Manster (1959) Poster

(1959)

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Waiting to be rediscovered!
Infofreak18 August 2001
I can't understand why 'The Manster' isn't better known! It's often unfairly lumped in with 'The Incredible Two Headed Transplant' and 'The Thing With Two Heads', but 'The Manster' is much more than a kitschy gigglefest. It is closer to another forgotten Japanese 60s movie, 'The Human Vapour', made around the same time. Both movies use horror/sf trappings to explore questions of identity and what it means to be human Philip K. Dick style. Neither reaches the giddy, hallucinogenic heights of PKD's best work, but they are both a cut above your average "monster movie" of the era.

'The Manster' concerns a cocky American journalist who befriends a charismatic Japanese scientist. The scientist's lifestyle seduces the journalist who goes off the rails and ignores his job, wife and responsibilities. He thinks he's just letting his hair down after several years of hard work, but doesn't realize that he is the unwitting guinea pig in an ambitious scientific experiment which turns out horribly wrong.

Try and see 'The Manster', and if possible make it a double bill with 'The Human Vapour'. You'll see that was a LOT more going on in Japanese fantastic cinema that Godzilla, Mothra, et al. 'The Manster' is a low key, imaginative movie just waiting to be rediscovered!
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5/10
The Strange Case of Dr. Suzuki and Mr. Stanford
wes-connors28 June 2008
"An American reporter traveling in Japan stops to meet and interview a reclusive Japanese scientist at his mountain laboratory. The scientist greets the curious newsman and, after getting to know him, concludes the reporter is the perfect test subject for his latest experiment. After injecting the reporter against his will, the scientist discovers his serum changes the man into a..." according to the DVD sleeve's synopsis.

Don't join "The Manster" in progress, as its opening scenes are very striking. The erotic sight of two young Japanese women bathing is interrupted as mad scientist Tetsu Nakamura (as Robert Suzuki) must immediately deal with his violent brother ("An experiment that didn't work out"), while his wife (another "experiment that didn't work out") screams in her cage…

Mr. Nakamura takes charge of the situation by killing his brother; then, Peter Dyneley (as Larry Stanford) conveniently shows up; a self-described "brilliant and highly underpaid foreign correspondent", Mr. Dyneley wants to interview Nakamura about his research on "the secrets of evolution". Nakamura is a very perceptive mad scientist; he senses Dyneley is a sex-stared alcoholic, who lies about his age. Dyneley laps up Nakamura's offer of booze and flooze.

With some re-writes and re-takes, George Breakston (a former child actor) might have had a genuine classic. Still, "The Manster" is some good fun.

***** The Manster (7/59) George Breakston ~ Peter Dyneley, Tetsu Nakamura, Jane Hylton
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8/10
A film you never forget!
lambiepie-211 October 2001
As one poster put it... this is the film you saw as a kid but never remembered its name. I did!!! It is kinda cheesy...but I've seen much worse. But for its time, I gotta hand it to the make up folks and the actor's reaction for that scene with the eye on his shoulder. Gosh! Ya gotta guess that most of the budget went into that, and what fun! There isn't one person I have shown this film to that hasn't gasped at it! I just wished the rest of the film was that way. This is one film that HAS to be in your Halloween collection...your "low budget" vintage B movie horror collection...you know you've got one. Set it right between the William Castle films and the Hammer Films!! Get this film, get it now. It's a hoot!
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6/10
More than a monster movie
JohnSeal20 June 2002
Everyone has already commented on their (mostly happy) childhood memories of The Manster, but the film actually has aspirations beyond those of the typical monster fest. The film is surprisingly bold about sexuality, hinting frankly at both rape and adultery. The Manster could be posited as a film that anticipated the free love of the late 60s, the 'split' as psycho-sexual as it is physical. Larry is, after all, a happily married average joe until his libido is aroused by a serum introduced via Mickey Finn by a 'mad' doctor. It's a bit like George Harrison being introduced to LSD by his dentist. As his desire for rough and raw sex increases, his body begins to mutate, leading to the infamous shoulder eye and second head. A cautionary tale, well told and ultimately very conservative, but thoroughly enjoyable on more than one level.
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9/10
The One where the head grows out of the guy's shoulder.
Chris J.16 November 1998
Yep, this is one. The movie so many of us have seen and vaguely remember. What was the name of that weird movie where a head starts growing out of this guys shoulder? An eye pops out, then a whole head... then.....

