I’m Sinking!

A history of quicksand in the movies.

When was the last time you saw someone sinking into quicksand? The gag was once a staple of genre entertainment, appearing again and again in adventure serials, horror flicks, and B-grade science fiction from the 1950s and 1960s. Sinking hazards could still be found 20 years later, in fantasy movies like The Neverending Story and The Princess Bride, but even then, the perils of jungle pits and desert sands were in steep decline. Here’s a video slide show about the rise and fall of quicksand cinema. You can also read my full essay on quicksand.