The Navy vs. the Night Monsters (1966) Poster

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35 Years Wasted - Thanks to the Censor
Geisterzug9 September 2002
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 I 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.

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Under rated and overlooked science fiction movie.
julianbristow-29 June 2007
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.
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The navy gets the gravy -- and we get THIS?!
Bruce Cook26 February 2004
How could you not like a movie with such an outlandish plot and such an infamous cast.

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"?).
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One movie that would have been better in black & white
Vigilante-40728 January 2001
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 of 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.
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slithering omnivore trees and Mamie
john2290024 March 2007
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.
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poor mans day of the triffids
vampi196010 September 2006
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.
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The Terror of Slow-Moving Vegetation
handbledzoin4 July 2011
I can accept the eight-foot-tall killer trees from the Antarctic that have acid for blood and can rip peoples' arms off, but when Mamie Van Doren lives on a Navy base and no-one makes any sexual comments toward her, then credibility goes right out the window.

Seriously, though, I thought this was an awesome movie when I saw it at the drive-in when I was a kid. More than four decades later, though, I am less enamored with the leisurely screenplay, dim-witted characters, and dollar store special effects. Still, there is a certain pleasure in watching these giant plants shuffle around, snagging people who wander into the jungle one by one against all common sense.
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Again another unintentional comical romp.
oscar-3531 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
*Spoiler/plot- The Navy vs the Night Monsters, 1966. US military starts "Operation Deep Freeze" in the South Pole. It's a scientific expedition to discover unusual tree specimens. (Trees in the South Pole?) When some odd tree specimens are shipped out for further study, the trees are accidentally taken to a tropical South Sea Navy base. These tree specimens soon reveal themselves to be killers with acid-secreting walking monsters that live by night foraging for meat, even humans.

*Special Stars- Anthony Eisley, Mamie Van Doren, Billy Gray, Walter Sande, Bobby Van.

*Theme- Polar region organisms should not be moved to study them.

*Trivia/location/goofs- B & W. Michael A. Hoey optioned the original novel and wrote the screenplay in 1959, hoping to emulate the success of The Thing from Another World (1951). He was paid $10,000 for the script. Mamie Van Doren was cast because she owed uncredited producer Roger Corman another film on her contract. Van Doren was highly dismissive of her work on the film and indeed the film itself. Shot in ten days; The entire cast and crew were on the point of walking out during production when they learned halfway through filming what the film's plot was to be.

*Emotion- Again another unintentional comical romp in a film that was made badly, cheap, fast, and the participants hated spending their time and talents in this project. It shows on film to the viewer. Preposterous situations and badly acted, don't waste your film viewing time. See the 'Day of the Triffids' for same plot and done better.

*Based on- Outer space fears, post Atomic Age.
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Grade Z Classic
Brian Washington6 April 2003
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.
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Above average low budget feature
julianbristow11123 September 2004
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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truly, an experience in bargain basement cinema
Andy Sandfoss21 January 2000
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!
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Poor Man's Day of the Triffids?
ClassixFan27 August 2004
I have always enjoyed; Day of the Triffids, but I must say, The Navy vs the Night Monsters has that high cheese factor that makes so many of these 60s films simply fun to watch. While most of the cast was relegated to 'B' films, they did a nice job with the story line and there was a gruesome moment or two. Sex kitten Mamie Van Doren is the nurse, Anthony Eisley is the commanding officer and Van Doren's love interest, Bobby Van the comic of the group and Billy Gray (Father Knows Best) is on of the Navy men that meets one of the 'Night Monsters', face to face. Another staple of late-night TV at one time, this is rarely seen on TV and it's a shame, it definitely deserves a DVD release. Many would argue that the best aspect of this film is the poster artwork and it is fantastic!
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Bad But Not As Horrid as the Reputation
Michael_Elliott15 January 2011
Navy vs. the Night Monsters, The (1966)

* 1/2 (out of 4)

