Monster a Go-Go
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|Monster a Go-Go!|
Original theatrical release poster
|Written by||Sheldon Seymour|
B.I. & L. Releasing Corp.
|Distributed by||B.I. & L. Releasing Corp.|
Monster a Go-Go! is a 1965 American science-fiction horror film directed by Bill Rebane and Herschell Gordon Lewis (who remained uncredited in association with this film). The film is considered to be one of the worst films ever made.
The plot concerns an American astronaut, Frank Douglas, who mysteriously disappears from his spacecraft as it parachutes to Earth. The policeman in one scene inspect the landing site of Douglas's capsule and notices a burned patch, only to dismiss it as a prank. The vanished astronaut is apparently replaced by or turned into a large, radioactive, humanoid monster. This is revealed when it comes into the scene and kills off Dr. Logan. A team of scientists and military men also attempts to capture the monster – and at one point succeed and imprison it in the lab, only to have it escape. Neither the capture nor the escape is ever shown, and both are simply mentioned by the narrator.
At the end of the film, the scientists corner the monster in a sewer under Chicago, but the monster suddenly disappears. The scientists receive a telegram stating that Douglas is in fact alive and well, having been rescued in the North Atlantic, perhaps implying the monster was an alien impersonating Douglas. The narrator provides the film's closing dialogue:
As if a switch had been turned, as if an eye had been blinked, as if some phantom force in the universe had made a move eons beyond our comprehension, suddenly, there was no trail! There was no giant, no monster, no thing called "Douglas" to be followed. There was nothing in the tunnel but the puzzled men of courage, who suddenly found themselves alone with shadows and darkness! With the telegram, one cloud lifts, and another descends. Astronaut Frank Douglas, rescued, alive, well, and of normal size, some 8,000 miles away in a lifeboat, with no memory of where he has been, or how he was separated from his capsule! Then who, or what, has landed here? Is it here yet? Or has the cosmic switch been pulled? Case in point: The line between science fiction and science fact is microscopically thin! You have witnessed the line being shaved even thinner! But is the menace with us? Or is the monster gone?
- Henry Hite as Frank Douglas/the Monster
- June Travis as Ruth
- Phil Morton as Col. Steve Connors
- Peter M. Thompson as Dr. Chris Manning
- Herschell Gordon Lewis as Radio announcer (uncredited)
- Bill Rebane as Narrator
The film had an unusual production history. 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, included some new 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, so he 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. One of the actors Lewis was able to rehire had dramatically changed his look in the intervening years, necessitating his playing the brother of the original character. At one point, when a phone supposedly rings, the sound effect is obviously a person making a noise with his mouth.
The actor playing the film's monster, Henry Hite, was 7 ft 6¾ in (2.31 m) tall, but the director wanted the monster to be 10 ft tall, so Hite was filmed from an upward angle in every shot.
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Monster a Go-Go! was released with Psyched by the 4-D Witch as a DVD double feature by Something Weird Video. The MST3K version of the film was released by Rhino Home Video as part of the Collection, Volume 8 DVD set. The film's original director, Bill Rebane, released a "Special Collector's Edition" with commentary and other extras on Synergy Entertainment on October 19, 2010.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2014)
Critical reception has been predominantly negative. The film is regarded as being one of the all-time worst. Allmovie gave the film a negative review, calling it "an incoherent concoction brewed solely to fill space on a double bill". TV Guide panned the film, calling it "garbage". Dennis Schwartz from Ozus' World Movie Reviews gave the film a negative review. In his review on the film, Schwartz called it "One of the most incoherent films ever made because the plot line can't be explained rationally nor are the characters clearly defined." When reviewing the film, Horror News.net also noted the reason behind its negative reputation: "The film itself falls into the "worst" category with not only a lethargic presentation but with its odd-pieced editing style. Some scenes pop in out of nowhere that really don't seem to have much to do with the previous scene. Others are typical conversation scenes that are just edited back and forth in a haphazard way. I think the film stands better as a piece to be mocked and laughed at than as a real piece of important cinema. In fact, you may find humor in just those elements alone that make the experience one to look for mistakes, continuity errors and ridiculous logic at times. Why they felt the need that it needed some hipster dance scenes thrown in to sell more tickets is beyond me. But the result is so odd that it also deserves a laugh. It's classic B-grade miss mash that only has appeal in its disjointed effort."
- "Monster A-Go Go (1965)". The Agony Booth. June 16, 2003. Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- "Monster a Go-Go! (1965) - Review - AllMovie". Allmovie.com. Allmovie. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
- "Monster A Go-Go - Movie Reviews and Movie Ratings". TV Guide.com. TV Guide. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
- Schwartz, Dennis. "monsteragogo". Sover.net. Dennis Schwartz. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
- "Film Review: Monster a-Go Go (1965)". HorrorNews.net. Horror News. Retrieved November 9, 2017.