Bride of the Monster

Year Of Release: 1956
Running Time: 78 Minutes
DVD Released By: Retromedia Entertainment
Directed By: Edward D. Wood Jr.
Writing Credits: Edward D. Wood Jr., Alex Gordon
Filming Location: Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, Tony McCoy, Janet Lawton, Loretta King, Harvey B. Dunn, George Becwar, Paul Marco, Don Nagel

Tagline 1: Diabolical! Fiendish! Horrorific!

Tagline 2: More horrifying than "Dracula" - "Frankenstein"

Tagline 3: It'll make your skin crawl!

Tagline 4: The screen's master of the weird...in his newest and most daring shocker!

Alternate Titles:
Bride of the Atom (1956)
Monster of the Marshes (1955) (USA: working title)

Interesting Bits of Trivia:
The fake octopus in the film was stolen from Republic Studio's backlot. The motor which controlled the octopus' tentacles was not stolen with it.




Cast Of Characters
Dr. Eric Vornoff: Yes my friends it's Bela Lugosi again in yet another Ed Wood masterpiece. This time he plays an expatriated Russian scientist who's hell bent on creating a race of super humans for the purpose of taking over the world. I'd just like to say right now that people think Lugosi was bottom feeding when he took these parts in these Ed Wood movies, but I don't think he was at all. He's brilliant in this role he just has a look and a style to him that was custom made for the brilliance of Ed Wood.

Lobo: Funny how you see the same characters creeping around in a lot of Ed Wood's movies. In this movie, Tor Johnson is once again Lobo, the radiated assistant to the bad guy. Just so you know, during this review I'll be making a lot of references to bad turkey. This came from my review for Plan 9 From Outer Space, where I said that Tor Johnson always has this look on his face like he just ate some bad turkey or something. I just wanted to clear that up now so you're not wondering about it while you're reading the review.

Officer Kelton: Good ol' Officer Kelton. Will he ever get the respect he so richly doesn't deserve? Now oddly enough, in this movie he's playing more of a tough but semi-incompetent kinda guy. Compare this with his other appearances in Ed Wood's movies, and it's almost like a different character in a lot of ways. In the other movies, he was a lot more of a whiner and he was running around totally creeped out all the time. I like to compare the Kelton character with a roll of toilet paper. You take it for granted, but you really miss it when it's not there. There was no Kelton character in Ed Wood's The Bride And The Beast, and I found myself really missing not only his character, but Tor Johnson's Lobo character as well. They should have used Tor Johnson in the gorilla suit. God know's he's big enough, and since it wasn't a speaking part, it would have been great for him.

Captain Tom Robbins: He's the kindly old police captain with a pet parakeet. He's not a bad cop, or a bad actor, and seems like a pretty decent guy all around. Nothing overly funny or exciting to say about his character. I just thought I'd throw him in here because he was more of a major character. The parakeet was sitting on his shoulder at one point, and all I would think of was the bird pooping down his back. Any of you who have owned birds know quite well what I'm talking about.

Lt. Dick Craig: Dick is a straight laced cop with really freakin' bad taste in women. He's engaged to Janet, and not only is she not that attractive, she acts like a harpy and walks around like Satan's daughter. He must have been really drunk to have hooked up with her, and now she won't let him out of it.

Janet Lawton: I don't even know where to begin with her. She's is simply and without a doubt the biggest bitch under the sun. I think even calling her Satan's daughter is probably wrong, because even Satan would disown her. She's got an ego that won't quit and she thinks she's just gonna march around doing exactly what she wants to do even though others who are far smarter than her tell her not to because it's dangerous. She strikes me as being the type of person who was a spoiled little rich kid who never took no for an answer. Then again, she is a reporter, so that probably explains a lot right there. She's probably been taking lessons from that jerky reporter in Mars Needs Women.

Prof. Vladimir Strowski: This guy is also a Russian scientist who has been trying to track down Dr. Vornoff for a very long time. It seems that the Russians want Dr. Vornoff to come back home and work for them. They sent Professor Strowski to bring Dr. Vornoff back home, or to kill him if he refused to come. Too bad for him he wasn't able to hear the four hundred plus pound Lobo sneaking up behind him.




The Plot

An expatriated Russian scientist performs radiation experiments on people in an attempt to create a super race of humans that would form into an unstoppable army that would allow him to conquer the world. Will the police, and a spunky reporter named Janet be able to stop his evil plans? Let's watch and see...