This now legendary cult movie has the reputation of being one of the worst ever made but I wouldn't go that far. The film has a pretty simple storyline as a Navy base has a plane land where only the pilot is alive and the rest of the crew have mysteriously disappeared. The only strange thing is this acid material that is all over the place. While the doctors try to figure out what's going on, more deaths happen and sure enough it's because of those killer trees brought back from Antarctica. The killer tree genre didn't deliver too many movies and you just need to watch this one to understand why. Again, this is no where near the worst movie ever made but at the same time I will call it one of the most disappointing because it really isn't as bad as what you've heard. I think the biggest problem with the film is that it really doesn't do anything with its silly and stupid plot. Yes, the plot is incredibly dumb but so were the majority of stories that were used for our sci-fi and horror favorites. The filmmakers want us to believe that trees have come to life and can attack people. Fine, do something with it. The first hour of the film pretty much has everyone talking about terrifying these creatures are yet it takes forever to get to see them in action. Once they do go into action we get a few nice laughs because of how silly they look. The low-budget is obvious with the special effects and especially one scene where a man gets his arm pulled off. An even stranger thing is why this movie was made to begin with. Outside it being shot in color the thing really looks and feels like something made ten or fifteen years earlier. When you think of what was going on in the film world by 1966 it's as if the filmmakers of this thing were in a coma and didn't realize how out-of-date their movie was. The performances, as you'd expect, are all rather wooden and this includes cult favorite Mamie Van Doren who plays the head nurse. She's suppose to be playing this brilliant mind but I think you know how that turned out. At least the directors were smart enough to keep her in tight shirts. At 88-minutes this comes off as one of those films where you keep watching and keep yourself entertained hoping that something good eventually happens but in the end there's not enough there to make it worth the effort. THE NAVY VS. THE NIGHT MONSTERS isn't a good movie but sadly it isn't bad enough to be fully entertaining.
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Cancel My Tree-Hugger Badge
dougdoepke11 March 2017
Oh sure, the Navy is going to let a mammary goddess like Mamie Van Doren loose on an island with maybe a hundred horny sailors. But then drive-in impresario Roger Corman had an uncredited hand in the production, and he was never one to forsake a tight sweater. Actually, Mamie's more subdued here than I expected. Now if only someone could wake her up. Speaking of the cast, it's really Walter Sande's movie despite the low billing. His screen time overshadows that of the two leads, but then who'd recognize his name on the marquee. After all, Hollywood is a commercial industry.

The movie does manage a strong point. Namely, the good-natured ribbing among the Navy personnel creates a believable and entertaining atmosphere. Then too, the naval base really looks and performs like one, unlike the usual budget saver. Plus, I like the way civilian malcontent Spaulding (Faulkner) finally wakes up and pitches in with the others. But, oh my gosh, those tree monsters! Straight out of Corman's closet of cheesy rubber. I guess writer- director Hoey didn't want them, but we know who prevailed. On the industry ladder, producers count for more than even writer-directors. But then, the director or somebody could have picked up the pacing since there's little suspense to carry the tempo. Yet, how scary is a tree-hugger in reverse. At least we don't have to groan at first monster sighting till later in the movie.

I see that writer Hoey had high hopes for the project before he lost control. I just hope his original monster was scarier than something growing in my front yard. Judging from IMDb's notes, Hoey had something like 1951's horror classic The Thing in mind. That makes sense given the parallels in icy polar settings, isolated military bases, and snappy dialogue. But there, of course, any similarity ends.

Anyway, no one expects Oscar bait from a title like navy and night monsters. And, from that standpoint, the movie comes through, despite the occasional stabs at quality.
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Wobbling Shrubs from Hell!!! :=8o
MooCowMo12 June 2000
Ick, what a dreary little slug of a film "Navy VS the Night Monsters" is. :=8P Even for 87 minutes, its over-long, boring, and about as fascinating as watching cardboard boxes mate. Mamie Van Doren("Sex Kittens Go to College", Naked Youth", "High School Confidential!"), and her two best talents, star in this wretched waste of celluloid about a bunch of stumps that terrorize a group of dull servicemen on some island somewhere. The stumps look pathetic; even the Tabonga from "From Hell It Came" seemed moore realistic. Mamie is surrounded by a bunch of no-name grade-z actors, including Anthony Eisley("The Monster", "Dracula VS Frankenstein", "The Doll Squad") and Bill Grey("Werewolves on Wheels", "The Day the Earth Stood Still", "Father Knows Best" tv series). The cheesy incidental moosic, the gaudy mid-60's color saturation, and the obvious fake sets all cowtribute to a film which is truly a punishing ordeal. Pretty bad all around, and not very fun to sit through. The MooCow says stick this stinker in the composte heap where it belongs. :=8P
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Plants in cold storage
bkoganbing30 July 2014
If you thought those walking trees in The Day Of The Triffids were highly cheesy and camp wait till you see The Navy Vs. The Night Monsters. Next to these the Triffids could have been created by the Bard himself.