This is it.

It's not a great film, but it's sure inventive. Probably the first two headed monster movie. Pre-dating that Ray Milland/ Rosie Grier Thing with Two Heads movie and the one with Bruce Dern too by over ten years. That counts for something.

Well okay... this is a lot better than those movies. It's very similar to the classic Werewolf in London.

An American reporter in Japan is injected with a serum by Dr. Suzuki--who's wife is a mutant creature from another unsuccessful experiment and is in a cage.

Rash, then bump, then voila an eye pops out of the Reporter's shoulder. It gets worse. The murderous thing continues to grow right out of the American reporter's body.

This is an American film, filmed on a very low budget in Japan.

I'm sure it was the inspiration for all the two headed movies that followed and particuliarly How to Get Ahead in Advertising. The one where the boil.... oh never mind.

Not a very good film, but fun and for many they remember the scene very well from their childhood... the.. gulp EYE coming out of the guy's shoulder. EEEEK....

Cheesy, fun.
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THE THIRD EYE
maxbemba24 March 2001
I saw this thing as a child, for chrissakes, and still vividly remember that darned eye! Since I didn't exactly knew what a movie was (I was a VERY SMALL little runt) and didn't understand a word of English, and though the movie was subtitled in Spanish I didn't yet know how to read, I was absolutely terrified! Were there really people around us who grew eyes on their shoulders, turn into really scary monkeys that split in half, and then each half tried to strangle each other? I don't understand. Is this for REAL!?

It really took me a while to get over that one, I'll tell ya, until I saw The H-Man Monster and the whole stinking nightmare started over again.

Is this for REAL!?
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5/10
monster-movie classic with some unforgettable scenes
sasullivan10 December 2003
I watched this last night for the first time in 30-something years. From childhood, three scenes were indelibly stamped on my memory: the gibbering woman with the nightmarish melting face in a cage, the eye in the shoulder, and the infamous 'separation'. But what also was stuck in memory was the horrible screaming that accompanied some of these (not my own, but that of the characters ;>). Well, the movie's not *quite* as scary to my jaded sensibilities as it was then, but those scenes still had a kick; the unearthly howling, tearing sounds when the Manster 'separates' still chilled.

While it'll never be mistaken for great moviemaking, this film deserves a bigger 'cult' status than it has.
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7/10
Where has this delightful B flick been all my life?
Hey_Sweden20 October 2020
American reporter Larry Stanford (Peter Dyneley, 'Thunderbirds') has been globe-trotting for a while, and is currently working in Japan. He goes to interview a scientist, Dr. Robert Suzuki (Tetsu Nakamura, "Red Sun"), who almost immediately turns the hapless reporter into the latest guinea pig for his experiments in mutation. Soon, Larry has become a foul-tempered jerk who can't help but cave in to homicidal impulses here and there, as he slowly mutates. His concerned wife (Jane Hylton, "My Brother's Keeper") and friend / colleague (Norman Van Hawley, in his only film appearance) fret over his hostile behaviour.

A mad scientist / cautionary tale in the classic tradition, "The Manster" is delicious fun for people who love a good B flick. The sight of Larry in monstrous form (played by George Wyman ("Battle in Outer Space")) is a true hoot, as he runs around and slaughters people and baffles the police. Larry remains a very entertaining character, for even though he turns into this big jerk, he's not entirely unsympathetic. We know he's a victim of somebody else's machinations. That said, his tirades are often hilarious. The whole cast (including Jerry Ito ("Message from Space") as an obligatory police superintendent) does creditable if not exactly award-worthy work. The effects are a blast; especially cool is that scene where Larry notices an eyeball has appeared on his right shoulder. And that is when this movie really starts to cook. Terri Zimmern (another cast member here making the only feature film appearance of their career) supplies some sex appeal as the assistant to Suzuki who realizes that she has fallen for Larry. Nakamura is solid as the antagonist who is portrayed in an even-handed way: he does express regret late in the game.

If you are anything like this viewer and have a BIG soft spot in your heart for "monster on the loose" programmers, you too will likely find this to be highly engaging entertainment.

Seven out of 10.
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5/10
First half, 7--last half, 3
planktonrules27 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
This is an unusual film because it's a Japanese-American co-production. Unlike a few films from American-International Films (such as the American version of GODZILLA), this one really did feature an all-star cast--not a few scenes with American actors that were added later.

