The Nearly Good B-Pictures of the 1960s

by Akira_Chimera | created - 06 Nov 2014 | updated - 5 days ago | Public

Can there even be a thing like 'nearly good B-pictures'? At first I wasn't so sure either. But after years of watching B-movies, more often than not I stumbled across a B-picture which I wouldn't exactly consider to be a good (or even brillant) one. On the other hand it didn't reach the absolute bottoms of z-grade moviedom that connoisseurs of this kind of pictures are used to either. It was simply a movie which, in terms of B-pictures, was competently done, had all those ingredients we love so much in this kind of movies, yes, possibly it was even done bad for all the right reasons. But nevertheless, it didn't click with me, didn't offer that special something which makes B-pictures so enjoyable. What you can expect on this list are B-pictures which are not bad per se, they are more like near misses which can still offer plenty for the B-movie fan. Especially if you are a fan of a certain subgenre, actor or whatever. So have fun browsing through the nearly, but not quite, good B-pictures of the 1960s.

If you're up to it, don't hesitate to leave a comment.

PS: The movies are sorted by year and not necessarily by my preference. This list is by no means complete as I will add new worthwhile films as I stumble across them.

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1. The Playgirls and the Vampire (1960)

Not Rated | 70 min | Horror

Five beautiful showgirls are trapped by a storm and find refuge in a creepy old castle. The owner of the castle, a strange nobleman, has a secret laboratory in the basement and has his own plans for the girls.

Director: Piero Regnoli | Stars: Walter Brandi, Lyla Rocco, Maria Giovannini, Alfredo Rizzo

Votes: 372

2. The Vampire and the Ballerina (1960)

Not Rated | 85 min | Horror

A troupe of beautiful young dancers find themselves stranded in a sinister, spooky old castle, not knowing that it is home to a group of vampires.

Director: Renato Polselli | Stars: Hélène Rémy, Tina Gloriani, Walter Brandi, Isarco Ravaioli

Votes: 407

3. Tarzan the Magnificent (1960)

Approved | 82 min | Action, Adventure

Tarzan must escort his prisoner Coy Banton out of the jungle to the authorities. The boat is blown up by Coy's father and brothers. In addition to Coy Tarzan must now lead five more of the ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Day | Stars: Gordon Scott, Jock Mahoney, Betta St. John, John Carradine

Votes: 592

4. La rivolta degli schiavi (1960)

TV-PG | 102 min | Adventure

During the later years of the Roman Empire, the daughter of a wealthy patrician falls in love with a Christian slave.

Director: Nunzio Malasomma | Stars: Rhonda Fleming, Lang Jeffries, Darío Moreno, Ettore Manni

Votes: 166

5. Vengeance of Hercules (1960)

87 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

A warrior returning home to his country must battle giant bats, three-headed dogs and a vicious dragon to save his wife, and his people, from the machinations of an evil ruler.

Director: Vittorio Cottafavi | Stars: Mark Forest, Broderick Crawford, Gaby André, Renato Terra

Votes: 410

6. The Minotaur, the Wild Beast of Crete (1960)

Not Rated | 105 min | Adventure, Fantasy

King Minos sacrifices the 'required' virgins to the Minotaur. As his wife lies dying, she confesses that her daughter has a twin she has secreted to avoid giving one of the girls to the ... See full summary »

Director: Silvio Amadio | Stars: Bob Mathias, Rosanna Schiaffino, Alberto Lupo, Rik Battaglia

Votes: 258

7. The Hand (1960)

Not Rated | 61 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

A Police Inspector follows the trail and circumstances of the murder of a one-handed man back to a prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1946.

Director: Henry Cass | Stars: Derek Bond, Ronald Leigh-Hunt, Reed De Rouen, Ray Cooney

Votes: 218

8. The Giants of Thessaly (1960)

86 min | Adventure, Fantasy

In order to placate the angry gods, who have allowed Thessaly to be overrun with barbarian invaders and beset with natural disasters, King Jason takes his Argonauts on a search for the ... See full summary »

Director: Riccardo Freda | Stars: Roland Carey, Ziva Rodann, Alberto Farnese, Nadia Sanders

Votes: 258

9. First Spaceship on Venus (1960)

Unrated | 79 min | Sci-Fi

When an alien artifact discovered on Earth is found to have come from Venus, an international team of astronauts embarks to investigate its origins.

