Bride of the Monster (1956), dir. Ed Wood, Rolling M Productions
And now friends we come to the end of the horror movie countdown; what began with the silent era and moved into the sleazy grindhouse has now drawn its last bow. As we moved into directors we started with the masters of the genre, we now end with arguably the worst. Ed Wood was never in anyone’s top ten lists, but the man had determination. Nothing else, mind you, but he could at least be counted to show up on time and wear nice pants.
Mac (Bud Osborne) and Jake (John Warren) are out hunting when they get caught in a terrible use of stock footage. Seeking shelter at the old Willow place, they are surprised to learn the place isn’t as abandoned as they thought. Dr. Eric Vornoff (Bela Lugosi) orders the men away, but when they demand to be let in, Lobo (Tor Johnson) is summoned. Fleeing into the stormy night, Mac is promptly set upon by a mutant octopus and devoured. John is beaten up by Lobo and taken back to the house.
Once there, Dr. Vornoff straps John to a machine and informs him that he is about to take part in a great experiment…or else he’ll end up dead. Once John is pumped full of radiation, Lobo drags him back to the octopus for disposal.
The recent deaths have managed to motivate the local news, as reporter Janet Lawton (Loretta King) has it out with police captain Tom Robbins (Harvey B. Dunn), who orders her to stay out of police business. Janet’s boyfriend, Lt. Dick Craig (Tony McCoy) is put in a rough spot.
Enter Dr. Vladimir Strowsky (George Becwar), noted monster hunter, who claims that there might actually be a monster responsible for all the deaths. That’s enough for Janet, who drives out there and promptly wrecks her car. She is also dragged to Dr. Vornoff by Lobo. It seems Dr. Strowsky has a sinister motive too, as he is actually there to woo Dr. Vornoff to come work for their homeland. Dr. Vornoff is less than nostalgic and murders his former coworker. From there he hypnotizes Janet and plans to once again try with the radiation. The police, meanwhile, have figured out where Janet is and rush to her rescue. Will they make it in time?
Ed Wood does get a bad rap from the going public, but honestly? I would take this over Fart: The Movie any day, or anything by Michael Bay. The performances are less then stellar, and the octopus prop is noticeably that, but seeing actors pretending to fight with limp rubber limbs just makes my heart glad in ways bouncing CGI robot testicles don’t.