Friday, March 13, 2009


It’s been a while since we watched a sci-fi movie with K, and so our viewing of The Incredible Shrinking Man was even sweeter the other night.

It’s a pretty innocuous film, from 1957, but there is something that stays with you afterwards in an unsettling, sort of creepy way. Now that I think about it, I think it may have simply aroused some very old memories of seeing a movie called Attack of the Puppet People when I was a kid. It made for fine Saturday afternoon television viewing, but I think I had bad dreams later that night. The idea of having a completely altered physical existence from the one you know and live everyday is pretty terrifying; imagine suddenly becoming tiny, gigantic, invisible, glowing green ...

In The Incredible Shrinking Man, a young, happily married man encounters a strange, radioactive cloud while out boating one day, and later notices some very strange things. He is, of course, shrinking.

The effects are surprisingly good. In the beginning, staging tricks make his wife appear larger,
and his clothes are just a little more ill-fitting each day. Slowly, his physical frame appears child-like on oversized sofas and standing at windowsills he can barely reach. Soon he’s living in a dollhouse, and fearing the house cat, as well he should.

The artistry that went into the sets, and in creating objects many times their true size (scissors, straight pins, mouse traps, twine balls), was impressive. This “shrinking” film inspired others (such as Puppet People), but this is one of the best of the lot.

Without giving anything away, you need to know that it takes its time getting to the juicy stuff, but
stay with it, as it’s well worth it. Our hero’s encounter with the spider (did they use a tarantula?!) is what you want to stick around for.

And my bad dreams, back in the day of Saturday afternoon horror movies on television? After reading up on Puppet People, I’m reminded that the disturbing thing about that movie was that the miniaturized people were kept in a state of suspended animation in bottles, like dolls under glass. What ten-year old wouldn’t be a little freaked out by that?


  1. lol as a 12 year old little girl i saw this and it did scare me.but bieng a girl it was more fun to watch more than scary.watching a 6ft tall man slowly shrinking and i laughed my blank off watching his wife place him in her dollhouse.i kept asking my mother to get me a tiny man for my own dollhouse.i guess it has a different effect on little girls and grown men who jump out of the seats.the spider scared me alot lol i kept saying the poor little man was going up against that thing with just his wifes sewing needle.and like you it gave me a fear for spiders.but now at 23 years old its still fun to watch.and now that i can understand it as an adult the movie was one i would tell one of my friends to check out or even buy.but i still laugh and giggle at the dollhouse scene.the movie wasnt all fun and games at 20 years old to me but still fun.watching the tiny man using a sewing pin thread lol if it wasnt for his wife and her feminin tools he used to survive he might have died.i always cried when he was so close to his wife in the basement flood yelling for her and she couldnt hear him.i thought hede be saved but dwindled into nothing.i guess it would have screwed up the movie lol thank you for posting this and i still shed a tear at the end lol thanks again kate

  2. what would she have done with 2" scott if she had found him? Do you think any girl really would know what to do with someone that small? now that your grown up, you must have different ideas as to what it would be like if you husbad or boyrfiend where that small and helpless. Andy


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