Apocalypse Then

American and Japanese Atomic Cinema, 1951–1967

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About the Book

The United States, the only country to have dropped the bomb, and Japan, the only one to have suffered its devastation, understandably portray the nuclear threat differently on film. American science fiction movies of the 1950s and 1960s generally proclaim that it is possible to put the nuclear genie back in the bottle. Japanese films of the same period assert that once freed the nuclear genie can never again be imprisoned. This book examines genre films from the two countries released between 1951 and 1967—including Godzilla (1954), The Mysterians (1957), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), On the Beach (1959), The Last War (1961) and Dr. Strangelove (1964)—to show the view from both sides of the Pacific.

About the Author(s)

Mike Bogue is a community college educator who regularly writes for G-FAN and Scary Monsters Magazine. He has also written for Mad Scientist, Castle of Frankenstein, Journal of Frankenstein, Wonder, and Monster Bash Magazine. He lives in Ozark, Arkansas.

Bibliographic Details

Mike Bogue
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 316
Bibliographic Info: 94 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6841-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2900-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vi

Foreword by Allen A. Debus 1

Preface 3

Introduction 7

Part I: Mutants

1. All-American Aberrations 11

1951–1959: Ma and Pa Kettle Back on the Farm 11 • Captive Women 12 • The Year 1953 15 • The Atomic Kid 16 • Bride of the Monster 18 • Creature with the Atom Brain 20 • Day the World Ended 23 • The Werewolf 27 • World Without End 30 • The Amazing Colossal Man 33 • The Cyclops 37 • From Hell It Came 40 • The Incredible Shrinking Man 42 • Attack of the 50 Foot Woman 45 • Frankenstein 1970 48 • Monster on the Campus 50 • Terror from the Year 5000 52 • War of the Colossal Beast 55 • The Alligator People 58 • The Hideous Sun Demon 61 • The Best and the Rest 64

2. Mutations American Style 65

1960–1967: Beyond the Time Barrier 65 • The Beast of Yucca Flats 67 • Most Dangerous Man Alive 69 • The Year 1962 71 • Monstrosity 72 • The Horror of Party Beach 74 • The Time Travelers 78 • The Years 1965–1966 84 • In the Year 2889 84 • After the Year 1967 86

3. Rising Sun Terrors 87

1958–1965: The ­H-Man 87 • Frankenstein Conquers the World 97 • Of Gelatin and Giants 104

4. Marty vs. the ­H-Man 106

1958: National Identity 106 • Radiation Perspective 109 • Implicit Worldview 110 • Man-Sized Mutants 112 • King-Sized Mutants 113 • From Mutants to Monsters 114

Part II: Monsters

5. Red, White and Blue Behemoths 115

1953–1963: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms 115 • The Magnetic Monster 119 • Killers from Space 122 • Monster from the Ocean Floor 125 • Them! 126 • It Came from Beneath the Sea 131 • Tarantula 134 • The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues 139 • Attack of the Crab Monsters 142 • Beginning of the End 147 • The Monster That Challenged the World 150 • Monster from Green Hell 153 • Attack of the Giant Leeches 156 • The Slime People 159 • Almost Atomic 162 • Of Beasts, Bugs and Behaving 165

 6. Walking ­H-Bombs 166

1954–1967: Godzilla / Gojira, King of the Monsters! 166 • The Americanization 172 • Godzilla Raids Again / Gigantis, the Fire Monster 175 • Rodan 178 • Mothra 181 • 1962–1963 184 • Giant Space Monster Dogora / Dagora, the Space Monster 184 • Mothra vs. Godzilla / Godzilla vs. the Thing 186 • Gamera, the Giant Monster / Gammera the Invincible 190 • Godzilla, Ebirah, Mothra / Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster 195 • Son of Godzilla 197 • Almost Atomic 200

 7. Honda vs. Harryhausen 204

Part III: Mushroom Clouds

 8. Twilight’s Last Gleaming 217

1951–1964: Five 217 • Invasion U.S.A. 220 • Teenage Cave Man 223

• On the Beach 225 • The World, the Flesh and the Devil 230 • The Last Woman on Earth 233 • Rocket Attack U.S.A. 235 • The Creation of the Humanoids 238 • Panic in Year Zero! 240 • This Is Not a Test 245 • Dr. Strangelove—or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 247 • ­Fail-Safe 251

 9. Rising Sun Apocalypse 257

1956–1961: The Mysterious Satellite / Warning from Space 257 • Earth Defense Force / The Mysterians 261 • The Final War 264 • The Last War 267

10. Aftermath vs. the End 273

Epilogue 283

Chapter Notes 287

Bibliography 293

Index 295

Book Reviews & Awards

“Mike Bogue, after taking the reader through sixteen years of busy monster and mutant design at various studios and almost ninety movies, has amassed countless details, production histories and genuine fantasies related to those films. A treasure for any fan of the giant monster and atomic mutant films of that period.”—PopCultureShelf; “There have been so many genre movie guides out there and to be honest, I didn’t think anything could be done that was new and exciting. I was very glad to be proven wrong with this book…McFarland has had a long history of excellent movie guides, particularly those in the horror and science fiction genre, and this one promises to rate among the best! This guide stands out to me because it is specific in its subject matter, that of atomic films…[Bogue] has a love for these types of films and upon reading this book, made me want to revisit many of the films covered here…when I found out about this book, I knew it was something I had to have…This book did not disappoint. Bogue’s excitement and love of these films is reflected in each and every review.”—Terror from Beyond the Daves, Rondo award winning blog.