Attack of the 50 Foot Woman
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They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. But when that scorned woman suddenly grows to the size of an office building…well…it’s probably wise to run for cover.

In Nathan Juran’s campy 1958 sci-fi classic, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Allison Hayes stars as scorned socialite Nancy Archer. Though her cad of a husband, Harry (William Hudson), is having a not-so-secret affair with blonde bombshell Honey Parker (Yvette Vickers), Nancy can’t seem to throw him out—because, no matter how miserable he makes her, she still loves him. Harry, meanwhile, is just as miserable, but he can’t leave his wife without leaving her fortune, too.

As Harry and Honey plot to get rid of Nancy for good, Nancy finds herself driving alone though the desert, where she encounters a space ship and its gigantic inhabitant. Of course, no one believes her—and Harry sees her latest breakdown as the perfect opportunity to have her committed for good. But when she goes back into the desert to prove that she’s not crazy, Nancy meets the space giant again. This time, however, she ends up in a coma—and she soon grows to an enormous size.

The film’s poster may be iconic, but there’s nothing particularly memorable or magnificent about Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. Like other ‘50s sci-fi flicks, it’s campy and quirky, with cheesy effects and acting so bad, it’ll bring tears to your eyes. In fact, the various cast members actually make Nicolas Cage look like a refined performer, thanks to their painfully fake fight scenes and their over-the-top hysterics (the most notable of which comes from Eileen Stevens, whose character should forever be known as “The Screaming Nurse”).

Really, though, it comes as no big surprise that the plot is thin and the storytelling is weak. Old sci-fi flicks aren’t exactly known for their brilliant storylines. It is, however, a pretty big surprise that Nancy’s growth spurt doesn’t take place until quite late in the film. For the most part, then, it’s simply a story about an unfaithful husband and his attempts to get his hands on his crazy wife’s fortune. It isn’t until much later in the film that Nancy reunites with the mysterious space man and somehow manages to turn into a giant (complete with big, puffy, inflatable hands). So you’ll most likely find yourself spending much of the movie looking forward to Nancy’s short and surprisingly anti-climactic rampage through town.

Of course, if you take guilty pleasure in atrocious acting and silly old-school effects…if you love relaxing with a ridiculous blast from the past…then you’ll still find Attack of the 50 Foot Woman outlandishly irresistible. It may not become a new sci-fi favorite, but this short and silly little flick is still worth seeking out.

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