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Classic 50's low budget Sci-Fi with strong performances.
dsturgil14 January 2004
Ah yes! The good old days when Sci-Fi was simple. All you needed was a little radiation and most anything was possible. This movie was one of the last 50's Sci-Fi movies from Universal coming out in 1959-same year I did. Audiences then were not as sophisticated as they are now and quicker to give a movie the benefit of the doubt. This was the day of the Drive-In movie. Anyone my age or older should enjoy the simplicity of this film and the nostalgic quality of it. Good solid performances by Arthur Franz and especially Joanna Moore (whom would later become notable as one of Andy Taylor's girlfriends on TV). Plenty of the good old character actors from Universal's other Sci-Fi films give it a familiar feel. This movie doesn't ask you to think too much; when I was a kid watching Shock Theatre on a Saturday afternoon I didn't want to. Sure, the make-up could have been much better but from a distance the monster is quite scary.You don't have to look close to find a few blunders: lace-up shoe or loafer? You'll hear music from practically all of Universal's Sci-Fi and horrors movies: Tarantula, Frankenstein, the Mummy movies.This movie is probably not very entertaining to the younger generations of viewers other than finding it quite campy. How far we've come as an audience. But this movie tries hard and with its budget I've got to give it credit. It holds a warm spot in my heart and a solid place in my video library.
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Fun 50's Sci-Fi!
rosscinema28 November 2002
I've always enjoyed this film that turned out to be Jack Arnolds last horror film and I really do not understand why some people think this is awful. There are some flicks that you don't have to take seriously and all you have to do is sit back and have fun watching. Sure, its silly but most 50's sci-fi is. Why is this worse than others? The music that is used is from other Arnold films most notably "Tarantula" and I'm sure Universal used the same score for countless other movies. A lot of Arnold regulars pop up like Whit Bissell, Phil Harvey, Ross Elliott, Richard Cutting and of course Mr. Ziffel, Hank Patterson! Eddie Parker plays the monster here in make-up, not Arthur Franz and Parker was also in "Tarantula" in two roles. Both as lab assistance who die of that deforming disease. Troy Donahue in one of his early roles is Jimmy and he's especially wooden. But Arnold knows exactly how to tell a story no matter how silly and the scene with the giant dragonfly is fun, so is the whole movie.
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Great, rare movie
jonm1110023 June 2006
If you're a 50's "B" movie fan like I am, this is a gem. I saw this film back when i was a kid, something like 1962 or so, and it hasn't been on T.V. in years. I have a VHS copy of it but would love to find it on DVD sometime in the future. When a caveman throws a hatchet and it hits a cop square in the face, it leaves an impression on you when you're 10 years old. Of course, by today's standards, it looks kinda hokey, but you have to keep in mind that movies like this one "pioneered" this type of movie. I wouldn't trade a 50's "B" flick for all the new garbage in the world. Like, what could measure up to movies such as the transparency of "The Amazing Colossal Man" and "War Of The Colossal Beast?" Ah yes, those were the days. Back when sci-fi movies didn't have to be VULGAR to be entertaining. The special effects didn't even have to be good - we STILL loved it! I sure wish the Time Tunnel was a reality - I'd go back there in a new york second!
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Well worth watching if you like scary fun
pmsusana28 January 2001
Although this film reportedly wasn't one of director Jack Arnold's favorites, I personally have enjoyed it very much through many viewings. The story is a Jekyll-Hyde variation, but it offers real suspense and some genuine scares from a director that knows how. The only (minor) disappointment is the creature's makeup (not seen 'til near the end), which unfortunately is revealed to us in a brightly-lit room; makeups like this are more effective when glimpsed fleetingly in the dark. That small quibble aside, this film offers lots of scary fun for those in the mood. (The same can be said of Arnold's earlier films for the same studio, "It Came From Outer Space" (1953) and "Tarantula" (1955).
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Good Film
Michael_Elliott29 February 2008
Monster on the Campus (1958)