Now considering THE MANSTER is about a two-headed murderous freak, it's actually a pretty good two-headed murderous freak film!! Sadly, however, the best parts of the film all occur before the second head starts to form. From this latter portion on, the film drops greatly in quality--mostly because there wasn't much reason to make this crazed American two-headed--he was handling his murderous rampage just fine without it!

The film starts with a crazy Japanese scientist working in a tiny lab next to a volcano. When an American reporter visits to ask him about his research, the doctor does what any mad scientist would do--drug the guy and inject him with an evolutionary serum while he's sleeping. At first, the reporter seemed fine but later in the film his personality began to change. No longer was he a nice guy but was evolving into a selfish jerk. Instead of returning home to his wife in America, he stays in Japan to have an affair and drink like a fish. The film handled this all in a rather frank manner. Everyone who knows him is concerned--this just isn't his usual personality. Little do they know that he's slowly evolving into a freak with murderous impulses. Over a period of just a few days, he kills about a dozen folks--just for the heck of it! As I said before, all this is actually very well handled and convincing.

The acting job of the American (Peter Dyneley) as well as the rest of the cast was good. Sadly, the film makers couldn't leave good enough alone. This Jeckyl and Hyde-like idea worked so well. When suddenly he developed an eye on his shoulder, it really got pretty silly. A bit later, when a 3/4 size ape-like head sprouted, it got ridiculous. At the end of the film when he split into two beings, I was laughing because it was so dopey.

Also, very oddly, once he split in two, the evil side was killed but what happened to the rest of him? This was never explained and it looks like about two minutes more of the film was needed to wrap everything up right. After all, he was nabbed by the police and it didn't look as if they knew the truth. Did they let him go? Did he survive? Was he put on trial for mass murder? This seemed like an important thing to consider.

By the way, Peter Dyneley sounded and looked a bit like Alan Ladd circa 1959. May attention and see if you think there's a resemblance.
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5/10
Oh My Gosh!! It's The Ma-Ma-Ma-Manster!!
xyzkozak15 December 2014
So - Are two heads better than one? Well - I guess you'll just have to watch this truly zany, Sci-Fi flick called "The Manster" to find out the answer to that daunting question.

Released in 1962 - The Manster is actually a kinda fun Mad Scientist/Horror movie to watch, providing, of course, that one doesn't take its goofy, far-fetched story at all seriously.

I found The Manster to be one of those outrageously low-budget, fright flicks from that particular era that was so bad that, somehow, it was actually (almost) good.

I think that it was a very wise move on the part of the director, George Breakston, to see to it that news-reporter Larry Stanford's hideous, two-headed transformation was kept partially concealed within the shadows of near-darkness - Otherwise the intended horror of Larry's horrific predicament would've, I'm sure, been completely lost by a string of unintentional laughs.

All-in-all - Even though I would never, ever consider The Manster to be great horror, I still thought that it was a least well-worth one honest viewing.
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If you saw this as a kid, you haven't forgotten it.
Sum Flounder26 February 2002
In the early seventies there were two late night horror movie shows where I lived: NIGHTMARE THEATER on channel 7 and SUSPENSE THEATER on channel 8. My dilemma was that both programs were on simultaneously(around midnight on Fridays),and I always had to decide which one I wanted to watch. On one particular Friday I chose the NIGHTMARE THEATER movie, opting to check out the other channel during the commercials. During one of those breaks I switched over just in time to see the infamous "eye-growing-on-the-shoulder" scene. A while later I looked again and saw that eye growing into an entire head! I left it on that channel until the show was over. I have no memory of what the other movie was.
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5/10
"Something strange has been happening to me lately..."
classicsoncall27 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Working upon the assumption that two heads are better than one, directors George Breakston and Kenneth Crane crafted a neat little gem here that's a throwback to all those great horror flicks of the Forties, but without such luminaries as Karloff, Lugosi, Chaney or Atwill. This one came out in 1959, which for me remains a prolific year in the annals of horror, with such great titles as "House on Haunted Hill", "The Killer Shrews", "The Bat" and "The Giant Gila Monster". I can rattle off those titles with ease because when I catch a memorable flick from 1959, I automatically make a mental note of it. So now, "The Manster" makes that vaunted list!

