Sunday, October 20, 2013

Halloween Hootenanny: Bride of the Monster (Edward D. Wood Jr, 1955)

After seeing Frankenweenie yesterday, which features the vocal stylings of Martin Landau, I was quite tempted to re-watch Burton's biopic Ed Wood this evening, and mainly due to Landau's performance as Bela Lugosi, for which he deservedly won an Oscar. But in the end I didn't quite fancy it, instead opting for this delightfully creaky movie, which is itself part recreated in Burton's film. 

As with yesterdays movie, Bride of the Monster is overflowing with mad science shenanigans, and features Lugosi as Dr. Eric Vornoff, a man on a mission to create a race of atomic supermen so he can conquer da vorld (mwa hah hah!). He's aided in his quest by his somewhat reluctant assistant Lobo (Tor Johnson), whose main job seems to be (as is usually the case with these things) picking up human test subjects for the doctor to experiment on.

Despite Ed Wood's notorious reputation, this is a fairly serviceable B movie, even if many of the events that transpire within it are pretty forgettable. The film is mainly of note as it contains Lugosi's last speaking role, and the actor grabs hold of the part like he always he does... that is, like it really is his last performance. This is the thing I really love about watching the guy... even when given the task of playing an ostensibly generic role in a B sci-fi horror movie, he still approaches the character as if he were playing Hamlet or King Lear. To say that his performance makes the movie is something of an understatement, to say the least. And the ending for this one really has to be seen to be believed....

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