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Posts Tagged ‘31 Monsters’

31 Monsters #21: Zombies

October 21st, 2009 No comments

This morning I’m flying to New Orleans, city of Voodoo and occasional zombie attack. Please enjoy this photo of me and my former roommate Guy Thorpe in full undead get-up, on our way to the 1987 Westwood, California premiere of Evil Dead II.

Categories: Weird Tags: ,

31 Monsters #20: The Evil Dead

October 20th, 2009 No comments

As a not-especially-hardcore horror film fan in the early ’80s, I was aware of the reputation of director Sam Raimi’s low-budget shocker The Evil Dead, but hadn’t seen it. That changed in 1986, when I moved to California and found myself with a roommate whose kitchen was decorated in early Chainsaw Massacre, and a neighbor whose monster mask-sculpting business left his apartment looking like a severed head emporium. They taught me about Phantasm and Zombi and even Frankenstein Island. And yes, Evil Dead as well.

The original Evil Dead told the story of five young people visiting an abandoned cabin in the woods for a weekend of debauchery. Among the items left behind by the previous tenant were an ancient text called the Book of the Dead, as well as an audiotaped reading of its passages. When the latter was played, it summoned demons that possessed both the kids and the woods themselves. The sole survivor of the ensuing night of horror was Bruce Campbell’s Ash, who tossed the book into the fireplace and seemingly dispelled the evil. However, in the final moments, an unseen force raced through the woods and threw itself at the screaming hero.*

Truth to tell, I wasn’t very impressed with The Evil Dead the first time around. It struck me as just kinda cheap and nasty. At that point, I still wasn’t schooled enough in the horror genre to appreciate what Raimi and his cohorts had managed to pull off on their micro-budget. It wasn’t until we attended the premiere of Evil Dead II that I “got it.”

Now, I’ve already told the tale of our first, ill-fated excursion to see the premiere of ED2 in full zombie get-up. It was a fun night–and we got our photo taken with star Bruce Campbell, who was himself costumed as his Deadite-slaying character Ash–but we never got to watch the film. It wasn’t until a few days later that I had the opportunity to see it. And I was blown away.

One of the things that I loved about ED2 was the crazy inventiveness of it all, especially the camera work. One shot began on a close-up of Campbell’s face as he lay on the ground, then zoomed rapidly up about thirty feet into the air, spinning as it did so. Another breathtaking sequence was filmed from the point of view of the unseen demonic force as it chased Campbell through the woods and into the cabin. In what appeared to be one unbroken shot (actually involving several hidden edits), the camera blasted through the windows of his car and crashed through door after door, seemingly only inches from catching its intended victim.

Another remarkable thing about the film was its surprising sense of humor. Raimi was (and is) a longtime fan of the Three Stooges, and their influence was obvious, particularly during the sequence in which Campbell’s hand became demon-possessed and embarked on a campaign of self-abuse. Bruce Campbell was forced to smash plates over his own head and throw himself into the cabinetry.

Evil Dead II veered from horrific gore to cartoon comedy, occasionally to disturbing effect. In one quirky scene, Campbell went mad as the contents of the cabin–everything from gooseneck lamps to mounted deer heads–came to life and cackled at him.

And, of course, there were copious amounts of gore. Raimi used fountains of (intentionally) fake-looking blood and ichor, only to have the resulting fluid vanish in the next shot.

Finally, there was the completely-out-of-left-field twist ending. I will not reveal it here, but at the time I viewed it as the ultimate “screw you,” both to Campbell’s character and the audience itself. It made me want to see the next sequel immediately. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be until 1993 that Army of Darkness–also a favorite film of mine in its own way–loped into theaters.

Both Raimi and Campbell seem much too busy these days to produce the oft-requested fourth film of the Evil Dead series, but Raimi’s recent release Drag Me to Hell (which just came out on DVD, as is well worth your attention) returned to his low-budget horror-comedy roots.

*When it came time to make the follow-up, footage from the earlier film was unavailable due to rights issues. Therefore, the first seven minutes of Evil Dead II were  a remake rather than a sequel, with the plot collapsed to its basics and three of the original characters removed from the recap. In much the same way, Army of Darkness reshot and compressed the action of the first two films in its own prologue.

