On The Mole People (1956)

Filmed and released in 1956 as a B movie, The Mole People, is one of the Saturday night camp films starring John Agar that is both good and bad at the same time. Production standards were card board cutouts and paper mâché boulders. As a movie goer you were required to suspend all of your disbelief regarding a plot line with more holes in it than a Swiss cheese. Even as a twelve year-old I thought this movie was awful, but perhaps even in its extreme awfulness one needs to contemplate the enslavement of the mole people. The plot is irrelevant, but the story is an old one, one group enslaves another, using force and violence to get another group to do all of their dirty work. The “mole” people are grotesque monsters, brutes and savages, and they are enslaved by more normal-looking humanoids, light-sensitive Sumerians as it turns out. The film is drenched is various levels of gratuitous violence and inexplicable adventures. The improbability of the storyline is only matched by the horrendous special effects, which turn out to be a flashlight. As a kid, we called this genre of film a “monster” movie in our own naive and simplistic way. Monsters were everywhere back in the 50’s and 60’s when this movie was made–middle of the Cold War, actually. We couldn’t defeat our monsters in real life, so we created troubling rubber-masked non-human monsters to populate the twilight zone of our subconscious. The weird light-fearing albinos and their slaves are thwarted, and the modern world of science and reason are re-established before the crowd walks back out into the real world of mutually ensured self-destruction of the nuclear age–slavery of another kind.