Now before I get too effusive, this thing does wind up getting pretty silly once reporter Larry Danforth (Peter Dyneley) gets injected with some evolutionary serum concocted by Japanese scientist Robert Suzuki (Satoshi Nakamura). At first you wonder what's going on with Danforth's transformation into a beast, because the film's intro shows a creature resembling an abominable snowman or a Bigfoot, but Larry starts developing an eye for trouble with a hairy hand that seems to have a will of it's own. By the time Larry's changeover is complete, he goes full circle with a split personality that defies credibility and merely serves to throw the viewer into a fit of hilarity.

I don't know, there must have been something in the water in that glorious year of 1959 for all these cool movies to be made. A few more that come to mind are "The Return of The Fly", "The Wasp Woman" and "The Tingler". Seen 'em all, for better or worse, making '59 one of my best years in movie history!
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8/10
Yeah yeah I saw this as a kid too
preppy-321 December 2004
It seems EVERYBODY here remembers seeing this on TV as a kid. I remember a local station that showed two horror films every Saturday afternoon for years. There were a lot that they showed constantly (mostly the stupid Godzilla films) and this was one of them.

I saw it when I was in high school and, like everybody else here, was completely grossed out by the eye in the shoulder scene. But I HAD to laugh when you saw the second head "growing"--it takes place in almost total darkness and looks just like a balloon being blown up (which it probably was). I also remember the deformed woman in the cage and the ape-like creature the scientist shoots at the beginning. And I really liked the scene when you saw the Manster split in half with both heads screaming! Not a good movie at all but a prime example of a 1960s exploitation flick.

Haven't seen this in years--the video version seems to have disappeared. It should be on DVD.
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2/10
On The Slopes Of Mount Fujiyama - Dr. Frankenstein San
bkoganbing16 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The Manster in the 46 years since I first saw it in theaters as the lower half of a double bill has become quite the cult item. It's that bad it would almost have to be.

On the slopes of Mount Fujiyama is the laboratory of Doctor Tetsu Nakamura who's conducting some kind of experiments in human evolution. Or possibly both since at one point in the film both events do occur. Anyway one fine day up pops wire service reporter Peter Dyneley who hears there might be a story. The doctor decides in a piece of sheer brilliance that a newspaper reporter is definitely not a guy who will be missed and he slips him an enzyme mickey during cocktails. The enzyme is something the good doctor developed to speed up the evolutionary process.

I think the doc got his formula mixed up because what we see here is a retrogression into something primeval. Not only that, Dyneley starts growing a second head. And he goes on a homicidal rampage.

Of course his strange behavior is worrying his wife Jane Hylton who just thinks maybe Pete's just playing around. Not to mention his reporter colleagues.

Peter Dyneley and Jane Hylton were husband and wife in real life as well and were British, but playing Americans with the proper accent. I'm always fascinated when I hear non-Americans try to talk with our accent. It's always interesting to hear what others think we sound like to them.

My guess is that Dyneley and Hylton signed on for The Manster to get a nice free Japanese trip. It certainly didn't do either of their careers any good.

I don't know about others, but I split a gut when I see Doctor Nakamura give Dyneley that last shot and then later on he splits like a paramecium reproducing. Watching it 46 years ago and now, I'm still not sure what the doctor was trying to accomplish.

What the producers accomplished was, tax write-off.
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8/10
Crazy, dark and twisted monster fun.
BA_Harrison15 May 2013
Mad Japanese scientist Dr. Robert Suzuki (Tetsu Nakamura) hopes to create a serum that will advance human evolution, but all efforts so far have been less than successful, earlier attempts having turned his wife and brother (who apparently volunteered for the experiment, making them just as mad as he is) into hideously deformed monsters.

Not one to admit defeat, Suzuki—aided by his glamorous assistant Tara (Terri Zimmern)—gives it one last go, drugging and injecting roving US reporter Larry Stanford (Peter Dyneley) without his knowledge. The serum takes effect gradually, Larry becoming progressively more wild and uncontrollable, first succumbing to the pleasures of booze and geisha girls, but eventually turning to murder. As his personality becomes more monstrous, so does his appearance: his hand gets hairy, an eyeball appears in his shoulder, and he grows a second head, eventually splitting into two separate beings.

A wonderfully subversive storyline and a standout central performance from Dyneley help distinguish The Manster from most of its contemporaries; Stanford's insatiable sexual appetite and violent outbursts, Tara's dubious past (I'm guessing that she used to be a hooker), Dr. Suzuki's callous and calculating approach to his 'work', and the unforgettably surreal transformation from man to beast all go to make this film a genuinely freaky and thoroughly enjoyable ride into darker-than-usual 50s B-movie monster territory.

