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DVD Review: Mesa of Lost Women (1953)

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Mesa of Lost Women  (1953)

Directed by Ron Ormond/Herbert Tevos

DVD Review: Mesa of Lost Women (1953)If you are looking for a good horror or sci-fi movie, you better keep looking, Mesa of Lost Women isn't it. It's okay if you have nothing better to do I suppose, and if you can stand the terrible backing music that sounds like something produced by a five-year-old pop star wannabe on Christmas morning when let loose with his new guitar. To be honest the whole Mesa of Lost Women experience would probably be infinitely more bearable with the benefit of a decent soundtrack.

The basic story is about a mad scientist called Aranya who is conducting strange experiments in his lab on top of Zarpa Mesa, Mexico. In true mad scientist fashion Aranya is trying to play god. He has isolated the human growth hormone and has been busy transplanting it into tarantula spiders. The spiders have now
grown as big as a person and Aranya has found that he can communicate with them telepathically. Nice for him I'm sure, but the man in the white coat has not stopped there, he has reversed the process and transplanted the hormone back into a hoard of beautiful women (maybe he was lonely). He claims these women, have the indestructibility of the insect and if an arm or leg is damaged they can grow a new one. Virtually indestructible and with a huge lifespan he believes his creatures may one day control the world—subject to his will of course (he is a mad scientist remember). Wow. Such high hopes from the man, but if he were really a scientist would he not know that spiders are actually arachnids not insects. Obviously the producers of the movie put as little thought into their research as they did into finding someone to play the backing music. Who knows, maybe a giant spider was put in charge of the legwork for both departments.

One way or another, other characters are drawn into the mess—or should that be onto the mesa—and one and all are given a chance to display their god-given talents for poorly acting their way through an unbelievably bad script. The highlight of the movie for me was watching  Tarantella the spider-woman's unusual spider-like dance in the tavern. If someone had sacked that kid with the guitar and let Tarantella do her thing to some real music it might have been quite and exotic dance, but the choice of strummer makes it one of the most amusing scenes in the movie.

DVD: Mesa of Lost Women (1953)

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As for the giant spider, it has to be said it isn't very believable. More hairy than scary, I would say, but the movie was shot at a time when the wizards of technical trickery were still  learning their craft so that is only to be expected. The main problem with Mesa of Lost Women isn't the special effects, it's that kid with the guitar and that horrific music is sure to cause a few nightmares.


 Jackie Coogan ...  Dr. Aranya
 Allan Nixon ...  Dr. Tucker (camp physician)
 Richard Travis ...  Dan Mulcahey (foreman)
 Lyle Talbot ...  Narrator
 Mary Hill ...  Doreen Culbertson
 Robert Knapp ...  Grant Phillips
 Tandra Quinn ...  Tarantella
 Chris-Pin Martin ...  Pepe (the jeep driver)
 Harmon Stevens ...  Dr. Leland Masterson
 Nico Lek ...  Jan van Croft
 Kelly Drake ...  Lost Woman
 John Martin ...  Frank (the surveyor)
 George Barrows ...  George (male nurse)
 Candy Collins ...  Lost Woman
 Dolores Fuller ...  Blonde 'Watcher in the Woods'
 Dean Riesner ...  Aranya Henchman 
 Doris Lee Price ...  Lost Woman
 Mona McKinnon ...  Lost Woman
 Sherry Moreland ...  Lost Woman
 Ginger Sherry ...  Lost Woman
 Chris Randall ...  Lost Woman
 Diane Fortier  
 Karna Greene ...  Lost Woman
 June Benbow ...  Lost Woman
 Katherine Victor ...  Car-Driver Spider Woman
 Fred Kelsey ...  The Bartender
 Samuel Wu ...  Wu, the valet

Mesa of Lost Women

  • Run time: 70 minutes
  • Filmed in black and white
  • Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

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