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The 100




Bride of the Monster
(1955)
Reviewed by Scott Murdock
Rating: 9 Beans

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his Ed Wood hooror classic is unusual for the Ed Wood genre because if it had been written/produced/directed by just about anyone else, there is a chance it might have actually been good.

Dr. Eric Vornoff (Bela Lugosi in one of his last film roles), an estranged scientist from an undisclosed Eastern European country, has taken up residence in a remote house in a U.S. swamp where he is secretly conducting experiements involving atomic radiation. Meanwhile snoopy newspaper reporter Janet Lawton (Loretta King in her only film role) suspects foul play in a series of disappearances and deaths. She drives up to the swamp to check out the old house, where she abducted by Dr. Vornoff's assistant Lobo (the infamous Tor Johnson). Lobo brings her to Dr. Vornoff, but in the process discovers a repressed angora fetish and falls for Janet.

Meanwhile Janet's totally-ineffective and ambiguously-gay fiance, police lieutenant Dick Craig (Tony McCoy, the co-producer's son), worries a bit about his girlfriend's disappearance but seems more concerned about the "disappearance" of ANOTHER scientist from Eastern Europe, a man who had claimed that the killings in the swamp had striking similarities to the Loch Ness Monster. Fortunately both Janet and this new scientist (Professor Vladimir Strowski, played by George Becwar) have wound up at Bela Lugosi's house.

After a number of ridiculous fight sequences and after Tor expresses his sexual desires, the fighting moves outside for a showdown between the Police of Good and the Scientists of Evil in a battle over posession of poor Janet.

Bela Lugosi gives the strongest performance of any of the actors, and that's not saying much. He does seem a little less stoned than he did in "Glen or Glenda". Also, he delivers what little energy he has left well, in fact his "Home? I have no home..." speech is the high point of the movie. Apart from Bela, the only other relatively good performance in this movie is Tillie (played by Ann Wilner), a woman who sits at a desk, barely moves, says just a few lines, and is seen from the back of her head half the time she is on-screen. Sadly, this was Ann Wilner's only film role.

Look for all of the usual Ed Wood flaws, such as ridiculous use of stock footage, corny dialouge delivered forecefully and without emotion, and an inability to distinguish between night and day. Other things to look for...

* Watch the pencil behind Tillie's ear, it will appear and disappear at every cut.

* Keep an eye on the window in the lab that Lugosi uses to watch his octopus. It's underwater, right? Yet watch what happens when he opens the door later in the movie.

* This is the movie where they did not have the motor to operate the octopus, so check out how it "attacks" and "kills" people.

* Watch the walls bend and shake when Tor bumps into them during the fight scene.

* After Lugosi is subjected to the atomic ray, pay close attention to his shoes.






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