FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE SPACE MONSTER, 1965
Cast: Marilyn Hanold, James Karen, Lou Cutell, Nancy Marshall, David Kerman, Robert Reilly
In an attempt to repopulate their species and keep off the extinction chart, aliens Dr. Nadir (Lou Cutell) and the Princess Marcuzan (Marilyn Hanold) lead the last of their kind to Earth. Their mission: to collect smokin’ hot girls in 1960’s bikinis and get their freak on. The only problem for the aliens is Frankenstein… well, sort of. The government’s space program has spliced a man with machine. Frank, as he is so cleverly titled, is on a mission to Mars, but the intruding aliens blow up his ship. Malfunctioning after the ship crashes in Puerto Rico, Frank becomes a modern day (1960’s that is) Frankenstein and he’s got no problem sticking a local farmer’s machete right into their forehead. Frank’s creators, scientists Dr. Adam Steele (Jim Karen) and Karen Grant (Nancy Marshall) find the murdering hybrid and re-tame him; but Frank goes all out in a climatic ending when he meets the Space Monster.
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This film would be a work of pure genius if it was made by children, but it was not made by children, it was made by grown men… some of them probably had beards. But behind this terrible—just absolutely terrible film, is something quite amazing: Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster is comedy gold. You don’t have to know anything about filmmaking to notice shots out of focus and poor editing, but you have to have absolutely no sense of humor to not laugh the art production, formatting, pacing, soundtrack, and acting from this 1965 piece of cinema.
Dr. Adam Steele and Karen Grant’s relationship unintentionally delivers comedy that makes Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker seem as funny as Bonnie and Clyde. The sexist undertone, awkward dialogue, and poor acting between the two brings a smile to your face every time they come on screen, but they aren’t the only hilarious duo in the film. Dr. Nadir and Princess Marcuzan keep the laughs coming with great reaction shots and lackluster acting, and on top of all this is the art department’s low budget. And the soundtrack—oh god is the soundtrack amusing! Not only does the music from the Scottish pop group The Poets entirely stop the advancement of the story, but it also changes the entire feel of the film. One second you’re watching a sci-fi, the next you’re watching a romantic film from overseas.
What I did take out of this movie that did inspire me was its creativity in moments. Using a fish eye lens, one of the widest-angle lens’, the crew created a view from the spaceship as it passed circular planets. Long before the use of CGI, you have to hand it to these filmmakers for the time and dedication they put into making the far and impossible reachable. Unfortunately, most of this creativity is drowned out by the large and unavoidable mess that is the rest of the film.
It may seem like I’m really knocking this poor film, but on the contrary, I love this film. I believe this whole movie was one big happy accident and it won’t be long before the word is out. Now, I’ve seen Ed Wood’s cult classic Plan 9 From Outer Space; and yes, it is funny in parts, but Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster succeeds and surpasses it in more ways than one. Plan 9 can keep the title of “Worst Film Ever Made,” but the cult status should be shifted to this less known gem with much greater laughs.