*** (out of 4)

Entertaining Universal Sci-Fi about a college scientist who turns into a monster after his blood is mixed with that of a prehistoric fish. I've been wanting to see this for quite some time but never got around to buying the VHS since it was released just as I was jumping on the DVD format. The wait was certainly worth it even though the film isn't really anything other than your typical Jekyll and Hyde story. The film goes by at a very quick pace and the monster looks great, although it's a shame we only get to see him twice. I was somewhat shocked at the rather violent third death scene. The film also contains one of the dumbest girlfriends in sci-fi history.
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Altered States
twanurit13 October 2006
Blood of an ancient fish transforms those infected with it into a vicious dog, giant dragonfly or monstrous Neanderthal entity. Arthur Franz is convincing as an archaeological college professor, teaching Troy Donahue and Nancy Walters, while romancing Joanna Moore. Jack Arnold ably directed this somewhat maligned film; it's actually creepy and well-shot, succeeding in delivering the shocks, especially in the last act, where we finally see the title creation and it's a startling effect. Helen Westcott is memorable in only two scenes, as the school nurse, conveying some romantic attraction to Franz, all with a dose of humor. It was recently released to DVD as part of the "Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection", which includes "Tarantula" (1955), "The Mole People" (1956), "The Monothith Monsters" (1957), and "The Incredible Shrinking Man" (1957), all on par: great title sequence, fine musical score (some patchwork), beautiful monochrome photography, well-scripted, capably acted, always intriguing, with "Man" the jewel of the crown.
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Another Feather In Arnold's Already Crowded Cap
ferbs5413 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
In the five-year period 1953-'57, director Jack Arnold brought forth five sci-fi/horror classics that are still beloved by psychotronic-film fans today: "It Came From Outer Space" ('53), "Creature From the Black Lagoon" ('54), "Revenge of the Creature" ('55), "Tarantula" (also '55) and one of the all-time champs, "The Incredible Shrinking Man" ('57). Following up Arnold's string of crowd-pleasing entertainments came the lesser-known "Monster on the Campus" in 1958, a picture that, as it turns out, is just as much fun as the others. In the film, we meet a likable and soft-spoken professor at fictitious Dunsfield University, in California; a biologist named Donald Blake (a name that perhaps influenced Stan Lee four years later when selecting a moniker for Thor's alter ego!). When we first encounter Blake, he is very excited about the arrival of the school's latest prize acquisition, a preserved coelacanth from the seas off Madagascar. (It should be remembered that the coelacanth, a fish believed to have gone extinct 65 million years ago, was initially caught off the coast of South Africa 20 years previous to this film, in 1938.) But problems arise when it turns out that this fish had been preserved with pesky gamma radiation, and that its blood has a tendency to revert those who touch it or drink it (or, as happens in the film, even smoke it!) to their earlier evolutionary form. Thus, before long, a prehistoric dog, a giant dragonfly and a decidedly simian maniac are all terrorizing the area around Dunsfield U....

"Monster on the Campus," cheaply made as it is, is an efficient little thriller, compactly told (the whole thing clocks in at 77 minutes) and often fairly exciting. Arthur Franz is very ingratiating as Blake, and the creature that he turns into both looks and sounds pretty frightening. While some have complained about Blake's overly slow realization of his own transformations, this fact did not bother this viewer as much as the film's ending; without giving anything away, let me just say that I wish the picture could have concluded otherwise. Joanna Moore, future mother of Tatum O'Neal, is quite good as Blake's fiancée here, and displays convincingly real terror when confronted by the titular killer. The picture boasts any number of memorable scenes, my favorite being the initial appearance of that giant dragonfly as it beats against a windowpane; somehow, this sequence brought to mind the scene with the giant bugs on the supermarket windows in Frank Darabont's 2007 horror masterpiece "The Mist." Director Arnold keeps his film moving along nicely, and if the picture's FX don't match those in some of his earlier sci-fi films (especially those to be found in "The Incredible Shrinking Man"), they are nonetheless cheesily endearing; I love the look of that dragonfly in repose! In all, a wholly likable '50s sci-fi/horror outing, surely deserving of a greater renown. I would like to add here that 1958 also saw the release of another Jack Arnold sci-fi film, "The Space Children," which I have never seen, as well as the Arthur Franz sci-fi picture "The Flame Barrier," which I haven't seen since the early '60s on NYC television. Both have never appeared on either VHS or DVD and both are films that really ought to see the light of the digital day soon. Studio heads, please take note!
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Fun B Horror, but not Arnold's best
funkyfry10 November 2002
Jack Arnold's last sci-fi horror for Universal isn't as good or as much fun as most of his previous efforts (including the oft-overlooked "Tarantula") but it has its own virtues to recommend it. The story is a clone of "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" -- except that in this case, we have a college professor who keeps accidentally coming into contact with chemical agents which transform him into an aboriginal "throwback."

