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Monster on the Campus (1958)

Unrated | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 1 May 1959 (Finland)
The blood of a primitive fish exposed to gamma rays causes a benign research professor to regress to an ape-like, bloodthirsty prehistoric hominid.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Madeline Howard
...
Nancy Walters ...
...
...
Sgt. Powell
Helen Westcott ...
Alexander Lockwood ...
Prof. Gilbert Howard
...
Dr. Oliver Cole
...
Sgt. Eddie Daniels
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Storyline

A college professor acquires a newly discovered specimen of a prehistoric fish. While examining the find he is accidentally exposed to it's blood, turning him into a murderous Neanderthal. Written by Jeremy Lunt <durlinlunt@acadia.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Chills! Thrills! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1 May 1959 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Monster in the Night  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut for Nancy Walters. See more »

Goofs

Dragonflies do not 'buzz' like houseflies or bees; their wing beats are too slow. See more »

Quotes

Professor Donald Blake: Unless we learn to control the instincts we/ve inherited from our ape-like ancestors, the race is doomed.
Madeline Howard: Why don't you learn to control your instincts and stop being so pessimistic?
Professor Donald Blake: You know, you're right, and when I look at you, the future's very bright.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The one-sheet poster lists "The Beast" as the sixth cast member. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Universal Story (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Fish Strike Back
19 September 2015 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

A college professor obtains an ancient life-form whose fluids soon turn deadly.

Looks like Universal just couldn't give up their werewolf franchise. So they reworked it, replacing full moons with prehistoric "coelacanth" fluid. Seems the stuff turns modern creatures into vicious prehistoric counterparts. So a sophisticated modern guy like Prof. Blake (Franz) turns into a hairy, monstrous hominid, and Hollywood 1958 scares drive-in kids the way necking teens hoped.

You gotta give actor Franz credit. He treats the drive-in material like it was Ben Hur. There's not a hint of camp in the sometimes campy material. But then it's got not only studio backing, but ace sci-fi director Jack Arnold ( e.g. The Incredible Shrinking Man {1957}) at the helm. So the camera never falters even when the cardboard monsters do. (Please, couldn't they have re-worked that awful dragonfly.) Thus, the results suggest eye-level Hollywood professionalism at its most challenged. All in all, it looks like the studio was aiming for respectable sci-fi on the order of Arnold's previous It Came From Outer Space (1953). In my view, Universal only half succeeds, no thanks to the generally poor special effects. Anyway, give actor Franz a combat Oscar for pressing on fearlessly under adverse circumstances. And give director Arnold a Lifetime Achievement Award for excelling in a genre generally bypassed by snooty media critics.

(If memory serves, the coelacanth talked about in the movie was a "missing link" first discovered in the 1930's. Its fish-like body crucially contained fleshy fins, indicating it could move about on land, thus confirming scientific hypothesis that life evolved from the sea.)


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