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This is a really low-budget b/w movie but it is very entertaining. This
movie has really aged well. Many sci-fi fans that see this movie for
the first time will know what I'm talking about. I saw this 1965 movie
for the first time in 2006 and loved it. I guess this one fits into the
category "so bad it's great." But I consider this a damn good effort,
especially considering the budget.
The movie is tons of laughs. The alien invaders have an Uncle Fester-looking adviser to a hot-looking queen, who looks kind of like Barbara Steele. They come invading Earth and run into a cyborg ("Frank") built by the good old USA to explore space. This movie even has a helicopter air assault in vintage transport choppers! AWESOME! They had to send the Army to help the cyborg defeat the bat-people aliens and their weapon of last resort - a fanged monster that the aliens themselves can barely control!!!!! This movie has EVERYTHING and any fan of classic sci-fi and 60's bikini party horror should really love it.
A low budget, low brain-power film that is nevertheless quite entertaining. This film was a staple of late night and afternoon horror/SF movie shows when I was growing up. I never missed it. Disappointing at first, since there is no "Frankenstein" to speak of, only the android "Frank". But the Spacemonster is low-budget gruesome. The crash-burned android looks sufficiently frightening but is still sympathetic. The Martian invaders are something out of a low-grade exploitation film and make me giggle every time I watch the film. If you're looking for production values and crisp scripting, you probably ought to look somewhere else. If you're looking for a light-weight romp, something to swill soda and eat popcorn to on a rainy evening, then you could do much worse.
"Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster" deserves more than the small cult
following it has attracted. Due to the lack of its inclusion on "Mystery
Science Theater 3000," the movie is not widely known.
The story (what there is of it) concerns Earth's first mission to Mars. A scientist (Jim Karen) has decided a robot would be better sent than a human, considering the enormous risks involved in interplanetary travel. Unknown to NASA, a ship containing the inhabitants of a doomed planet is orbiting Earth, seeking women to repopulate their species. The ship considers the Mars mission an attack, and destroys the ship, but not before Col. Frank (the robot) escapes the explosion and lands in Puerto Rico(!)
This film, simply put, is a hoot to watch. From Dr. Nadir's Play-Doh ears, to the most stock footage I have ever seen in a movie (featuring the groovy song "That's The Way It's Got To Be" by The Poets), to the toy air-guns used by the aliens, to common drapery being used to incubate the captured women, "Space Monster" delivers many delciously awful moments.
By any technical standards, this film is a mess on par with Ed Wood.
But what a glorious mess it is! The film's imperfections create a camp
classic, one whose reputation is certainly deserved. Despite the
numerous shortcomings, I was never bored with this drive-in classic.
The film's plot is confusing, so I'll do my best to explain it. Mars invades Earth to capture voluptuous women for breeding purposes. The invasion force consists of around five aliens probably due to budget restraints. They land in Peurto Rico and destroy a NASA spaceship (which they believe is a missile). The spaceship crashes back on Earth, and an android escapes to terrorize the coast. Two NASA scientists and a general learn of this and do all they can to both halt the invasion and retrieve the android. Also, the Martians have a goofy-looking monster in tow who goes head to head with the android (hence the title).
There are several reasons why this is a camp classic. First and foremost, the acting is incredibly over-the-top. The heads of the invasion force are played wonderfully (by my definition) by the homunculus Lou Cutell and the absolutely gorgeous playboy playmate Marilyn Hanold. Their b-movie chemistry is very good, demonstrated by the memorable scene in which they decide whether the captive women are suitable or not. Robert Reilly plays the android Frank. His scenes at the press conference early on are priceless. Also, the obvious budget restraints elicit much laughter. In the press conference for the first voyage into space conducted by NASA, the panel consists of two scientists, a military general, and the android. The press is represented by about four reporters. Also, the Martian spaceship appears to be much bigger on the inside than the outside. The two songs played repeatedly on the soundtrack are "groovy" pop-garage numbers that you'll forget as soon as the film is done. For all its shortcomings, it is actually quickly paced and contains much of what we love in flicks like this. (3/10)
In outer space, a Martian spacecraft commanded by Princess Marcuzan
(Marilyn Hanold) and her assistant Dr. Nadir (Lou Cutell) is traveling
to Earth to abduct women to breed a new race, since an atomic war has
annihilated Martian women.
Meanwhile in NASA, Dr. Adam Steele (Jim Karen), his assistant Karen Grant (Nancy Marshall) and General Bowers (David Kerman) are in a press conference presenting the astronaut Colonel Frank Saunders (Robert Reilly), who will participate of an extended space travel on the next morning. However they do not disclose to the press that Colonel Saunders is an android developed by the scientists.
The Martian spacecraft lands on San Juan, in Porto Rico and when they see Saunders's capsule on the air, they believe it is an attack and they shoot the Earth ship down. The android is damaged and wanders on the island scaring people and behaving like Frankenstein. Dr. Steele and Karen head to Porto Rico to rescue the android, while the Martians abduct young women to take them to Mars.
"Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster" is a lame film for the younger generations used to colored movies and special effects. But for me, it is delightful to see since it is a journey to my childhood when I used to see sci-fi films like this one and worshiped National Kid.
This film is comparable with "Plan 9 from Outer Space" and other many famous and is underrated in IMDb. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Frankenstein Contra o Monstro Espacial" ("Frankenstein Against the Space Monster")
Wacky cheapie that is part "Plan 9", part "Mars Needs Women", in which Dr. Evil and Cleopatra decide to invade the earth; fortunately, they get stopped by "Frank", the Frankenstein robot-astronaut who is film's hero with 1/2 face, and the annoying tendency to throttle innocent people randomly. Dr. Evil and Cleopatra send their evil bald henchmen armed with hair dryers to abduct bikini-clad females for "breeding purposes". They make them lie on a board, drape cheap curtains over them, and pull them away for "electro-purification". Mull, a shaggy, snaggle-tooth monster, is also on hand, and is the titular space monster for "Frankenstein" to fight. Frank blows himself up, along with the evil bald aliens, and Cape Kennedy and Puerto Rico and Korea are all saved. Various pointless chunks of raw, oozing stock footage are spliced together in a vain attempt to insinuate that this film has some sort of a plot. The stock footage ranges from Korean War battles to, old NASA footage, to Civilian Air Patrol film strips, all cut up and sprinkled liberally throughout the film, like so much salt and pepper. In fact, stock footage makes up a good 50% of the moovie, and it does constitute an improvement over actually paying attention to the story. Much of the film involves the "actors" stumbling about in the bushes at night, so you can't actually see what they do. In fact, the film is as murky as a septic tank, and sports some of the worst post-production (looping, editing)this cow has ever seen. Toss in some rockin' 60's surf moosic, and you've got an almoost passable plate of schlock. First-time Director Frank Gaffney never directed again, and the world breathed a sigh of relief. Marilyn Hanold("The Brain that Wouldn't Die")plays the ditsy, Cleopatra-like Princess Marcuzan, who wears a hat made of kleenex and cardboard. Lou Cutell("Pee Wee's Big Adventure") plays Nadir, the effette, smiling bald dwarf who ogles the stolen babes. Long-time bit actor James Karen("Poltergeist", "Invaders from Mars") plays Dr. Adam Steele, the bland, un-appealing scientist who creates Frank & goes off to find him when Frank gets his face turned into a tuna melt. This film is a mumbling, stuttering, incoherent, indigestible pile of celluloid that only professional devotees of schlock-theater cud love, so says the MooCow. As ol' Princess Marcuzan says, "This is clearly a failure". You said it, babe. :=8P
This is one of those movies you have to watch with an open mind. I remember
seeing it during the 70s on the local television show "Creature Feature" and
marveled at how something so cheap be so bad, yet fun.
The only real name here is James Karen, however Lou Cutell is an accomplished character actor in several movies. I only wish they would show this movie more as I haven't seen it in more than 20 years. I remember the monster the Martians had was big, furry and ugly and later the "Creature Feature" would use his mug in the stills promoting the show.
Since the plot is pretty much covered by other posters, I'll spare my interpretation, however I will add that the Play-Do ears on Cutell's effeminate character (he looks like a crazed, pedophilac Vulcan) make the movie along with Frank's "Two-Face" part.
All in all good fun to watch. Just don't take it seriously.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Once every so often, you encounter a movie that leaves you completely dumbfounded With a title like "Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster" you can already safely derive that you won't be seeing a highly intellectual work of cinematic art, but still the film was at least five times as demented as I could ever have imagined! This movie is the epitome of cheap & trashy 60's Sci-Fi/horror. No plot was grotesque enough, no set design looked cheesy enough and you simply didn't have a satisfied drive-in audience if the movie didn't feature any extended footage of dancing bikini girls! There's something ridiculous to behold at any given moment during the film, whether it's a passive acting performance or a hilarious attempt at special effects, and the plot appears to get sillier with every minute that passes. Somewhere just outside the our stratosphere, there's a Martian ship floating around and nuking earth's spaceships because they're war declarations. The Martians are all bald guys with pointy ears and there's one queen who stole Cleopatra's wardrobe. The crew is on a mission to capture earth babes (preferably in bikini) because they urgently need to repopulate their planet! Meanwhile, the pointdexters over at NASA are running out of living astronauts and decide to skyrocket an android into space instead. The android's name is Frank and he looks quite nasty when half his face gets blown off, so his creators inventively nickname him Frankenstein. To make the title fully relevant, there's also a hideous monster aboard the Martian ship that Franky has to overthrow before he can rescue the babes. Put all these crazy plot elements together, add a swinging 60's score and some cardboard scenery, and you've got yourself a genuine drive-in favorite. This movie is probably a very unwise choice if you swear by the repertoires of Sci-Fi luminaries like Andrei Tarkovsky or Stanley Kubrick, but it's a delightful treat for us fanatics of kitschy smut.
