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  • AS others have commented on, BOTM is indeed a competent B-movie. After

    seeing it on public domain video I was glad to buy the Image DVD which has

    very good image quality. You can see the movie the way Ed Wood intended it.

    The lighting is competent; the camera work is competent.

    But what elevates BOTM to film nirvana is Bela Lugosi's performance as Dr. Eric Vornoff (sp?). To those who say that Ed Wood exploited Bela (including Bela Jr), I say, at least he didn't put Bela in white plastic go-go boots and give him no dialogue, like the director of The Black Sleep did.

    Without exception Bela's performances are hypnotic. His strange intonation, his deliberate facial gesture, his gravitas -- he is always the magnetic center of his films. And BOTM gives a summary of his career -- the Dracula hands, the White Zombie hands -- and the pathos of his "I have no home" speech -- give his

    performance a dimension most of his roles (though check out "Invisible Ghost" for another excellent role) lacked.

    "Nuff said. I enjoy the delirium of Glen or Glenda? and Plan 9, but Bride of the Monster is Bela's show ALL THE WAY.
  • mmcclelland3 November 2000
    Bride of the Monster is the best of Ed Wood's films. Frankly compared with Scared to Death and the Devil Bat-- the film truly looks like a masterpiece -- and truth be told it isn't that bad. In fact, it is rather enjoyable. Okay, I am gonna admit it -- I like it! If you look past the cheesy octopus (no worse than the hysterical devil bat), the cheap sets and the lame acting (better than Scared to Death!), if you suspend a little disbelief and realize this movie was made for a song -- then actually it is pretty darned good. One reason for this is that Bela Lugosi gets ample screen time. If Ed Wood was a bit unimaginative, he at least knew what it was that made Lugosi a legend and reprises little details, from the mad scientific leering of the Devil Bat to the idiosyncratic hand gestures of White Zombie. Bela is given a chance to shine in his final starring performance and shine he does. The movie has its flaws, but Bela is not one of them. He is old and looks weak, but he carries the movie like a true champion. He makes empty dialog sound meaningful and implausible scenarios seem poignant (well almost poignant).

    Lugosi's "I have no home" monolog is beautiful. He could make dialog such as "I have proven that I am alright!" sound good. Lugosi gives his all in his last performance, and it is a great performance, even if he does have to wrestle with a fake octopus.
  • Ever since The Golden Turkey Awards chose Ed Wood as the world's worst director back in the 80s there have been a lot of people who automatically dismiss all Ed Wood movies as garbage. Even Tim Burton's terrific 'Ed Wood' has encouraged this. My opinion is that there are many, many worse directors out there, because at least Wood's movies were fun and entertaining, unlike many of those made by the likes of Roland Emmerich or Michael Bay, directors who are able to work with budgets a 1000 times bigger than Wood I might add! 'Bride Of The Monster' is one of Wood's most underrated movies. It was his second movie to star horror legend Bela Lugosi, but unlike the first, the truly mind blowing 'Glen Or Glenda', it isn't completely inept. True, some of the acting is terrible, especially the talentless leading lady Loretta King who is (I admit it) lousy, and Wood regular Paul Marco, who has a small supporting role as a cop. But, and this is a BIG but, Lugosi is terrific. Many fans regard this as his best performance. I wouldn't go that far but it's hard not to get choked up at Lugosi's immortal "I have no home" speech. 'Bride Of The Monster' is the first Wood film to feature the amazing Tor Johnson. He plays Lugosi's Tibetan servant/slave Lobo. All the scenes with Lobo are great fun to watch, especially when Lugosi whips him. Apart from Lugosi and Tor this movie is best remembered for the rubber octopus monster. Of course it's a hoot, but the rest of the picture isn't anywhere near as bad as many claim and is comparable to say 'The Devil Bat', which Lugosi starred in back in the 1940s. Both movies suffer from their minuscule budgets, but both are still worth watching to see Lugosi struggle for greatness. I recommend 'Bride Of The Monster' to all horror fans, especially those of Bela Lugosi.
  • Okay...lets be honest. This film was just what is was expected to be: a poorly made film with little to no budget, terrible acting overall, a script that borders on insanity, and special effects that children in a school play could be proud of. Yet, the film has a certain charm to it and is a vehicle in which to see both Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson madly overact and interact. Bela whipping Johnson and then getting into a wrestling match is definitely a high point. The rest of the cast strive to be mediocre...and fail...with the exception of character actor Harvey Dunn. Dunn plays the police chief and is humorous both intentionally and unintentionally. Watch his scenes and see him play with his parakeet in his office. It defies logic, time, and space...and is funny. Not Ed Woods best or worse...and a film that really has been given a boost by Tim Burton's Ed Wood. A fun picture to sit through with a group.
  • If you do not know Ed Wood then this movie will have little meaning to you. So the first thing you have to do is learn about the life of Ed Wood. He is one of the worst directors of all time, but also one of the most colorful. Bride of the monster is a good example of his ability to make the most out of his scarce resources. You'll love it or you'll hate it. Have fun!
  • Many person are vanishing in the Lake Marsh, nearby an old mansion recently bought by Dr. Eric Vornoff (Bela Lugosi). He lives with Lobo (Tor Johnson) and has an octopus in the lake, product of his experiment in developing somehow atomic energy. Janet Lawton (Loretta King), a reporter of a tabloid, decides to investigate further the disappearance of locals and is abducted by Dr. Vornoff. Her fiancée, Lt. Dick Craig (Tony McCoy), together with the police force, goes to the old house looking for Janet. This story, expected to be a horror movie, is indeed a funny entertainment due to the lack of talent of Ed Wood. When I bought this rare VHS a couple of days ago, some friends of mine, also lovers of cinema, were a little jealous. - Where did you find this film? was the common question. When we watch an Ed Wood's film, we know that it will be a movie full of flaws. But why do we like him so much? Because since Tim Burton promoted this director, he became a cult personality. Therefore, it is very unfair and almost unacceptable the IMDB User Rating of 2.8 for this movie. There are unbelievable mistakes in framing and edition, such as, for example, about 36 minutes running time, we can see the microphone over the heads of Janet and Dr. Vornoff. The performance of the cast is so ridiculous that becomes really funny. The motionless octopus in the `lake' is also funny. And what about the screenplay, a kind of Frankenstein meeting the Loch Ness monster, with hilarious dialogs? This movie is a great entertainment, to see the courage of a brave director lover of cinema but without any skill. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): `A Noiva do Monstro' (`The Bride of the Monster')
  • This really isn't such a terrible little movie. Sure, it's cheap, the acting is horrible, the sets wobble if sneezed upon and the special effects consist of stock footage and a rubber octopus, but "Bride of the Monster" is much, MUCH better than "Plan 9 From Outer Space."

