Bride of the Monster
|Bride of the Monster|
Original theatrical poster
|Directed by||Ed Wood|
|Produced by||Ed Wood|
|Written by||Alex Gordon
|Music by||Frank Worth|
William C. Thompson
|Editing by||Warren Adams|
|Studio||Rolling M. Productions|
|Distributed by||Banner Pictures|
|Running time||68 minutes|
Dr. Eric Vornoff (Bela Lugosi), is experimenting with nuclear power with the help of his mute assistant, Lobo (Tor Johnson). His goal is to eventually create an army of superpowered 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 (referred to as simply "the monster") has been responsible for the deaths of local townspeople. Newspaper reporter Janet Lawton (Loretta King Hadler, in a role originally intended for Dolores Fuller) investigates further, becoming a prisoner of Dr. Vornoff in the process. The police eventually follow, led by lieutenant Dick Craig (Tony McCoy, producer Donald E. McCoy's son), who is also Lawton's boyfriend. Meanwhile, an official from Dr. Vornoff's home country, Professor Strowksi (George Becwar), 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. A fire is soon started in the laboratory, killing Lobo. Police officials, the irradiated Dr. Vornoff, Dick Craig and Janet Lawton all escape, and Dr. Vornoff is eventually killed by a bolt of lightning, forming a mushroom cloud as the film ends.
The first incarnation of the film was a 1953 script by Alex Gordon titled The Atomic Monster, but a lack of financing prevented any production. Later Ed Wood revived the project as The Monster of the Marshes. Actual shooting began in October 1954 at the Ted Allan Studios, but further money problems quickly halted the production. The required funds were supplied by a rancher named Donald McCoy, who became the film's producer. He also provided his son to star as the film's hero. Production resumed in 1955 at Centaur Studios.
This was Bela Lugosi's last speaking role in a feature film. His last appearance was Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space.
This film is part of what Wood aficionados refer to as "The Kelton Trilogy", a trio of films featuring Paul Marco as "Officer Kelton", a whining, reluctant policeman. The other two films are Plan 9 from Outer Space and Night of the Ghouls.
The character of Lobo also appeared again in Wood's Night of the Ghouls.
The female lead wears the same angora hat worn by Wood in Glen or Glenda.
The newspaper seller, a walk-on role, is played by Billy Benedict (of The Bowery Boys).
In 2010, a retrospective on the movie entitled Citizen Wood: Making ‘The Bride,’ Unmaking the Legend was included in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume 19 DVD set. Horror host Mr. Lobo is among the interviewees of the 27 minute documentary.
In 1980, the book, The Golden Turkey Awards, claims that Lugosi's character declares his manservant Lobo (Tor Johnson) "as harmless as kitchen" [sic]. This allegedly misspoken line is cited as evidence of either Lugosi's failing health/mental faculties, or as further evidence of Wood's incompetence as a director. However, a viewing of the film itself reveals that Lugosi said this line correctly, the exact words being, "Don't be afraid of Lobo; he's as gentle as a kitten."
In 1994, the biopic Ed Wood, directed by Tim Burton, alleged that Wood and the filmmakers stole the mechanical octopus (previously used in the film Wake of the Red Witch) from the Republic Studios backlot, while failing to steal the motor which enabled the prop to move realistically, although, by the director's admission, the film preferred narrative interest over historical accuracy. These events are also alleged in the 2004 documentary, The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made. However, other stories circulated insist Wood legitimately rented the octopus, along with some cars. To remedy the lack of movement from the octopus prop, whenever someone was killed by the monster in the film, they simply flailed around in the shallow water while holding the tentacles to imitate movement. The filming of these scenes, as well as the production of the film in general, were played to comic effect in Ed Wood.
Rudolph Grey's book Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood Jr. contains anecdotes regarding the making of this film. Grey notes that participants in the original events sometimes contradict one another, but he relates each person's information for posterity. He also includes Ed Wood's claim that one of his films made a profit and surmises that it was most likely Bride of the Monster, but that Wood had oversold the film and could not reimburse the backers.
See also 
- The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood, Jr. (1996), documentary film directed by Brett Thompson
- Rudolph Grey, Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr. (1992) ISBN 978-0-922915-24-8
- Sloan, Will (April 2005). "Can Your Heart Stand the Shocking Facts About Kelton the Cop A/K/A Paul Marco?". Filmfax (106): 88–89.
- "Night of the Ghouls - Trivia". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-04-17.
- Grey, Rudolph (1992). Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood Jr.. Los Angeles: Feral House. ISBN 0-922915-04-0.
- Rhodes, Gary D. (1997). Lugosi: his life in films, on stage, and in the hearts of horror lovers. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0257-1.
- "Night of the Ghouls". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2006-05-18.
- "ASIN: B001BSBBKI". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
- "ASIN: B001LNV63U". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
- Brad Cook (12 November 2010). "Film Threat - Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume Xix (dvd)". Film Threat. Retrieved 15 November 2010.
- Medved, Harry; Michael Medved (1980). The Golden Turkey Awards: Nominees and Winners, the Worst Achievements in Hollywood History. New York: Putnam. p. 178. ISBN 0-399-50463-X.