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My following views only make sense, in the 'sense' that I'm a UK resident:
Back in 1966, I took my little brother to a fleapit cinema to see a NEW
movie with the come-on title THE NIGHT CRAWLERS. I was 14, he was 11 - and
was sneaking him in on a regular basis to catch up on horror movies.(That
title was the UK title for NAVY VS NIGHT MONSTERS).
Every time something was about to happen, the film 'jumped' to the next scene. We came away deeply dissatisfied, believing that despite the obvious deficiencies of the movie, the stuff that had obviously been 'cut' must have been really, REALLY horrible. I should add that I was already a fan of the source novel: Murray Leinster's THE MONSTER FROM EARTH'S END. Call me 'picky' - but the point of the novel is that you don't know WHAT the hell is attacking the naval crew (Big shades of HP Lovecraft's AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS).The movie poster tells you straight away- - so why bother with the mystery in the movie.
35 Years later, I purchased a copy of the uncut video.
So THAT'S what they cut: A crewman having an obviously false arm pulled off by a man-eating plant, and Bobby Van being pulled into a pantomine tree. (Hmmm - in retrospect, we might have really gone for that in 1966). P.S.) To a former reviewer, the pilot goes mad 'cause the plant squirts acid in his face.
How could you not like a movie with such an outlandish plot and such an
Mamie Van Doren is scrumptious as the Navy nurse heroine. Anthony Eisely ("Journey to the Center of Time") is the hero. Popular song-and-dance man Bobby Van ("Kiss Me Kate") is comic relief. Billy Gray ("Father Knows Best", "The Day the Earth Stood Still") is one of the brave young sailors who battle the Night Monsters (invading plant-creatures from space, ala "The Thing").
The monsters resemble huge mobile weeds (ala "The Day of the Triffids") which have acid for blood (ala "Alien"). The setting is Antarctica (ala "The Thing" . . . sort of), but the climate is a warm and well-lit (ala a studio set).
If all this sounds silly enough to be fun, take heart, it is (but beware of several gory scenes). The film was released by a company called Realart (this is "real art"?).
The Navy Vs. The Night Monsters is basically The Thing From Another World
Meets Day of the Triffids. If you like either of those movies, you might
like this one...or you might hate it even more for stealing plot elements
from both those movies and executing them badly. A plane carrying a load
specimens from the Antarctic crashed on a South Seas naval base and a horde
of long-dormant killer plants is released.
My biggest complaint is that this movie would have been better in black and white. The monsters are basically a dark black color anyway, and a lack of color has never hidden Mamie Van Doren's...umm...charms...before. I think black and white would have improved whatever atmospheric quality the director was reaching for as well. The way it stands, the film reminds me of something Sid Pink directed.
The movie has all the standard and rather-cliched characters you would normally find in a 1950's monster movie. Unfortunately, this film was made in 1966. No explanation or reasoning is ever given for the homicidal and suicidal fits that the pilot is prone to...he spends most of the movie laying in a hospital bed or choking people.
I would think the title alone would be enough to scare off anyone looking for a good science fiction show. After watching the movie, I was really impressed. I mean I was expecting something stupid, However, you can't judge a book by it's cover. The Navy vs. the Night Monsters was and is a good low budget film. The scenery was above average (making you feel you were really there).The acting was decent and the story was well written. But the title is very misleading and I can understand why it was probably overlooked by most people. Oh well, I gave it a chance and it paid off. If you should come across this movie somewhere, why not check it out. If your a nostalgic sci-fi buff like me, you will enjoy it.
I love b-movies and i especially enjoyed navy verses the night monsters. its so bad its good,i would call this a poor mans day of the triffids. i especially liked the music on the soundtrack,its been used in many other monster films like;king Kong vs Godzilla.there's these prehistoric plant monsters that look like tree stumps that walk,and its up to the navy to stop them,led by gung ho navel officer;Anthony Fred Eisley (wasp women,mighty gorga)and busty Mamie van doran(high school confidential)also on hand is billy gray(father knows best)and bobby van. there's some early gore scenes like arms being ripped off,acid burns,etc; kind of gory for 1966.its a perfect b-movie.kind of enjoyable in an odd sort of way.this would've been great on mystery science theater 3,000. i give this b-movie gem 5 out of 10.
The only thing that would have made this movie a lot better would have been a nude shower scene with Mamie. The real night monsters of this film are the ones under Mamie's blouse. And those really are monsters! But seriously, this movie is not half bad once you get past the idiot plot. The cast, such as it is, is worth a look-see in spite of the plot and terrible dialog. The romantic triangle subplot is a mere throwaway and the monsters look like people and midgets camouflaged and moving like the walking carpet in THE CREEPING TERROR. But this movie is a lot more entertaining than that film. For a drive in type horror movie, it's okay as they go, but almost entirely predictable and you can even play the "okay who's the next celebrity cameo who is going to get devoured by these fugitives from a greenhouse.
For years on Thanksgiving (appropriately) I and a bunch of friends used to get together and watch lousy movies all day. I then took an informal poll as to which was the worst. This was the hands-down, runaway winner at one such gathering. Whatever talent Mamie Van Doren ever had, she obviously left in her other tight-fitting blouse. (It's interesting to note that as the movie runs on, and gets more insufferable, Mamie's blouses get tighter.) Bobbie Van's utter lack of talent for anything stands naked for all to see, and it's the most horrifying thing in the film. As for the rest of the cast, they obviously know the film's a grade Z disaster and are just walking through it. And, despite the passing resemblance to the ambulatory flora of "Day of the Triffids", the monsters could give "The Horror of Party Beach" or the crawling carpet swatch in "The Creeping Terror" a run for their money as the silliest monsters going. The IMDb should let us vote with negative numbers, or at least give offenders like this a zero!
When I was a little kid this film gave me the creeps, but now its just a cure for insomnia. The only thing that makes this film watchable is Mamie Van Doren in a blouse that looks like its about two or three sizes too small and shows the thing (or should I say things) that made her one of the icons of B-movies. This film will always hold a special place in the hearts of fans of Ms. Van Doren.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A navy C-47 filled with man-eating plants lands at an Antarctic
research station filled with dumbbells.
Bobby Van flies in from the New York comedy clubs to trade one-liners with Tony Eisley while the other idiots at the installation try to figure out what in the hell is gobbling up various penguins, sheep, and support personnel. Walter Sande makes an appearance as a 'Gung Ho' operations officer, but even he could not save this Saturday matinée bargain flick from descending into oblivion.
Mamie van Doren's beautiful boobs upstage everybody, including the stupid plants.
When I first heard of the title, I thought it was another stupid back yard production by some amateur film maker. But when I saw the show I was pleasantly surprised. Of course this is a low budget thriller and the story is quite interesting. Most of the actors in this movie are professionals who have appeared in other films, the quality of the film print is above average and the scenery is very colorful as compared to to other similar low budget "C" movies. But the title can be very misleading. If you are a nostalgic sci-fi buff, I recommend you buying or renting this movie because you just might get a kick out of it. P.S. look for familiar faces as you watch the show.
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