After last week’s movie I’d pretty much had it with movies so bad they were depressing. I wanted something so bad it was funny. Something utterly stupid. So I got out the list of bad/stupid movies the hubby had made out, and picked what was sure to be a lot of fun - Monster A Go-Go.
Boy was I wrong!
There were no go-go dancers in this movie, although there was one short, kind of random dancing scene. Research done afterwards touts it as one of the worst movies ever made, and I believe it. And I also believe that I need to start researching these movies before we watch them.
The budget for this 1965 movie was so low they couldn’t even afford to film in colour. It begins with a capsule being launched into space to check on “stuff” floating around out there. It lands/crashes back on Earth but whoever’s keeping track of it has a hard time finding it. A couple of guys in uniform - they seem to switch from being cops to being military guys - in an unmarked car go looking for it with a helicopter backing them up.
There’s a lot of talking on the radio between the chopper and the car, but despite cranking up the volume it was still hard to make out what they were saying. The guys in the car find the dinged up capsule, and also the helicopter. The chopper pilot is dead and there’s no sign of the guy that was in the itty bitty capsule.
It was a little confusing - I actually thought they were looking for two separate people because sometimes they said the name Frank, and sometimes Douglas. Turns out the guy in the capsule was Frank Douglas. The two cops/military guys are joined by Frank’s wife and another couple who just happen to be scientists.
Anyway, the helicopter pilot is shriveled up like a prune - their words, not mine, he didn’t look that bad to me - and there’s also a few burn spots on the ground, which are dismissed as kids playing a prank. Deciding there’s nothing more they can do at the crash site they go to the lab.
There they determine that the chopper pilot was literally cooked to death and that Frank couldn’t have survived, even though the chute on his capsule opened, because there’s no trace of him. And he’d be pretty radioactive because there’s an excessive amount of radiation in and around the capsule. Please note that the capsule was left where it landed and no precautions were taken to keep the public out of danger.
So then a bunch of military guys, presumably from the lab, arrive at the airport to meet a big air force jet with Dr. Chris Manning on board. Despite the fact he’s a civilian, they decided the case was important enough to send for him. They go to the lab to examine the pilot’s body.
Suddenly we cut to a random scene of some kids dancing - beehive hairdos, pencil skirts, boys in cardigans. I assume this is the “go-go” part of the movie. One of the guys gets mad that his girlfriend is having a little too much fun and pulls her off the dance floor. She must like being pushed around ‘cause she doesn’t protest and they drive off together. They don’t go too far before he’s pulling over so they can start necking.
He gets a little too touchy feely and she gets out of the car. Someone (we can’t really see who) goes up to the driver’s side window and she turns and screams. The three military guys appear out of nowhere and find the body of the boyfriend. Then they hear some moaning and find the girl. They take her to the lab.
Now we get some weird ass, nonsensical music as Dr. Logan goes back to the landing area. The narrator keeps giving away the action before it happens. So ... Dr. Logan’s looking around and finds a burnt stick, and then turns on this thing that looks like one of those guns the police use to clock speeders. He hears a noise like radar blips and a Lurch-like creature comes up behind him and strangles him.
The others get word there’s been another strange incident and toddle off to have a look see. First they find the speed gun, then they find Dr. Logan who looks worse than the other bodies they’ve found thus far. They look around, trying to figure out why he was out there.
A new doctor is flown in and once he’s in the lab he asks to be brought up to date. Dr. Kramer, the token woman in the lab, says that there was no blood in the body, it had turned to powder. It’s determined that Frank Douglas must have died in space and his place in the capsule taken by a 400 pound, ten foot tall, radio-active creature.
Dr. Kramer shows the new guy Dr. Logan’s notes. Apparently, Logan had been injecting himself with something that was supposed to keep him from being affected by radiation - obviously it didn’t work. Then we learn this was something the lab was working on.
There’s another scientist in the lab - didn’t catch his name and was unable to find a cast listing to check - after Dr. Kramer leaves he goes to drug up the creature they were talking about. Excuse me? Did I miss something? When did they catch this creature? I thought they just figured out it existed. Anyway, he’s late with the drug and goes back to the lab to find it trashed.
Now we’re at a park where girls in bikinis are sun bathing. The Lurch-monster comes out of the bushes and heads towards them. They see him and run away screaming. The military guys get a call that the monster’s been spotted. The science guys and the military guys have an argument and decide that the monster is actually Frank Douglas, changed by the radiation he was exposed to. They must catch him!
Lots of random shots of them searching. The military guys are getting something on their equipment - lots of flashing lights, more vehicles arrive. The scientist guys put on clunky suits - they think they have him trapped in the sewers. They blow a whistle like a train whistle - not sure why - and then they blow anti-radiation gas into the sewer. They check out the sewer and the monster is gone.
But wait! Everything is okay! They receive a telegram that Frank was found 8000 miles away in a lifeboat. He’s alive and well and normal size (their words, not mine). The monster was not mentioned again.
At this point the movie just kind of stopped, and hubby made the flippant comment that it was another movie where they ran out of money and just stopped filming. The most entertaining part for him was the fact that when I looked up the movie on the internet, that’s exactly what happened. At least according to Wikipedia:
Director Rebane ran out of money while making the film. Herschell Gordon Lewis, who needed a second film to show with his own feature, Moonshine Mountain, bought the film, added a few extra scenes and some dialogue, and then released it, creating an odd, disjointed film with little continuity. Rebane had abandoned the film in 1961; Lewis did not finish the film until 1965 and so was unable to gather all of the original cast, resulting in almost half the characters disappearing midway through the film to be replaced by other characters who fill most of the same roles.
Of all the movies we’ve seen so far, this is the worst. And not worst in a good way.