    Mad scientist Vornoff (a sickly Bela Lugosi) has apparently set up shop in the Florida Everglades, kidnapping anyone unwise enough to wander too close to his house (and his pet octopus) and conducting sinister experiments upon them. Vornoff, for some odd reason, is determined to create a race of super giants with incredible strength. We're never really sure exactly WHY he wants to do this, but one can only assume that, if one possesses an army of super strong giants, one could take over the world and rule it and stuff. That seems to be the goal of every other mad scientist in the unruled world, anyway. Into this diabolical plan stumbles loudmouthed newsgirl Loretta King, who is determined to get the story on the Lake Marsh Monster. Whether the title of "Lake Marsh Monster" refers to the octopus, Tor Johnson as the fumbling Lobo or Bela's drug problem, we're never sure. Take your pick. Anyway, Loretta is kept under constant hypnosis by Bela's eyebags and is slated to become The Bride of the Monster! By this point, we're all quite ready to see the annoying Loretta fried to a crisp, but unfortunately, her wimpy boyfriend shows up to save her. The stunning climax is packed full of raging Lobo's, rolling boulders, lightening bolts, gunfire and death by octopus!

    The story doesn't make much sense, but were you really expecting it to when you saw Ed Wood's name listed under the title of director? Still and all, it's certainly Wood's most coherent effort and can be entertaining for those of us who stop to look at road accidents.
  • This movie is easily Wood's best! Of all the movies Ed Wood has written this one makes 'the most sense', even though the story and concept are still ridiculous of course. Yet the movie works as an horror movie, or like Ed wood would call it; 'a supernatural thriller'.

    The acting probably is the only thing that is truly bad about this movie. Lot's of people praise Bela Lugosi for his role in this but I think that's truly offensive to a great actor like him. Lugosi was hundred times better in movies like "Dracula" and "The Black Cat". Bela Lugosi and Tor Johnson are terribly overacting in this!

    Also it's too bad about the octopus scene's. It all was terrible fake and the use of archive footage was done horribly.

    The dialog and characters are the best Wood has ever written. Even though they are far from supreme, they work very well in the movie. Wood even manages to come up with some memorable quotes.

    This movie really doesn't deserve such a low rating and my guess is that more than halve the people who have rated this movie poorly had not even seen this movie but just rated it low because it's an Ed Wood movie. Be fair people! I recognize a bad movie when I see one and this movie most certainly is not bad!

    Even if you're not familiar with Wood's work but are a fan of classic horror movie's, you'll appreciate this movie. It really is not bad and works well as an horror movie. The story flows well and the ending is build up very good.

    By Wood's standards, an excellent movie!

