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Ever since The Golden Turkey Awards chose Ed Wood as the world's worst director back in the 80s there have been a lot of people who automatically dismiss all Ed Wood movies as garbage. Even Tim Burton's terrific 'Ed Wood' has encouraged this. My opinion is that there are many, many worse directors out there, because at least Wood's movies were fun and entertaining, unlike many of those made by the likes of Roland Emmerich or Michael Bay, directors who are able to work with budgets a 1000 times bigger than Wood I might add! 'Bride Of The Monster' is one of Wood's most underrated movies. It was his second movie to star horror legend Bela Lugosi, but unlike the first, the truly mind blowing 'Glen Or Glenda', it isn't completely inept. True, some of the acting is terrible, especially the talentless leading lady Loretta King who is (I admit it) lousy, and Wood regular Paul Marco, who has a small supporting role as a cop. But, and this is a BIG but, Lugosi is terrific. Many fans regard this as his best performance. I wouldn't go that far but it's hard not to get choked up at Lugosi's immortal "I have no home" speech. 'Bride Of The Monster' is the first Wood film to feature the amazing Tor Johnson. He plays Lugosi's Tibetan servant/slave Lobo. All the scenes with Lobo are great fun to watch, especially when Lugosi whips him. Apart from Lugosi and Tor this movie is best remembered for the rubber octopus monster. Of course it's a hoot, but the rest of the picture isn't anywhere near as bad as many claim and is comparable to say 'The Devil Bat', which Lugosi starred in back in the 1940s. Both movies suffer from their minuscule budgets, but both are still worth watching to see Lugosi struggle for greatness. I recommend 'Bride Of The Monster' to all horror fans, especially those of Bela Lugosi.
Bride of the Monster is the best of Ed Wood's films. Frankly compared with
Scared to Death and the Devil Bat-- the film truly looks like a masterpiece
-- and truth be told it isn't that bad. In fact, it is rather enjoyable.
Okay, I am
gonna admit it -- I like it! If you look past the cheesy octopus (no worse
than the hysterical devil bat), the cheap sets and the lame acting (better
than Scared to Death!), if you suspend a little disbelief and realize this
movie was made for a song -- then actually it is pretty darned good. One
reason for this is that Bela Lugosi gets ample screen time. If Ed
was a bit unimaginative, he at least knew what it was that made Lugosi a
legend and reprises little details, from the mad scientific leering of the
Devil Bat to the idiosyncratic hand gestures of White Zombie. Bela is given
a chance to shine in his final starring performance and shine he does. The
its flaws, but Bela is not one of them. He is old and looks weak, but he
carries the movie like a true champion. He makes empty dialog sound
meaningful and implausible scenarios seem poignant (well almost
Lugosi's "I have no home" monolog is beautiful. He could make dialog such as "I have proven that I am alright!" sound good. Lugosi gives his all in his last performance, and it is a great performance, even if he does have to wrestle with a fake octopus.
AS others have commented on, BOTM is indeed a competent B-movie. After
seeing it on public domain video I was glad to buy the Image DVD which has
very good image quality. You can see the movie the way Ed Wood intended it.
The lighting is competent; the camera work is competent.
But what elevates BOTM to film nirvana is Bela Lugosi's performance as Dr. Eric Vornoff (sp?). To those who say that Ed Wood exploited Bela (including Bela Jr), I say, at least he didn't put Bela in white plastic go-go boots and give him no dialogue, like the director of The Black Sleep did.
Without exception Bela's performances are hypnotic. His strange intonation, his deliberate facial gesture, his gravitas -- he is always the magnetic center of his films. And BOTM gives a summary of his career -- the Dracula hands, the White Zombie hands -- and the pathos of his "I have no home" speech -- give his
performance a dimension most of his roles (though check out "Invisible Ghost" for another excellent role) lacked.
"Nuff said. I enjoy the delirium of Glen or Glenda? and Plan 9, but Bride of the Monster is Bela's show ALL THE WAY.