Director: Kurt Maetzig | Stars: Yôko Tani, Oldrich Lukes, Ignacy Machowski, Julius Ongewe

Votes: 2,415

10. Cleopatra's Daughter (1960)

109 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

Cleopatra, after the civil war that followed the assassination of Caesar, met with Marc Antony in Assyria where they planned the defense of Egypt against the Romans. Before leaving, ... See full summary »

Director: Fernando Cerchio | Stars: Debra Paget, Ettore Manni, Erno Crisa, Corrado Pani

Votes: 163

11. Conquistador de la luna (1960)

80 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

A couple travels by accident to the Moon and have to deal with aliens lurking for the earth's destruction.

Director: Rogelio A. González | Stars: Antonio Espino, Ana Luisa Peluffo, Andrés Soler, Óscar Ortiz de Pinedo

Votes: 36

12. Gorgo (1961)

Unrated | 78 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Greedy sailors capture a giant lizard off the coast of Ireland and sell it to a London circus. Then its mother shows up.

Director: Eugène Lourié | Stars: Bill Travers, William Sylvester, Vincent Winter, Christopher Rhodes

Votes: 2,913

13. Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory (1961)

Approved | 83 min | Horror, Mystery

At a girls' school, several students are murdered by a snarling, wolf-man-like creature. Suspicion falls upon a newly arrived teacher.

Director: Paolo Heusch | Stars: Barbara Lass, Carl Schell, Curt Lowens, Maurice Marsac

Votes: 925

14. The Devil's Messenger (1961)

Approved | 72 min | Horror

Satan enlists the help of a suicide victim in Hell to lure unsuspecting earthly victims to their eternal doom. Contains three somewhat unrelated Twilight Zone-esque stories.

Directors: Herbert L. Strock, Curt Siodmak | Stars: Lon Chaney Jr., Karen Kadler, Michael Hinn, Ralph Brown

Votes: 411

15. The Devil's Hand (1961)

Approved | 71 min | Horror

A man is haunted by visions of a beautiful woman. When he finally meets her, he winds up involved in a Satanic cult.

Director: William J. Hole Jr. | Stars: Linda Christian, Robert Alda, Ariadne Welter, Neil Hamilton

Votes: 1,034

16. Reptilicus (1961)

Passed | 82 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

After copper miners discover part of the frozen tail of a prehistoric monster in Lapland, scientists inadvertently bring it back to life.

Directors: Poul Bang, Sidney W. Pink | Stars: Bent Mejding, Asbjørn Andersen, Povl Wøldike, Ann Smyrner

Votes: 3,388

17. Valley of the Dragons (1961)

Approved | 82 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

In 1881, in Algeria, Michael Denning and Hector Servadac are fighting a duel when a comet brushing Earth takes the two men to the Moon where they discover a prehistoric civilization.

Director: Edward Bernds | Stars: Cesare Danova, Sean McClory, Joan Staley, Danielle De Metz

Votes: 472

18. Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961)

Unrated | 63 min | Comedy, Horror

A crook decides to bump off members of his inept crew and blame their deaths on a legendary sea creature. What he doesn't know is that the creature is real.

Director: Roger Corman | Stars: Antony Carbone, Betsy Jones-Moreland, Robert Towne, Beach Dickerson

Votes: 2,389

19. Atlantis: The Lost Continent (1961)

Approved | 90 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

A Greek Fisherman brings an Atlantean Princess back to her homeland which is the mythical city of Atlantis. He is enslaved for his trouble. The King is being manipulated by an evil sorcerer... See full summary »

Director: George Pal | Stars: Sal Ponti, Joyce Taylor, John Dall, William Smith

Votes: 1,491

20. Most Dangerous Man Alive (1961)

Approved | 82 min | Sci-Fi

After wandering in a nuclear testing area in the desert, escaped mobster Ron Candell starts mutating and seeks revenge on his former crime partners.