  • I really don't think this deserves the "honor" of being in the Bottom 100 of all times. I've seen much worse films without nearly the notoriety. In "Bride of the Monster," Edward Wood shows himself to be a typically competent director doing a typical low-rent horror film. There are no mistakes in continuity, the lighting is adequate, the performances are pretty good…how "Plan 9" came from the same director is beyond me. I *am* put off by the DVD, though. For a premium price, you get the film, the trailer, and chapter stops—that's all, folks. If this is supposed to be a camp classic, I could at least hope for some interviews, outtakes, and other amusements. The transfer isn't bad, with few scratches or specks that I noticed and a faithful rendering of the black-and-white movies of that era.
  • ***SPOILERS*** Strange things have been happening around the Old Willow's place where a number of people have disappeared with the local police baffled about what happened to them. Janet Lawton, Loretta King, a local reporter has been writing stories about the disappearances and blaming them on what she calls "The Monster of Lake Marsh" which is getting people in the area very apprehensive and scared and making the police look helpless.

    It turns out very early in the movie we're shown that a Dr. Eric Vornoff, Bela Lugosi, with the help of his hulking assistant Lobo, Tor Johnson, have been kidnapping people in the woods around Lake Marsh and using them in experiments. The trouble is that Dr. Vornoff's experiments haven't been working out like he planned them to with those who he's experimenting on ending up dead.

    One afternoon at the local police station a prof. Strowski,George Becwar, shows up claiming that he's an expert on undiscovered monsters and thinks that whoever solve the mystery about the "Monster of Lake Marsh". Telling police Captain Robbins, Harvey B. Dunn, and his second in command Lt. Dick Craig, Tony McCoy, to meet him the next morning and go out in the Lake Marsh area looking for the monster Strowski for some mysterious reason never shows up!

    Strowski instead checks out the Old Willow's Place where he comes face to face with Dr. Vornoff. It turns out that both Dr. Vornoff and prof. Strowski worked in, for some strange reason the country is never mentioned in the movie, the Soviet Union Back in the USSR Dr. Vornoff came up with a plan to create beings out of atomic energy that would be indestructible and use them to conquer the world for the USSR. The Soviet Government feeling that Dr.Vornoff was mad and ran him out of the country. Now it seems that they realized that Dr.Vornoff was on to something big and they want him back so they sent Strowski to the USA to fetch him and bring him "home".

    Dr. Vornoff feeling insulted and condescended too instead tells Strowski to get lost that his plans for an army of atomic supermen is for his own purposes not for any country much less the Soviet Union who threw him out and stripped him of all his honors and accomplishments. It's then when Strowski pulls out a gun and tells Vornoff that his government ordered him to bring him back. Lobo sneaks up on Strowski and grabs him from behind then throws him into a water tank where he's killed by a giant octopus.

    Meanwhile Janet, who's Lt. Craig's girlfriend is also snooping around the Old Willow's place looking to break the big story about the monster. Being attacked by a python Lobo comes to Janet's rescue and takes her back to Dr. Vornoff. Dr. Vornoff sees in Janet a new subject for him to try out his atomic experiments with but is interrupted when Lt. Craig, who went out looking for Strowski at the Old Willow's Place, bursts in before Dr. Vornoff can do his dirty work. Lt. Craig like it was with Strowski is grabbed from behind by Lobo who subdues him.

    With Lt. Craig chained to the wall Dr. Vornoff goes on with his experiments on Janet. Lobo who has taken a liking to Janet then attacks Vornoff and stops him from pulling the switch. Strapping Vornoff to the operating table Lobo turns the juice on him but unlike the other times when the experiment failed and the persons died this time it worked! Vornoff turns into an atomic superman and clobbers Lobo and takes off with Janet in the woods with the whole police force hot on his heels.

    Vornoff after being forced to releases Janet, after Lt. Craig rolled a bolder on him, falls into a pound where he's attacked by the octopus that killed Strowski. While Vornoff and the the octopus are engaged in a life and death struggle their hit by a lighting bolt! With what seems like the whole movie set goes up in a nuclear explosion with Captain Robbins, who was in charge of the police , ends the film by saying what has now become folk lore in movie history: "He Tampered in God's Domain".

    "Bride of the Monster" was Bela Lugosi's last staring role and Bela gave it all that he had with the Mad Scientist bit which has to rank right up there with the best films that he made over his long movie career including "Dracula" and "Son of Frankenstein" as well as "Ninotchka". Bela's "I Have'a no Home" speech that he gave to prof. Strowski was as good as anything that you would hear in an Academy Award winning film or top flight Shakesperaean production.

