Monster of the Day #99

The supposed Frankenstein Monster of this film I actually find less interesting than his enemies. On the other hand, I have a well know bias towards giant octopi, so no real surprise there. And given the competition, this is actually one of the better ones. The astounding thing is that the American distributors cut this scene out. Surely one of the more appalling hatchet jobs done on an Americanized Toho film.

Since I’m down in Kentucky next week, I’ll pause the MotD after tomorrow until my return. That will also give me time to finally make a list of everything covered so far.

  • The real shame is that this is such a better specimen than the one in King Kong Vs. Godzilla. And the one in KKvG was real for most of the time…

  • BeckoningChasm

    Hey, it’s Bela Lugosi in “Bride of the Monster” when they did that re-enactment on the old live-action Flinstones show. At last an MOTD I recognize!

  • Ericb

    Well, a real octopus needs to be in water to look threatening. Out of water it’s all dead weight and can’t do anything other than slurp around. So when you want a land octopus fake is the way to go.

  • Not-So-Great Cthulhu

    I watched this on DVD a few months ago and it was the first time that I’d seen the ending with the octopus. While the octopus looked quite cool, seeing it saunter along, on land, into the movie for the first time (and after what seemed to be the climactic battle) was one of the biggest wtf moments in a kaiju movie. It was almost as if they weren’t sure how to end the movie and someone said “Well, we have this great octopus prop we’ve been working on…”

  • Rock Baker

    I guess it survived Frankenstein’s beating without major harm, since they brought it back for the opening of War of the Gargantuas (although it looks much older there than the single year of aging one would expect).

    Actually, it was Toho who cut the scene, not AIP. The sequence didn’t appear in any version until it was restored for the Japanese laserdisc release back in the (late?) 80s. The recent DVD issue is taken from the laserdisc release. It could be that Toho decided to add the octopus to War of the Gargantuas because they’d payed to build the thing and didn’t get a chance to show it off. And I believe the scene was cut for two reasons. 1) it completely screwed up the flow of the film, following the climax of the epic battle with Baragon. 2) as Not-So-Great Cthulhu points out, it made not one lick of sense! It’s almost like you’re watching one movie and the final reel switches to a whole other movie.

    Those publicity photos made the rounds on both sides of the Pacific, however, firing a lot of imaginations.

  • fish eye no miko

    BeckoningChasm said: “Hey, it’s Bela Lugosi in ‘Bride of the Monster’.”

    No, sorry. I’m not sure what it is, but the scene you’re thinking of is very different than this. The octopus doesn’t look nearly as good in BotM, for example.

  • zombiewhacker

    Actually, wasn’t it stunt man Eddie Parker (subbing for Bela) in BOTM?

  • BeckoningChasm

    I wonder if BOTM will ever be MOTD.

  • Not-So-Great Cthulhu

    Would that make it Bride of the Monster of the Day?

  • Yeah that’s what the audience wanted in a movie about a giant Frankenstein monster – A PLOT THAT MAkES SENSE. Good thing they cut the giant octopus, or our suspension of disbelief might have shattered.

  • Rock Baker

    Even in a Japanese monster movie, flow is important. The giant octopus just showing up like it did warped the momentum. As a perfect analogy, think of that episode of I Love Lucy where Ricky was trying to teach the women how to play 12th Street Rag, and he was snapping his fingers to give them the tempo. “One, two..” The girls didn’t know that was their cue to start, but Ricky, being in the business, was working on a different wavelenth. Upon hearing silence, he physically lost his balance and nearly fell to the floor. Seeing the unreleased cut of Frankenstein Conquers The World is a lot like that for the viewer’s mind.

    Its been a while since I’ve seen it, but I think there are some shots in Bride of the Monster where Bela is the one tussling with the octopus. But it may’ve been Parker, I really need to watch it again.

  • John Campbell

    Ken in kentucky?

    Stop by if you’re in Lexington!

    What? Who wouldn’t want a meet and greet with the Elder God of bad cinema!

  • dconner

    The Japan Mountain Lake Octopus from this movie has always fascinated me.

    As best I can tell, the octopus scene was filmed by Toho at the REQUEST of the American distributor (on the basic and sound theory that American audiences like action and aren’t patient with the “talking heads” stuff in this sort of picture.) So it’s unsurprising that Toho didn’t include it in the Japanese release of the movie.

    But for reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me, the American distributor didn’t want it in the final cut of the movie either. Lots of POSSIBLE reasons (monster looked too silly, the aforementioned awful pacing and placement of the scene, the absurdity of a giant octopus showing up all of a sudden in the middle of the Japanese ALPS?) But I’ve never seen an explanation.

    Nor have I seen any explanation for exactly why it was INCLUDED in the “International” edition of the movie.