What The Hell???
1. Whoa cool! The opening of the movie has a raging storm, a dark spooky house, and creepy music. I'm having a good feeling about this movie already. Funny how even a real house in an Ed Wood movie can look fake. I don't know, maybe it is fake. It's still cool though.

2. Ok, there's two guys standing out in the freakin' storm getting absolutely soaked. Oh apparently they were hunters who got caught out in the storm. They're making their way to that creepy old house, talking about how it hasn't been lived in in thirteen years and how it's been deserted all this time. Once they get there, they realize the place ain't deserted after all so they knock on the door. And who answers the door? Why, it's none other than Bela Lugosi! Oh, I'm sorry, it's actually Dr. Eric Vornoff. Boy, he sure looks a lot like Bela Lugosi though. Anyway, he tells the hunters to go away and that they're not welcome in his house. They argue with him, and just as things look like they might get violent, who do you think comes in to save the day? Why it's none other than Tor Johnson reprising his role as Lobo, the bad turkey eatin' freak! He comes up on the hunters with his hands up in the air and that bad turkey look on his face and after they take one look at him, they head for the hills. I would too. I mean, you never know when that bad turkey is gonna come back up!

3. Hey cool! Bela's got a secret laboratory behind a sliding panel in his fireplace. Now that's original! Usually, it's a sliding bookcase or something. Either that, or the whole fireplace opens, which I always thought was kinda stupid. I mean, that much stone would have to weigh a ton.
4. For some reason, Dr. Vornoff has a huge tank in his laboratory that he's keeping an equally huge octopus in. Again...original! This movie's totally gonna get bonus points for originality. Anyway, he turns on some electronic equipment and then goes to the tank window to watch what the effect is on the octopus. He seems pleased at whatever he's seeing. Oh apparently it wasn't a big tank after all. The laboratory is down below ground and borders a lake or something. He sent the octopus out to get the hunters. The hunters are making their way along in the storm, when they come to a dam that they have to cross. The first guy makes it ok but the octopus reaches up out of the water and grabs the second guy. The first guy comes back and starts shooting the octopus and finally kills it, but then Lobo comes up behind him and nails him smack dab in the face with that bad turkey breath. Naturally, the next scene we see is that hunter laying unconscious in the lab with what looks like a metal bowl on his head with three electrode thingies attached to it. I mean seriously, no one can stand up to Lobo's bad turkey breath from hell.
5. The guy finally regains consciousness but Lobo is right there. He pulls this x-ray lookin' camera over the guy. I guess this is what Dr. Vornoff uses to do his radiation treatments. There is one of the funniest moments I've seen in a very long time right here. It stuck me funny anyway. I'm not going to go into it here. You'll read about it in the quote and you can see it in the video. Oh man that was awesome. We find out here that Lobo can hear but he can't speak because he's a mute. I've heard Tor deliver dialogue in Plan 9 From Outer Space. Believe me, a mute Tor Johnson is a good thing.
6. So Dr. Vornoff starts his experiment. The guy asks him what he's doing. Vornoff tells the guy that when he's done with him, he'll be a giant and that he'll have the strength of twenty men. Naturally the guy doesn't survive the radiation treatment. Even if he did, he'd probably get killed by Lobo's bad turkey breath at some point anyway, so either way he was done for. But on a brighter note, after the guy died on the table, Dr. Vornoff goes and looks out his water window and watches the octopus as it returns. Apparently the hunter didn't kill it after all.

7. The scene changes to the police station now. Our old friend Officer Kelton is trying to book some drunk guy with a cigarette and the guy is being less than cooperative. Still, I guess Kelton probably prefers this to chasing ghosts and alien animated bodies around all over the place. He's asking the guy what he was doing in the swamp. The guy wouldn't cooperate, so two other cops roughed him up and took him back to a cell. Kelton's acting all tough in this one and he's hassling the captain about letting him work on some big case. While he's hassling the captain, the captain has his pet parakeet swinging on the handle of his glasses. What a goof. The captain sends Kelton to get the lieutenant and send him in. After a very long wait, the lieutenant finally walks in and talks with the captain about the big case. Apparently there's been thirteen disappearances around the swamp. Well let's see here. It's a swamp. The ground is all soggy and wet. You can probably sink to your death in oh, about a million different spots. Then there's probably gators there too, and we already know about the giant killer octopus. I wonder what makes them think anything weird's going on there?