    Tor Johnson was also very effective as Lobo, even though he never uttered a word in the movie, by showing pain and affection for Janet who he tried to save from Dr. Vornoff's evil clutches and both Tony McCoy and Loretta King did have chemistry in the scenes that they were in together. George Becwar was more then adequate as the cagey and obsessed prof. Strowski trying to get Dr. Vornoff back home, to the USSR, to help in their nuclear research.

    You can say that the movie was awful only because director Ed Wood didn't have the money to make it more extravagant. Ed had to relay on cheap sets and props and in some places in the film add in stock footage. Yet I wounder how many top directors in the film business today or in 1955 when "Bride of the Monster" was made would have done better then Wood did with what he had. People should think of that before they put Ed Wood's "Bride of the Monster" down.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If Plan 9 from Outer Space is Ed Wood's Citizen Kane, then Bride of the Monster is his Casablanca. The weird thing is, even though this is a bad movie, again you can't hate Ed Wood for it, because he put a lot of passion into it. Also this was one of his better films, while it could be a bit dull at times and over the top fake with that octopus monster, he had a good story that with a bit of patching could have been a really decent sci-fi flick. But how could I dismiss Ed Wood? This was his baby, he and Bela Legosi put so much love into this movie. Bella proves that he still has that strong presence on screen. I'm so glad that he had more screen time than what was written originally, it shows such a precious time in his life where when you think he would have fallen still in his typecast of horror movies, he could still deliver a great speech with such honor. Bride of the Monster offers silliness and a not so scary monster, but nevertheless what else could you want from an Ed Wood movie? It was the 1950's after all and he was just trying to make a name for himself with this script.

    Dr. Eric Vornoff, is experimenting with nuclear power with the help of his mute assistant, Lobo. His goal is to eventually create an army of super soldiers that he will use to conquer the earth. Their residence, an old mansion, is guarded by a giant octopus of Dr. Vornoff's own creation which lives in the surrounding swamp. The Octopus has been responsible for the deaths of local townspeople. Newspaper reporter Janet Lawton investigates further, becoming a prisoner of Dr. Vornoff in the process. The police eventually follow, led by lieutenant Dick Craig, who is also Lawton's boyfriend. Meanwhile, an official from Dr. Vornoff's home country, Professor Strowksi, arrives and tries to persuade him to return to their homeland in hopes that his research will benefit their nation. However, Strowski is killed and Lobo unwittingly turns Dr. Vornoff into an atomic-powered superhuman being.

    I absolutely love the ending with a passion, I loved the out of no where explosion that also happened to be a nuclear bomb that somehow didn't effect anyone. The silly effects that were also offered, I found it hilarious that Bela Legosi's character couldn't operate his own machine that he built, but the minute that his deformed side kick operates it, it works for him just fine. The only flaw that I found with this movie is that there are times where it could be a bit dull and felt a little dragged on. With Plan 9 you never got that, because as silly as it was it never stopped entertaining you. So like I said while this was Ed Wood's better film, it just seemed like we had to wait a while before any fun action scenes. But if you like Ed Wood or goofy movies, I definitely would recommend this one, it's not as silly as some of his other films but you'll get a great kick out of people "wrestling" with the octopus. Gotta give those actors credit, no CGI back then, only a silly doll to play dead with.

  • Sure Ed Wood movies are cheesy and humorless, so are apt fodder for people looking for something to belittle.

    But I'm not one to let a bad execution get in the way of a good movie. In the "sequel" to this, there really was a cool, worthwhile concept. This one lacks that, but it makes up for it in my mind through the much celebrated performance of Lugosi.

    As much as I appreciate the Burton version of the history, I like the real thing so much better.

    Here was a man deep in the mysteries of the devil via drugs. Here was a man whose life consisted of the sort of cheap props that feature in this story. Here is a man who could and did hypnotize millions of "visitors" (filmgoers). And a man who was destroyed by his own creation.

    Man and character, truth and play all here for us to see. This is no mere funhouse, kiddies. This is the real thing, real experimentation turned evil, beyond deadly.

    I thank Tod Browning for starting this metamovie, and Burton for finishing it. But for the actual corpse, you have to visit this house.

    Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Really, I imagined this movie would be much worst of what actually it is. OK, the soundtrack is awful as some of the effects. ( The octopus is memorable! I laughed a lot with

    Bela Lugosi needing to move the tentacles of the octopus, to pretend the animal was killing him!It's some of the funniest parts of Ed Wood's movies ) But I don't think that the acting thing is SO bad like people say, and even the story has some interesting points.

