The Nazi Plan

The NSDAP 1927-44 in film footage of a public character secured during or after the war, evidence at the Nuremberg Trials.

Lt. Budd Schulberg, U.S.N.R., commanded the search team, Chief Petty Officers Robert Webb and Robert Parrish (also John McCafferty) edited the two-hour film, Commander Kellogg was also the producer.

Col. Darryl F. Zanuck and Twentieth Century-Fox assisted in the English voiceover narration of the adapted version.


The Killer Shrews

The script conception is so beautiful that it is filmed minimally. An elder scientist, who is concerned with overpopulation, envisions a biological mutation that would eventually reduce humans to half their size and slow their metabolism, so as to extend available resources (cp. Tod Browning’s The Devil-Doll). The experimental animal is a shrew, and by a drunken assistant’s error, the lab shrews grow as big as large dogs or small bears. They begin to swarm, ravenous as wolves.

This is like something Rimbaud would come up with, if he thought of writing a screenplay in this genre, a sea-captain-and-mad-scientist’s-daughter thing, quite serious in the end.

Songster, your goddaughter
Is my thirst that crazes,
A mouthless intimate hydra
That undermines and razes.


The Giant Gila Monster

The voluble, witty and proficient script has plenty to say about a small farming town and young people who soup up old cars and go to the drive-in (“we have them in France too,” says rich man Wheeler’s au pair, “I went with my brother on his motor scooter,” the other kids groan) and dance to the latest records. There’s nothing outré about them, the only thing grandiose in the area is a freak of nature, a rare case of gigantism (and not caused by anything catastrophic).

The director films his lizard in miniature sets as champ contre champ to the human action. The animal actor performs ideally for the camera with appreciative eyes surveying the scene. Kellogg achieves a coup de cinéma at the dance, the lizard outside among the parked cars produces a splendid effect and he pokes his head through the wall like Jack in The Shining.

Another carefully built effect in this much-overlooked and therefore surprisingly complex film is the music motif that rises from a young garage-mechanic’s little song while pounding out a dent to his rendition with a miniature banjo of a little gospel ballad called “Laugh Children Laugh” and then his first record, a bopper tune.

Wheeler is an oil man, his son is dating a poor farm girl, the two kids are parked in the son’s coupe when the monster strikes with an upraised claw.

The mysterious sequence that follows has the sheriff investigate a car found in a ditch, “the car was stolen out-of-state, the plates were stolen in-state”, the missing driver is probably the man seen hitchhiking on the highway with an imitation-leather suitcase that remains behind when the monster gets him.

Nitro for an oil fire does the Gila monster in, a hot rod full of it blows him up (observe the creature’s wearied expression in its final moments, after being hit with several rounds from a pump-action shotgun).