Attack of the Crab Monsters

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Attack of the Crab Monsters
Attack of the Crab Monsters 1957.jpg
Original movie advertisement from 1957
Directed by Roger Corman
Produced by Roger Corman
Written by Charles B. Griffith
Starring Richard Garland
Pamela Duncan
Russell Johnson
Music by Ronald Stein
Cinematography Floyd Crosby
Edited by Charles Gross
Distributed by Allied Artists
Release dates
  • February 10, 1957 (1957-02-10)
Running time 62 min
Country United States
Language English
Budget $70,000[1]
Box office $1 million[1]

Attack of the Crab Monsters is a 1957 American black-and-white science fiction film, written by Charles B. Griffith and produced and directed by Roger Corman via Los Altos Productions, on contract for distribution by Allied Artists Pictures Corporation. The plot follows a scientific expedition trapped on a remote island inhabited by atomically mutated giant crabs. It was distributed as the main feature on a programmed double bill with Corman's Not of This Earth.

Corman says the success of the film convinced him that horror and humor was an effective combination.[2]


A group of scientists land on a remote island in the Pacific to search for a previous expedition that disappeared and to continue research about the effects of radiation from the Bikini Atoll nuclear tests on the island's plant and sea life. They learn to their horror that the earlier group of scientists have been eaten by mutated giant crabs that have gained intelligence by absorbing the minds of their victims. Members of the current expedition are systematically attacked and killed by the crabs, which are invulnerable to most weaponry because of the mutation in their cell structure. Finally, they discover the crabs are the cause of the earthquakes and landslides that are destroying the island, and begin thinking of a way to stop the crab monsters from reproducing. After barely escaping from a laboratory that was close to collapsing, the remaining trio witness one of the giant crabs for the first time. This was Hoolar, The Giant Crab, played by David Arvedon. Hoolar vows to swim to the mainland to eat more people. At last, one of the three sacrifices his life to kill Hoolar. The film ends with the survivors embracing each other.



Writer Charles B. Griffith described the scripting process later:

Roger came to me and said, "I want to make a picture called Attack of the Giant Crabs, and I asked, "Does it have to be atomic radiation?" He responded, "Yes." He said it was an experiment. "I want suspense or action in every scene. No kind of scene without suspense or action." His trick was saying it was an experiment, which it wasn't. He just didn't want to bother cutting out the other scenes, which he would do.[3]

Griffith also appeared in a small role and directed some underwater sequences. Griffith:

I had just read The Silent World by Jacques Cousteau and found it to be new and exciting. So when that picture came along, I wrote all the underwater stuff and went to Roger and told him I’d direct all the underwater parts for $100. He said, “Okay.” If I had of just asked, he would have said, “No.” I had to put it in a way that he would jump at. So I directed all that stuff and it was rather funny. I’d be down at the bottom of the tank at Marineland trying to get actors to do something while [director of photography] Floyd Crosby was hammering at the glass window trying to get them to do something else. [Laughs.] It was all pretty silly[4]


The film was Corman's most profitable production to date, which he attributed to the "wildness of the title", the construction of the storyline,[1] the structuring of every scene for horror and suspense and editing for pace.[5]


  • Wingrove, David. Science Fiction Film Source Book (Longman Group Limited, 1985)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Alan Frank, The Films of Roger Corman: Shooting My Way Out of Trouble, Bath Press, 1998 p 38
  2. ^ Roger Corman & Jim Jerome, How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never lost a Dime, Muller, 1990 p 39
  3. ^ Dennis Fischer, 'Charles B. Griffith: Not of this Earth', McGilligan, Patrick. Ed Backstory 3: Interviews with Screenwriters of the 60s Berkeley: University of California Press, c1997 1997 retrieved 22 June 2012
  4. ^ Aaron W. Graham, 'Little Shop of Genres: An interview with Charles B. Griffith', Senses of Cinema, 15 April, 2005 accessed 25 June 2012
  5. ^ Ed. J. Philip di Franco, The Movie World of Roger Corman, Chelsea House Publishers, 1979 p 78

External links[edit]