Many person are vanishing in the Lake Marsh, nearby an old mansion recently
bought by Dr. Eric Vornoff (Bela Lugosi). He lives with Lobo (Tor Johnson)
and has an octopus in the lake, product of his experiment in developing
somehow atomic energy. Janet Lawton (Loretta King), a reporter of a tabloid,
decides to investigate further the disappearance of locals and is abducted
by Dr. Vornoff. Her fiancée, Lt. Dick Craig (Tony McCoy), together with the
police force, goes to the old house looking for Janet. This story, expected
to be a horror movie, is indeed a funny entertainment due to the lack of
talent of Ed Wood. When I bought this rare VHS a couple of days ago, some
friends of mine, also lovers of cinema, were a little jealous. - Where did
you find this film? was the common question. When we watch an Ed Wood's
film, we know that it will be a movie full of flaws. But why do we like him
so much? Because since Tim Burton promoted this director, he became a cult
personality. Therefore, it is very unfair and almost unacceptable the IMDB
User Rating of 2.8 for this movie. There are unbelievable mistakes in
framing and edition, such as, for example, about 36 minutes running time, we
can see the microphone over the heads of Janet and Dr. Vornoff. The
performance of the cast is so ridiculous that becomes really funny. The
motionless octopus in the `lake' is also funny. And what about the
screenplay, a kind of Frankenstein meeting the Loch Ness monster, with
hilarious dialogs? This movie is a great entertainment, to see the courage
of a brave director lover of cinema but without any skill. My vote is
Title (Brazil): `A Noiva do Monstro' (`The Bride of the Monster')
Okay...lets be honest. This film was just what is was expected to be: a poorly made film with little to no budget, terrible acting overall, a script that borders on insanity, and special effects that children in a school play could be proud of. Yet, the film has a certain charm to it and is a vehicle in which to see both Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson madly overact and interact. Bela whipping Johnson and then getting into a wrestling match is definitely a high point. The rest of the cast strive to be mediocre...and fail...with the exception of character actor Harvey Dunn. Dunn plays the police chief and is humorous both intentionally and unintentionally. Watch his scenes and see him play with his parakeet in his office. It defies logic, time, and space...and is funny. Not Ed Woods best or worse...and a film that really has been given a boost by Tim Burton's Ed Wood. A fun picture to sit through with a group.
If you do not know Ed Wood then this movie will have little meaning to you. So the first thing you have to do is learn about the life of Ed Wood. He is one of the worst directors of all time, but also one of the most colorful. Bride of the monster is a good example of his ability to make the most out of his scarce resources. You'll love it or you'll hate it. Have fun!
This movie is easily Wood's best! Of all the movies Ed Wood has written
this one makes 'the most sense', even though the story and concept are
still ridiculous of course. Yet the movie works as an horror movie, or
like Ed wood would call it; 'a supernatural thriller'.
The acting probably is the only thing that is truly bad about this movie. Lot's of people praise Bela Lugosi for his role in this but I think that's truly offensive to a great actor like him. Lugosi was hundred times better in movies like "Dracula" and "The Black Cat". Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson are terribly overacting in this!
Also it's too bad about the octopus scene's. It all was terrible fake and the use of archive footage was done horribly.
The dialog and characters are the best Wood has ever written. Even though they are far from supreme, they work very well in the movie. Wood even manages to come up with some memorable quotes.
This movie really doesn't deserve such a low rating and my guess is that more than halve the people who have rated this movie poorly had not even seen this movie but just rated it low because it's an Ed Wood movie. Be fair people! I recognize a bad movie when I see one and this movie most certainly is not bad!
Even if you're not familiar with Wood's work but are a fan of classic horror movie's, you'll appreciate this movie. It really is not bad and works well as an horror movie. The story flows well and the ending is build up very good.
By Wood's standards, an excellent movie!
I really don't think this deserves the "honor" of being in the Bottom 100 of all times. I've seen much worse films without nearly the notoriety. In "Bride of the Monster," Edward Wood shows himself to be a typically competent director doing a typical low-rent horror film. There are no mistakes in continuity, the lighting is adequate, the performances are pretty good how "Plan 9" came from the same director is beyond me. I *am* put off by the DVD, though. For a premium price, you get the film, the trailer, and chapter stopsthat's all, folks. If this is supposed to be a camp classic, I could at least hope for some interviews, outtakes, and other amusements. The transfer isn't bad, with few scratches or specks that I noticed and a faithful rendering of the black-and-white movies of that era.
This really isn't such a terrible little movie. Sure, it's cheap, the
acting is horrible, the sets wobble if sneezed upon and the special
effects consist of stock footage and a rubber octopus, but "Bride of
the Monster" is much, MUCH better than "Plan 9 From Outer Space."
Mad scientist Vornoff (a sickly Bela Lugosi) has apparently set up shop in the Florida Everglades, kidnapping anyone unwise enough to wander too close to his house (and his pet octopus) and conducting sinister experiments upon them. Vornoff, for some odd reason, is determined to create a race of super giants with incredible strength. We're never really sure exactly WHY he wants to do this, but one can only assume that, if one possesses an army of super strong giants, one could take over the world and rule it and stuff. That seems to be the goal of every other mad scientist in the unruled world, anyway. Into this diabolical plan stumbles loudmouthed newsgirl Loretta King, who is determined to get the story on the Lake Marsh Monster. Whether the title of "Lake Marsh Monster" refers to the octopus, Tor Johnson as the fumbling Lobo or Bela's drug problem, we're never sure. Take your pick. Anyway, Loretta is kept under constant hypnosis by Bela's eyebags and is slated to become The Bride of the Monster! By this point, we're all quite ready to see the annoying Loretta fried to a crisp, but unfortunately, her wimpy boyfriend shows up to save her. The stunning climax is packed full of raging Lobo's, rolling boulders, lightening bolts, gunfire and death by octopus!