8. The lieutenant's fiance` who also happens to be a newspaper reporter and a seriously major harpy, barges her way into the captains office and starts demanding information about the case and bitching at Lt. Craig about how he hasn't returned her calls. The captain does mention to her at this juncture however that there is quicksand in the swamps, so obviously he does have some intelligence. Janet was quick to note however, "Yeah, and all twelve of them sank in the same place." I swear, this chick is the poster girl for spousal abuse. Wonk wonk wonk, she sound's like Charlie Brown's friggin' teacher. I don't think I've heard one thing come out of her mouth since she walked into this scene that wasn't a bitch about something. Lt. Craig needs to just put her over his damn knee and give her a good old fashioned butt whoopin'. That'd shut her up.
9. So she finally gives up and says that since she's hit a dead end here, that maybe she should just take a drive out to Lake Marsh and have a look around for herself. Oh man I hope she does. I just know that Lobo's got some bad turkey breath that he's been saving especially for her.
10. Janet goes to the file room and talks to this lady about the old Willow place out on Lake Marsh and about who owns it now after it was auctioned off to recover back taxes. The file lady knows right where the info is. Janet starts digging through all the old newspapers in the file cabinet. The scene fades out and then fades back in and there's newspapers strewn all over the place. Janet starts walking out and the file lady, Tilly, asks her if she found what she was looking for. She says yes, and that she's sorry for leaving such a mess. Tilly says that it's all right and that that's what she gets paid for. I personally would not let that daughter of Satan walk one step out of that office until she had cleaned up and replaced every last one of those papers. Man I hope the octopus gets her or something. I'd give this movie ten bees if only she would meet a horrible fate. It's rare to find a character that you can so utterly despise in a movie. She's definitely one of them. Her line delivery isn't the greatest either.
11. Back at the police station, The captain and the lieutenant are talking to this creepy looking guy named Professor Vladimir Strowski. He's a specialist on creatures like the Loch Ness monster. He believes that he can be of assistance in solving this case, as the reports of the monster are of a similar nature to the types of reports they received about the Loch Ness Monster. This guy doesn't really look like a professor to me though. He looks more like that guy who holds up Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog on Groundhog Day. If you don't understand that reference, don't worry about it. It wasn't that funny. If you did understand it, then you already know it wasn't that funny. Hey gimme a break, it's been a long day.
12. The cops are trying to get the professor to go out and start the investigation right away, but he wants to go back to his hotel and sleep. I don't blame him. As Lt. Craig is walking out the captain asks him if he's got a date. He says yeah, and the captain then says he doesn't and that some lady from the paper called and said that Janet asked her to call and let them know that she couldn't go out because she had a headache. Lt. Craig says, "If I find out she went out into that swamp alone, I'll put her over my knee if it's the last thing I ever do." Man, he must have been reading my mind.

13. So naturally, because they didn't want her to go out into the swamps alone, that's exactly what Janet had to do. Now this is so funny and so cliche` I almost hate to even say it. Janet is beyond a rotten driver. She's out driving in the swamps at some insane speed, and fully full on manages to run her car up an embankment and get it stuck. Now if it was me, not only would I not go out there alone, but I'd have multiple guns and lots of ammo with me and I'd sure as hell not do something completely moronic like get my car stuck on an embankment. I think if this chick was any dumber, she'd have to go to college for four years just to figure out that the right shoe goes on the right foot, and the left shoe goes on the left foot.

14. Oh good. Now she's getting rained on. So she sits down by the car and as she looks up, she spots a big python in the tree right above her. She screams, and suddenly out of nowhere, Lobo comes walking up, grabs the python out of the tree, and smacks it against the trunk. Then he carries her back to Dr. Vornoff's house. She wakes up there, but not for long. Dr. Vornoff tells her she had quite a shock but she's ok now. He then proceeds to hypnotize her and put her back to sleep. I wish someone would put her to sleep...permanently. It would save her future husband Lt. Craig a lifetime full of hell, that's for bloody sure.