    People,try to watch this movie without the prejudice because it's a Ed Wood's movie, okay?=] You are going to be surprised that they can be also enjoyable.=]
  • Bride of the Monster (1955)

    *** (out of 4)

    Cult classic from Edward D. Wood, Jr. about a mad scientist (Bela Lugosi), his over-sized assisstant (Tor Johnson) and their pet rubber octopuss. Only God really knows how many of these "Z" grade films I've seen over the years but there's no doubt in my mind that Wood's movies are the "best" of the bunch. The worst thing that could happen while watching this stuff is that you get bored but with Wood, and especially this film, boredom isn't a possibility since there's countless insane moments happening throughout the 69-minute running time. The film moves by very quickly and while I do enjoy the movie because it's bad, I will go out on the limb and say Lugosi gives his best performance in his later day roles.
  • There are four Bela Lugosi movies that are mt favorites. They are "Dracula" (of course), "The Devil Bat", "The Raven", and "Bride Of The Monster". Lugosi gives one of his best acting performances in this film; particularly in the scene where he states "I have no home". That scene (in my opinion) is the high point of the movie. Lugosi was a genius; using facial expressions to enhance his incredible acting. Nobody could do it like him. The plot and acting in "Bride Of The Monster" is fine and they cast carries the entire affair very well indeed. This is not a high budget from MGM or Paramount, but instead it is a fine example of what can be done with a low budget and limited resources . "Bride" is a must see for any Lugosi fan and will delight those who enjoy this type of movie.
  • there are three kinds of bad films - the cheap, the boring, and the tasteless. only the cheap bad films are really funny, because the filmmakers wanted to make their films so desperately, they way-over-reached beyond their abilities and available resources.

    boring films are just, well, boring - if you don't leave quickly enough, you fall asleep.

    tasteless films actually have their defenders; but the fact remains that they are masturbatory aids for very sick people.

    ed wood made bad films of every description - tasteless soft-core porn; slow-as-mud ghost-movies; and some of the funniest bottom -of-the-bucket cheap movies ever made.

    although the most famous of these is 'plan 9 from outer space', i should warn the reader that 'plan 9' gets awfully slow way too often to be tolerable for more than one viewing.

    but for 'bride of the monster', the editing leaps forward and nearly becomes professional. 'bride' is the best paced and most compact of the ed wood films, despite the fact that more happens in it than in any other wood film.

    because of this better pacing, the faults in the usual wood show of lack of any skill or talent whatsoever are given a real chance to shine forth as accidental jokes, unintended innuendos, gaffes, goofs, and gobs of gooey rubber stuff, like the least scary octopus in Hollywood history that Bela Lugosi wrestles with just before he vaporizes into a nuclear explosion, while being watched by the heroes standing only a few feet away - one of the least damaging nuclear blasts in history, fiction or fact.

    and the dialog - the speech from Bela Lugosi, over-acting as only a true monster could, about having no home but the 'living hell' of an American swamp only a few miles outside of los angeles, is a truly magnificent bit of nonsense poetry that only a true ego-maniacal paranoid schizophrenic could have written - bravo ed wood.

    but what really makes this film, as with all ed wood films that one might find entertaining in any way, is the earnestness with which wood makes this film. it is precisely this quality that inspired Tim Burton to do his ed wood biography. this was a man for whom making films - whether he had the talent or resources or not - was clearly a holy crusade, a passion that made all else in his undeniably wretched existence worth tolerating - just to get the next vision on celluloid, just to say something, whether anyone wanted to listen or not.

    that's truly heroic, however else misguided. and this heroism shows forth in 'bride of the monster' more than in any other film.

