Queen of Schlock! The B Movies Queens: Beverly Garland

When you hear the name Beverly Garland, what movies or television shows come to mind? My Three Sons is usually the first thing that pops up. Am I wrong? The thing is, this incredibly talented actress is know for more than that. So much more. Anyone who is a fan of 1950s sci-fi b-movies will be nodding their head in agreement right now.

My introduction to Beverly Garland was not My Three Sons. As I’ve mentioned in many posts, I grew up watching horror and sci-fi movies with my Dad. Many of them on late night television, especially 1950s b-movies. Midnight seemed to be the prime time for them. The perfect way to end your broadcast before the station went off the air for the evening. Yes, I was watching late movies with my dad or at least part of them. I usually fell asleep.

The very first movie I remember seeing Beverly Garland in was It Conquered The World. This is a 1956 black and white Roger Corman movie and possibly one of my favourite 1950s sci-fi movies. The movie also starred  Peter Graves and Lee Van Cleef. I’ve seen this movie several times and never tire of it.

As with many directors Roger Corman loved using actors in a number of his movies and Beverly was no exception, the following year (1957) she appeared in Not of This Earth. This movie is another sci-fi featuring an alien. If you are looking for the perfect Beverly Garland double bill, I strongly suggest watching Not of This Earth and It Conquered the World.

In 1959 Beverly starred in The Alligator People with Lon Chaney Jr.. This is a science-fiction horror film directed by Roy Del Ruth. It’s one of my favourite bad costume movies.

Eventually, Beverly Garland would become known for her television work, starring in many film noiresque and action themed shows. A few to check out if you can find them are The Asphalt Jungle, Danger Man, Dr. Kildare, The Fugitive and Gunsmoke.

Over the years, Beverly Garland would have guest appearances in many televisions shows, but would have a reoccurring role in both My Three Sons and Scarecrow and Mrs. King. Having a long and illustrious career, there are many different genres to chose from, but I highly recommend you check out her 1950s sci-fi movies first.

I’ve posted either the full movies or trailers below.

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Queen of Schlock! The B Movies Queens: Julie Adams

The first time I noticed Julie Adams, was when I saw a movie still from The Creature From The Black Lagoon, in a copy of my cousin’s Famous Monsters magazine. I was ten. The photo was the one where the monster is carrying her (see below). To me, she looked like a goddess in her white bathing suit, she was perfection. After seeing the photo, I bugged my dad endlessly to let me watch the movie. Eventually, he relented.

I know some of you are saying, ‘What father lets their child watch a horror movie!’ Well, mine did and often. There are way scarier movies than this, that I had viewed as a ten year old. None of them scared me, they still don’t. I guess I built up an immunity. Heck, there are way scarier things in the world and even as a kid, horror movies were an escape for me.

Over the years, I have watched this movie dozens and dozens of times. Along with Jaws, they tend to be the movies that kick off summer for me. But wait… this isn’t the only Julie Adams movie I’ve watched and it certainly, isn’t the only movie she ever made, not to mention the many television appearances. But first… let’s talk a little bit about who Julie Adams was.

Julie Adams was born as Betty May Adams on October 17, 1926 in Waterloo, Iowa, the daughter of Arkansas-born parents Esther Gertrude (Beckett) and Ralph Adams, who was a cotton buyer. Her family moved a great deal; the longest she lived in one town was eight years in Blytheville, Arkansas. In 1946, at the age of 19, she was crowned “Miss Little Rock” and then moved to Hollywood, California to pursue her acting career. Adams worked as a part-time secretary and began her film career in B moviewesterns. {source Wikipedia}

In the beginning of her career, Julie tended to be type cast typecast as a western heroine. Personally, I don’t consider this a bad thing, since I love westerns, not to mention, during the 1950s she co-starred opposite some of Hollywood’s top leading men, including my movie crush James Stewart (Bend of the River – 1952), Rock Hudson (The Lawless Breed (1953) and One Desire (1955)),  Tyrone Power (The Mississippi Gambler – 1953), Glenn Ford (The Man from the Alamo – 1953), and many more!

HORIZONS WEST, Julie Adams, 1952

Some of Julie’s notable television roles were The Incredible HulkCannonQuincy, M.E., Rockford and Wife and co-starring with James Stewart in The Jimmy Stewart Show. Julie also had a recurring role of real estate agent Eve Simpson for ten episodes of CBS’s Murder, She Wrote.

Oh and we can’t forget that she starred along side Elvis Presley in Tickle Me! in 1965.

Julie never stopped acting. As she grew older, her roles where not as often and much more selective, but she was still working up to her early nineties. She has also continued to be a goddess in my eyes!