7.5/10, rounded up to 8 for IMDb.
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7/10
This Japanese/US sci-fi horror is great fun
Red-Barracuda4 June 2013
I think it would only be fair to say that The Manster is something of a cult item. It isn't especially well known but when you see it you'll probably remember it. For one thing, it's a US/Japanese co-production which wasn't exactly common in the 50's, especially given the proximity to the end of the Second World War and the atomic bomb. As it is, this one is set in Japan but with an American lead. It's about a mad scientist who experiments with mutations; he injects an American journalist with a serum which results in the man turning into....the Manster! Perhaps unsurprisingly, this creature is half man, half monster.

There's nothing very original in any of this when you describe it of course but that's only telling half the story. The transformation of the Manster is somewhat memorable. At first the poor journalist develops a hairy hand but soon after things begin to go into hyper-drive. An ominous eye appears on his shoulder, which in turn soon sprouts a second head! This climaxes in him splitting apart into a man and a monster (this scene was paid homage to by Sam Raimi in Army of Darkness, no less). All this stuff is really great. It's kind of silly but I guess it more than likely freaked a few folks out back in the day. But there is more to this one that an interesting monster – there are also two interesting women. Firstly there is the mad scientist's wife who is kept in a cage; the woman is a disturbing mutant as a result of one of his insane experiments. Secondly there is Tara his assistant, played by the gorgeous Terri Zimmern who doesn't seem to have acted in anything else; something of a shame considering that she is the best actor on show.

This is one of those 50's sci-fi horror flicks that does kind of deliver on its promise. It's a very campy movie of course and it hardly could be accused of taking itself too seriously. On the other hand it does work as a horror film in that it has some pretty striking and memorable imagery; as well as the Manster and the mutant wife, we also have a fairly explosive finale on top an erupting volcano. I think for sure the combination of an American sensibility with Japanese influence is a big part of the reason that the Manster turned out so distinctive. But whatever the case this one is a bit of a blast.
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6/10
Japanese Thing with Two Heads
Coventry25 September 2017
Now this is definitely a curious and utmost interesting B- horror/monster movie from the late fifties! The peculiar element is that "The Manster" was an American/Japanese co-production, meaning the events entirely take place in Tokyo while the characters (with the exception of the lead villain and some random casualties) are all Caucasian. High in the mountains, the self-acclaimed brilliant Dr. Suzuki is messing around with evolution theories and mutations. He's not very successful, though, as he just had to destroy a monstrous creation that went on a murdering rampage and he has another aberration locked up in a cage. When he meets foreign correspondent Larry Stanford, however, the crazy doctor immediately sees the ideal specimen for another experiment and promptly puts a drug in his whiskey. Larry undergoes a lengthy metamorphosis, not just physically but also in terms of behavior and personality, and discovers that the pains in his neck and left hand are foreboding signs of a hideous monster growing inside of him. A monster that desperately wants to pop out! The changing process Larry goes through is rather unusual. It's actually more of a "Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde" journey of doom in which our poor journalist gets corrupted under the influence of Dr. Suzuki and his lewd assistant Tara. Apparently "getting acquainted with Japanese culture" means binge- drinking, taking numerous public baths and committing adultery with several Geishas, as Larry changes from a hard-working and wife- loving American into a sleazy and obnoxious … Japanese citizen? That's quite racist, if you ask me, but it were the fifties and there were as many Japanese crew-members and producers involved as American ones, so I reckon they knew what they were doing. "The Manster" is more remarkable and special than the vast majority of 50s Sci-Fi/horror flicks thanks to a few impressive special effects (the eye in the shoulder was copied a number of times) and the bizarre atmosphere of conflicting cultures. In case you can't help thinking Larry's voice sounds familiar, it means you were also hooked on a legendary puppet-series… Thunderbirds are GO!
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6/10
Cheesy Sci-Fi/Horror Fun
brando64725 June 2016
In the realm of science fiction drive-in fodder, THE MANSTER would fall on the more positive end of the spectrum. It's still pretty mediocre but it tries so much harder than the last movie I watched from this genre (NIGHT OF THE BLOOD BEAST). For starters, it's actually got some tension. Not much, but it's there and I actually felt engaged in the movie. Once you get past the lame title, there's a cool morality tale on the dangers of going too far in scientific experimentation. The scientist lacking any sort of ethics this time around is Dr. Robert Suzuki (Tetsu Nakamura). Dr. Suzuki's goals aren't the most clear but it seems to involve turning people into horrible murderous monsters (mansters?). Well, I suppose they aren't meant to be murderous but I'm not sure what he was expecting when he mutated people into hideous creatures. He operates out of his little mountain cottage in Japan with his beautiful assistant Tara (Terri Zimmern) and his sprawling laboratory hidden underneath. We open on one of his failed experiments getting loose and killing some locals before returning home where Dr. Suzuki shoots it and dumps the corpse in the furnace. You see, Dr. Suzuki just hasn't had much luck with these experiments. His first subject, his wife Emiko (Toyoko Takechi), is a babbling mutation locked in a pen and his latest failure bound for the furnace was his brother Genji. His prospects look hopeless until a reporter from the World Press comes knocking.

