Mesa Of Lost Women

2058. MESA OF LOST WOMEN (1952-USA). With JACKIE COOGAN. Narrated by LYLE TALBOT. What happens to adorable child stars who win the affections of moviegoers with their combination of cuteness and acting ability? Sometimes they grow up to be bald character actors who in order to pay the rent will appear in just about any movie. Such is the case with Jackie Coogan, one of the most beloved of all silent screen juveniles. He is cast in this classic of camp cinema as Dr. Aranya, a mad scientist who has “isolated the growth hormone of the interior pituitary.” Aranya’s laboratory is located atop an isolated mesa, an island in the sky, which rises 600 feet off the Mexican desert. The film opens with some vividly written but incomprehensible narration spoken over the discovery by an American oil surveyor of a man and woman wandering in a daze across the desert. They were pilot of and passenger on an airplane which had crashed into the mesa. The man talks hysterically of the need to “burn them out” before they scatter. “They” turn out to be dwarfs, insect women and giant spiders, all of which are the products of Aranya’s insidious research, in a sequence guaranteed to result in loud bursts of laughter, Aranya transforms another doctor who disapproves of his work into a glassy-eyed idiot. Then there is the provocative dance number performed by one of Aranya’s sexiest insect women. This routine seems thrown into the film to arouse those viewers who haven’t already been giggling in the aisles. 69 minutes. Horror