” and does the thought of creepy-crawlers under your bed or hiding within shadows in your bedroom give you the heebie-jeebies?

Steve T