Enter Larry Stanford (Peter Dyneley), the oldest-looking 35-year-old reporter you'll ever see. Larry has been sent to produce a story on Dr. Suzuki. Dr. Suzuki doesn't have much to present to Larry at the moment, but he does see some potential in the man. What potential he can possibly see from an initial glance is unclear but it doesn't stop Suzuki from drugging Larry's drink and injecting him with his experimental serum. Who needs ethics in science, right? Now Suzuki just needs to wait it out and see what happens, so he invites Larry to hang out in Japan and pal around for a while. Suzuki bribes the man with saké, bath houses, and beautiful women. Seeing as how this is the first time we're spending any real time with our hero Larry, we're not given the best impression of him. We know he's married and his wife is in New York but he's quick to get wasted and accept some "quality time" with some lovely ladies. We come to find out this is part of the serum's effects. Larry's not normally a bad guy but the serum is making him give in to his baser instincts. He ends up screwing around Japan for so long that his wife Linda (Jane Hylton) and best friend Ian (Norman Van Hawley) come halfway around the world to pay him a visit. Larry's not having any of it though and tells them to beat it, which bothers Linda but not, I suspect, Ian.

I really get the vibe that part of Ian is hoping Larry's calling it quits because he seems a little too interested in comforting Linda, if you know what I'm saying. Still, he's doing his part as a good friend and even tries to put Larry in touch with a psychiatrist to help him through his apparent mental breakdown. Our man Larry isn't having any of it though. He just wants to get drunk and have his steamy fling with Suzuki's assistant Tara. The only problem is Larry's starting to experience some bizarre symptoms. Crippling arm cramps and strange hair growth indicate that there may be more to the new Larry than his new garbage personality. Things begin to get a little more interesting once Larry starts going down the path of Emiko and Genji but then, oddly, sort of stumble to a halt once his transformation is complete. There's some cool moments when Larry is mid-transformation and stumbling around with a second, monstrous head on his shoulders but the film's climax isn't all that exciting. A lot of best parts of THE MANSTER are in the first hour or so with the build-up but the ending falls flat for me. Overall I enjoyed THE MANSTER and the filmmakers did a fine job in crafting this forgettable little sci-fi/horror treasure. The plot moves along nicely and character motivations are somewhat clear. The creature effects are done well enough and the filmmakers were smart enough to hide what didn't work in shadows to keep the illusion alive. It won't change your life but THE MANSTER is a fine time-waster for fans of the genre.
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5/10
could've been a lot better, could've been a lot worse...HERE'S MANSTER!
Quinoa198421 October 2007
A super derivative horror movie of the early 60s, the Manster has a title that should go down in history. Not the actual motion picture itself- for all mansters out there, this should be the pioneer. Once there was a man who dreamed himself a manster, and loved it, but now that's gone and the man is awake again...Whoops, had a Fly flashback. At any rate, The Manster is cheesiness indeed, but oddly enough there isn't a good quota. Of course it's funny watching Dynegly cut a rug doing Japanese dance, and seeing the eye pop out of the shoulder (accompanied, whenever there's an itch, by the sound of a whiny harp), or the occasional glimpses of the doctor's ex-wife-cum-womanster. But these are only glimpses of the cheesy and over-the-top like "LEAVE ME ALONE!"

The rest is just old hat: Frankenstein doctor just wanting to make the world a better place with his mansters; Jekyll and Hyde situation (with a little innuendo thrown in as adultery is at least suggested with the 'geisha'); police in pursuit as the manster goes on, back to Frankenstein monster all over again. So it is fun, from time to time, but it's also become turgid over 45 years time, and it's star actor (come to think of it, ALL of the actors) haven't aged well either, with Dynegly coming off like some everyman who doesn't have a lick of conviction in his voice.