    this is a movie, dammit - no matter how unintentionally funny or just plain bad - it deserves respect as the nearest thing to the holy grail a film-maker like wood could get.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film is only marginally better than Wood's most famous film, Plan 9 From Outer Space. Plan 9 was rightfully voted the worst movie ever made a while back. So why would I recommend this movie?! Well, it is not because I am a masochist, but I do enjoy watching films that are so inept and stupid they are funny. However, this is NOT the same as a simply bad movie. There are many bad movies that either bore me (The Conqueror--starring John Wayne as Genghis Khan) or give me a headache (Cracking Up by Jerry Lewis) and I would NEVER recommend ANYONE seem them (except, maybe, the prisoners at Guantanamo). No, instead Bride of the Monster is one you put in with a group of friends and watch just how amateurishly made a film can be! The movie stars the down-and-out Bela Lugosi shortly before his death. He stars as an evil mad scientist and he is assisted by his henchman, Tor Johnson (both of which are ALSO in Plan 9). I really don't remember that much of the plot--just the silliness of the movie and the ending where Lugosi wrestles with a giant rubber octopus (or squid). According to Michael Medved, the creature was to have been animated but the motor broke. So, the aging Lugosi had to wrestle a dead-looking creature and ACT like it was alive--wrapping its tentacles around him and screaming hysterically! It's a sight to see--trust me!
  • Ed Wood Jnr has often been cited as the worst director of all time, and his films(Plan 9 From Outer Space especially) also get a similar reputation. I personally think that the distinction is unfair, there are certainly better directors than Wood and better made, written and acted films/movies out there of course, but- unlike something like anything Friedberg and Seltzer- Wood's films are entertaining and kind of like guilty pleasures. Great movies no they're not, but when someone says that they are among the worst of all time I'll respectfully disagree on that one. Bride of the Monster does have things wrong, the sets are wobbly, the special effects especially the octopus are fake, the story does drag at times and Loretta King displays no kind of acting talent whatsoever. (Paul Murco's small role is also rather embarrassing) Even with these, Bride of the Monster is still one of Ed Wood Jnr's better movies. Wood is never going to be up there with the greatest directors, but not the worst either, at least he directed with heart. Lugosi's fight with the octopus is absolutely hilarious and has to be seen with be believed, easily one of the memorable scenes of any of Ed Wood's movies. The dialogue has some very funny moments(of what I can remember only the final line really made me groan), but the I have no home monologue is really quite poignant. The ending is senseless indeed but a lot of fun, and while the story does drag at times and also a little senseless, I didn't ever feel my intelligence being insulted to unbearable degree(unlike the SyFy/Asylum movies). The acting is not amazing, but King was the only one really that came across as really, really bad. Tony McCoy is handsome and does manage to give some of his lines credibility and Harvey B.Dunn is very amusing. Tor Johnson is somewhat stiff but looks the part of a monster figure and he does provide some of the movie's most entertaining scenes. But it is really Bela Lugosi's movie, in his final role he gives a commanding and heartfelt performance, succeeding also in giving moments of banality some genuine meaning. Overall, not great but better than I expected it to be. 6/10 Bethany Cox
  • Having enjoyed Plan 9 many times and Glen or Glenda once, I really expected this to be a serious turkey...and it wasn't! It's not overly good, but (since it came before Plan 9) I had ASSUMED Ed Wood had used this as a movie making dress rehearsal. Wrong! Lugosi is great! Tor Johnson is certainly more believable here than in Plan 9.

    It's a dumb movie with a dumb monster and dumb effects, but it works...almost. It's a fun watch: grab some popcorn and your buddies, set the bar low, and enjoy. Lugosi's performance makes me wonder what Plan 9 would have been like had he lived beyond 3 days into Plan 9's filming.
  • Having heard for years how bad this movie was I was prepared for the worst. I was very pleasantly surprised. While I wouldn't label this a good movie, I will say that it is entertaining - never boring. As others have commented, Bela does a fine job - perhaps overacting a bit, but in a good way. We are treated to a masterful performance as he makes the most of every bit of insipid dialog.

    The story moves along well and the production, while cheap, is never ridiculous. I will disagree with other reviewers who pan the rest of the cast. I feel that the acting was mostly competent and fairly natural. I have certainly seen worse, often in much more highly regarded films. Even Tor manages to be believable within the context.

    An added bonus that I think has not been mentioned: If you are a car buff you have the rare privilege of seeing a Nash and a Studebaker share a scene! That in itself is worth a look!
  • Okay, I will start off by saying that this is an Ed Wood, Jr. film, so of course it's going to have cheap sets, grade z actors (except for the wonderful Bela Lugosi) and ridiculous dialog. With that being said, this little horror movie is actually better than it should be.

    Bela Lugosi plays the mad doctor Dr. Vornoff who has been banished from his home country because of his bizarre experiments using atomic energy. He is trying to create a race of super humans but he keeps killing people as his experiments continue to fail. Ed Wood perennial player Tor Johnson portrays Lobo, his assistant. Let's just say the menacing Lobo is a few french fries short of a Happy Meal.

    Dr. Vornoff is hiding out in an abandoned old house in the woods complete with the mad scientist laboratory and a pond outside complete with a giant rubber octopus.

    The movie would be a total mess except for Bela Lugosi. He actually gives a wonderful performance, especially given the limitations he had to work with, i.e. cheapola sets, having to wrestle the giant octopus, etc. His speech where he says, "Home? I have no home..." shows the shades of the brilliant actor that captivated fans 30 years before when he performed "Dracula" on Broadway. Despite the terrible material he had to work with, Bela rises above everything and shows the true professional he really was. He is frail and looks old, but he still retained the essence that made him a star.