Not much killing, or action at all for that matter, and in retrospect the film's manner in general is too straight and serious for its flimsy materials. Not much sympathy or interest is generated before the film runs its course, but an audience may get a few laughs from some of the stilted dialogue and from the oversized "throwback" creatures that appear from time to time to terrorize unsuspecting coeds and jocks.

The female lead was written to have a very unappealing personality -- for one thing, when the scientist she supposedly loves is getting really interested in his work, she goes over his head to his boss (who "happens" to be her father) to have him investigated for insanity! Maybe he just wasn't paying enough attention to her.... anyway, I don't think many in the audience would have minded if she HAD gotten hers from the monster in the end....
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Just plain bad science. Otherwise a fun film.
Randy Scholl5 March 2007
A previous commentator writes that: "The story is totally ludicrous and a feeble, shameless attempt to promote evolution. Only a leftist loony would believe this stuff."

Just to set the record straight, the concept of "evolution" promoted by the film is a gross distortion of actual evolutionary theory, suggesting as it does that evolution involves some sort of mystical forces and that certain so-called "living fossils" contain some sort of substance which somehow counteracts these forces. None of this actually makes in any sense, however, in terms of the actual science.

To sum up, evolutionary theory is perfectly valid science, and there's nothing particularly shameful about promoting it as science, contrary to what the above poster might think. OTOH, the movie's conception of what evolution actually means is just plain silly.
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Jack Arnold's last monster movie
Chris Gaskin16 October 2002
Warning: Spoilers
This was Jack Arnold's last monster movie and I rather enjoyed it. It is a typical 50's monster movie.

Blood from a dead Coelacanth turns Arthur Franz (Invaders From Mars) into a murderous prehistoric ape man. It also turns a dragon fly into a giant and a friendly German Shepard dog into a savage sabre tooth wolf. This happens each time something or someone comes into contact with the fish's blood. Franz is killed by police at the end in the ape man suit. He finished up killing 3 people.

As well as Arthur Franz, this movie stars another 50's sci fi regular Whit Bissell (The Lost Continent, I was A Teenage Frankenstein) and Troy Donahue. All play good parts.

As a college student myself, I have not yet seen this sort of thing happen at my college! This movie is a must for 50's sci fi fans. Great stuff.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
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Uneven but entertaining Fifties horror movie from Jack Arnold
mlraymond25 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This movie has some good performances and suspenseful sequences, alternating with unintentionally funny moments. There's something irresistibly humorous about the scene where earnest college professor Arthur Franz's lovely fiancée confides to her college president father, in what sounds like a genuine Southern accent, " I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but I couldn't help overhearing him talking to Madagascar about a fish!" The scenes where the partially glimpsed monster stalks people are effectively done, especially the moment when a horrified couple discover the body of a victim hanging from a tree by her hair. The darkened campus at night as a place of potential terror is contrasted effectively with the opening daytime scenes of students strolling around. There are plenty of nicely done character roles such as the genial grounds-keeper, Helen Westcott as a nurse who has a thing for the Professor, and Judson Pratt as a worldly-wise police detective. Whit Bissell as a disbelieving colleague and the grumpy university president are also effective.

Arthur Franz carries the movie as the dedicated scientist who can't get anyone to believe in his strange discoveries, or his theory about a prehistoric man being the killer the police are searching for. He plays his role so seriously that it risks becoming unintentionally humorous at times, especially the moment when he puffs on his pipe without realizing he's ingesting some pretty strange stuff that got into it by accident.

