Hell Boats 1970

Hell Boats Japanese lobby card with the miniatures in action.

Hell Boats Japanese lobby card with the miniatures in action.

A film I had never heard of until suggested by a reader Simon. It has some pretty extensive miniature sequences concerning Motor Torpedo Boats, E boatsĀ  and submarine pens housing glider bombs on Sicily during World War 2. It was shot entirely on the Island of Malta, and I am guessing as was the miniature work. I can find no information about the miniature work which is not even credited in the film except for a special; effects man which does not necessarily encompass the model work it usually means the live action bullet hits and explosives etc.

For the most part there is much creditable work on show, there are some great shots of the boats roaring about. Some of the boat explosions could have done with more scoring on the models so they break up into smaller pieces, they tend to come apart along the line of superstructure and hull and there are a few background ships that look like simple painted cutouts.


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Batman the Movie 1966

Batman the Movie was released in the same year as the previous post entry Assault on a Queen, and as suggested by the http://www.moon-city-garbage.agency website, used the same submarine miniature, though with a new paint job and some significantly comical modifications. Similarly the full submarine set is also re-used here in the Sersen tank with the same painted backing as used for the miniatures.

Special Photographic effects supervised by L.B. Abbott.

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Full size sub set in the Sersen Tank, same tank and background painted sky as the miniatures.

Full size sub set in the Sersen Tank, same tank and background painted sky as the miniatures.




Assault on a Queen 1966

Some pretty decent miniature work here supervised by Lawrence Butler, although it suffers occasionally from being able to see the tank wall. Also a common deficiency in most submarine films is too great a visibility due to unrealistically clear water. There is also a very weak periscope shot with a painted ship that looks like a cartoon. One other split screen shot showing the effect of a flash powder charge detonating on the side of the Queen Mary clearly shows the sailors heads passing through the matte line.

Thanks to a reader Pete for putting me on to this film and for the link to this page and website http://www.moon-city-garbage.agency which has some very interesting articles and pictures on old school visual effects.

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Sailors heads passing through the split line along the edge of the ship.

Sailors heads passing through the split line along the edge of the ship.

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