The story doesn't make much sense, but were you really expecting it to when you saw Ed Wood's name listed under the title of director? Still and all, it's certainly Wood's most coherent effort and can be entertaining for those of us who stop to look at road accidents.
***SPOILERS*** Strange things have been happening around the Old
Willow's place where a number of people have disappeared with the local
police baffled about what happened to them. Janet Lawton, Loretta King,
a local reporter has been writing stories about the disappearances and
blaming them on what she calls "The Monster of Lake Marsh" which is
getting people in the area very apprehensive and scared and making the
police look helpless.
It turns out very early in the movie we're shown that a Dr. Eric Vornoff, Bela Lugosi, with the help of his hulking assistant Lobo, Tor Johnson, have been kidnapping people in the woods around Lake Marsh and using them in experiments. The trouble is that Dr. Vornoff's experiments haven't been working out like he planned them to with those who he's experimenting on ending up dead.
One afternoon at the local police station a prof. Strowski,George Becwar, shows up claiming that he's an expert on undiscovered monsters and thinks that whoever solve the mystery about the "Monster of Lake Marsh". Telling police Captain Robbins, Harvey B. Dunn, and his second in command Lt. Dick Craig, Tony McCoy, to meet him the next morning and go out in the Lake Marsh area looking for the monster Strowski for some mysterious reason never shows up!
Strowski instead checks out the Old Willow's Place where he comes face to face with Dr. Vornoff. It turns out that both Dr. Vornoff and prof. Strowski worked in, for some strange reason the country is never mentioned in the movie, the Soviet Union Back in the USSR Dr. Vornoff came up with a plan to create beings out of atomic energy that would be indestructible and use them to conquer the world for the USSR. The Soviet Government feeling that Dr.Vornoff was mad and ran him out of the country. Now it seems that they realized that Dr.Vornoff was on to something big and they want him back so they sent Strowski to the USA to fetch him and bring him "home".
Dr. Vornoff feeling insulted and condescended too instead tells Strowski to get lost that his plans for an army of atomic supermen is for his own purposes not for any country much less the Soviet Union who threw him out and stripped him of all his honors and accomplishments. It's then when Strowski pulls out a gun and tells Vornoff that his government ordered him to bring him back. Lobo sneaks up on Strowski and grabs him from behind then throws him into a water tank where he's killed by a giant octopus.
Meanwhile Janet, who's Lt. Craig's girlfriend is also snooping around the Old Willow's place looking to break the big story about the monster. Being attacked by a python Lobo comes to Janet's rescue and takes her back to Dr. Vornoff. Dr. Vornoff sees in Janet a new subject for him to try out his atomic experiments with but is interrupted when Lt. Craig, who went out looking for Strowski at the Old Willow's Place, bursts in before Dr. Vornoff can do his dirty work. Lt. Craig like it was with Strowski is grabbed from behind by Lobo who subdues him.
With Lt. Craig chained to the wall Dr. Vornoff goes on with his experiments on Janet. Lobo who has taken a liking to Janet then attacks Vornoff and stops him from pulling the switch. Strapping Vornoff to the operating table Lobo turns the juice on him but unlike the other times when the experiment failed and the persons died this time it worked! Vornoff turns into an atomic superman and clobbers Lobo and takes off with Janet in the woods with the whole police force hot on his heels.
Vornoff after being forced to releases Janet, after Lt. Craig rolled a bolder on him, falls into a pound where he's attacked by the octopus that killed Strowski. While Vornoff and the the octopus are engaged in a life and death struggle their hit by a lighting bolt! With what seems like the whole movie set goes up in a nuclear explosion with Captain Robbins, who was in charge of the police , ends the film by saying what has now become folk lore in movie history: "He Tampered in God's Domain".
"Bride of the Monster" was Bela Lugosi's last staring role and Bela gave it all that he had with the Mad Scientist bit which has to rank right up there with the best films that he made over his long movie career including "Dracula" and "Son of Frankenstein" as well as "Ninotchka". Bela's "I Have'a no Home" speech that he gave to prof. Strowski was as good as anything that you would hear in an Academy Award winning film or top flight Shakesperaean production.
Tor Johnson was also very effective as Lobo, even though he never uttered a word in the movie, by showing pain and affection for Janet who he tried to save from Dr. Vornoff's evil clutches and both Tony McCoy and Loretta King did have chemistry in the scenes that they were in together. George Becwar was more then adequate as the cagey and obsessed prof. Strowski trying to get Dr. Vornoff back home, to the USSR, to help in their nuclear research.
You can say that the movie was awful only because director Ed Wood didn't have the money to make it more extravagant. Ed had to relay on cheap sets and props and in some places in the film add in stock footage. Yet I wounder how many top directors in the film business today or in 1955 when "Bride of the Monster" was made would have done better then Wood did with what he had. People should think of that before they put Ed Wood's "Bride of the Monster" down.
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