This movie isn't too bad, taken all together. It's a bit dull in spots and could have used some more action of the monster, but there are compensations in the form of classic Fifties automobiles on display ,along with beautiful women wearing very becoming Fifties fashions. Good fun for fans of Fifties science fiction and those who enjoy a bit of camp humor.
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It's hard to beat Jack Arnold...
poe4267 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
One of my all-time favorite low-budget directors was Jack Arnold- and MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS is one of the (many) reasons why. How many genuinely good "budget" films can be credited to a single director? If we're talking Atomic Age directors, precious few. Yet Arnold helmed many of the very best (including THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, and THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN). Add to that list MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS. While the budgetary shortcomings may sometimes be in evidence (the monster of the title looks not unlike the cheesy title character in TROG, a Joan Crawford fright film that scared the daylights out of me in a darkened theater when I was a kid), Arnold's capable direction never flags and there are some downright creepy goings-on here. Recommended viewing for fright film fans.
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A hugely enjoyable 50's horror creature feature romp
Woodyanders22 September 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A giant, ugly prehistoric fish causes any living thing which comes into close contact with it to revert to a wild, brutal and murderous primitive state: a friendly German Shepard turns into a fanged ferocious wolf, a dragonfly transforms into a big killer insect, and, worst of all, amiable college professor Arthur Franz becomes a strong, hairy, lethal apelike Neanderthal beast who embarks on a deadly rampage. Silly? Oh yeah. Still quite fun and enjoyable? You bet. Ace 50's sci-fi/horror master Jack ("The Creature from the Black Lagoon," "The Space Children") Arnold's proficient direction, Russell Metty's crisp black and white photography, admirably sincere and committed acting from a mostly solid cast (Joanna Moore as Franz's concerned, fetching blonde fiancé and the ubiquitous Whit Bissell as a skeptical colleague are especially good, although 50's teen scream pin-up hunk Troy Donahue gives a hopelessly flat and colorless performance as a drippy student), a nifty plot which provides a clever contemporary variant on "Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde," Joseph Gershenson's effectively spare'n'shivery score, and several jolting jump-out-at-you shocks (the single most startling moment occurs when the Neanderthal man tosses a hatchet right into a forest ranger's face!) all ensure that this fright feature remains a highly entertaining item from start to finish. The Universal DVD offers a nice fullscreen presentation with the trailer as the sole extra (legendary voice actor Paul Frees handles vocal chores on said trailer with his trademark lip-smacking aplomb).
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Laughable In Spots; A Typical Hokey '50s Sci-Fi Film
ccthemovieman-111 October 2006
Here is another movie offered in the recently-released Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection that, like the others, offers a good DVD transfer. This story isn't quite up to a few of the others, but it's still interesting which is the main thing. A boring sci-fi film would be inexcusable.

This one is almost laughable in spots because it does have a Grade-B feel to it. The main actor, Arthur Franz, sounds like a wooden in spots and is a bit too serious. The rest of the cast, except for wooden-voiced pretty boy Troy Donahue, is fine.

The story is totally ludicrous and a feeble, shameless attempt to promote evolution. Only a leftist loony would believe this stuff. It's presented so

I wish they had at least put in more tension in the earlier "monster" scenes. What the monster looked like was totally left up the viewer's imagination, until the final dramatic scene when he was "exposed." That was cool; a kind of wolf-man look. Earlier, the super-sized dragonfly was so poorly done it was funny.

