Shout Factory has been putting out the motherlode of Roger Corman productions with its Roger Corman's Cult Classics series — but a new set features three weird masterpieces that Corman actually directed. Including Attack of the Crab Monsters.
According to a great write-up in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Crab Monsters has been hard to get a copy of:
For a long time, "Attack of the Crab Monsters" — a truly weird, even surreal film — has been hard to see except in shoddy bootleg copies or via the occasional TV broadcast. That's no longer the case, thanks to the latest entry in the Shout! Factory label's ongoing "Roger Corman's Cult Classics" collection, a two-disc DVD triple feature of 1950s goodness dubbed "Sci-Fi Classics: Attack of the Crab Monsters, War of the Satellites, Not of This Earth." (These three films belong together because they originally were distributed by Allied Artists, while most of Corman's other 1950s projects were released by American-International.)
On the other hand, I've actually seen Not of This Earth on late-night cable sometimes. The third film, War of the Satellites, features model work so ludicrous, you can spot a thumb in a crucial spaceship-docking scene. The DVD set explains how Corman made these films for $50,000 each, and filmed them in a week or so.
The films are full of ludicrous concepts. The giant mutated crabs not only eat people, they digest their consciousness and knowledge — so when a crab eats a French scientist, it starts "speaking" with a fake French accent. And the crabs use metal to transmit their brainwaves, so in one scene, a gun starts talking.
More amazing facts about, and appreciation of, these neglected Corman masterpieces at the link. [Commercial Appeal]