Monday, January 20, 2014

Sumerian albinos, men in skirts and Mole People.

In this post: Low-carb essentials, underground mutants.

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And now ... a Howdygram movie review! On Saturday Sam and I watched The Mole People (1956), a science fiction dreck-fest from Universal starring Hugh Beaumont, John Agar and a herd of underfed underground mutants. The film begins with a hilariously awkward lecture by USC English professor Frank Baxter, who presents a variety of pointless theories about the center of the earth. Then we’re introduced to Beaumont (Ward Cleaver from TV’s “Leave It to Beaver”) and Agar, a pair of klutzy archaeologists on a dig in “Asia” — that’s actually all it says on the screen: “Asia” — when they discover a rare and ancient Sumerian stone tablet inexplicably engraved with Egyptian hieroglyphics (don’t ask). The aforementioned stone tablet is immediately destroyed when they leave it on a cheesy folding table during an earthquake, so they decide to recruit a climbing party to explore the summit of a nearby huge mountain (are they in Tibet?) to look for more artifacts.
At the summit of the mountain the archaeologists discover a Sumerian temple covered in grated parmesan cheese that’s supposed to look like snow, a member of their team falls through a cardboard floor and the others lower themselves into the bottomless pit with a rope to try and save him. (Too late. He croaks.) Eventually the only survivors of this escapade are Beaumont, Agar and their flashlight. They soon find an underground civilization of ancient Sumerian albinos in skirts led by a king who wears a rack of lamb on his head and Alan Napier (Alfred from the “Batman” TV show) as the high priest of Ishtar. The albinos have enslaved a race of Mole People (creepy hunchback dudes in black jackets and clawed mittens) who raise goats and get whipped a lot. Also they don’t eat much.
The flashlight is a very big deal in this movie. At first the Sumerians think Beaumont and Agar are gods because of their “magic fire stick” and give them honors and privileges that include Agar falling in love with a Sumerian waitress named Adele. When the flashlight batteries die all hell breaks loose, the high priest condemns the archaeologists to death, and the Mole People storm the Bastille. With mayhem facing them on all sides, Beaumont, Agar and Adele climb up an open shaft into daylight on the mountaintop where Adele quickly discovers a pair of boots and gets killed by a rickety fake stone pillar. The end.

Thank you for reading this.

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