15. Lt. Craig and another cop are out in the swamps now waiting for the professor to show up. They find Janet's stranded car but no Janet. They think she might have made her way back to a gas station that was ten miles back. The funny part is, as they were backing around and trying to pull out, they damn near got the car stuck. The wheels spun quite a bit before they finally managed to get going. Right after they left, the professor showed up and started wandering around on his own.
16. Back at the gas station, Lt. Craig calls the captain and tells him what's going on. Lt. Craig is standin' there talking to the other cop after he gets off the phone with the captain. The other cop hands him a cup of coffee. Just before they leave, they take another big drink of coffee. Then they set the cups down and walk away. My wife sharon just noticed that there wasn't anything in the cups they were supposedly drinking out of. Now that is low budget if they can't even afford coffee. Or maybe they had blown the scene so many times that they were buzzin' hard from all the coffee they'd been drinking and they just finally took the coffee away from them altogether. I can just see them both standing there buzzing on caffeine. One would look like Tweek from South Park and the other would look like Beavis doing his Cornholio bit from Beavis and Butthead. My name is Cornholio! You have BT (bad turkey) for my bunghole??? Come on now gimme a break. Like I said, it's been a long day.
17. Back at the lab, Janet wakes up, and Dr. Vornoff and Lobo walk in. Lobo's got a tray of food in his hands. I was just thinkin', if Lobo is radioactive, they wouldn't need a even need a microwave or anything. He could just warm her food up in his armpits or between his butt cheeks or something. Press on his nose to cook on high for three minutes, and viola! A three course meal fit for the garbage bin.
18. Lobo looks like he's got the hots for Janet. That would be a nice couple now wouldn't it. I don't think even Lobo deserves to be saddled with the likes of her. Anyway, Dr. Vornoff tells Lobo to get out. Lobo's too entranced with Janet to pay attention, so Dr. Vornoff starts beating him with a bull whip and Lobo runs out of the room screaming in pain. I was just thinkin' as I watched this... Lobo sure makes a lot of noise for a guy who's supposed to be mute.
19. Dr. Vornoff is being all cordial to her and trying to get her to eat breakfast. He starts having a nice little conversation with her and once she realizes that he already knows everything about her because he's been through her purse while she was unconscious. She goes into harpy mode after that until Dr. Vornoff gets tired of listening to her and uses his bug eyes hypnosis technique to hypnotize her again and put her to sleep. Man, if it really just was that simple to shut a nagging woman up, you could sell that technique to guys all over the world for billions of dollars.
20. The professor, while out wandering around the swamps, happens upon the house of Dr. Vornoff. He wanders on in and starts looking around. I'm not sure what he expected to find there, but what he finally did find was Lobo making the best bad turkey face I've ever seen him make. No wait, that must have been some bad editing or something, because Vornoff just walked in and the professor introduces himself. He starts telling Vornoff how their home country wants him to return to his homeland so he can continue his experiments in a fully stocked lab with all the resources of the state at his disposal. Vornoff goes into a diatribe about how he was kicked out of his country and separated from his wife and child, never to see them again, and how he was treated like a madman for wanting to use radiation to create super beings. I wouldn't want to go back to a place like that either. He tells the professor that he no longer has a home and how he's going to perfect his own race of people. A race of atomic supermen that will conquer the world. Strowski pulls a gun on him and tells him that his government ordered him to bring him back. Lobo grabs him from begin and they toss him in with the giant rubber octopus where we get to listen to him scream a whole lot before he finally dies. They did a really good job on this octopus. I don't know why the hell Ed Wood got such a bad rep. This movie is great!
21. Lt. Craig and his buddy come back to the swamps and find the professor's car. They split up and head out into the swamps to look for him. After oh, about forty feet or so, Lt. Craig manages to get himself caught in some quicksand with a gator coming after him. This guy has the worst luck I've ever seen. First he gets engaged to that harpy, then he falls in quicksand, and then he almost gets eaten by an alligator. Frankly, hanging out in the belly of an alligator would be preferable to marrying Janet.
22. Hey, that's a neat trick! Back in the Dr.'s lab, he starts up his equipment and then tells Lobo, "Now we're ready." Then he goes into this really cool vampire hypnosis looking number and somehow manages to control Janet, making her walk out of the other room and into the lab. Every woman should have a remote control like that. He commands Lobo to strap her to the table. Lobo doesn't want to, and he gets a beating with the whip again for disobeying the Dr. Finally, he straps her down to the table like the Dr. wanted and then goes off to get the equipment ready. While this is going on, Lt. Craig somehow made it to the house and after finding a folder with photos of Dr. Vornoff in it, he sets the folder on the fireplace and just happens to open the secret panel. He comes in just in time to see Vornoff by the table talking to Janet. He pulls a gun on Vornoff, but just as he always does, Lobo manages to sneak up behind him and crack him on the head. Now please tell me how a four hundred pound guy can sneak up on anyone?
23. All the cops converge on the swamp now, and even Kelton is there. As the police approach the house, we go back to the lab where Vornoff is just about to turn on the experiment. Lobo finally goes nuts and turns on the Dr. in an attempt to save Janet. The Dr. shoots him six times but the bullets have no effect. Lobo pummels the Dr. and then after he releases Janet from the table, he drags the Dr. over to the table and straps him down. Dick and Janet just stand by and watch as Lobo turns on the equipment. Finally Dick runs over and tries to stop Lobo from turning on the experiment. He shoots Lobo in the head and the bullet just bounces off. Then they get into it and Lobo just beats the ever livin' snot out of him. Serves him right for being so stupid. Finally, Lobo turns on the equipment and radiates the doctor. I can just tell by watching him act that Bela Lugosi had to be a really great guy off camera. He's really got a knack for adding character to the character if you know what I mean.
24. Vornoff survived the experiment, and now that he's a big superman, way bigger than Lobo, he proceeds to beat the crap out of Lobo which ends up having the end result of setting the lab on fire. Finally Dick wakes up just in time to see Vornoff carrying Janet out of the lab. They're outside now, and the house just got blown up by lightning which was kinda cool. Vornoff sets Janet down and keeps on running, but the cops finally catch up with him. They shoot him at least fifteen or twenty times, but he keeps on ticking like a Timex watch. What follows is one of the stupidest things I've ever seen. There's a huge Boulder on the hill. Vornoff comes at Lt. Craig and he pushes the boulder down the hill. It rolls over Vornoff and knocks him down the hill, right into the water and the waiting arms of the octopus. First of all, there's no way in hell he could have even budged a rock that size even the tiniest fraction of an inch. Secondly, where the hell did the octopus come from all of a sudden?
25. So Vornoff's dead, Janet's alive, and Lt. Dick Craig has condemned himself to a life of misery by saving that worthless harpy of a woman. Good going Dick. What are you gonna do for an encore now? Stick your head in a tank full of piranhas? I guess even that would be preferable to having to listen to her talk for even one more second. Anyway, that's the end of the movie...