On a South Pacific island the scientists who inhabit it are expecting an arrival of colleagues from Antarctica with plant and animal specimens. The plane arrives with a crazed pilot at the wheel and its human cargo apparently jumped from the plane because the cargo door is wide open.

What they've brought from the bottom of the world are some omnivorous plants who now in a more tropical climate are thriving eating all kinds of life in their path. They secrete some nasty acid that makes its food melt down and more digestible.

This whole cast looked like they took this assignment for the tropical vacation. The dialog is spoken with all the force of a noodle in the wind. No one could work up any enthusiasm. Such enthusiasm a you might be stimulated to have will come from Mamie Van Doren whose weapons of mass destruction just bounce all over the screen. I reckon she was the reason people paid money to see The Navy Vs. The Night Monsters.

In that the ticket buyers were not disappointed.
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Bad 60's monster film.
Paul Andrews8 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The Navy vs. the Night Monsters starts in Antartica where scientists have found frozen planet & animal specimens buried deep under the icy surface, they are packed up & sent by plane to Gow island where the plane is due to refuel & drop the specimens off at a military research base. However while making the approach to land something happens on the plane, all communication is severed & the plane crash lands on the island. A rescue is sent straight away but only the pilot is found & in a state of extreme trauma unable to speak, the race is now on to find out what happened on the plane, why it crash landed & where the other nine crew disappeared to. The plane is unload & the specimens are taken to the base where Dr. Arthur Beecham (Walter Sande) gets to work, it's not long before worrying incidents begin to happen as a corrosive substance turns up everywhere, people start going missing & mutilated bodies are found in the jungle. It seems that killer Tree's are loose on the island & looking to feed...

Co-written & directed by Michael A. Hoey who apparently had major disagreements with the producer during filming & as such John Hall & Arthur C. Pierce were hired to shoot scenes that Hoey refused to including some of the more comedic moments & some of the terrible looking scenes featuring the Tree monsters. I quite like 50's & 60's sci-fi horror monster films generally but The Navy vs. the Night Monsters is pretty hard to sit through let alone recommend. The script was based on the novel 'The Monster from Earth's End' by Murray Leinster which I have not read so cannot compare the two but I suspect it's better than what ended up on screen, even at a fairly brisk 84 minutes long this thing drags badly in places & is very talky with lots of dull exposition that has dated very badly. The character's are clichéd, the dialogue is wooden, everyone is so impassive & uncaring despite what is going on & copious amounts of stock footage means that a few scenes are a complete mess to watch especially the ending. Overall this is a pretty dull film that takes ages to get going, it's well over an hour before we get any significant killer Tree vs. Navy action which is too long. This starts out like a mystery as we try to figure out what happened to the nine missing plane crew & a Penguin but it doesn't hold ones interest & it's pretty obvious what happened anyway, after that it's just a plodding monster film full of dull talk & stock footage bookended with some narration about nothing in particular.

All of the action scenes including the crash & the napalming of the island is nothing but stock footage badly edited into the film & there are other scenes of stock footage like planes flying, waves hitting rocks & shots of the island from above. The Tree monster look daft, they look like ordinary Trees but with thicker trunks & leaves that shake a bit. The best moment is when a soldier has his arm ripped off by one of the monsters in what was probably quite a graphic scene back in the mid 60's. Originally title 'The Night Crawler' the producer changed it which is one reason why he & Hoey feel out.