31 Monsters #19: The Giant Grasshoppers That Ate Paxton, Illinois

October 19th, 2009 No comments

My survey of monsters has taken us around the world, into outer space and even to the nearest convenient parallel dimension. However, today’s entry will bring things close to home. And by that, I mean my own home. Because it’s time to look at the only monster movie, so far as I know, that begins in Champaign County, Illinois.

The 1957 film Beginning of the End was produced and directed by Bert I. Gordon, whose initials (B.I.G.) apparently served as career inspiration. Of his 21 movies, ten involved photographically enlarged people or animals. (Eight were featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, which should tell you something else about Mr. Gordon’s body of work.)

Proving its somewhat tenuous grasp of Illinois geography, Beginning of the End‘s pre-credits sequence was set amidst the scenic mountains of Central Illinois. That’s right, we’ve got mountains. Go north on I-57, take a left on County Road 3100 N. Can’t miss ’em.

It was there that a couple of necking teens were devoured, as necking teens so often are, by an off-screen terror. Discovering the car, police soon traced the registration to the nearby town of Ludlow, only to find the entire community leveled and its residents missing.

Intrepid woman reporter Audrey Aimes, on her way to the Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, was stymied by a roadblock set up near the (fictional) Illinois National Guard base in (all too real) Paxton. Learning about the devastation in Ludlow, she investigated possible sources of radioactivity in the area. (It was the ’50s, remember.)

The one such installation was a Department of Agriculture research lab which, although it was never stated, almost certainly had to have something to do with the University of Illinois. (Stupid university, always growing atomic mutants.) She met Ed Wainwright (Peter Graves) and his deaf-mute associate Frank, whose experiments created colossal fruits and veggies. Although they’d had such a problem with insects…

Before you could have said “rear projected giant grasshoppers,” Audrey, Ed and Frank were checking out some destroyed grain silos. Then a horrid screeching sound erupted behind Frank. (Deaf-mute, remember?) In one of two scenes always mentioned in any review of Beginning of the End, poor Frank mouthed a silent scream as he was chewed apart by an oversized locust.

Paxton’s fearless National Guardsmen poured into the woods, only to be routed by a swarm of hungry Jiminy Crickets. With things not looking good for “Tree City, USA,” Peter Graves hopped a plane to Washington, D.C. to convince Army brass of the threat posed by the rapidly breeding monsters.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t until word came that Paxton had been overrun (off-screen) that General Hanson decided to mobilize the Army. With Paxton gone, surely Loda would be next!

beginningoftheend02The U.S. military proved insufficient against the munching menace which moved inexorably toward Chicago. (Because anything in Illinois inevitably has to be about Chicago. Or Abe Lincoln. But mostly Chicago.) On the way, they chowed down on Peoria, never mind that Peoria is some 90 miles to the west of Paxton. Perhaps the trip over the mountains left them confused.

Soon came the other scene that every review of this film mentions, when the live grasshoppers swarmed up a photograph of a Chicago skyscraper.

beginningoftheend03

With the military threatening to drop an atomic bomb on the Windy City, it was up to science to save the day. Peter Graves realized that the locusts’ own mating call, magnified by loudspeakers, could lure the sex-crazed hoppers into Lake Michigan.

And so it was that Chicago was saved. Pity about Paxton.

31 Monsters #18: Count von Count

October 18th, 2009 No comments

No, I don’t know why there’s a vampire on Sesame Street, either. I’m not talking about the obvious educational role that Count von Count’s numerical obsession fills on the 40-years-young kids’ series, but rather the fact that there’s a fanged creature of the night living in the same neighborhood as a bunch of kids and a six-foot canary with an especially long and tempting neck. Yet no one seems to be straddling his coffin with hammer and stake in hand.

Eighteen! Eighteen monsters! Ah ha ha!

Honestly, the Count’s continued presence brings up a number of questions:

  1. Is Sesame Street zoned for Gothic castles?
  2. What is the nature of the puppet soul?
  3. Are Maria and Gina two of his vampire brides?
  4. When he moved into town, did he have to go door to door informing the neighbors of his previous bloodsucking?
  5. That’s five, five questions! Ah ha ha!

Count von Count is one of my favorite Muppets, and it’s not just the vampire thing. I love him for his obsessive compulsiveness. Like Cookie Monster, he’s defined by the thing that he craves, and lets nothing stand in his way. (Unlike Cookie Monster, he hasn’t been neutered in recent years in order to present a healthy lifestyle. We don’t want our kids to get fat, but repetitive counting is O.K.)

