Attack of the Crab Monsters – USA, 1957

‘From the depths of the sea… a tidal wave of terror!’

Attack of the Crab Monsters is a 1957 American sci-fi horror monster film, written by Charles B. Griffith and produced and directed by Roger Corman for distribution by Allied Artists.

The plot follows a scientific expedition trapped on a remote island inhabited by atomically mutated giant crabs. It was distributed as the main feature on a programmed double-bill with Corman’s Not of This Earth.

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A group of scientists lands on a remote island in the Pacific to search for a previous expedition that disappeared and to continue research on the effects of radiation from the Bikini Atoll nuclear tests on the island’s plant and sea life. They learn to their horror that the earlier group of scientists have been eaten by mutated giant crabs that have gained intelligence by absorbing the minds of their victims.

Members of the current expedition are systematically attacked and killed by the crabs, which are invulnerable to most weaponry because of the mutation in their cell structure. Finally, they discover the crabs are the cause of the earthquakes and landslides that are destroying the island. As the remaining expedition members struggle to survive on the ever-shrinking island, they must also find a way to stop the crabs before they reproduce…



“Unlike practically everything else of its time and type, it makes a good-faith effort to be scary, and Corman demonstrates a great deal of imagination in finding shortcuts and work-arounds to make up for the money he didn’t have. It’s a pretty audacious move trying to make a film involving a disintegrating island on a $70,000 budget…” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

“There are a number of surprising, scary, and freaky moments. There are enticing underwater shots of fish and manta rays. There are numerous quotable lines, some purposely funny and others unconsciously so.” David Elroy Goldweber, Claws & Saucers

Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses Roger Corman King of the B Movie

Buy Crab Monsters…: |

“Strictly in the shrimp league, yet by being shoddy and laughable Corman creates an entertaining framework with Charles Griffith’s script. A charming niaveté is at work as monsters gobble up characters (some scenes are gruesome)…” John Stanley, Creature Features

“… (a) more ambitious production, it covers the methodical destruction and inundation of an entire island – all of which occurs off-screen. Charles B. Griffith’s screenplay keeps the story hopping for just over an hour but limits the show to a minimum of locations.” Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant

The movie shows its low budget, particularly in the crabs themselves, which are highly unconvincing. But it certainly moves at a cracking pace.” Alan Frank, The Horror Film Handbook

Offline reading:

How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime by Roger Corman with Jim Jerome, Da Capo Press, New York, USA, 1998

The Films of Roger Corman by Alan Frank, Batsford , London, 1998

how I made a hundred movies in hollywood and never lost a dime roger corman

Buy: |

“The crab was built by a Hollywood special effects firm and looked quite realistic. It stretched about fifteen feet and was held together with wires. Ed Nelson, who went on to star in TV’s Peyton Place, made his acting debut inside the monster.” Roger Corman

Cast and characters:

  • Richard Garland as Dale Drewer
  • Pamela Duncan as Martha Hunter
  • Russell Johnson as Hank Chapman
  • Leslie Bradley as Dr. Karl Weigand
  • Mel Welles as Jules Deveroux
  • Richard H. Cutting as Dr. James Carson
  • Beach Dickerson as Seaman Ron Fellows
  • Tony Miller as Seaman Jack Sommers
  • David Arvedon (voice) as Hoolar the Giant Crab
  • Charles B. Griffith as Seaman Tate [uncredited]
  • Maitland Stuart as Seaman Mac [uncredited]




Attack_of_crab_monsters-Not-of-This-Earth-posterattack of the crab monsters + not of this earth 1957 ad mat

Wikipedia | IMDb

3 Comments on “Attack of the Crab Monsters – USA, 1957”

  1. Howdy Sci Fi Fans,

    This is a fun movie.

    Just ignore all of the plot line holes, and there are plenty.

    This Roger Corman movie is fast paced, and as always, done on a
    shoe string.

    Pamela Duncan is a doll.

    Russell Johnson is good, this sure is not a “Three Hour Tour”.

    The hand amputation scene scared me silly as a kid.

    Have a good time.



    Whether you like melted butter or tartar sauce, better bring plenty.

  2. I have a place in my heart for creature feature and a man-shed to keep them all in but out of all of the 50’s bunch this one is one of the weakest…..apart from Attack of the Giant Leeches; that was as slack Andre the giant’s jogging bottoms.

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