Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Want a Divorce: "Bride of the Monster" (1955)

Bela Lugosi is evil mad scientist Dr. Vornoff. His ultimate, insane goal? Not sure.

Vornoff and his Igor-like assistant, Lobo (Tor Johnson), kidnap local citizens who wander around the duo's lab/abandoned house in the middle of the swamp. The victims are fitted with a funny hat, have a piece of photograph processing equipment aimed at them, and are fed to the giant rubber octopus out back.

Spunky gal reporter Janet (Loretta King) decides to investigate the locals' disappearances much to the collective chagrin of her straight arrow fiance, detective Dick (Tony McCoy) and Captain Robbins (Harvey B. Dunn). Janet is captured by Lobo and held prisoner. Dick and his partner follow convenient victim Professor Strowski (George Becwar) to the swamp. For some unknown reason, perhaps to explain the title, Janet is eventually dressed in a wedding gown. Soon, Dick and Janet do battle with Vornoff and Lobo as Robbins and half a half dozen cops close in.

Written and directed by Ed Wood, this film is awful but not as technically inept as "Plan 9 from Outer Space." Wood does let his cast aspire to whole new depths of lousy acting. The entire cast is stiff, and the audience's sympathy falls squarely on Lugosi. His performance is not just bad, it is sad.

As mentioned, the "bride" in "Bride of the Monster" is King, but who is she supposed to be marrying? Vornoff? Lobo? The rubber octopus? There is a throw away line about her being the bride of an atom, which makes no sense.

Ed Wood is looked upon with fondness today; some might say he simply made films that are child-like and innocent. I have seen some of his films, and they are instead both childish and insolent. (*) out of five stars.