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Preston A. Whitmore II
A defecting Russian scientist is transformed by an atomic test into a hulking monster, Tor Johnson, of course. Not much else except some people are killed, boys get lost, and a rabbit sniffs Tor's corpse. (This film was used for Mystery Science Theater 3000.) Written by
Jonah Falcon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film is really bad but I would like to point out two things which might redeem it somewhat. First, the many & varied techniques for avoiding lip synched sound are positively breath taking. Just because the production company could not afford a portable recorder doesn't mean they didn't know how to use one (if they could have afforded it). For anyone who has ever been stuck having to save a mis-shot scene the film is a goldmine of clever techniques for avoiding showing people's mouths when they speak a line. Second, this film was made very, very cheap. I would venture to guess that the negative cost was ninety percent or better of the budget with most of the rest for food & motel. Most of the actors were probably paid a token amount. Films like this were made for the second 'feature' on the drive in marquee. The drive in manager was looking for cost effectiveness & he knew his audience well. The couples were into 'heavy petting' by the time the second feature started. The guys in cars were passing around the beer their uncle bought them & loved to laugh & hoot at these films as much as we do today. In short this film was made to fit the rigid economics of it's time & purpose. It is fascinating to watch the film cleverly totter along the edge of coming apart into a melange of unrelated scenes. It never does. It maintains a shaky but believable continuity. This is not an accident. It relates to the core purpose of producing the product at the cheapest possible cost. The first scene is an exception to this. A strange, unrelated shower strangling. Confusing, but it sure does get your attention. I have come to believe that this scene is a cheap ripoff of Psycho which came out a year earlier. Both this scene & the soft porn shots of the sheriff's wife were tailor made for still promos & to slip by the censor. They even get away with a 54 minute run time.
This is where the Last Laugh comes in. This film made money in the most ruthless & cheap part of the film business in it's time frame; & it continues to make money today. Yes, people still buy or rent it to hoot at because it's so bad; Just like we did in the sixty's when it came out (re-named & re-released several times). This classic stinker may not be part of the "Art" of film but it sure is part of the business of film. The producer/director got both your money & the last laugh.
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