Here’s a classic Count von Count segment featuring a guest appearance by Susan Sarandon. I’m not absolutely certain of the circumstances that brought the two together, but I think that we have to at least consider the possibility that the Count was luring a date back to his place. Yet, not even the thought of nibbling the neck of a smokin’ hot Sarandon could distract the Count from his appointed task.

Not being a Rocky Horror fan, I was slow to realize that the Sesame Street writers had sneaked a RHPS reference into the heart of the PBS kids’ lineup. Thankfully, they did not ask Sarandon to sing “Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me.”

31 Monsters #17: Tiamat

October 17th, 2009 No comments

In the early days of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, there were two basic types of dragons. Good dragons had metallic scales: gold, silver, copper, brass and bronze*. Evil dragons had a color theme: red, blue, green, white and black.

Bahamut the Platinum Dragon led the metallic contingent, but his opposite number was even more fearsome: Tiamat the Chromatic Dragon. Whereas Bahamut had to make do with a single head, Tiamat was graced with five, one for each of her colorful kin.

Tiamat was one of the chief antagonists in the ’80s Saturday morning cartoon adaptation of the game. There she was the rival of the show’s archvillain, the demonic Venger. She made a significant appearance in my favorite episode, “The Dragon’s Graveyard.”

The series’ premise was that a sextet of modern-day kids were transported into a mystical realm and armed with magic weapons which transformed them into rough analogues of typical D&D character types. Venger wanted their weapons to beef up his own powers, and so spent much of the first two seasons plotting against the children. But in “The Dragon’s Graveyard” he took things too far and gravely injured their pet unicorn. (Don’t ask.)

The kids, having had it up to here with Venger, decided to finish the fight once and for all. But to do so, they needed the help of Tiamat. Fortunately, their magic items could open a portal to her home, the Dragon’s Graveyard.

They confronted Tiamat, only to discover that their weapons were substantially more powerful in the graveyard, not coincidentally the place from which they originated. While the Dragon Queen refused to do the chidren’s dirty work, she offered to teleport Venger to the Dragon’s Graveyard, where their enhanced abilities would win the day.

And sure enough, they kicked Venger’s deviled ass all over Dragontown, a scene I found very satisfying back in the day. Their leader Hank prepared to make the killing shot against their helpless opponent…then released him instead. The demon asked the Ranger why he didn’t finish him off, to which Hank replied, “If I did, we’d be no better than you are. We’ve beaten you, and you know it. Do you understand, Venger? I didn’t do it for you, I did it for us!” In hindsight, I suppose that “we’d be no better than the villain” thing wasn’t as much of a philosophical breakthrough as it seemed at the time, but just the same I thought it was a good message for the young audience.

Tiamat is still very much a major player in the Dungeons & Dragons pantheon, proving that five heads are better than two.

*The latest edition of the game replaced the two “alloy” dragons, brass and bronze, with iron and and the fictional metal adamantine. This was in part because it was felt that alloys didn’t fit the scheme, but mostly because gamers could never remember which were brass dragons and which were bronze.

31 Monsters #16: Anthony Fremont

October 16th, 2009 No comments

While there were plenty of creepy Twilight Zone episodes, the only one that truly scared me was “It’s a Good Life.” Written by Rod Serling and closely based on Jerome Bixby’s short story of the same name, it posited that the most terrifying thing in the world was a six-year-old child with no moral compass…and absolute power over matter and reality.

It's a very good thing that you agreed to appear in my blog post, Anthony.

Little Anthony Fremont (played by Billy Mumy) ruled the town of Peaksville, Ohio as a capricious god. His seemingly unlimited powers of teleportation and transmutation were made all the more frightening by his ability to instantly read the minds of others. One stray thought–such as the desire to bash in little Anthony’s head with a shovel–and the thinker might be transformed into a walking horror or simply vanish “into the cornfield.”

Anthony didn’t like noisy cars and machines, so he made them go away. He did away with the electricity as well. And then one day he decided that he didn’t like the rest of the world. Whether the Earth was destroyed or Peaksville merely removed from it, the town became an isolated community of dwindling supplies and fearful neighbors obliged to praise each one of Anthony’s spiteful acts as “a good thing.”