*Crowned Little Miss Rock at the age of 19.
*Her name changed from Betty May (real name), to Julia, then to Julie.
*In Italy, all her films were dubbed by either Dhia CristianiRenata Marini or Lydia Simoneschi.
*Had to perform most of her own stunts in Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).
*Life long friends with Jimmy Stewart

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Queen of Schlock! The B Movies Queens: Gothic Scream Queen Barbara Steele

Tis the time of year, when things are gloomier, night falls faster and the night air carries an eeriness. On our evening walk, guided by the brightness of the full moon, we can hear the howls of werewolf in the distance, and when we pass the seemingly abandoned manor, we see the curtains flutter, leaving use to wonder if it is a ghost or the wind finding its way through a broken pane. Do we run or stand and observe the night as it creeps in around us? In a situation like this, it’s best to take guidance from the dark Goddess herself, Barbara Steele. What would she do in a situation like this? Barbara would grab the biggest candelabra she could find and would wrap her delicate fingers around it, holding onto her skirt, walking forward, fearless, letting curiosity win her over as we’ve known her to do in every single gothic horror she has starred in!

I’m sorry… did I hear someone in the back ask who Barbara Steele was? How DARE you! Barbara Steele is the ultimate gothic horror scream queen. She is the dark Goddess!

Barbara Steele is a British actress, best known for the Italian Gothic horror movies she starred in, mostly in the 1960s. Many will know her for her breakthrough role in Black Sunday (1960) while others will know her from her later role as Dr. Julia Hoffman / Countess Natalie Du Pres in Dark Shadows (1991).

***During the 1960s, Steele starred in a string of Italian horror films, including Black Sunday (1960), The Horrible Dr. Hichcock (1962), The Ghost (1963), The Long Hair of Death (1964), Castle of Blood (1964), Terror-Creatures from the Grave and Nightmare Castle (both 1965). She also starred in Roger Corman‘s 1961 adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe‘s short story The Pit and the Pendulum and the British film Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968).

Steele returned to the horror genre in the later 1970s, appearing in three horror films: David Cronenberg‘s Shivers (a.k.a. They Came From Within) (1975), Piranha (1978), and Silent Scream (1979). *** {source Wikipedia}

My all time favourite Barbara Steele movies are Castle of Blood, Nightmare Castle and Black Sunday. I’ve seen all three on both DVD and on the big screen. Viewing them on the big screen is of course the best way to view them, and I’m grateful that The Bloor Cinema showed them (they are no longer around) Recently, we showed The She Beast at Killer B Cinema. Right before Covid struck. It was a definite crowd pleaser. A little She Beast trivia, because Barbara Steele was only available for one day, she was kept on the set during 18 hours of shooting. It was a gruelling day, but the producer felt it was necessary. Apparently, she was beyond angry with him.

One thing that has always bothered me about movies starring Barbara Steele is they dubbed her voice and British accent in many of them. This was done for American audiences and unfortunately, in many cases, the only copies available. (they did the same to Caroline Munro)

I’ve been a fan of gothic horror for a very long time and I owe that to Barbara Steele. I was introduced to her when I was a teenager and I have adored her ever since. I get cravings to watch her movies when the gloom of November creeps in. There is a spookiness about the wind blowing through the barren trees, that goes hand-in-hand with the ultimate scream queen.

What is your favourite Barbara Steele movie?

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Queen of Schlock! The B Movies Queens: Caroline Munro

Everyone’s favourite b-movie bombshell is one of my all-time favourite b-movie actresses. I’ve loved her since seeing her guest role in the Christmas Horror movie classic Don’t Open Until Christmas and fell even more in love when I saw her in movies such as Starcrash and the Hammer sensation Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter. If I ever see her name billed for a movie, I’m watching it! Oh yes, I am!

Who, oh who am I talking about? The illustrious b-movie queen herself, Caroline Munro! I like so many others swoon when we see her grace the screen. Recently, we rewatched her in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and will soon be rewatching her in another Hammer classic Dracula A.D. 1972. Yes, her role is small in this one, and there are bigger stars such as Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, however, I come for the vampires, but always stay for the Caroline Munro!

And let’s not forget the fact that she was a Bond Girl! She played Naomi, Stromberg’s personal pilot, and a would-be assassin in the movie. Her voice was once again dubbed (as in many of the movies she was in), which I never understood. I get it, this happens a lot. They did it to Barbara Steele as well. Both have lovely voices and British accents. Why you would dub over that is beyond me!

Some Caroline Munro Trivia:

*Caroline is a trustee of the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation.
*In 1977, Munro turned down the opportunity to play villainess Ursa in Superman in favour of Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me.
*Caroline, that’s Ms. Munro to you, continued to work in numerous British and European horror and science fiction films through the 1970s and 1980s.
*Munro’s career commenced in 1966 when her mother and a photographer friend entered some headshots of her in The Evening News‘s “Face of the Year” contest.

Yes, this was mostly me fangirling, but… if you haven’t heard of Caroline Munro. You. Are. Welcome!

For those of you who also love her as much as I do, what is your favourite Caroline Munro movie?

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!