It's decent, nothing notable but a okay part of the five-movie Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection DVD that was released in the fall of 2006. I've seen three of these so far and have been impressed with the transfer on these discs.
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Another winner from Universal
monsterlover58-128 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Although this is not as well known a film as say , Creature From The Black Lagoon or It Came From Outer Space , it still qualifies as a neat 50's Sci-Fi entry in my book. The story is kind of the Jekyll & Hyde rehash , but its fairly well told. Arthur Franz turns out a solid job as the unfortunate professor Blake , also in the cast are a lot other familiar faces including Phil Harvey , Joanna Moore ,Whit Bissell , and an early on performance for Troy Donohue who later starred in My Blood Runs Cold , another great little chiller...all & all , I could enjoy this flick on most any dark night or rainy day. It's got all the elements of the Universal Sci-Fi's. The story line was a little weaker than some but Jack Arnold , as usual , did a fine job of directing , which makes it another enjoyable effort. POSSIBLE SPOILER!! The scene early on in the film where the creature attacks the young female assistant "who has designs on prof. Blake" is particularly creepy when she is found hanging from a tree limb.. 8/10 in quality by this Monsterlover.
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The Fish Strike Back
dougdoepke19 September 2015
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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Fast, cheap and satisfying
commander_zero26 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Minor as Monster on the Campus might be as an entry in the Universal horror series (it is evidently the last such Universal film to be produced in the USA), it offers the pleasures of a minor production done with thorough professionalism. There is little of the Jack Arnold atmosphere that made The Incredible Shrinking Man one of the great 1950s science fiction films, and that make Creature from the Black Lagoon and It Came from Outer Space worth watching today. It is as if Universal wanted the box office success of those films, only this time done fast and cheap. The science-fiction element—the blood of a deep-sea coelacanth, when ingested, induces short-term reversion to a "prehistoric" state (apparently "they," in the past, were much more bloodthirsty then than "we" are now) is tacky even by '50s sci-fi standards. The hapless scientist, Donald Blake played by Arthur Franz, falls victim to it by the sloppiest set of laboratory standards imaginable—he lifts the coelacanth carcass by its teeth, rinses his hand in the tank's meltwater … the poor goof even manages to get blood into his pipe tobacco. Next thing you, know, Blake suffers fainting spells during which he transforms into a hairy, muscular ape-man—primitive in every way except for a marvelous knack for hatchet-throwing. Worst of all, discovering that the mysterious killer terrorizing the (strangely-deserted) campus of Dunsfield University is none other than himself Blake, not to offer any more spoilers, takes actions that bring the film to a rapid conclusion. Fast and cheap. If the screenwriter, David Duncan, had been given the time to do a re-draft, who knows what Monster on the Campus could have offer us? Time for a remake—this time bringing out the submerged tensions of Blake having to work for his fiancé's father, of the nurse who makes no secret of her attraction to the handsome professor, of the bland teenage lovers who emerge from these horrors curiously unscathed. David Cronenberg, who once said (and demonstrated in The Fly) that it is bad films rather than good films that merit remakes, should chuck his current boring and talky art films and do what he does best by remaking Monster on the Campus!
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Interesting, Maybe Silly
gavin694222 May 2011
The blood of a primitive fish exposed to gamma rays causes a benign research professor (Arthur Franz) to regress to an ape-like, bloodthirsty prehistoric hominid.

I cannot believe how daft Professor Blake is. He does not realize that all the evidence points to one man for the murders, and he even knows how, but fails to recognize it. I am also sort of surprised how light this film is given the subject matter -- a deranged killer is loose on campus and no one seems too terribly upset.

I liked the idea of the de-evolution blood. Even if it made a dog wear fake teeth. And even if the professor's name is Donald Blake, which means that he was also the Norse god Thor...
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A strange creature runs amuck on a quiet campus.
Michael O'Keefe31 May 2001
No doubt not the best from director Jack Arnold, but very watchable. A college professor(Arthur Franz) nicks his hand on the teeth of a prehistoric fish and turns into a murderous man/beast. Parts of this movie can be very chilling and then a few moments later you want to shout "That's pretty funny". Watch this in tandem with one of Arnold's better flicks TARANTULA and you will have a fun and thrilling evening.