The story was unusual for The Twilight Zone in that there was no moral lesson, no twist ending, no respite. It ended as it began, with Anthony in charge.

It was remade as one segment of 1983’s Twilight Zone feature film. That time, Anthony’s realm was confined to a single house in the countryside. The boy had lured several strangers there to serve as his “family” in an idyllic life (for him, at least) fueled by non-stop cartoons. This version ended hopefully, as a schoolteacher who found herself in Anthony’s world managed to get through to him and promised to help constructively channel his powers.

The 2002 revival of the series dared to make a sequel to the original episode, entitled “It’s Still a Good Life.” It reunited Billy Mumy with his TV mom, Cloris Leachman, whose character improbably survived forty years of Anthony’s rule.

Anthony Fremont was all grown up. While age had tempered him a bit, he was no less tyrannical for being more self-aware. One had best not beat him at bowling…or lose on purpose.

And he had a daughter (played by Mumy’s real-life kid). Yes, little Anthony dipped his wick. You may commence shuddering.

The townspeople came to learn that Audrey Fremont was even more powerful than her dad. She could do all the things he could, plus the one thing he couldn’t: bring things back from “the cornfield.” They tried to convince Audrey of the wrongness of her father’s ways, and to use her to end Anthony’s tyrannical reign at last.

It didn’t work. And it’s a good thing that it didn’t work. A very good thing.

31 Monsters #15: The Lepus

October 15th, 2009 No comments

Every once in a while, I catch a bad movie in which I find myself thinking, “At least I can see how someone might have thought this was a good idea.”

On paper, Night of the Lepus probably seemed reasonable enough. It was allegedly based on an Australian science-fiction novel called The Year of the Angry Rabbit, but after reading the description of the latter–a tale in which Australia inadvertently developed a biological superweapon while attempting to solve its two-century-old rabbit infestation–I suspect that someone merely bought the rights in order to avoid being sued. Because, while Australia has had a huge problem with bunnies, it has not had a problem with huge bunnies, and that’s what we got in Night of the Lepus.

So, let’s follow the train of thought. You’ve got an invasive species. Okay, there’s potential monster movie fodder there. Toss in some gigantism. As the Honey, I Shrunk (something or other) movies proved, pretty much anything is dangerous once it gets demonstrably bigger than you. And hey, rabbits have really big front teeth!

Unfortunately for the filmmakers, rabbits are also very cute.

Awwwwwwwwwwwww!

Not that they didn’t try their damndest. They employed lots of fake blood, miniature photography and what appeared to be a man in a rabbit suit. And yet, it just didn’t matter how much gore they slathered on their bunny cast members. This was the result:

Death will come on swift, hoppity feet.

Among the non-rabbit cast were Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun and DeForest Kelley. Depressingly, this was Kelley’s final non-Star Trek feature film. Even more depressingly, it was in 1972.

Eh, what's up Doc?

At least DeForest escaped one moment of ignominy: he did not have to utter the film’s most infamous line. That honor went to Phillip Avenetti as police officer Lopez, who pulled his squad car into the local drive-in theater and shouted:

“Ladies and gentlemen, attention! There is a herd of killer rabbits headed this way and we desperately need your help!”

Yes, once again our most powerful anti-monster weapons were horny teens in hotrods. (This was not the first time the day was saved by car headlights.) They lured the giant carrot-munchers onto electrified railroad tracks, putting an end to the Night of the Lepus. The southwest desert was blanketed with a rank smell of hassenpfeffer which lingers to this day.

31 Monsters #14: The Zanti

October 14th, 2009 No comments

The early ’60s were a great time for horror/sci-fi anthologies on American network TV. Audiences had the opportunity to watch The Twilight Zone without knowing the twist endings in advance. Alfred Hitchcock Presents was in the second half of its decade-long run. Boris Karloff hosted two seasons of Thriller. And The Outer Limits brought B movie sci-fi excitement on a weekly basis.

I don’t use the term “B movie” as a pejorative, but rather for its original meaning: the second half of a theatrical double feature. B movies were relatively short and inexpensive, but that didn’t necessarily mean that they were lacking for talent and craft.

So it was with The Outer Limits, which featured an impressive roster of guest actors and–more germane to this discussion–a panoply of exotic monsters. Joseph Stefano, screenwriter of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, produced the first season and put the monsters (nicknamed “bears”) front and center.

