Bride of the Monster

( 1 )

Overview

Bride of the Monster is one of two feature films upon which, for many years, rested the reputation (such as it was) of director Edward D. Wood Jr. Along with Plan 9 From Outer Space, it was one of two Wood sci-fi films to come to television very early, around 1961, and thanks to the presence of Bela Lugosi, Bride of the Monster actually was seen and discussed by horror buffs. Indeed, along with Plan 9 From Outer Space and Night of the Ghouls, Bride of the Monster formed the first part of a trilogy that has ...
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DVD (Black & White / Pan & Scan / Mono)
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Overview

Bride of the Monster is one of two feature films upon which, for many years, rested the reputation (such as it was) of director Edward D. Wood Jr. Along with Plan 9 From Outer Space, it was one of two Wood sci-fi films to come to television very early, around 1961, and thanks to the presence of Bela Lugosi, Bride of the Monster actually was seen and discussed by horror buffs. Indeed, along with Plan 9 From Outer Space and Night of the Ghouls, Bride of the Monster formed the first part of a trilogy that has delighted bad movie buffs for decades. Bride of the Monster was the most accessible and conventional of Wood's three horror films. One of the very few of his productions that was financed at the level of a conventional B-picture, it looks "normal" in a way that Plan 9 and Night of the Ghouls do not. Or, at least, more normal than the others -- there are extras and bit players where there should be extras and bit players, and actual exteriors rather than threadbare studio sets darkened to imitate night scenes. What's more, with a script co-authored by Alex Gordon, the movie followed the conventions of mad scientist and old-style mystery pictures in ways that Wood's solo-scripted efforts didn't. Mixed within that framework, however, are also elements of the bizarre dialogue patterns and word usages, mismatched film footage, and continuity mistakes that make Wood's movies so engaging. Police Lieutenant Craig (Tony McCoy) catches the case of the Lake Marsh murders and, with help from his reporter girlfriend (Loretta King), finds that exiled Eastern European scientist Eric Vornoff (Bela Lugosi) and his experiments with radiation are responsible. With a hulking monster of a servant (Tor Johnson) and a Soviet spy (George Becwar) working around the edges of the plot, Bride of the Monster has all of the necessary ingredients for the kind of unintended laughfest that one associates with Wood's movies. This was also Lugosi's final finished screen performance, however, and he does imbue his work, even at this late date, with a surprising degree of dignity. The DVD is looks better than the earlier Lumivision laserdisc edition or any other presentation of the movie in the last 40 years. Not only is it a very clean transfer, with great care given to the contrast and depth in every shot, but the source has to be the cleanest print in existence. The audio is also extremely sharp, so much so that one can readily discern that, contrary to the misinformation put forth in various books, Lugosi's character never says of the huge, hulking Lobo, "He is as gentle as a kitchen." The result is the best edition of Bride of the Monster in living memory for most of us. Of course, that only enhances the deficiencies in the filmmaking, but in the context of enjoying Wood's movies, that's a virtue. The DVD is divided into a dozen chapters with no special annotation, which is a shame. The menu opens automatically on start-up and is very easy to navigate, and the only bonus material is a very entertaining trailer.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
There's a lot that's been said about Bride of the Monster, and most of it is true. It is ineptly made and it has seams -- including mismatched interior and exterior sets and scenery that shakes during the fight scenes -- that show a mile off. And it has a script that's a mix of clich├ęs from mad-scientist movies and hardboiled reporter lingo, interspersed with some of the strangest incidental dialogue that anyone had ever heard in an English-language movie up to that time -- at least, one made in an English-speaking country, but therein lies its charm. Bride of the Monster was the biggest-budgeted movie ever made by director Edward D. Wood Jr., and is, along with the crime-thriller Jail Bait, his most accessible film. Although it has continuity problems (a pencil behind the ear of a newspaper morgue clerk won't stay put from angle-to-angle -- although, to be fair, no less a director than Alfred Hitchcock had those same kind of problems in movies like North By Northwest) and badly matched footage, it is a smoother movie than Wood's magnum opus, Plan 9 From Outer Space. In contrast to Plan 9's ultra-cheap surroundings, which gave it an almost other-worldly look throughout, like a nightmare in slow-motion, Bride of the Monster follows the conventions and expectations of a B-movie crime-thriller and horror story, giving the viewer some familiar points of reference to work from. The typical Wood sexually tinged argot is also muted somewhat in the dialogue, and what is here manages to be entertaining without diverting the viewer's attention from the plot. This movie was as close as Wood ever got to making a successful film, although he had to compromise in many areas of the production to get it shot. Wood's significant other, Dolores Fuller, who ended up with a tiny scene in the film, would have been a better lead, but would-be actress Loretta King played the female lead because Wood had thought she had a significant amount of money to put into the production (she didn't). Tony McCoy, the male lead, isn't bad for a non-actor. Wood got financing from McCoy's father, a meat-packing magnate, who insisted that his son play the lead and also that the movie end with a huge nuclear explosion as a warning about the atomic bomb. There is a lot to laugh at in the movie, most of it unintentional, although one attribute that is a complete myth concerns Bela Lugosi's dialogue . His accent is very thick, as always, but in describing Tor Johnson's Lobo, Lugosi does NOT say "he is as gentle as a kitchen." The movie was the first of what was ultimately a trilogy of horror films from Wood -- the others were Plan 9 From Outer Space and Night of the Ghouls -- all linked by one common character (police officer Kelton, played by Paul Marco) and their plots, which mix elements of police procedural and horror films.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/15/2000
  • UPC: 014381860023
  • Original Release: 1955
  • Rating:

  • Source: Image Entertainment
  • Region Code: 0
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Black & White / Pan & Scan / Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:09:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 44,370

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bela Lugosi Dr. Eric Vornoff
Tor Johnson Lobo
Tony McCoy Lt. Dick Craig
Loretta King Janet Lawton
Harvey B. Dunn Capt. Robbins
Bud Osborne Mac
John Warren Jake
Dolores Fuller Margie
William Benedict Newsboy
Ben Frommer Drunk
George Becwar Prof. Strowski
Paul Marco Kelton
Technical Credits
Edward D. Wood Jr. Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Warren Adams Editor
Ted Allan Cinematographer
Pat Dinga Special Effects
Alex Gordon Screenwriter
Tony McCoy Associate Producer
William L. Nolte Asst. Director
William C. Thompson Cinematographer
Frank Worth Score Composer
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Scene Index

Menu Group #1 with 13 chapter(s) covering 01:10:14
1. Main title; The old willow place. [7:03]
2. In the name of science. [3:24]
3. "Facts and only facts." [10:05]
4. A strange sort of bird. [3:50]
5. Searching for Janet. [8:05]
6. Gentle as a kitten. [5:46]
7. "Home?...I have no home.." [11:10]
8. The bride of the atom. [4:50]
9. Lobo's revenge. [7:14]
10. The tables are turned. [2:29]
11. Tampering in God's domain. [4:03]
12. End credits. [:34]
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Menu

Side #1
Side #1
Menu Group #1 with 13 chapter(s) covering 01:10:14
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Customer Reviews

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    Posted January 10, 2009

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