Franz gives a great performance compared to the rest of the cast that includes: Joanna Moore, Nancy Walters, Whit Bissell and pretty boy Troy Donahue.
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Dumb Scientist.
AaronCapenBanner31 October 2013
Jack Arnold directed this inferior science fiction thriller that stars Arthur Franz as college professor Donald Blake, who, after foolishly coming in contact with a recently discovered carcass of a prehistoric fish, transforms into a murderous Pre-human monster that terrorizes the campus, bringing in the local police to investigate, though only Donald can solve the recurrent transformations; that is, if he ever wises up... Film may contain the dumbest scientist in film history, let's see: First he puts his bare hands in the filthy water containing the fish, cuts himself, then sucks on the infected wound! A transformed dog that drank the watery(and irradiated) blood apparently doesn't clue him in any sooner about the change; Later, he carelessly smokes from a pipe also contaminated with the radiated blood, and only puts things together after many deaths, never contacting the police or colleagues, but stubbornly going alone, which leads to more deaths! Oh boy, what an idiot!
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MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS (Jack Arnold, 1958) **1/2
MARIO GAUCI1 July 2007
To begin with, I had missed out on this one a couple of times on Italian TV in the past – so I was glad to finally get around to watching it for the first time via the Universal DVD as part of their "Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection" set.

While a lesser effort overall coming from Arnold, this slow-starting, then thought-provoking film references several well-worn horror formulas – particularly of the Wolf Man/Jekyll & Hyde variety (with the prehistoric amphibian element, presumably, a nod to the director's own earlier Universal success CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON [1954]!) – and even takes care to include an anti-Nuclear message. Despite being lensed by renowned cinematographer Russell Metty, the film's look isn't especially interesting – nor is the monster one of the most memorable creations of the sci-fi era (though it's received a fair degree of exposure in the various books on the genre I own, frankly, the monster looks better in stills than it does on film).

The catchpenny title suggests a teen-oriented venture, but the only such character to get a considerable amount of screen-time is heart-throb Troy Donahue. In fact, protagonist Arthur Franz' role here is perhaps the most substantial of its type that he played – doing well enough as both the obsessed scientist and the 'throwback anthropoid' he inadvertently turns into (especially effective in the scene where it dawns on him that he's the monster everyone's looking for). His girlfriend, played by Joanna Moore, is slightly above average as vintage sci-fi leading ladies go – while solid support is provided by Judson Pratt as the heavy-set police detective and the ubiquitous Whit Bissell as a conservative medic.

An interesting point regarding the metamorphosis is that it only happens after exposure to the blood of an extinct fish that had been subjected to radiation – which rather makes the situations behind his subsequent 'regressions' not a little contrived! The climax can't resist having the monster run off with the leading lady a' la the Gill Man from the "Black Lagoon" films; besides, the final transformation (which Franz does in order to prove his point – clearly in direct imitation of the Jekyll/Hyde prototype – that a Neanderthal man is responsible for the killing spree which has gripped the campus and the surrounding area) does feel, perhaps, like one too many trips to the well…and it's further marred by the heroine idiotically remarking at one point that the monster is wearing Franz' clothes!!

I've yet to watch German émigré director E.A. Dupont's solitary horror effort on similar lines, THE NEANDERTHAL MAN (1953); that said, the intermittent presence in MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS of mutant animals (namely, a vicious dog and a giant dragonfly) also reminded me of the fact that it's high time I reacquaint myself with the likes of THE FLY (1958) and THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE (1959) – the former is supposed to be re-issued by Fox around Halloween as part of a Box Set (along with its two inferior sequels), while the latter is available on a bare-bones but affordable DVD (incidentally, also from Fox). By the way, I'm now left with only THE SPACE CHILDREN (1958) to catch up with from Arnold's numerous genre outings...
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Not one of Universal's best monster movies
vtcavuoto31 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
"Monster on the Campus" wasn't as good a film that I had hoped for. It features a good cast and Director(Jack Arnold) but there just isn't enough atmosphere and thrills. I may have been spoiled by Jack Arnold's previous films("It came from Outer Space","Tarantula" and "Creature from the Black Lagoon").The film isn't on the same level as the previously mentioned films. The actors did a good job with the script but that's about all I can say. It does feature some "B" movie vets in Arthur Franz, Whit Bissell and Ross Elliot plus a young Troy Donahue. The music was borrowed from other Universal films. If you listen carefully, you can hear music from "Tanrantula", among others. If you are a fan of Jack Arnold's other films, you may be a bit disappointed. Still,it's a decent film if you're a fan of Universal Studios' Sci/Fi series.
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A couple of the scenes are so funny..I could die.
boss-1128 January 1999
This film falls into my criteria of a cheap 50's sci-fi trying to be serious and in the process making you laugh at it's...cheapness. When you finally do get to see the monster it's a guy in an extremely cheap rubber mask moshing his mouth around. He's got hairy shoulderpads on that exude through his torn shirt. In one scene the monster gets so MAD after looking at a tape recorder and then a camera (why?) that it begins throwing things at them. It misses by 5 feet..even though it's standing only six feet away from them. It finds an axe and begins jumping around like a chimp with a new toy. Later it throws the axe in anger and nails a cop right between the eye's at 40 paces! I can split a gut laughing at this one. See also my review on "The Amazing Colossal Man".
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Monster On the Cheap!
bsmith555231 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Universal was wrapping up their 50s series of budget conscious Sci-Fi/Monster movies in 1958 when this one came out. As a horror movie, it reminded me of the Universal horror films of the early 40s, particularly "The Wolf Man" (1941) of which "Monster On the Campus" has similar plot elements.