Director: Allan Dwan | Stars: Ron Randell, Debra Paget, Elaine Stewart, Anthony Caruso

Votes: 202

21. Doctor Blood's Coffin (1961)

Unrated | 92 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

People are mysteriously disappearing near a remote Cornish village, where a scientist is experimenting with reviving the dead.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Kieron Moore, Hazel Court, Ian Hunter, Kenneth J. Warren

Votes: 667

22. Flight That Disappeared (1961)

Approved | 71 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

A cross-country airliner, whose passengers include a nuclear physicist, a rocket expert, and a mathematical genius, is drawn beyond radar range by an unknown, unbreakable force.

Director: Reginald Le Borg | Stars: Craig Hill, Paula Raymond, Dayton Lummis, Gregory Morton

Votes: 388

23. The Snake Woman (1961)

Unrated | 68 min | Horror

In 1890 England a doctor, in order to cure his wife's "sick mind", injects her with snake venom. She later gives birth to a daughter the villagers begin to call "The Devil's Baby". They ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: John McCarthy, Susan Travers, Geoffrey Denton, Elsie Wagstaff

Votes: 354

24. Samson and the 7 Miracles of the World (1961)

80 min | Adventure, Drama

Sam must rescue a beautiful Chinese princess from a marauding horde of warriors.

Director: Riccardo Freda | Stars: Gordon Scott, Yôko Tani, Hélène Chanel, Dante DiPaolo

Votes: 189

25. Valley of the Lions (1961)

94 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

The evil dictator Ajak sends his armies to attack a neighboring kingdom, and during the battle, the besieged King Annurius orders one of his subjects to take his son Ursus to a place of ... See full summary »

Director: Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia | Stars: Ed Fury, Moira Orfei, Alberto Lupo, Giacomo Furia

Votes: 132

26. The Vengeance of Ursus (1961)

85 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Sira shall marry Zagro, King of Licia, for political reasons.

Director: Luigi Capuano | Stars: Samson Burke, Wandisa Guida, Livio Lorenzon, Nadia Sanders

Votes: 90

27. Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules (1961)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Maciste arranges for himself and his new friend Bangor to be captured by a mysterious band of white-clad marauders and taken to an underground city. There the two are forced to turn an ... See full summary »

Director: Antonio Leonviola | Stars: Mark Forest, Moira Orfei, Paul Wynter, Gianni Garko

Votes: 236

28. Muñecos infernales (1961)

Approved | 81 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Four men are cursed by a voodoo priest for stealing a sacred idol from his temple. Soon a band of murderous "doll men" are after the men and their families.

Director: Benito Alazraki | Stars: Elvira Quintana, Ramón Gay, Roberto G. Rivera, Quintín Bulnes

Votes: 251

29. Journey Beneath the Desert (1961)

105 min | Adventure, Fantasy

A helicopter crashes in the desert, and the crew winds up in the underground city of Atlantis and get mixed up in a slave revolt.

Directors: Edgar G. Ulmer, Frank Borzage | Stars: Haya Harareet, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Georges Rivière, James Westmoreland

Votes: 103

30. Kraft Mystery Theater (1959–1963)
Episode: House of Mystery (1961)

56 min | Mystery

A young couple go to check out a house they're thinking of buying. A somewhat mysterious woman tells the couple several stories of the fates that befell the house's previous owners.

Director: Vernon Sewell | Stars: Peter Dyneley, Jane Hylton, Nanette Newman, Maurice Kaufmann

Votes: 141

31. The Burning Court (1962)

110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A group of people visit a weird old man who is a student of the black arts. The man lives in an ancient, cursed castle. Soon people in the group start being killed off.

Director: Julien Duvivier | Stars: Nadja Tiller, Jean-Claude Brialy, Perrette Pradier, Edith Scob

Votes: 307

32. El vampiro sangriento (1962)

110 min | Horror

Count Cagliostro, whose family has tried for generations to rid the world of vampires, instructs his daughter and her fiance to protect several valuable documents.

Director: Miguel Morayta | Stars: Begoña Palacios, Erna Martha Bauman, Raúl Farell, Bertha Moss

Votes: 181

33. The Brainiac (1962)

Approved | 77 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

In 1661 Mexico, the Baron Vitelius of Astara is sentenced to be burned alive by the Holy Inquisition of Mexico for witchcraft, necromancy, and other crimes. As he dies, the Baron swears ... See full summary »

Director: Chano Urueta | Stars: Abel Salazar, Ariadne Welter, David Silva, Germán Robles

Votes: 917

34. Varan the Unbelievable (1962)

Unrated | 70 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A prehistoric behemoth is unwittingly awaken from hibernation due to a U.S-Japanese military experiment on it's watery lair for economic means, where it proceeds in attacking Japan.

