Aliens from a dying world plot to conquer earth by praying on man's superstitions. Bringing two dead scientists (Michael Rennie and Karin Dor) back to life, they use their knowledge to ... See full summary »
Aliens from a dying world plot to conquer earth by praying on man's superstitions. Bringing two dead scientists (Michael Rennie and Karin Dor) back to life, they use their knowledge to re-animate various earth monsters, including the werewolf Waldemar Daninsky, Frankenstein's monster (both played by Jacinto Molina), the mummy Tao-Tet, and the vampire Count de Meirhoff. Written by
Jeremy Lunt <email@example.com>
ASSIGNMENT TERROR (Tullio Demicheli and, uncredited, Hugo Fregonese and Eberhard Meichsner, 1970) **
Scripted by Jacinto Molina aka Paul Naschy, this only forms part of his popular but erratic Waldemar Daninsky franchise by accident since his Werewolf is only one of 4 monsters to appear here (the others being Dracula, the Frankenstein Creature and the Mummy). Monster mashes over the years always seemed a desperate cash-in but, when handled with reverence and style (take 1948's ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN and 1987's THE MONSTER SQUAD, for instance), they could certainly be fun. The early 1970s (perhaps brought on by similar 'battles' between inter-galactic dinosaurs like Godzilla and the like, which may well explain the alien villain here!) saw a sudden and, thankfully, brief re-emergence of this craze with such films as this, Al Adamson's execrable Dracula VS. FRANKENSTEIN (1971; actually an alternate title for ASSIGNMENT TERROR itself!) and Jess Franco's disappointing Dracula, PRISONER OF FRANKENSTEIN (1971; which somehow also incorporates The Wolf Man) but we all know it was revived as recently as FREDDY VS. JASON and the AVP films!
Anyway, here we have The (cold-hearted) Man From Ummo for the record, the film's working title played by Michael Rennie (evoking memories of his signature Klaatu role in the sci-fi milestone THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL  for what turned out to be the actor's swan-song) reviving a couple of female scientists (one of them is Karin Dor, who cannot but have sensed the alarming drop in quality from a major role in Hitchcock's TOPAZ just the previous year!) to help him conquer the world in preparation for a wholesale evacuation of his own dying planet! Where he got the idea to utilize 'literary', historical and folkloristic monsters for this purpose (or why co-director Fregonese saw the need to associate himself with such bottom-of-the-barrel fare) is anybody's guess!
Amusingly, after Daninsky is brought back to life, he practically takes on the role of handyman in Rennie's plans; as often happens with this type of film, once the various monsters turn up, they are given next to nothing to perform with the anemic-looking vampire wandering the castle grounds, the Asian-looking mummy shuffling in the lab and the Frankenstein creature (hilariously renamed Farancksalan, one supposes, for fear of copyright infringement!) seemingly assuming Bela Lugosi's maligned turn in FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943) as his template, seeing how his eyelids are barely open at all times!! On the side of the law, things are hardly any more persuasive, what with the hero named Inspector Tobermann!
The film is passable for what it is but also instantly forgettable; the highlight is the one-on-one between Werewolf and Mummy, won by the former before expiring himself typically to a silver-bullet fired by his beloved, Rennie's other assistant (incidentally, since both women prove treacherous, they are subjected to shock treatment!), while the alien is himself punished by his superiors for bungling the job!
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