B Movie Challenge: The Cremators

Sfairesphobia: The fear of balls (wow, you just laughed out loud in front of nobody, didn’t you?).  Symptoms include:

  • sweating
  • trembling
  • hot flushes or chills
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • a choking sensation
  • rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • pain or tightness in the chest
  • a sensation of butterflies in the stomach
  • nausea
  • headaches and dizziness
  • feeling faint
  • numbness or pins and needles
  • dry mouth
  • a need to go to the toilet
  • ringing in your ears
  • confusion or disorientation
  • hyperventilation
  • tightness in the chest/chest pain and difficulty breathing
  • rise in blood pressure

These are also all of the symptoms one might have when watching this little fiery sphere of slock from the early 1970s. You can say what you want about Indiana Jones (and based on the last film most of you have!) but he never had to run from a celestial cross-dissolved sizzle ball that would turn him into instant dust when it rolled on by (I guess Kansas was right, all we are is ♪dust in the wind♪)! For a movie not afraid to sizzle anybody with a heartbeat (or at least with a pulse who showed up for filming) those responsible for this disastrous outcome were smart enough to save the dog (remember, you can punt a baby, but spare the canine). Unfortunately, the producers were not so smart when their money burned a hole in their wallets to invest in this little gem that simmered at the box office!

Making special effects on a budget of $55,000 is certainly a task, and luckily for the producers they found a diamond in the rough when they hired Doug Bewick, a special effects artist who went on to create the effects for films like Ghostbusters, The Howling, Aliens, and The Terminator (just to name only a few, geez!). It was Beswick who was responsible for the giant heated behemoth rising from the waters and spinning its way across the fields, and it must be stated, that he did a pretty okay job for being among his earliest efforts. Unfortunately (I’m pretty sure he leaves this one off his resume) great effects are not enough to save a movie that fizzles a bit on plot.

Many eons ago, long before man lit our inferno world(#yolo), A distant planet exploded, sending millions of small meteorites into the galaxy. It just so happens that a few of those landed in a lake, and they are ALIEN ROCKS (Yes, that is correct, alien baby rocks of the ridiculous kind)! Fast forward a few millennia and humans are doing that whole “figuring out the universe” sciencey thing and taking the rocks away. Well, there just so happens to be one mean, mad mother baller who wants her rocky infant igneous back! (Not just Papa, but ♫Mama was a rolling stone♫). Throw in some gratuitous lovemaking, great use of black-lit and laundry soap, and some wicked seventies sideburns and you have a hunka, hunka, burning cinemagic!

Rock ‘n’ Rolling Your Way at a rough 75 minutes, and directed by noir scribe Harry Essex (who previously wrote classics like I, the Jury, It Came from Outer Space. and Creature from the Black Lagoon), the lead actress Maria De Aragon would go on to star in another sci-fi scorcher Star Wars playing bounty hunter Gredo (Han shot first!). A movie no one wanted to preserve in the cold dankness of mountains, you can find low-quality versions of this streaming on Tubi and Prime, but no BD as of yet. So clap your hands, everybody, drink some good ol’ Mountain Droplets with pop rocks,  and for goodness, gracious sakes enjoy some great balls of blazing cinema fire (♪♫da, da, da♪♫)!

About Ian Klink

As a filmmaker, writer, and artist, Ian Klink’s work includes the feature film Anybody’s Blues and short stories for Weren't Another Way to Be: Outlaw Fiction Inspired by Waylon Jennings, Negative Creep: A Nirvana-Inspired Anthology, A-Z of Horror: U is for Unexplained, The Creeps, Vampiress Carmilla, The Siren’s Call, and Chilling Tales For Dark Nights. Born and raised in Iowa, Klink lives with his family in Pennsylvania where he shares his talents as a teacher of multimedia studies.

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