Directors: Jerry A. Baerwitz, Ishirô Honda | Stars: Myron Healey, Tsuruko Kobayashi, Clifford Kawada, Derick Shimatsu

Votes: 607

35. The Magic Sword (1962)

Approved | 80 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

The son of a sorceress, armed with weapons, armour and six magically summoned knights, embarks on a quest to save a princess from a vengeful wizard.

Director: Bert I. Gordon | Stars: Basil Rathbone, Estelle Winwood, Gary Lockwood, Anne Helm

Votes: 1,904

36. Tarzan Goes to India (1962)

Not Rated | 88 min | Action, Adventure

Summoned by an Indian princess, Tarzan travels to India where hundreds of wild elephants are in danger. A company is building a hydroelectric dam and the contractors have only a few weeks ... See full summary »

Director: John Guillermin | Stars: Jock Mahoney, Leo Gordon, Mark Dana, Feroz Khan

Votes: 435

37. The Seven Tasks of Ali Baba (1962)

90 min | Adventure

A wizard summons Ali Baba to transport a sacred crown to a nearby country. An evil ruler has taken over the land, and the crown is needed to free the people from his influence.

Director: Emimmo Salvi | Stars: Iloosh Khoshabe, Bella Cortez, Furio Meniconi, Caridad Fuentes

Votes: 30

38. Gladiators 7 (1962)

Unrated | 92 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

Framed for the escape of five gladiators from the arena, the son of one of Sparta's leading citizens is sentenced to the arena as gladiator himself and forced to fight for his life in the ... See full summary »

Director: Pedro Lazaga | Stars: Richard Harrison, Loredana Nusciak, Livio Lorenzon, Gérard Tichy

Votes: 154

39. The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1962)

Approved | 82 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

A doctor experimenting with transplant techniques keeps his girlfriend's head alive when she is decapitated in a car crash, then goes hunting for a new body.

Director: Joseph Green | Stars: Jason Evers, Virginia Leith, Anthony La Penna, Adele Lamont

Votes: 5,864

40. Vulcan, Son of Giove (1962)

76 min | Action, Drama, Fantasy

A superhero battles lizard men and other monsters that are terrorizing the countryside.

Director: Emimmo Salvi | Stars: Bella Cortez, Iloosh Khoshabe, Liliana Zagra, Furio Meniconi

Votes: 145

41. The Avenger (1962)

95 min | Adventure, Drama

Aeneas leads escapees from the Trojan war to new land in Italy, and must deal with new threats to his people.

Director: Giorgio Venturini | Stars: Steve Reeves, Giacomo Rossi Stuart, Carla Marlier, Mario Ferrari

Votes: 336

42. La mano de un hombre muerto (1962)

Approved | 95 min | Horror

When violent crime strikes a tiny hamlet, the townsfolk suspect the distant relative of a sadistic 17th century baron who cursed the village.

Director: Jesús Franco | Stars: Ana Castor, Howard Vernon, Paula Martel, Georges Rollin

Votes: 480

43. The Three Stooges in Orbit (1962)

Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

The Stooges must battle alien spies to safeguard a goofy scientist's revolutionary new vehicle.

Director: Edward Bernds | Stars: Larry Fine, Moe Howard, Joe DeRita, Carol Christensen

Votes: 785

44. Planeta bur (1962)

78 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

Cosmonauts land on the planet Venus. However, they find themselves in danger from the voracious monsters they find on it.

Director: Pavel Klushantsev | Stars: Vladimir Yemelyanov, Georgi Zhzhyonov, Gennadi Vernov, Yuriy Sarantsev

Votes: 1,095

45. This Is Not a Test (1962)

Not Rated | 73 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

A highway patrolman stops motorists on a highway after he hears news reports of a possible nuclear attack.

Director: Fredric Gadette | Stars: Seamon Glass, Thayer Roberts, Aubrey Martin, Mary Morlas

Votes: 655

46. Face of Terror (1962)

83 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller