Bride of the Monster (1955) starring Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, by Ed Wood
In Bride of the Monster, Dr. Varnoff captures various men for his experiment. He plans to turn them into supermen using atomic energy. Newspaperwoman Lawton gets too snoopy for her own good.
In short, Bride of the Monster is a cheesy monster movie by Ed Wood. It’s Bela Lugosi’s last speaking role. I watched it online for free, and I frankly wouldn’t pay to watch it. It’s not that it’s terrible — but it’s not that good, either. FWIW, I did enjoy the subplot of the Communist doctor trying to get Bela Lugosi’s character to give the fruit of his labor to their Communist country. The same country that exiled him. Bela does a fine job with what he’s given.
Cast of characters
- Bela Lugosi (Dracula, The Devil Bat) — Dr. Eric Vornoff. The mad scientist, planning to use atomic radiation to turn ordinary men into an army of supermen. And ruuuule the world!
- Tor Johnson — Lobo. Presumably, Vornoff’s only success so far. Strong, bullet resistant, not very bright. He turns on Vornoff towards the end.
- Tony McCoy — Lt. Dick Craig. Police officer looking into the twelve missing persons in his community. Yes, twelve. And his fiancee becomes number thirteen.
- Loretta King — Janet Lawton. Tony’s fiancee, and nosy female reporter. Who actually finds her way to Vornoff’s. And quickly becomes captured, hypnotized, and about to become the next failed experiment …
- Harvey B. Dunn (Teenagers from Outer Space) — Captain Robbins. Sits at his desk and barks at his police officers about not solving the 13 missing person cases.
- George Becwar — Professor Strowski. Expert that consults with the police on cryptozoology. But he’s really an agent from behind the Iron Curtain, who wants to bring Vornoff back “home”. To use his discovery to help their (unspecified) Communist country take over the world! But Vornoff’s been exiled from that country, and feels he owes them nothing. He plans to rule the world for himself.
- Paul Marco — Officer Kelton. A whining, reluctant cop … who is a recurring character in various Ed Wood horror films.
- Don Nagle — Martin, Dick’s partner.
- Bud Osborne — Mac. Along with Jake, the first of the two victims that the audience sees on screen. One of them falls into water and is killed by a (clearly fake) rubber octopus. The other becomes an experimental subject of Vornoff’s, and dies that way.
- John Warren — Jake.
Editorial review of Bride of the Monster courtesy of Amazon.com
For years, conventional wisdom has had it that Ed Wood Jr.’s Plan 9 from Outer Space is the ultimate “bad movie,” a sort of Holy Grail of cinematic ineptitude. Often lost in the shuffle, though, is Bride of the Monster (fans of Tim Burton’s biopic Ed Wood will already be familiar with it and the offscreen misadventures that went along with it).
Bela Lugosi plays Dr. Vornoff, a mad scientist working on a race of superbeings in his lab. His process of clamping a metal lampshade onto the heads of his subjects and zapping them with radiation usually kills them, but the monstrous Lobo (Tor Johnson) survives and becomes Vornoff’s assistant. Vornoff’s plans go awry, though, when he tries to get a nosy reporter to mate with Lobo and winds up being given the atom treatment himself. Suffice it to say that there’s a grappling match between Vornoff and Lobo until the evil doctor falls into a pit and wrestles a rubber octopus. Stock footage of lightning and an atomic explosion round things out for a great non sequitur of an ending.
Knowing Bela Lugosi’s sad state by the time that he and Ed Wood had teamed up makes it hard to watch this movie without feeling a pang of pathos for the 73-year-old actor; indeed, Bride was his last speaking role. Still, any movie with as many obvious gaffes in direction, editing, set design, narrative (heck, take your pick) as Bride is a must for any connoisseur of bad movies. –Jerry Renshaw