Still, it should be required viewing for B-movie buffs, or just those who wonder why this isn't (or is it) included in the MST3000K series. It's got a second head that makes the Zaphod Beeblebrox head in the Hitchhiker's Guide miniseries look like it came from Rick Baker, it's got a climax on a volcano where the split half of the manster is a gorilla (and our hero Larry turns back to normal in a flash!), and it did inspire one of the funniest sequences in the Evil Dead series. Se la vie, Manster!
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"He's Like An Animal Now!"...
azathothpwiggins29 July 2018
THE MANSTER opens with a brutal slaying via ferocious, hairy beast.

Enter Dr. Suzuki (Tetsu Nakamura), a mad science major, who keeps his failed experiments caged in his basement. Reporter, Larry Stanford (Peter Dyneley) arrives to get the scoop on Suzuki's work. Unfortunately, Suzuki has plans for Stanford.

In a jiffy, Stanford is drugged and becomes Suzuki's latest guinea pig. Having been injected with a serum, Larry's personality begins to change, turning him into a surly playboy, much to his wife's chagrin.

Of course, this is the least of his problems, and soon Stanford learns what Suzuki has really done to him. Let's just say that Larry's about to get a splitting headache! How could a murderous rampage not result?

A solid block of cheddar, this movie boasts several classic scenes, including the "shoulder", "inflating head", and "separation" sequences. Monster-on-the-loose fanatics will love this!

EXTRA POINTS FOR: Dr. Suzuki's beautiful assistant, Tara (Terri Zimmern), whose beauty somehow escapes the black hole-pull of this movie's schlock! Astonishingly, this was her only movie role!...
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6/10
Geisha girls and a two headed monster
kevinolzak4 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
"The Manster" was a cheap black and white US coproduction through United Artists, which was required to do a certain quota in Japan, US distribution by Lopert Pictures, a specialist in foreign titles, in fact the bottom of a double bill with the superior yet far more sober French entry "The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus." As outrageous as the idea of a two headed monster can be, this qualifies as the first and certainly better than 1971's "The Incredible 2 Headed Transplant" (played straight) or 1972's "The Thing with 2 Heads" (a farce), and a more adult approach as well, a specifically American slant on Asian culture, filled with gorgeous geisha girls and pleasure palaces. Lest one believe it's a modern fantasy of exotica we're also dealt a decidedly old fashioned mad scientist, Dr. Robert Suzuki (Tetsu Nakamura), seeking to prove who knows what (something about evolution and cosmic rays) by experimenting on his own wife and brother before the welcome arrival of foreign correspondent Joel McCrea, actually Peter Dyneley as Larry Stanford, come to do an article on Suzuki's work. Never one to decline a drink, Stanford downs a mickey and promptly receives an injection in the right shoulder, initiating a change from devoted husband eager to return to his lonely wife Linda (Jane Hylton, "Circus of Horrors") to debauched alcoholic unwilling to go back to work, graduating to murder after his hand grows into a hairy claw (once bandaged, he claims it was burned). Enjoying the company of Suzuki's beautiful assistant (Terri Zimmern in her only film), Stanford promptly rejects poor Linda then feels excruciating pain on that darn shoulder, whipping off his shirt to reveal a huge eyeball staring back! The suggestion of a psychiatrist is enough to cause the eye to emerge into an entire head with permanent scowl and sharp teeth, and when Stanford stalks the doctor in his office both heads can be seen gnashing their sharp fangs (a genuinely chilling effect). More victims follow and a lengthy police chase before the afflicted manster ends up back at Dr. Suzuki's mountain lair, easily dispatching his adversary before carrying off the girl as his prize. Only in the last few moments do we finally get what the alternate title promised ("The Split"), as the monster tears itself away from the reporter's body into a hairy beast (conveniently done behind a tree, the only way they could pull off the impossible), both it and the girl taking a dive into the volcano leaving Stanford to wonder how any man would literally be beside himself! To the uninitiated it may be disappointing that the eye doesn't appear on the shoulder until the 45 minute mark, and the climactic battle between man and monster doesn't even last 90 seconds; otherwise it's literally an eye opening creature feature filmed in English that actually proves that two heads are indeed better than one. The acting isn't terribly good (Peter Dyneley and Jane Hylton truly husband and wife in real life) but Tetsu Nakamura makes for an entertaining mad medico, using his occasional pseudonym Setoshi Nakamura (actually his real name), a Canadian-born actor fluent in both English and Japanese who played small parts in numerous Toho pictures like "The Mysterians," "The H-Man," "The Human Vapor," "Mothra," "Atragon," "Latitude Zero," and "Yog - Monster from Space." As if two heads were needed to direct this movie there are two directors listed - George P. Breakston was a former child actor who became a globetrotting filmmaker in later years, previously at the helm for "The White Huntress" (shot on location in Kenya), while Kenneth G. Crane was a veteran editor who performed double duty as director/editor on three other occasions, including John Carradine's "Half Human" (Hollywood scenes only) and the Jim Davis snoozefest "Monster from Green Hell." It's not great art but loads more fun than it should be, and delivered more than a few nightmares to impressionable youngsters viewing on television. Toho's "The H-Man" would depict the underworld in an adult and sensuous manner but this little opus is uniquely bizarre.
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7/10
Cheesy in spots, but still manages to pack a punch after all these years
lemon_magic4 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
OK, stop me if you've heard this one: An American foreign correspondent climbs up a mountain to interview an eccentric Japanese scientist, who promptly slips a Mickey Finn in the American's drink, and the American passes out. When he wakes up, his underwear is on backwards, and...no, actually, he just has a "kink in his neck".