Professor Donald Blake (Arthur Franz) is studying the evolution of man from Neanderthal days to the present. He has acquired a pre-historic looking fish that has somehow not evolved from its ancient state. Student Jimmy Flanders (Troy Donahue) is unloading the fish when his dog drinks water from a puddle containing blood from the fish.

The dog undergoes a sudden change to a pre-historic version of itself becoming violent in the process. Blake's girl friend Madeline Howard (Joanna Moore) is attacked by the animal which is subdued and caged. Blake sets out to find the cause of the sudden change. In doing so, he cuts his hand on the fish's spines.

Later when Blake is bringing a sample of the dog's saliva home, he takes ill and asks Nurse Molly Riordan to drive him home. On arriving home Molly is suddenly attacked by an person unknown. When police Lt. Mike Stevens (Judson Pratt) and Sgt. Eddie Daniels (Ross Elliot) investigate, they find Molly hanging from a tree, Blake semi-conscious and Blake's home in shambles. At first Blake is suspected but is exonerated when fingerprints found at the scene do not match his.

Believing that it was Blake who was targeted, Sgt. Daniels is assigned to guard him. In his lab, a dragon-fly lands on the fish and becomes enlarged. Jimmy Flanders and his girl friend Sylvia Lockwood (Nancy Walters) witness the event. Blake meanwhile, has blood from the insect drip into his pipe....and you know what that means.

A second murder occurs and Blake begins to suspect that he may be at the bottom of all of this. He goes to a secluded cabin owned by Madeline's father (Alexander Lockwood) to prove his theory. He sets up a tape recorder and cameras to capture proof of his theory. He then injects himself with the deadly serum and...................................

The special effects, specifically the monster makeup are done on the cheap. The monster's face is a rather evident rubber Halloween type mask. The transformation scene is borrowed from "The Wolf Man", not very well I might add, and the transformation seems to only affect Blake's upper torso. The first two murders happen off-screen but the third involving an axe is quite gruesome.

Arthur Franz was always one of my favorite actors. He never quite made it to the "A" list but delivered many memorable performances both in the movies and on TV over a long period. He rarely got the lead but his performance here, adds an air of authenticity to the story. Jack Arnold's crisp direction brings credibility to a low budget story.

It's worth a look if only for Franz' performance.
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It's A Strange Creature Movie
Rainey Dawn7 March 2017
I really don't know what to make of this film - it's an odd but kinda okay to watch. The movie isn't quite as fun as I expected it be but it wasn't all that bad either. Just a so-so film I guess.

What got to me was when Prof. Donald Blake first got his hand in the prehistoric fish's mouth, the hand was bleeding badly and he didn't dress the wound, instead he wanted to move the fish tank and his hand slipped into the dirty fish water then he started sucking on the wound with the dirty fish water. WTF? Not what I would expect from a professor at all. But it was funny.

The creature the professor became is kinda cheesy looking but that's what made it fun. The story is average. There is one scene which surprised me a bit - when the forest ranger got it with the axe - that was unexpected! Overall, it's not bad - just not one of the better Universal sci-fi horror films I seen.

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