Among of the freakiest of his beloved “bears” were the alien Zanti, featured in the 1963 episode “The Zanti Misfits.”

The story opened with U.S. military personnel in the Southwest awaiting the arrival of a prison ship from the planet Zanti, whose unseen rulers had declared Earth the perfect place to house their criminal element. A perfectionist society, the Zanti were incapable of executing their prisoners and therefore sought to isolate them far from home. (“Not in my backyard” took on a new meaning here.) The humans had been instructed simply not to interfere with the craft, under threat of retaliation.

Unfortunately for all involved, a pair of human criminals (one of them played by Bruce Dern) broke through the cordon and stumbled across the surprisingly small spacecraft. They triggered an alien jailbreak, and at last the Zanti were revealed: fist-sized ants with human faces!

"Take us to your pic-a-nic baskets!"

It all went pear-shaped from there, with the buzzing Zanti misfits pursuing humans inside the cordoned area and finally landing their commandeered prison ship on top of the U.S. military’s ghost town HQ. Full-scale (and unintentionally hilarious) mayhem erupted as soldiers blasted screaming rubber bugs. (The Zanti were stop-motion animated models in close-ups–something extremely rare for a weekly TV series–but in many long shots were clearly stationary props pulled by wire.)

With the alien criminals squished, the remaining humans awaited their fate at the hands of the Zanti rulers. But it turned out that the threat of total destruction was a bluff.

“We knew that you could not live with such aliens in your midst. It was always our intention that you should destroy them, and their guards, who were of the same spoiled persuasion. We chose your planet for that purpose. We are incapable of executing our own species. But you are not. You are practiced executioners. We thank you.”

The Zanti were known throughout the civilized galaxy as the undisputed masters of the backhanded compliment.

Here’s “The Zanti Misfits” in its entirety, courtesy Hulu!

Categories: TV Tags: , ,

31 Monsters #13: The Cyclops

October 13th, 2009 No comments

On those rare childhood days when I didn’t want to grow up to be a paleontologist, I wanted to grow up to be Ray Harryhausen. He was one of the few motion picture special effects artists to become a brand name. While he never appeared above the title, there was never any doubt that Harryhausen and his stop-motion animated monsters were the stars of the show.

Ray was an acolyte of early movie wizard Willis O’Brien, the pioneering artist responsible for the creatures in the original versions of The Lost World and King Kong. After assisting O’Brien on Mighty Joe Young, Harryhausen embarked on an epic, twelve film collaboration with producer Charles Schneer ranging from 1955’s It Came from Beneath the Sea to 1981’s Clash of the Titans.

Many fans claim that Harryhausen’s masterwork was Jason and the Argonauts, which concluded with a duel between live-action sailors and seven stop-motion skeletons. From a technical standpoint, they may be right. However, I find Jason a little slow and ponderous as a film.

For my money, his greatest motion picture was 1958’s The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. Very loosely based on the Middle Eastern folk tales, it starred Kerwin Matthews as the sailing hero, Kathryn Grant (Bing Crosby’s wife) as his beloved princess, and the eminently hissable Torin Thatcher as the dark magician Sokurah.

Sinbad first encountered Sokurah on the island of Colossa as the wizard fled from one of the native cyclopses. The sailor and his men drove off the monster long enough to save Sokurah, but not his magic lamp. Unwitting of the magician’s schemes, the Caliph of Baghdad invited him into the palace. But when the ruler refused to mount an expedition back to Colossa to recover the lamp, Sokurah shrank his daughter, knowing that the only cure required the shell of the gigantic roc birds that nested on the island.

Many adventures ensued, and the film packed a lot into its 88 minutes. There were treacherous mutineers, screaming demons, a friendly genie, a fire-breathing dragon, another dueling skeleton and, of course, the aforementioned cyclopses.

cyclops

The goat-legged cyclops demonstrated the characteristic gait of many of Harryhausen’s humanoid monsters, a distinctive arms-back, knees-forward shuffle that was allegedly easier to animate. This walk had the side effect of giving the creatures a personal touch not often seen in today’s special effects epics, which typically involve hundreds of faceless computer animators.

