When I was young, I was fascinated by movies that had man-eating plants. There are a surprising number of such movies. Here are 10 of my favorites.
1. The Lost Continent (1968) – A British Hammer film that almost defies description. The crew and passengers on a tramp steamer run into a fog-enshrouded, seaweed encrusted area in the middle of the ocean where descendants of pirates and Spanish conquistadores have a strange community. The seaweed is carnivorous.
2. The Navy vs. the Night Monsters (1966) – Surprisingly good. Scientists go to an island and discover lots of big plants that aren’t very friendly. The film has Billy Gray (Bud from Father Knows Best) who loses an arm, and Mamie Van Doren who has no shortage of body parts.
3. The Ruins (2008) – Two young couples are on vacation in Mexico and decide to go visit ancient Mayan ruins in the jungle, a place where none of the locals will go. What could possibly go wrong?
4. The Day of the Triffids (1962) – A meteor comes close to earth and blinds most of humanity, and also delivers spores that grow into large man-eating, moving plants. Things look bad for the sighted survivors until they discover that seawater kills the Triffids.
5. Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) – Brendan Fraser and his mildly annoying nephew go to, well, the center of the earth. Fraser meets some very large Venus flytraps.
6. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) – The pods don’t eat people but they aren’t very nice so I include them on my list. I could never figure out what happened to people’s bodies after the pod-people took over. (In the book, original bodies would decompose).
7. The Lost World (1960) – A relatively big-budget film with some very good actors including Claude Rains, Fernando Lamas, and Jill St. John. The carnivorous plants make only a brief cameo appearance.
8. The Land Unknown (1957) – One of those movies that’s so bad, it’s rather entertaining. Scientists accidentally discover an underground island in Antarctica. Of course there are man-eating plants.
9. Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968) – This film is a reediting of footage from “Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet” which in turn was a reediting of footage of the 1962 Russian film “Planeta Bur”. Astronauts land on Venus and find scantily clad women including Mamie Van Doren. And a man-eating plant.
10. From Hell it Came (1957) – I saw this dozens of times on TV when I was young. Nuclear radiation + witch doctor + tree = a very bad tree.
11. Space Master X-7 (1958) – A fascinating film featuring Paul Frees, probably the best voice-actor in history, and Moe Howard of the Three Stooges, who does a very good serious acting role here. A space probe bring fungus back to earth. (OK, fungi aren’t plants but this is my list.)
12. Konga (1961) – A British botanist finds a way to grow things to a very large size. This film is memorable because one of the main characters has her arm trapped by a bad plant, but we never find out what happens to her!
13. When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970) – A Hammer film with pretty good visual effects. Cave girl Sanna bumps into a large plant. A bad plant.
14. Untamed Women (1952) – During World War II an American bomber crew crashes on an island with dinosaurs and man-eating plants.
15. Voodoo Island (1957) – Features Boris Karloff, and also has Adam West (TV Batman) in his first film appearance. Scene where a plant eats a child was very bold for the time.
16. Jumanji (1995) – Very strange movie, and not entirely in a good way. There’s a scene with a pretty scary plant.
17. Tarzan’s Desert Mystery (1943) – Tarzan, played by Johnny Weissmuller, has a brief encounter with a man-eating plant before he heads off to the desert in search of medicine to help the war effort.
18. The Revenge of Doctor X (1970) – A low-budget, really bad film that has a few good points, including a decent man-sized, walking, mutant plant created by a mad American botanist in Japan.
19. Angry Red Planet (1959) – A spaceship goes to the Angry Red Planet, Mars, and the crew finds an angry red plant.
Turok Son of Stone Comic Book (#45, May 1965) – Turok saves Andar in a great story. One of my all-time favorite comic books.