5.8/10
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48 user 37 critic

Monster on the Campus (1958)

Approved | | Horror, Sci-Fi | 17 December 1958 (USA)
Trailer
1:44 | Trailer
The blood of a primitive fish exposed to gamma rays causes a benign research professor to regress to an ape-like, bloodthirsty prehistoric hominid.

Director:

Jack Arnold

Writer:

David Duncan
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Arthur Franz ... Professor Donald Blake
Joanna Moore ... Madeline Howard
Judson Pratt ... Police Lt. Mike Stevens
Nancy Walters ... Sylvia Lockwood
Troy Donahue ... Jimmy Flanders
Phil Harvey ... Police Sgt. Powell
Helen Westcott ... Nurse Molly Riordan
Alexander Lockwood Alexander Lockwood ... Professor Gilbert Howard
Whit Bissell ... Dr. Oliver Cole
Ross Elliott ... Police 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

Taglines:

Chills! Thrills! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All the principal vehicles are 1957-1958 Chrysler Corporation cars; Madeline Howard (Joanna Moore) drives a 1958 DeSoto convertible. See more »

Goofs

Just before sergeant Daniels encounters the monster, he is talking on a police phone box. He tells the person that he is at call box B-26. However, in very large letters, the box is identified as E-26. See more »

Quotes

Professor Donald Blake: Jimmy, did you know your dog is a throwback?
Jimmy Flanders: Throwback? He's a German Shepherd.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

User Reviews

The Fish Strike Back
19 September 2015 | by dougdoepkeSee 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Monster in the Night See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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