Back when I was a kid growing up here in Houston, Saturday night was the night for the mostly "B" movies.
There was a show called Weird Theater that came on around 10:00PM. Believe it or not, back then a show that started that late was rather unique! I even remember the host went by the name of Dirty Jim Ross! That should tell you what kind of show this was!
Needless to say, my parents hated this show, but they never stayed up that late to watch television anyway! However, my sisters and I loved it! Of course, we only had a 10 inch screen and we had to keep the volume turned way down!
All of these shows were on at one time or another. You might say that this was our primer of things to come...maybe!
Oct 13, 1957:
Popular sci-fi film reflects America's ambivalence about nuclear weapons
Movie audiences in America are treated to the science-fiction thriller, The Amazing Colossal Man. The film revolves around a character named Colonel Manning, who strays too close to the test of an atomic device in the Nevada desert and is bombarded with "plutonium rays."
This was but one of many such movies released in the 1950s, which cannot be dismissed as merely amusing artifacts from that decade. While these weapons were the backbone of the nation's defense system, many in the United States were uncertain about the atomic and hydrogen bombs: Were they too inhumane; what were the repercussions of radioactivity; could they ever really be used without sealing the fate of all humankind?
Hollywood registered these concerns and played upon them. In Them! (1954), ants exposed to radiation grow to enormous size and threaten humanity; The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), tells the tale of a dinosaur, thawed out by an atomic test in the Arctic, that ravages New York City; and, in one of the best of this class of film, a man survives being caught in a nuclear test, only to find himself shrinking away to nothing in The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957). The Cold War, and the issues it raised among the American people, had become part of the nation's popular culture.
By today's standards, these movies were pretty lame! But when you are a kid, things like this made for good entertainment! Maybe that's why I grew up sort of expecting the very worst just about every day! I think the only thing that really changed was the monsters. Today most of the monsters that we all need to worry about...are human! That is, if the politicians can be called human!
What say we get some fresh coffee and sit outside? Cool enough for the start of the day.