THE BLOG
03/27/2013 05:27 pm ET Updated May 27, 2013

More Flubs in Sci-Fi Horror Productions

Flubs are endemic to movies and television programs of all ilks! Some are continuity errors caused by multiple shooting days. Some are so-called "revealing" mistakes where background props, crew members' hands, and the like are visible. Others are simple errors made by actors scrambling their lines. And, yet others are inconsistencies in fact and logic. Herewith are some intriguing examples from entries in the sci-fi/horror genre.

Terror Is a Man (1959)

On a remote island off of the coast of South America (actually filmed in the Philippines ), a surgeon, Dr.Charles Girard (Francis Lederer) is transforming a panther into a man through a series of intricate operations. An alert at the beginning of the film warned viewers that there would be a very horrific surgical scene, with a buzzer sounding for those with weak stomachs. But, when that alarm went off, all that was depicted was the doctor cutting into what appeared to be nothing more than a piece of foam rubber, one of the mildest operations ever shown in a film, after which the "all clear" alarm sounded, a scene lasting just a few seconds. Considering all the fanfare leading up to it, the producer should at least have shown some chicken entrails covered in ketchup!

Ruehl Fact: Francis Lederer (born Frantisek Lederer in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1899) was a handsome leading man in Europe before arriving in America in 1932. He portrayed Dracula in 1959's The Return of Dracula and on TV's Night Gallery (in the 1971 episode, "The Devil Is Not Mocked"). He made a fortune investing in real estate in California's San Fernando Valley , and died at age 100, yes, I said 100, in 2000, having lived in three separate centuries!

It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955)

As the result of atomic testing, a gargantuan octopus is navigating the Pacific Ocean , ultimately scaling the Golden Gate Bridge and menacing San Francisco , But, due to funding limitations, creaturemeister Ray Harryhausen could only afford to appoint the beast with 6 tentacles instead of the requisite 8, creating, in effect, a hexopus! Through careful camera positioning, the creature's deficit was usually concealed.

But, instead of hiding this shortfall, the producers should have embraced it, stressing that it was indeed a bizarre six-tentacled mutation, or perhaps that it had lost two appendages in a battle with another undersea titan, paving the way for a sequel.

Whether it had six or eight tentacles, the creature's threat to the populace was indeed confined to the waterfront sector as it could not climb out of the water and plague the entire city as Harryhausen's dinosaur did in his previous film, 1953s The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.

Ruehl Fact:
Contrary to what many fans think, perhaps due to his work on so many British films, Ray Harryhausen is not English...he was born in Los Angeles back in 1920. Sadly, the stop-motion pioneer's last film project was 1981's Clash of the Titans. However, he now regularly appears at cinematic conventions and invariably draws large throngs of fans.

The Mole People
(1956)

A team of archaeologists led by Dr. Roger Bentley (John Agar) discover a Sumerian tablet in the Tibetan mountains, leading to a discussion of the Gilgamesh tablets. But, in a factual error, George Smith, the British Museum linguist who translated them in 1879, is credited as their discoverer when it was actually A.H. Layard back in 1839.

Eventually, they descend to the center of the mountain, encountering both a small surviving Sumerian populace, all albinos except for one normal human female, Adel (Cynthia Patrick), and an enslaved race of human-mole hybrids who slither through the earth. But, in a major error, the king's and high priest's chamber walls are inscribed in Egyptian hieroglyphics rather than Sumerian cuneiforms!

Ruehl Fact: In the finale, Agar and his comrades escape during an earthquake, taking with them Adel, whom Bentley has fallen for. But, surprisingly, she is crushed to death as they reach the surface, extirpating all traces of their find. For some inexplicable reason, she was called Adel during the film, but listed as Adad in the credits.

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