Elvira's Movie Macabre: Gamera, Super Monster / They Came from Beyond Space

Elvira's Movie Macabre: Gamera, Super Monster / They Came from Beyond Space
Packaging episodes of Elvira’s late night television horror film vehicle Movie Macabre as two-disc sets is brilliant. Not only does it pay tribute to the B-movie double-bill legacy but to be honest, most of these movies are so crappy it’s the only way to generate revenue greater than pocket change. Disc one of this instalment stars rubber suit super-beast Gamera saving the world — with the help of some weird superhero girls — from enslavement by an evil alien via reams of footage pilfered from previous namesake flicks and groan-worthy "special effects.” Audience sanity and patience are the real victims here, although the fatality rate for miniature sets does climb quite high. This terribly scripted, horrendously acted fluff revels in its cheapness but for some reason, it’s fun. No one puts on a monster movie expecting Academy Award material, so the cut-rate production values make it a "so bad it’s good” gem. Disc two’s slightly better They Came From Beyond Space finds a meteor shower infecting England with mind-controlling aliens. Protagonist Dr. Temple sends a crew of scientists to inspect the fallen rocks and they are promptly rendered hosts for the intellectual space parasites. Nice how that means no costume change. Witness as Dr. Temple is the only man on Earth whose brainpower is strong enough to stave off attack and he must duly rid the Earth of its unwelcome visitors. Cheap but well made and reasonably acted, They Came From Beyond Outer Space is easily the better of the two films in this package. Sadly, because it’s mildly superior, it’s almost flat compared to Gamera’s shoddiness and glamorous schlock. Naturally, Elvira interjects herself into each movie, offering up innuendo and Vaudevillian humour all the while, which are often just as ludicrous as the films she mocks. With no features other than viewing movies with or without Elvira’s commentary, this release is as low budgeted as the original films, which only serves to enhance the campy nostalgia within. (Shout! Factory)