TCM SPOTLIGHT: Drive-In Features: Monsters, Mutants and Martians – Thursdays in June

There was a time when summer meant packing up the car and heading to the drive-in for a night of fun and frights with monster-movie double feature. Although most of the country’s drive-ins have died out, TCM is bringing the drive-in to the living room with a month of great double bills each Thursday night.

The excitement begins June 2 with two pairs of Japanese monster movies making their TCM debut: the original Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956) and Rodan (1958), followed by Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster (1965) and Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (1970). (In keeping with the theme, TCM will present these films as American drive-in audiences would have seen them, with the Japanese dialogue dubbed into English.) The night also includes the TCM premiere of The Valley of Gwangi (1969), featuring special effects by Ray Harryhausen. Also scheduled: Dinosaurus!

June 9 is packed with creepy creature features, including the outstanding Them! (1954) and the TCM debut of The Cosmic Monsters (1958), Tarantula (1955) and The Wasp Woman (1959). Also scheduled: The Black Scorpion and The Giant Claw.


TCM gets large on June 16 with the premiere of The Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) before handing things over to the ladies with Zsa Zsa Gabor in Queen of Outer Space (1958) and Yvonne Craig in Mars Needs Women (1968). Also scheduled: Village of the Giants, The Cyclops, The Manster and The Killer Shrews.


On June 23, monsters are on the rampage with such titles as It Came from Beneath the Sea(1955) and The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), both featuring effects by Ray Harryhausen, as well as the TCM premieres of The Giant Behemoth (1959) and The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues (1955). Also scheduled: The Monster that Challenged the World and The Creature from the Haunted Sea.


The month ends with June 30 double features focusing on blobs, including the seminal classic The Blob (1958); radioactive creatures, such as The Magnetic Monster (1953); and killers from space, including The Thing from Another World (1951). Also scheduled: The H-Man, X the Unknown and It! The Terror from Beyond Space. The program caps with a showing of the TCM documentary Keep Watching the Skies!