The first “Creature Feature” I saw as a child was Bert I. Gordon's The Cyclops. Back in 1963 when we were living in New York I accidentally stumbled upon this movie on the Chiller Theater TV broadcast. Chiller was one of the first Horror Shows back in the 60's and was popular enough to be on prime time saturday night at 8pm.
This movie is the one that probably started my fascination with the horror host/show that continues through this day. The Horror show was a staple of local TV all through the 60's to the early to mid 70's. By the eighties most of these shows had past their prime and were to be replaced by the expansion of cable TV, syndicated broadcasts, infomercials and late night comedy shows (SNL) Some of the Horror host/Shows have returned as of late but I will elaborate more on this topic on a later post.
The plot of The Cyclops concerns a woman Susan Winter (Gloria Talbot) looking for her fiancée who was lost somewhere in a remote area in Mexico. She hires a team to help her find him. As they investigate the area they begin to find giant animals and high radioactivity in the mountains. Eventually they come face to face with the large and angry Cyclops and of course bad things happen! This Cyclops is one of my Favorite Bert Gordon creations. Reminiscent of the monster in War of the Colossal Beast (also directed by Gordon) this creature really freaked out the 4 year old me.
Rounding out the cast are James Craig (The Revenge Of Dr X), Tom Drake and the great Lon Chaney Jr! The Cyclops himself was played by Duncan Parkins who also played The Colossal Beast.
In 1955 Bert Gordon (Mr B.I.G. as he was known) made his first feature “King Dinosaur”. He was primarily known for his Giant Monster movies (The Amazing Colossal Man, The Beginning of the End, Earth vs The Spiders, Attack of The Puppet People, Food Of The Gods, Village Of The Giants). All are B-Movie classics and worth seeking out I might add.
Warner Archives has finally released The Cyclops on DVD through their website only. It was previously available on the Elvira Thriller Videos series back in the 80's. Apparently Warner's originally put out the new DVD with the eye gouging scene of the Cyclops missing but it has been restored.
So if your looking for a fun Creature Feature keep an eye out for The Cyclops, I highly recommend it!
And here's a clip