    I feel this movie isn't any worse than many of the cheapie movies that studios were cranking out in the 1950's. To me this is probably the best of Ed Wood, Jr.'s many movies. If you are a Bela Lugosi fan, or a fan of Ed Wood, Jr., you definitely don't want to miss this movie.
  • There is a tendency to underrate Ed Eood's films due to the fact that he is considered one of the worst writers and directors out there. I will challenge that by saying that I consider William Allen Castleman and Robert Freeman to be worse than Wood. Having said that, you can't give this movie a high rating because it really is poorly done, despite the fact that Bela Lugosi does a credible job. I like Tor Johnson too, but that doesn't make him an actor. This movie has too many obvious flaws to be rated highly, but as a camp classic it should be viewed just so you know the history of movies. You can't call someone good unless you can point to someone who did it wrong.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Bride of the Monster opens on a dark stormy night, the wind howls as the rain lashes down between strikes of lightening and rumbling thunder. It's Lake Marsh and two men, Mac (Bud Osborne) and Jake (John Warren) are caught unawares by the storm and find themselves stranded. They seek refuge in 'Willow' mansion owned by mad Russian scientist Dr. Eric Vornoff (Bela Lugosi). Vornoff warns the men to leave. Before they can Vornoff's idiotic servant Lobo (Tor Johnson) creeps up behind them and sends them running back into the swamp. There Mac and Jake are attacked by Vornoff's monstrous creation that lives there, a giant octopus. Lobo manages to retrieve one of the men and take him back to Vornoff's laboratory where Vornoff sticks a siv with three spark plugs stuck to the top on his head. Vornoff then shines a light in his face, which proves fatal. Vornoff bemoans yet another failed experiment. Captain of homicide Tom Robbins (Harvey B. Dunn) calls Lieutenant Dick Craig (Tony McCoy) into his office to discuss the disappearance of twelve men near Lake Marsh. Lt. Craig says he has nothing to go on when his fiancé who works as a journalist, Janet Lawton (Loretta King) walks into Robbins office. Janet feels the police aren't doing everything they can so she decides to do some investigating of her own, much to the displeasure of Lt. Craig and Captain Robbins. After some research Janet drives out to Lake Marsh but crashes her car in a violent thunder storm and is kidnapped by Lobo. Back at headquarters Captain Robbins and Lt. Craig talk to the leading authority on Prehistoric monsters, Professor Vladimir Strowski (George Becwar) who convinces them that the legends of a monster surrounding the swamps may be true and along with Lt. Craig and his partner Detective Marty Martin (Don Nagel) decides to head out to the swamps to check things out. Vornoff dresses Janet in a white bridal gown (I don't know why) and prepares her to undergo more of his insane experiments which he hopes will create a race of Atomic supermen to conquer the world! Once at the swamp Lt. Craig finds Janet's abandoned car with her nowhere to be seen. Will Lt. Craig be able to solve the mystery and rescue his fiancé Janet before she becomes Vornoff's latest experiment? Or will he end up octopus food?

    Written and directed by Edwood D. Wood Jr. I thought this film was nowhere near as bad as it's reputation suggests. In fact I was impressed with it considering all the negative things I had heard. Don't misunderstand me as it certainly isn't a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination but as a decent, fun, silly and entertaining 50's monster film I quite liked it. It moves along at a fair pace and at under 70 minutes it doesn't outstay it's welcome, but it did start to drag a little in the middle but it picked up again towards the end. The dialogue, although stupid at times, isn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. It's simple and basic but coherent. Obviously there are 'bad' bits in the film, Vornoff's lab for instance is just a simple set with the stonework and bricks painted onto the walls to give the impression of an old Gothic dungeon. There is the odd continuity error and the special effects for the giant octopus are truly terrible, plus the octopus isn't really in it enough just a somewhat measly three times. The black and white photography by Ted Allan and William C. Thompson is simple but clean and crisp, at least you can see whats going on all the time which is all I was hoping for. Lugosi puts in a decent performance, Johnson is absolutely awful and he can hardly walk straight much less act and Dunn as Robbins is actually quite funny in a couple of scenes particularly when he questions the old woman in the records office. I really don't think this film deserves to be in the bottom 100, I've seen many film much worse than this fairly innocent, fun and at times charming little 50's effort from Edward D. Wodd Jr.! Difficult to recommend for casual viewers, but definitely worth a watch if you like these types of films.
  • This is the place to look. After Glen Or Glenda? failed to attract any offers of big-studio financing, Ed financed this entire film himself and filmed it entirely without oversight. The fact that he was clearly less than competent to do all of these tasks himself utterly failed to dissuade anyone involved from seeing the thing through to completion, and the result is that we have this cinematic turkey to laugh at for all time. Wood, bless him, was so enthusiastic about making films that he never bothered to try and learn his craft or test his ideas to see if they would work in the finished product. As a consequence, all of his effects are symbolic, and utterly laughable. When he wants a character to manipulate lab equipment, he will direct an actor to wildly gesticulate in front of a set that looks like a random collection of dials and lights stuck to a board. Making it all the funnier is that his actors are so clueless to his incompetence, or so captivated by his imagination, that they deliver a stupefyingly earnest performance.

