The Cyclops is one of those magical films that only existed to keep Drive-In double features humming. The film focuses on an expedition into the wilds of Mexico. Legend tells of a 25 foot tall monster that is terrorizing the locals. There are also killer animals, uranium and giant bugs to deal with on this adventure. I miss the go-for-it mentality of 1950s genre material. No one cared about trying to ground the action in science. It had the energy of a 5 year old ruining a book of Mad Libs.

What kills me about the movie is how it is 66 minutes in length and 40 minutes of that time feels like padding. Lon Chaney Jr. looks lost in the film and gets a quick death. However, everyone else seems genuinely committed to this cheap for the 50s schlock fest. So much back projection stands out like a sore thumb in the HD era. I can only hope that it blended better back in the 1950s. What’s crazy is how it was released.

It was the A-film on a double bill with The Daughter of Dr. Jekyll. Daughter wasn’t an amazing movie, but it at least tried to say something new about the classic Stevenson story. Why it got buried on the bill remains lost to Allied Artists’ history. Honestly, I wish someone from the film was alive to talk about it. I want to know more!



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