Taking a page from Homer’s Odyssey, the cyclops trapped Sinbad and his men in a cave and threatened to roast them on a spit. Fortunately, the heroic sailor also knew his Greek literature and blinded the beast before leading it off a cliff.

During the climax, a second cyclops–distinguished by a pair of horns atop its head–showed up just long enough to wrestle with the dragon that Sokurah loosed on the fleeing heroes. It didn’t fare any better than its cousin.

Sixteen years later, Harryhausen and Sinbad were back for seconds in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad. The giant centaur in that one was a cyclops too!

31 Monsters #12: Dr. Sheila Frankenstein

October 12th, 2009 No comments

There are people who erroneously claim that Plan Nine from Outer Space is the worst movie of all time. One of those people is Michael Medved, whom you should never, ever believe. The rest, I think, simply haven’t seen all that many movies. Plan Nine, despite its charming ineptitude, has a plot–aliens want to discourage us from developing advanced weaponry–which more or less makes sense at the macro level. (Mostly because it’s ripped off from The Day the Earth Stood Still.) My friends, there are film experiences out there that will hurl you screaming into a realm of nonsense so complete as to make you question your own reality. And one of them is Frankenstein Island.

Frankenstein Island seems like a film outside of its own time. It was made in 1981, but looks like a product from the late ’60s at best. The year that it came out, Superman II and Raiders of the Lost Ark were unspooling on the big screen. By then, there was just no excuse for a movie in which cavewomen from outer space fought thugs in knit hats waving plastic devil forks while Frankenstein’s Monster knocked over tables of empty bottles and the disembodied head of John Carradine shouted incoherently. And yet, that exactly what some unlucky filmgoers got.

It began, as so many Frankenstein films have, with balloonists being blown off course and landing on an uncharted island inhabited by untamed, snake-handling jungle women who descended from alien visitors and were menaced by ex-members of the Grand Order of Occidental Nighthawks.

The latter group of turtleneck sweater-wearing minions were in the employ of a busty, blond-bewigged woman who introduced herself as Dr. Sheila Frankenstein. “Actually, it’s Von Helsing” (sic), she explained. “I don’t prefer my married name.” Dr. Sheila Frankenstein-Von Helsing (whom undoubtedly had Larry Talbot and Ardath Bey somewhere in her family tree as well) was the great-granddaughter of the original Frankenstein.

The old doc had long ago passed away, but his spirit was still inconveniently hanging around in the form of a superimposed cameo by John Carradine, who by 1981 would take any film role for the price of a sandwich. His disembodied head would appear from time to time, shouting “The power! The power!” to any cavewoman or balloonist who would listen.

Dr. Sheila Frankenstein hoped to follow in her ancestor’s famous footsteps by breeding the alien jungle women with the balloonists and/or using their blood for an immortality serum. Or something. All I know is that her experiments resulted in a pink lunchbox which spun under its own power. No one ever referred to the lunchbox, nor was any explanation given for it, yet it must have been important because every once in a while the director cut to a shot of it madly spinning away.

Now, of course, all of this caused Frankenstein’s Monster to come back to life. Then there was a fight involving the monster, the balloonists, the cavegirls, a cute dog and the turtlenecked lackeys. The latter were armed with plastic devil pitchforks that they had bought at the local drug store. The forks had the eerie power to turn alien jungle women into snarling beasts with plastic Dracula fangs (also purchased during the trip to Walgreens).

What? You thought that I was making this up?

It must be said that Frankenstein’s Monster was surprisingly ineffectual, waving his arms around in a futile attempt to get the other combatants to notice him. Getting bored, he decided instead to tip over a table full of empty plastic jugs.

Oh, and at some point, the cave women got a machine gun.

I mean, really. Ed Wood's looking pretty good now, isn't he?

A nearby brain-in-a-jar–presumably that of the original Dr. Frankenstein himself–was destroyed in the fracas, somehow dissipating the psychic energy that was keeping anyone from escaping the island. Or something. I’ve seen Frankenstein Island several times, and I’ve never quite been sure. The good guys returned to civilization, eventually returning to find the entire operation–jungle women, GOONs, monsters, brains, Carradines and all–vanished as if it had never had existed.

Oh, but don’t be fooled. Frankenstein Island still exists, waiting to trap unwary moviegoers within its spinning, pink lunchbox of mystery. Be warned; you might turn out like this poor guy.