Monster of the Day #69

This was on TCM this morning, so it seems a good time for this guy to make an appearance.  I woke up in time to catch like the last ten minutes of the Japanese / American co-production, and I don’t really recall the pace of the rest of the film, but those ten minutes are just nuts.  At one point the mad scientist says, “I don’t know, maybe I offended the gods” and we immediately cut outside to see the volcano right near the lab erupt.

This is the good cheese right there, and certainly better than the repugnant Incredible Two-Headed Transplant, although arguably less entertaining than the hilariously awful The Thing with Two Heads.

  • Ericb

    I love the eyeball-on-the-shoulder scene.

  • Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s the bit everyone remembers from the film. It was a Cronenberg moment before there was a Cronenberg.

  • I watched this movie a couple of months back. It was quite good for what it is, and it seemed to get away with a bit more (or at least imply a lot) for a late 1950s film.

  • I think movies like this that played drive-ins and grindhouses got away with more because they flew under the radar. Monster of Piedras Blancas features the monster carrying around decapitated heads; Atomic Submarine features a guy getting his face melted off; etc. Even the studio flick Monster on the Campus featured a guy getting a hatchet planted in his kisser.

    The fact Manster was foreign may have pushed the envelope further. The Brit X the Unknown from 1956 has a pretty grizzly death by radiation scene.

    And not too many years later the gloves came off entirely. Brain that Wouldn’t Die came out in 1962 and is about as sleazy a film as you’re likely to see.

  • The Rev. D.D.

    I’ve never seen it in its entirety (hell, I’ve only seen little bits, really), but I look forward to finally doing so thanks to TCM.

  • I saw this for the first time when I was 11 years old and it blew me away.

    The only “slow” part is when the guy, newly infected with monster-ness, goes through Japanese dives aned participates in debauchery. But, hey … debauchery!

  • Rock Baker

    Always loved this one! The super-dark photography and mostly night-time setting make this one perfect late-night goods. I’m also fond of Jerry Ito’s part here as a cop, nice to see him cast as a good guy! I always thought Peter Dyneley did a great job here.

    I felt The Thing with Two Heads worked best in those few moments where it was being played straight. I liked the concept they introduced, but felt they didn’t really follow through with it. The transplant scene was good (the fake heads are fantastic) and the bit with Milland’s head hooked up to the machine demanding a new body was a good horror moment. Who did Milland tick off that forced him into this kind of trash? At least we have X and Panic in Year Zero.

    The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant was one of those 70s drive-in movies with a workable concept crippled by an epicly lifeless execution, in spite of a perfect cast for such a thing. I’ll never understand why a movie with such promise (by drive-in standards anyway) was so astoundingly boring! Bruce Dern’s scientist seems perpetually on the verge of nodding off. What gives?

    The Manster is cream of the crop, no contest. What confuses me is that there weren’t more two-headed monster movies. With a subject like head-transplants/sprouting-an-extra being such a cheesily good sci-fi concept, why only three films about it (2/3 coming from AIP)?

  • Rock Baker

    And did TCM air The Green Slime in a scope format?

  • BeckoningChasm

    I enjoyed the hommage in Army of Darkness, too. What’s amazing is that the most famous line from the sequence was NOT in the director’s cut.

  • there is a terrible dtv movie called shrieker which features a two-headed demon. The extra head doesn’t play into the plot in any way though,

  • The Rev. D.D.

    Shrieker’s second head didn’t factor into anything because it was barely a head. Did it even move?

    I was faintly amused, but mostly bored, by Shrieker at first. Then I realized it was ripping off Curse of the Demon and became actively angry at it.

  • D

    Ken, heads are severed, bodies are decapitated. Limbs are severed, bodies are dismembered.