Death By Cinema – 17 – Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster

“If I must just choose the method of my demise, I choose…

Britt

Death By Cinema!” -Britt Rhuart

Day 17 – Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster

Sorry I’m late with this review everyone. I’ll be doing a double feature today to make up for it.

So, as to this movie, I bought this film strictly based on the title. That being said, I had heard of it before, and in not so nice language. It seems to be one of the worst sci-fi/horror films of the 50s, which would put it high on the list overall. I have heard it’s one of those films that’s so bad it’s good, but we’ll see about that. I can say, having seen what the monsters, both Frankenstein’s and Space, look like, the film looks to be fun.

Random Thoughts While Watching the Film:
The movie is by Futurama Entertainment Corporation! This film has a Space Monster… why not Zoidberg?
The title card appears as if from nowhere and is gone as quick as it came as we see the shadowed outline of the the Space Monster lumbering toward the screen. BTW, the Space Monster looks like it has an almond head, both in shape and with ridges, fish ears, ping pong ball eyes, and furry werewolf arms.
We see some stock footage of outer space and then we see the aliens and… oh, boy. The female looks like a regular woman, but he guy looks like an overly made up Dr. Evil with Vulcan ears, too much eyeliner, and a fabulous sparkly shirt.
I’ll tell you, the editing in this film is very weird and choppy thus far, especially the sound mixing. Music just appears from nowhere then disappears. Also, the music sucks.
That is the worst NASA press conference ever. There are literally 4 reporters there. Plus they’re announcing a manned trip to Mars just a day in advance.
They just freeze framed on the colonel’s face for some reason (I think he’s supposed to be a robot), but that smile is creepy as hell.
Yup, he’s a robot. Half a brain, half old radio tubes. Pretty shocking that they could show a brain at that time (though Blood Feast was 2 years earlier).
The doctor said he just put silica gel on the robot’s brain to keep it from getting wet. He then puts a liquid on it. Silica gel are those little capsules that come in pill bottles. They’re like sand, not an actual liquid gel.
There’s a weird rock n’ roll song called That’s the Way It’s Got To Be, playing over shots of our robastronaut getting in the shuttle. In case you’re wondering what this song has to with what we’re seeing… so am I. The song also skips out of nowhere.
We hear the radio going with instructions for the countdown. There seem to be two conflicting people talking over each other, for no real reason.
Dude, this male alien (or malien) is just the most fun to watch. He says his lines with such gusto and his facial expressions are mostly great, but it seems like if he goes on too long, he loses the facial expression, realizes what film he’s in, looks horrified, then regains the facial expression.
I am familiar with this instrumental theme, and I know that it’s been used in other exploitation films. I’m pretty sure it was in Confessions of a Psycho Cat.
BTW, you can totally see where Dr. Nadir (the malien)’s head comes in contact with his bald cap.
The colonel robot gets blasted by an alien, proceeds to beat his ass with the weakest punches I’ve ever seen an adult man throw, and turns his face to reveal it’s been blasted, giving him a Two-Face look. He’s now supposed to be the Frankenstein from the title (though really, he’s a Frankenstein monster, Frankenstein was the doctor). Imma call him Frankie for the rest of the film.
Nadir seems to have reapplied his lipstick.
Here’s Mull! Mull is the Space Monster. I also note he’s got some snaggletooth, antennas, a horn, and a mix of tarantula and gorilla hands. He’s a mess.
Frankie strangles a passing motorist and leers at a woman with the most annoying screams I’ve ever heard. It’s like an out of tune coach’s whistle.
So, apparently Mars has been evacuated because of an atomic war. Dr. Nadir tells them this with way too much joy in his voice. Apparently, the only Martians left are the ones on the ship. They plan to capture Earth women to use as breeding stock.
Frankie macheted a dude just out of nowhere. They don’t show much, but still… yikes.
Is the Princess of Mars checking out that woman’s ass? I’m pretty sure she is… her breasts, too.
Frankie just has a perpetually surprised look on his face… his other face, too.
Now there’s a song called to To Have and To Hold as we see two of the scientists looking for Frankie on the back of a Vespa scooter. What does any of this music have to do with the film?!? Seriously, the two rock songs aren’t bad 60s pop, though this one relies WAY too much on the wood block.
The scientists find Frankie and try to get him back under control. It’s very clear the dial on the side of Frankie’s head comes from a pocket watch.
They’re trying to build up a love story between the two scientists, Karen and Adam Steele. Too bad there’s no chemistry either in the script or from the primary actors.
There’s a dance party that A. Features some of the worst dancing I’ve ever seen and B. Takes place at night, despite the fact that the invading aliens are coming by in a daytime setting.
The Martians “think she (Karen)’s had enough” as Karen passes out by being next to the Space Monster. Really? Scaring her is enough? That’s the torture they have to unleash? Pussies.
Seriously, this film is pretty much Stock Footage: The Movie! It’s about 1/2 of the damn film!
Dr. Steele just showed up to this big, explosive, military battle in his Vespa and looks stupid doing it.
Frankie frees all the women, including his maker Karen… and the Monster is let loose as well! Here comes the epic fight we’ve been promised by the title… and they just awkwardly struggle in each others arms for about a minute while smoke billows around them. Honestly, it’s not as bad as I was expecting, but not as good as I would have hoped, either.
Frankie shoots the Princess and Dr. Nadir (goodnight, sweet prince) and blows up the ship, mid-air, with him in it. Um… we all realize that means the Martians are extinct now, right? Literally, a ton of potential knowledge just wasted.
The ship blow up and Karen cries in Dr. Steele’s arms… for about 2 seconds. Then we awkwardly cut to the credits, which is, you guessed it, more damn shots of them riding that damn Vespa to the song To Have and To Hold! God, they wanted their money’s worth out of that Vespa and song.

Ok, so this movie was bad, but I still enjoyed it alright. To me, it serves as one of the archetypes of bad Sci-Fi films and served later as influence for films like Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. I’ll go ahead and give it a recommendation. Don’t expect much, it’s a bad film with a lot of bad aspects, but it is a great deal of fun. Frankie and the Space Monster are very fun looking and interesting to play with. The Princess is mildly enjoyable. Dr. Nadir is just hilarious. Overall, a watchable B-Movie.

I’ll have my next review up in a couple few hours for The Touch of Her Flesh, the first film in the infamous Flesh trilogy.

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