An invading alien ship attacks a space shuttle manned by an android Earth
astronaut named Frank sending it crashing to the ground in Puerto Rico.
Later, the alien ship lands and attempts to destroy Frank but only ends up
disfiguring him and damaging his circuits causing him to go on a killing
rampage. Meanwhile the alien plot upon the Earth is carried out under the
orders of the space Princess Marcuzan (Marilyn Hanold),who demands her
minions bring back fertile Earth female specimens with which she hopes to
repopulate her dying world, and her assistant Nadir (Lou Cutell), who looks
like an evil and thoroughly corrupt Vulcan.
This movie is great fun to watch aside from the pace being a little too slow when Frank is wandering about in the hills of Puerto Rico. Also the Space Monster isn't in this film enough and its final showdown with the Android Frankenstein proves disappointing. Still this for the most part has a decent pace as the rock music used here actually works to enliven the stock footage and slow scenes...the tunes are actually pretty catchy too plus the way they are used may make many bust out in laughter.
Highly Entertaining Sci-Fi Silliness at its very best.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster starts at Cape Kennedy as NASA
unveil Captain Frank Saunders (Robert Reilly) as the man to pilot the
spaceship Mayflower 2 to Mars, Frank seems alright but what the press
don't know is that he is in fact a synthetic android designed, created
& operated by Dr. Adam Steele (James Karen) & his female assistant
Karen Grant (Nancy Marshall). The day of the launch arrives &
everything goes smoothly at first, then an alien spacecraft blows the
Mayflower 2 up fearing it a missile. The survivors from an atomic war
devastated planet the aliens intend to land on Earth & steal our women
to repopulate their own planet!
Directed by Robert Gaffney (it looks like his brother Ross Gaffney did the music) this infamous 60's sci-fi flick can be viewed in either one of two ways, it's either a horribly made incompetent waste of celluloid or it's a highly entertaining slice of 60's sci-fi fun. I think it all depends on your personal taste & mine dictate that I thought Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster was a total hoot from start to finish & a extremely entertaining way to pass 75 minutes. Yes that's right, Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster only lasts for 75 minutes, it certainly moves along at a snappy pace & the story is so silly that I couldn't help be entertained by it. There is no on screen writers credit but three names credited with the 'story' including George Garrett who went on to become the Poet Laureate of Virginia! Sometimes truth is indeed stranger than fiction. Anyway, I must confess to liking Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster quite a lot. It's utterly silly with a bunch of aliens kidnapping girls in order to repopulate their planet (despite what the IMDb say the name of their planet is never mentioned & Mars is only used as a destination for Frank), sure you can poke holes in it & laugh at it all day long but that's half of the entertainment value for me. The dialogue for the majority of the film is OK & it's only occasionally that it becomes unintentionally hilarious, the story has a few sub plots going on & is surprisingly better than a lot of sci-fi cheapies from this era & the whole film has a certain likability about it.
Director Gaffney does OK, there's nothing that one might consider totally incompetent here. OK some of the special effects of the time don't stand up to today's scrutiny but that comes from the time it was made rather than pure incompetence or bad film-making. The Spacemonster itself is known as Mall & I have to say I thought it was a decent looking monster, I'm not saying it's going to impress anyone in 2008 but as far as men in rubber monster suit creations from the 50's & 60's go it looks pretty good. Despite near top billing in the title it only appears for about five minutes & doesn't get to do much, I liked the way Gaffney filmed it as well with extreme close-ups & shots from low down looking up at it. One thing that stands out in Frankenstein meets the Spacemonster is the extensive use of stock footage, for a film that lasts for 75 minutes probably about a third of that run time is stock footage. Having said that the stock footage at the end of the army is actually quite well edited into the film. The aliens look silly, they all have unconvincing bald caps on & daft looking Mr. Spock style pointed ears. There's quite an effective early scene when Frank (the tenuous link with the Frankenstein title) has the skin on his scalp pulled back & he has half a brain & a lot of valves & circuitry, when he crash lands back on Earth half his face is melted & goes on to kill a man with a machete for no reason, scenes which would probably have been quite strong & graphic scenes back in '65 although these days they are tame.
With a supposed budget of about $60,000 the film looks alright, the black and white cinematography & camera-work are both acceptable & the Puerto Rican locations where some of the film was shot look nice. There's an early film role for the Return of the Living Dead (1985) star James Karen while Lou Cutell as the alien Dr. Nadir puts in a performance you have to see to believe. The rest of the cast vary, some are predictably terrible while others are nowhere near as wooden as I expected.
Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster doesn't feature Frankenstein at all & the Spacemonster only appears for five minutes so don't believe the title, however I throughly enjoyed every minute of it. I'm not saying for one second that Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonter is a good film, what I'm saying is it's an entertaining one with lots of charm & laugh value. Put it this way & call me mad if you want to but I would rather watch Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster any day of the week than some critically acclaimed boring drama say for example No Country For Old Men (2007) which won four Oscars last night including Best Picture.
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