    The plot of Bride Of The Monster is as ridiculous as anything else to have been written by Ed Wood, but in a sort of charming way, it works. The documentary Flying Saucers Over Hollywood explains in some segments that Wood's best-known work, Plan 9 From Outer Space, is widely watched because in addition to the reputation it has as a completely insane film, it also has a smattering of legitimately effective scenes or shots. That is definitely the case with Bride Of The Monster. Scenes like Bela Lugosi's "I have no home" speech, or Loretta King's quick chat with the file clerk, demonstrate a knack for composition and spacing that would have served Wood quite well if he had been able to reign in his apparent belief in shooting everything in one take, even if that take shows the set wobbling. Another quote about Plan 9 that definitely applies here is that no matter what time you watch Bride Of The Monster at, it always feels as if you are sitting in front of your television at four in the morning.

    Lugosi plays a mad scientist named Eric Vornoff, who is attempting to create a super-strength zombie through the use of a table, some straps, a powerful lamp, and some kind of electric play-toy. In the swamp around his mansion, people have been going missing with alarming regularity, prompting a detective to poke his nose into the area's goings-on. Contrary to the impression given by Tim Burton's biopic, Tony McCoy is not that bad an actor, although you will not be surprised to learn he only ever acted in one film and a TV episode after Bride Of The Monster. In fact, the acting in this particular film is much better than is usually the case for Wood productions, although that is not saying a lot. Loretta King speaks all of her lines as if she is reading from cue cards, and Dolores Fuller makes it plainly obvious she would rather be anywhere but on the office set. But the real prize for bad acting comes from George Becwar as Professor Vladimir Strowski, who has the apparent objective of taking Vornoff home by any means necessary. Whether Vornoff likes it or not. If one ever needed proof that Bela Lugosi was the most talented person to cross Ed Wood's path, this scene is it.

    Wood's enthusiasm for incorporating stock footage into his films both benefits and hinders him this time. The octopus stock footage is blended with his footage of what is clearly an octopus dummy to an effect that is both hilarious and rather sad. Watching Bela Lugosi battle with an octopus that he is clearly moving himself is enough to make one feel pretty sorry for the old guy. Exactly why producer Donald McCoy felt the need to end the film with a nuclear explosion is anyone's guess, but Wood obliges him with stock footage that not only doesn't come close to matching the rest of the film, but also raises the question of how our heroes survived. Wood's problem as a director was not so much that he was incompetent or had ambitions too great for his ability. No, his real problem was that he was utterly blind to when his stock footage or effects shots simply were not working. A good filmmaker like Verhoeven or Lucas would arrange their shots and editing to either cover their mistakes or let the audience's imagination take over. Wood just showed his blunders, warts and all.

    Amazingly, Bride Of The Monster achieved financial success when first released to theatres in 1955. Combined with Wood's documented excessive enthusiasm, this does a lot to explain why Wood was so enthusiastic to get another film in production. Although he made two short films between this and Plan 9, it took another two years for him to get what was then a feature-length film wrapped. That's another peculiarity of Wood's productions - none of them reached so much as a ninety minute length. In today's film-making world where studios will insert excessive scenes just to get a film up to an unspoken minimum length, nobody will ever accuse Wood's of outlasting their welcome. And that is probably one of the saddest things about Wood's story. Even though he never fit into the system in place during the 1950s, he would have even more difficulty fitting into the studio system of today. He dared to take on subjects that others considered taboo, and wasn't made creatively impotent by focus group meetings.

    I gave Bride Of The Monster a one out of ten. It is incompetent on every level, yet so endearing. Watch it with a group of friends, make it a MST-style night, and you will have a blast.
  • I was so surprised when I found this movie for sale at the local used book/CD/video store. I was also very delighted, because it meant I would be able to see more work of Ed Wood. This film had a big part in the movie Tim Burton did on Ed Wood. I think it was great that he got booed out of the theater, but also kind of depressing. But I have to admit, I think this movie deserves a lot more credit than it currently has.

    The only really and truly bad part of the movie was the end. Not just one part of the end, but the WHOLE ending. The parts where Bela was getting shot at, and he twitched his face to dodge the bullets, and the part with the boulder and then the octopus in ankle deep water where Bela had to fling the tentacles around to make it look alive. And then the explosion. Now, I'm no atomic physicist, but I thought atomic explosions encompassed at least a one mile blast radius... at LEAST. I mean, the other characters where like ten feet away when the explosion happened. How could they not have been hurt? Well, I shouldn't be complaining too much... It IS after all Ed Wood, and it WAS stock footage, so... who can complain. Not me!!! Good day to all.
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