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Bert Gordon dipped his toes into the monster-waters with his directorial debut King Dinosaur, so it’s no surprise that his next two films, including The Cyclops, continued the giant fun.
Gordon found backing for the film from a lawyer, who provided $100 thousand dollars for the production. But while this low-budget science fiction flick may not have expensive bells and whistles, the charming special effects – which are indeed special – add to the unique flair that make it a can’t-miss movie.
1. It was a lighting fast production.
According to actress Gloria Talbott, the production had to be completed in five to six days.
Gordon, with the help of his wife Flora, created each effect. "His wife was so sweet – she was doing the script supervising, the wardrobe, making cookies—everything,” said Talbott. Interestingly, the film was shot in 1955 but not released until two years later.
2. The “Man of A Thousand Voices” dubbed the Cyclops.
Paul Frees voiced the giant one-eyed monster. Frees’ also voiced Boris Badenov (“Rocky and Bullwinkle”), Donald Duck's uncle, the original Pillsbury Doughboy, and many more characters for Disney and commercial products. Frees was paid approximately five thousand dollars, despite only providing grunts and groans for the giant monster.
3. The Cyclops actor only made 100 bucks.
Duncan Parkin, who was a lifeguard at the time, got the gigantic role because the film’s makeup man Jack H. Young knew his parents. Duncan did his own stunts, including fighting a snake named Conseula. Even with her mouth taped shut by her handlers, the fight almost turned deadly.
4. Ducks caused an issue.
At one point, the main characters must run into a pond to escape a giant lizard. However, when they actually did it, the actors were running on top of the lake due to duck "do-do" build-up. The crew had to clear a path so they could actually access the water.
5. Lon Chaney's mom visited the set.
Chaney’s mother often came bringing a sack lunch for her son and an air mattress so he could take a nap. "Lon Chaney was just a dear, sweet man with such vulnerability that you wanted to wrap him up in cotton and take him home,” said Talbott.