The Scoop: 1956 NR, Directed by Ed Wood and starring Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, Tony McCoy and Loretta King
Tagline: “It’ll make your skin crawl!”
Summary Capsule: Nuclear energy’s PR agent continues using film to paint it as the creator of lame sci-fi monsters instead of a way to murder other nationalities.
Heather’s Rating: “Time for go to Happy Hour!”
Heather’s Review: I admit I have a soft spot for these goofy B monster flicks. Even the best of those movies can entertain me in some way, many times by making me laugh at the fashions of the era. Today’s films just don’t offer up women who look like they’re smuggling all of NASA’S secrets under their sweater, nor feature men with chins so big they make Bruce Campbell want to go buy a Ferrari.
Bride of the Monster gives us all this and more. It was the most financially successful of Mr. Wood’s films upon release, though that does not make it good by any stretch of the imagination. It’s still lugging around the same crap movie baggage that his other films were burdened with: Bad editing, comically out of place stock footage, and floppy set pieces.
Unlike his most infamous work, Plan 9 From Outer Space, this movie suffers more from the slap-dash attempt to mesh stock footage with the movie rather than terrible dialogue and wooden acting. I found myself actually getting into the movie, only to feel violently yanked into a Disney True-Life Adventure featuring crocodiles and octopi.
And yet Ed halfway managed to pull off a decent film. The actors didn’t do a terrible job and, in the case of Mr. Lugosi, pulled off an impressive scene or two. In the police station scene at the beginning of the film the audience gets a clear, well-shot image that makes us forget for a moment that we’re watching an Ed Wood creation. Sadly there aren’t enough of these kinds of scenes to keep the movie from diving head first into laughable territory.
The plot is standard B-Movie fare: A mad scientist (Lugosi) is using nuclear energy to create abominations to allow him to take over the world. I could explain the plot in more detail, but trying to explain an Ed Wood film to a sane person is like trying to show a monkey why it’s wrong to throw poo: In the end it’s useless and will only make both parties want to take a shower.
As much as I give Mr. Wood a hard time on this site I have to thank him for providing me with such entertainment. My life would be a little less vibrant without the slack-jawed Tor Johnson, or a look at Mr. Lugosi’s last real moments as an actor. A Lugosi fan from childhood , I’m empathetic to and impressed by Ed’s desire to give the aging star the recognition and appreciation that Hollywood would no longer provide. He was a great actor, but overshadowed by his perfection of the role of Dracula (a role that defined how vampires were portrayed for decades).
Ed Wood made terrible films, but they had love. He tried, but at the same time he just didn’t care. Still I respect him more than the makers of Epic Movie and all these other mainstream crap fests that are pumped out to make a buck. Those movies will fade out of existence. Ed Wood’s movies have lasted 6 decades and look to be remembered for far longer than that.
- Capt. Tom Robbins is played by Harvey B. Dunn, who also played Grandpa from Teenagers from Outer Space. That film and Bride Of The Monster were both lampooned on the cult TV classic MST3K
- Is it just me, or does Bela look as if he had absolutely no teeth?
- When Vornoff has Janet Lawton strapped to the table, he tells her she is about to become “The Bride of the Atom”. “The Bride of the Atom” was this film’s working title.
- According to Paul Marco, Edward D. Wood Jr. thought that Bela Lugosi’s memory might not be very good so for Lugosi’s huge speech in Bride of the Monster, Wood had the prop man make cue cards. Lugosi, upset, insisted he didn’t need cue cards and he would “memorize it.” Wood still insisted on the cue cards telling Lugosi, “We have to be safe.” Bela Lugosi went to Paul Marco for help. He had Marco promise not to show him the cue cards during the scene. Paul Marco held the cards at his side the whole time and Lugosi never looked over once. Bela Lugosi gave a sensational performance and the whole crew got up and applauded.
- You can watch an atomic blast from 9 feet away and suffer no consequences.
Captain Tom Robbins: He tampered in God’s domain!
Janet Lawton: When did I tell you my name?
Dr. Eric Vornoff: You didn’t. But since you were unconscious, I took the liberty of looking into your purse.
Lt. Dick Craig: This swamp is a monument to death. Snakes, alligators, quicksand… all bent on one thing: destruction.
Prof. Strowski: Now I am here, sent to bring you home.
Dr. Eric Vornoff: Home? I have no home. Hunted, despised, Living like an animal! The jungle is my home. But I will show the world that I can be its master! I will perfect my own race of people. A race of atomic supermen which will conquer the world! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
If You Liked This Movie, Try These:
- Plan 9 From Outer Space
- Ed Wood
- MST3K: The Movie