Tuesday, October 14, 2008

31 Days of Halloween - Day 14 Movie 2

"Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster" (1965) is a curious movie. It's terrible in a "Plan 9 From Outer Space" way, but without as much unintentional humor. The script, written by otherwise capable writers, is poorly paced and structured. The cast, which includes a number of actors who have proved their abilities elsewhere, are uniformly dreadful, even James Karen who stumbles over his lines. The make-up effects in this are also sub-par, even for a cheapie movie like this one. The alien spacecraft interiors are clearly plywood constructions with no effort having been made to hide the nature of the materials.

Having said all that, I found the movie somehow compelling. Some skill was utilised to make this movie seem much bigger than its budget allowed for it to be. There is a ton of stock footage in this movie of NASA rocket launches and military maneuvers, but they are well incorporated and benefit the movie. There is also some well utilised location footage in Puerto Rico and Cape Canaveral, which also seems to expand the scope of the film's limited locations. I think this may also be the first movie I'm aware of that used pop songs over action sequences, such as the space launch and aliens closing in on a pool party (which oddly switches to suspense music once we reach the pool party).

The story concerns a space launch of an android astronaut named Frank towards Mars. His trip is barely underway before he is shot down by an alien spacecraft, mistaking his rocket as a missile launched against them. They then set after his space capsule in order to kill him. Frank has crash landed in Puerto Rico and is blasted by one of the aliens, charring one side of his body and damaging him so he becomes a killer Frankenstein Monster.

The aliens move onto plan b which is to abduct earth women to help them repopulate their atomic war ravaged world. This they go about in the least efficient manner possible. Meanwhile, Frank's creator repairs his brain damage, and the military attacks the alien ship. The women are rescued and Frank fights the aliens pet monster, Mull, in what has to be the briefest monster vs monster battle since "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman" which is also filmed with a lot of smoke present so that the fight is practically invisible. The aliens are destroyed. The end.

I can in no way recommend this movie to anyone.

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