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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Horror > Giant Monsters > Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster (Dark Sky Films)

Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster (Dark Sky Films)

 

Picture: B Sound: B- Extras: C- Film: C

 

 

In this bizarre 60s Sci-Fi romp, a few minor genre veterans make their way through a movie that carries a lot of enjoyable and campy moments. While its running time is a tad on the light side at 77 minutes, Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster (1965) makes its mark within that time perfectly well. This is the kind of schlock youll find to be championed by the many who grew up surrounded by the monster craze of the 60s; and possibly by the offspring of those die-hards who still cling to those films and the imaginative fun that they represented. Perhaps an impression left by these kinds of movies can still be felt today - but youd be hard-pressed to find it among a group largely made up of those who seek hard-core blood and guts gratification. Kind of sad, considering how much joy could still be had from Sci-Fi/Horror in this vein. While this type of stuff is largely ignored (with few exceptions) by a crowd of horror fanatics interested in little made within the genre before the 70s hit, its nice to see that often enough, well made editions of the classics are put out by a handful of niche-market companies. The one responsible for this release is Dark Sky Films - a division of MPI Media. Id previously seen a couple of discs on retail shelves that were put out by them, but until now I hadnt tried any of them out. Theyre pretty inexpensive, and are easily recognized by their clear DVD cases and airbrushed cover art.

 

While their are areas I think could have been touched upon better, theyve done an admirable job of securing a nice print of this film, and more than likely going through some moderate restoration work on it. As for the movie itself... well, its certainly bizarre. The plot seems to be threadbare, the stock footage used is numerous and easily spotted upon a first viewing, and the acting is pretty darn stilted. There is charm about all this, but to appreciate it, you really have to dive in and embrace the bad before you can let go and enjoy this crap. Ive been doing it for the longest time with movies other than this; and once you root through so much of the insanely bad and unredeemable, you get an odd appreciation for things that have some kind of saving grace, whatever in hell it may be. You also stumble upon some real gold as well, and a shining example of this would be the films of Frank Henenlotter, a man who for a time carried the torch for horror that mixed a fascination for the movies of the old with grizzled, modern camp.

 

Id say that Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster falls someplace in the middle, but is definitely worth the time to look inside of its workings. Just be prepared, as you wont be finding a trace of Mary Shelleys creation in here - only an android astronaut named Frank that was created by NASA to pilot spaceships without risk to human life. Other examples of what this movie is all about? Dancing, bikini-clad babes who are being abducted by an alien race looking to repopulate its species. Some generic rock music of the time that always feels so very poorly tailored for its purpose. Cheaply-clad monsters who run around creating terror and panic. Need I go on? For all this and more, the movie offers cheap thrills (and is there any better kind?) that few others equal. It also made the list on the DVD The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made, reviewed elsewhere on this site.

 

The presentation is in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, and the picture here looks pretty good throughout. The only problems I picked up on were at the very beginning, where you may notice some scratches to the film accompanied by pops in the sound. Everything else is smooth, and the black and white tones are fleshed out just fine. The 2.0 Dolby Mono audio is well done too, and sounds pretty good for a film of its budget and age.

 

The extras are scant, and all you get on the disc itself is the trailer and a gallery of stills. However, Dark Sky has put together a neat little booklet, with a little biography/introduction to the film, written by George Garrett - one of the writers for the picture. For the lack of anything else, I gave the extras a low grade, though Im not sure this movie in particular needed much of anything else. If you see this one around, pick it up, along with The Horror At Party Beach and go on and make a night of it.

 

 

- David Milchick


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