With a supposed budget of about $178,000 this was shot in about ten days this is badly made throughout. The acting is poor & very wooden.

The Navy vs. the Night Monsters is a pretty bad 60's sci-fi horror monster film with nothing to recommend it apart from some bad special effects which end up being funny & a guy having his arm ripped off. Don't waste your time.
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The Salt Water Taffies vs. the Famished Shade Trees
Matthew_Capitano12 October 2011
Warning: 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.
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Enjoyable Grade Z low-budget creature feature schlock
Woodyanders26 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The officers at a south seas Navy base are terrorized by a lethal army of carnivorous prehistoric ambulatory trees with acid blood. Boy, does this entertainingly atrocious honey possess all the right wrong stuff to qualify as a prime piece of hopelessly campy'n'crummy nickel'n'dime dreck: the fumbling (mis)direction by Michael A. Hoey (who also wrote the extremely talky and drawn-out script), unconvincing cardboard stage-bound sets, a plodding pace, an overwrought bellowing full-bore orchestral score by Gordon Zahler, rusty tin-eared dialogue (choice lousy line: "That's the heartbeat of a man in mortal terror"), zero tension or momentum, pathetic (far from) special effects, poorly staged attack scenes, the corny narration, a ham-fisted fiery conclusion, competent, yet static cinematography by Stanley Cortez, several clumsy moments of ill-judged comic relief, and the pitifully unscary and unpersuasive plant monsters (they look like giant shambling rutabagas!) all give this sublimely wretched swill a certain singularly inept and hence utterly irresistible rinky-dink charm. The cast of familiar B-flick faces struggle gamely with the inane material, with admirable contributions from busty blonde bombshell Mamie Van Doren as sexy'n'sassy nurse Noral Hall, Anthony Eisley as the stern Lt. Charles Brown, Bobby Van as amiable goofball Ensign Rutherford Chandler, Bill Gray as stalwart CPO Fred Twining, Edward Faulkner as cranky meteorologist Bob Spaulding, and William Sande as the friendly Dr. Arthur Beecham. A total cruddy hoot.
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Cripes, what a stinker.
angelynx26 February 1999
So bad it has to struggle even to be funny. All the "cute" character bits, plus Mamie Van Doren in an assortment of form-fitting outfits, can't save this nonsensical stock-footage-fest. And those "night monsters"! The Triffids should sue for plagiarism, if not defamation of character. Gad. How did this one escape the MST3K treatment?
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From hell it came, from boredom I slept...
mark.waltz11 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This science fiction/horror film doesn't even rate a high mark on a camp scale. It is truly one of the most boring attempts to give some unintentional laughs with acting that isn't even funny bad, just simply bad. If you thought Bobby Van was over the top singing and dancing in strange Llamasary clothing in "Lost Horizon", see him here as he faces a tree monster which only comes out in the dark so the photographers don't have to worry about the audience really not being scared. How can you be scared when you can't see it? At least the producers of "From Hell it Came" (with an ancient curse turning a murdered Amazonian prince into a tree with a skeleton dagger stuck in what used to be a human heart) allowed the creature to do its evil during the day, and that one is a 10 on the camp scale, even if a 2-3 on a film rating scale.

Mamie Van Doren doesn't so much act badly as pretty much non-act, never even managing to crack a smile as a nurse with nil a personality. The premise isn't bad, in fact, it's rather intelligent, but for very little which comes out of it, that drops the rating way, way down. It appears that explorers of Antarctica have found frozen cactus under the Southern ice and decide to bring them back along with some poor penguins which either get eaten or dissolved by these tree monsters that ooze acidic liquid off their bark. A poor dog, barking at the bark (or the crawling little spider like critter that looks like something the tree poop'd, gets turned into tree chow, while brave men scream like little girls when they see whatever is approaching them approach. This has a handsome likable hero in Anthony Eisley who has absolutely a zero chemistry quotient with Ms. Van Doren. So if you would like something to put you right to sleep, watch this one. After 30 minutes of some interesting science fiction documentary of what supposedly lives under the cape of the South Pole, there's still another 20 minutes until a full visual of these darkly lit acidic shrubberies.
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