Monster of the Day #92

Of all the mad scientist plans I’ve ever seen, putting the brain of the sadistic mistress you betrayed and murdered into the head of a lion, embiggening it, and then stitching on condor wings so it could fly, operating under the natural assumption that it would then just do as you commanded, seemed the least likely scheme ever to come back and bite you in the ass.

Those guys just can’t catch a break.

  • Ericb

    It would have been easier to have stiched wings on and embiggened a rottweiler. How does one train a betrayed and sadistic mistress?

  • John Campbell

    What movie is this?

    Ericb: if she’s sadistic, it sounds like she’s the one doing the training!

  • Eric — The central Mad Scientist Fallacy. I’ve always summed it up this way: “Why do mad scientists always think they can control their monsters by telling them ‘You must obey me, I created you!’ That doesn’t even work with children.”

  • sandra

    What’s the name of the movie ?

  • Gamera

    Oh, yes I know this one! It’s ‘Latitude Zero’ – Andrew Borntreger has a great short review of it:

    Until I watched it I had no idea that a chimera consists of the body of a lion, the wings of a California condor, and the brain of an angry Asian woman.

    I’ve heard some people knock it but hey it’s got Joseph Cotten dressed in several costumes I can only describe as ‘gay pirate’ and Cesar Romero chewing every bit of scenery in sight. I can’t help but love every insane demented minute of it.

  • Ericb

    OT: Joseph Cotton’s movie apperance quality arc is pretty extreme. Other than perhaps Michael Caine does any other actor’s compare?

  • BeckoningChasm

    This looks like something from Gerry Anderson.

  • Eric: Richard Burton, of course. Cotton gets an edge, though, for appearing in Citizen Kane, Magnificent Ambersons, The Third Man and Shadow of a Doubt (a contender for Hitchcock’s best movie), and then ending up in stuff like Latitude Zero and Lady Frankenstein.

  • Calypso

    Here, kitty, kitty.

  • Rock Baker

    Latitude Zero is pretty much the perfect turn-your-brain-off-and-once-again-embrace-your-childhood-love-of-the-fantastic type of movie. Sort of like watching Stingray or any Italian space opera. And wow, what a great cast they pulled together!

    From what I read in a Patricia Medina interview, Cotten was very ill during the making of Latitude Zero and almost walked off half way through filming. Medina (Mrs. Cotten) and Romero (a close friend to the Cottens) did everything they could to lift his spirits and help him complete the picture, which they did and -if I remember the story correctly- he thanked them both greatly when production had wrapped. Watching the film, Cotten does seem a little sickly-looking (more so than usual, anyway). Pro that he was, though, his performance doesn’t seem to suffer in the least.

    Only thing that could’ve made Latitude Zero any better is if they’d been able to work Vincent Price in there somewhere.

    Oh, and did you know that Latitude Zero was based on a 1940s American radio program? Reportedly, the film remains amazingly faithful to the source!

  • zombiewhacker


    How about Takashi Shimura for that movie career arc thing? One minute he’s appearing in Kurosawa films and the next minute he’s doing Godzilla movies.

  • ZW — Well, even the worst Godzilla movie (and Shimura never got close to one of those) was better than the kind of complete garbage was appearing in late in his career. So I can’t really put him in the contender class.

  • The Rev.

    zombiewhacer: Ooooooh, them’s fightin’ words…

    I’ll not rant, though. I’ll point out he was in the original Godzilla which is a bona fide classic, as well as Godzilla Raids Again, Mothra, and Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, all of which are good.

    I will, however, concede Frankenstein Conquers the World.

    Still, that’s nowhere NEAR the other three mentioned in terms of up-and-down quality over the course of a career.

  • Rock Baker

    Japanese genre films aren’t held in the same class as American genre films. The Godzilla movies were high profile productions, featuring top talent. Akira Takarada was Japan’s Cary Grant, and he was making monster movies. It isn’t quite the same as Tom Conway or Kent Taylor ending up in fun-but-junky drive-in movies.