October 7th, 2002

caillebotte_the orangerie

Amazing! Terrifying! Astonishing! It's the Attack of the B Movies!

When all the other kids were off at the drive-in watching those B movies which have since become a staple of cable television, I was most likely watching something by Fellini or Bergman in a west side art house. In fact, I only went to a drive-in theater once. Even when I went to see Hollywood movies, it was usually in one of the big downtown theaters, and less often, one of the smaller neighborhood walk-ins. So, there are whole genres of movies with which I am familiar only from television; the beach party movies from the 1960s, most of the horror movies, most low-budget science fiction, and so on. And, of course, there are even more B movies which I never saw in theaters because they were made before I was born. Things such as the early Tarzan movies, and the serials like Flash Gordon and Captain America.

Tonight, I had the opportunity to be astonished at how extensive that world of B movies is. I stumbled across the appropriately named Brian's Drive-in Theater. There are vast sections devoted to B movies by genre, and page after page of pictures and biographies of B movie stars. Large sections of the site are devoted to Tarzan movies, with galleries for every star who played the role. The star pages also contain complete filmographies. This site could be quite a resource for anyone researching the topic. I nosed around for an hour or so, and barely scratched the surface. If any one is looking for pictures of Buster Crabbe or Lex Barker, this is the place.