The Navy vs. the Night Monsters (1966) starring Mamie Van Doren, Anthony Eisley
The Navy vs. the Night Monsters is an enjoyable 1950’s monster movie, where an unknown something is killing Navy personnel on a remote island.
Operation Deep Freeze, a scientific expedition to Antartica, discovers unusual tree specimens. Specimens are shipped out for further study, the trees are accidentally introduced to a South Seas island …
I’m intentionally omitting the end of the Product Description, as well as Amazon’s editorial review of The Navy vs. the Night Monsters. They both spoil the secret of the movie. It’s actually a relatively enjoyable mystery for the first two-thirds of the movie. While transporting prehistoric trees from the Antarctic via plane, something makes one of the crew go wild, attacking the others …. And jumping to his death from the plane. The plane later crashes on a South Pacific island. There’s nothing of interest there except a Navy base. The crash damages the base’s aircraft tower. They have no communication with the outside world. The only survivor of the crash is in a coma …. And people are being mysterious killed by a strange, acidic attack. But only at night.
The premise is interesting, and the acting’s not bad. The only negatives I have with the film are:
- Once revealed, the “monsters” look silly.
- Due to executive interference, the film’s padded out. In a way that undercuts the suspense of the Navy personnel being on their own.
For the record, the cover of the movie both spoils the mystery, and massively exaggerates the threat.
- Mamie Van Doren (Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women) … Nora Hall. Head nurse at the Navy base. She’s involved in a romantic triangle. Beyond that, however, she’s a competent, caring nurse. She throws herself into danger when her skills are needed. She’s not the stereotypical damsel in distress.
- Anthony Eisley (The Wasp Woman) … Lt. Charles Brown. He’s forced into command, doesn’t think he’s ready, but he’s determined to do his best. He’s in love with Nora.
- Billy Gray (The Day the Earth Stood Still, On Moonlight Bay) … CPO Fred Twining
- Bobby Van (Lost Horizon, Kiss Me Kate) … Ensign Rutherford Chandler
- Pamela Mason (I Met a Murderer, Lady Possessed) … Marie – Scientist
- Walter Sande (To Have and Have Not) … Dr. Arthur Beecham. Biologist stationed at the Navy base. He recommends planting the trees to keep them alive in the meanwhile. And becomes instrumental to the base personnel’s survival.
- Edward Faulkner (McLintock!) … Bob Spaulding. Civilian meteorologist. He’s in love with Nora, but she doesn’t love him. He gets into fights with Lt. Brown on multiple occasions due to jealousy. But, he does discover the monsters’ vulnerability to fire. This leads to the Navy personnel being able to defend themselves …. For a time.
- Phillip Terry (The Lost Weekend, The Leech Woman) … Base Doctor.