The scientist pretends to befriend the American in order to keep him around where the scientist can study him, and the injection begins to change the poor American's personality, turning him into a boozer and a philanderer and a grouch, and a total ham. Well, no, it's the actual actor who's a ham, but his approach seems to work with the material.

The changes get worse and worse; he starts killing random people with his new hairy right hand. Then he discovers an "eye" growing in his shoulder, then a new head, and eventually, he's off on a rampage, killing Buddhist priests and geishas and policemen and whoever else is in his way (he's an equal opportunity monster.) Eventually he is cornered by the police in the scientist's lair, he actually pulls himself in half, and his monstrous half drags the scientist into the volcano (you knew there had to be a volcano) and his geisha girlfriend falls in after him. The American is left with a huge Visa bill and also faced with making some very awkward explanations to make to the police (not to mention his wife).

Pretty darned good for what it was. The opening scenes have a nice nasty vibe to them, lots of moody black and white photography to make the cheap sets look their best, good casting (the estranged wife was especially good - convincingly "worn" and looking her age, and yet still appealing), a very inventive premise for the time, and a strong finish. Ludicrous, but strong.
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8/10
B Grade Gem. Keep an "eye" out for it.
Bigweight6628 December 2020
I'm another one who saw this 1959 movie in the mid 1970's as a kid, and it unsettled me at the time! I never ever forgot it as it give me chills as a kid. I re-watched it a few years ago late at night, and enjoyed it.

An American reporter based in Japan goes to interview a renowned but strange and private Japanese doctor. The reporter unwillingly becomes part of the doctors horrible experiments. By todays horror standards its tame, but considering the era when this movie was made, there are some grotesque and macabre scenes. It is definitely one of the better B grade horror movies of the 1950' and 1960's.
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8/10
Fun Grade B horror item
Woodyanders22 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Reclusive scientist Dr. Robert Suzuki (nicely played by Satoshi Nakamura) uses his experimental serum to transform arrogant American reporter Larry Stanford (a solid performance by Peter Dyneley) into a hideous and murderous two-headed monster. Director George P. Breakston, working from a tight and absorbing script by William J. Sheldon, relates the neat story at a brisk pace, maintains an appealingly earnest tone throughout, and stages the attack scenes with aplomb (the lively and exciting last third with Stanford on the run from the police smokes in no uncertain terms). Moreover, the grotesque make-up effects are creepy and effective; Suzuki's malformed wife in particular is genuinely freaky and unnerving while that infamous eyeball on Stanford's shoulder is pretty gnarly. This picture further benefits from competent acting from a capable cast, with especially praiseworthy work by Jane Hynton as Larry's caring wife Linda, Terri Zimmern as Suzuki's lovely, but chilly assistant Tara, Norman Van Hawley as Larry's concerned boss Ian Matthews, and Jerry Ito as the no-nonsense Police Supt. Aida. David Mason's stark black and white cinematography does the trick. Hirooki Ogawa's spooky and spirited score hits the shivery ooga-booga spot. An enjoyable fright feature.
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