 


 


Best Quote
"Lobo! You were too rough with my patient! *SLAP!*"

- Dr. Vornoff admonishing Lobo for being too rough with the first hunter guy they captured. - (Reviewer's Note: Ok, first of all, this guy don't look roughed up at all, and secondly, this was one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. Lugosi bitch-slapped Tor Johnson a good one right upside the ol' head, and Tor just had this totally surprised look on his face. There was a hilarious sound effect that went along with it too. Oh my god that was funny!)



 

Video Clip
When prompted, enter bmovie for the username and central for the password.

Bride of the Monster
Yes kiddies, this is the famous scene I was talking about in #5 above, and in the quote as well. I don't know why, but this scene just struck me so funny.



The Conclusion

This is yet another one of Ed Wood's brilliant classics. While none of his movies that I have so far reviewed met up to the brilliant standard that he set in Night Of The Ghouls, this movie ranks really high up there as one of his best.

Bela Lugosi was brilliant as the semi-insane Dr. Vornoff. Everything from his voice, to his mannerisms, and especially the buggy eyed hypnosis scenes just make you realize what a truly great actor he really was. Tor Johnson on the other hand, only ever really plays one character. Anything he does outside of that is usually pretty bad and not very effective, as even when you're watching him play a normal role, all you can think of is the Lobo character that he so deftly immortalized.

The acting in this movie overall was quite good except for Janet's character which was played by Loretta King. I had the feeling at various times that she was having trouble remembering her lines, because every so often she would stutter over the words.

Ed Wood's movies have, in a way, become my respite from the drudgery of doing reviews. My review for The Angry Red Planet took me five days to do simply because I couldn't get into the movie enough at any one time to finish the review. It's not because the movie was overly bad. It's just because I wasn't in the mood for it at the time. And yet, I find that no matter what mood I'm in, I can always pop in an Ed Wood movie and have a really good time, whether I'm watching it to review, or just watching it for pleasure.

I have like four Ed Wood movies that I haven't reviewed yet. I've been trying to do one every second or third review just to avoid the inevitable burnout I would have if I just reviewed a bunch of crappy or boring movies all in a row.

What I'm saying is, Ed Wood, despite having been called the worst director of all time, was in fact an absolute genius, and a brilliant film maker. Every so often he'll drop the ball a bit, but that's the exception rather than the rule. This movie, like almost all of his other films, would be a welcome addition to any B-Movie party. All that said, I'm very happy to award this movie...

B-Movie Central's Rating: 5 Bees!

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