'At first glance, everything looked the same. It wasn't. Something evil had taken possession of the town.' In Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), which features this quote, evil is personified by alien pods, evil pods that duplicate people, including all their memories, but with a completely different outcome.
The war may have been over and prosperity was growing, still many people were scared in the 1950s, especially in the US. They were afraid of the invisible communist enemy, which led to Joseph McCarthy's witch-hunt; but people also feared unchecked experimenting scientists, now that they knew, without understanding how, that a single bomb could wipe out an entire city. Not to mention mysterious radioactive radiation. And how about space travel? What creepy creatures would we find there?
Of course, the film industry was able to respond very cleverly to all these concerns and fears, which led to a deluge of films filled with mutated monsters, scientific tests gone completely awry, and aliens that do not have humans' best interests at heart.
Rialto is proud to present a selection of the best horror and sci-fi films from these suspicious, fearful fifties – films that are entertaining as well as disturbing, scary as well as funny, films that have suddenly become horribly topical in the light of the invisible coronavirus. But above all films that transport viewers to a fantastic dream world. But wait... isn't that dream The NIGHTMARE that threatens the world!?
When can you see what film?
Fri 10 July; Mon 10 August; Fri 11 September
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Mon 13 July; Fri 14 August; Mon14 September
Fri 17 July; Mon 17 August; Fri 18 September
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Mon 20 July; Mon 24 August; Fri 4 September
House of Wax
Fri 24 July; Fri 7 August; Fri 7 September
The War of the Worlds
Mon 27 July; Fri 21 August; Fri 25 September
Fri 31 July; Fri 28 August; Mon 28 September
The Incredible Shrinking Man
Mon 3 & Mon 31 August; Mon 21 September