Bride of the Monster / Bride of the Atom (1955)

“One is always considered mad when one discovers something that others cannot grasp.”

Synopsis:
A mad scientist (Bela Lugosi) determined to create a race of atomic superman turns a snoopy journalist (Loretta King) into his next victim.

Genres:

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary accurately labels this “horrid low-budget horror film” by Ed Wood “not as terrible as Plan 9 From Outer Space,” but notes that “there are enough campy elements to keep Wood fanatics pleased” (including the “truly hilarious” final sequence in which Lugosi battles a rubber octopus and “must wrap the tentacles around himself”). Ironically, it’s the (marginal) competence of this rather standard mad scientist flick — with semi-decent performances by at least a handful of actors involved — that prevents it from being as howl-worthy, or as enjoyable, as Plan 9. Bride of the Monster is “bad”, naturally, in many of Wood’s typical ways (campy dialogue, laughably low-budget props, shoddy direction, the presence of hulking Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson) — but to be honest, I found it a struggle to stay engaged. Bela Lugosi is the film’s primary redeeming element: he consistently gives 110% percent in a film clearly not “worthy” of his fame, and film fanatics may be curious to check it out simply to see him in his final “meaningful” role.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Bela Lugosi as Dr. Vornoff

Must See?
No. While Ed Wood completists will surely disagree, I don’t believe this one is must-see for all film fanatics.

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One Response to “Bride of the Monster / Bride of the Atom (1955)”

  1. Ultimately not a must, tho I confess to a certain fondness for it.

    It’s pretty bad – BUT – for Ed Wood, it’s pretty good. Draw your own conclusion. I admit that, during this re-watch, I wasn’t all that sure of the point of Lugosi’s experiments. Maybe I’m tired but is the point really adequately explained?

    Not that it matters.

    What seems evident is that Wood has done his own ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ homage, since plenty in the film indicates that.

    This movie is just over an hour and not enough of merit really happens within that time-frame to discuss the film at length. Still, I find it charming in an eccentric way.

    And there are particular plus points: certainly FFs of wide taste will be curious to see Lugosi’s performance, and he doesn’t disappoint. (His “I have no home” speech alone could make a watch worth it.) It’s actually intriguing watching Lugosi give his all in a pedestrian setting.

    The film is competently shot (for what it is). And it has a surprisingly effective score by Frank Worth. Just think about the film without his score…

    But there is also the major distraction of the ‘menacing’/inert octopus throughout.

    The best audience here would probably be those who have seen Tim Burton’s successful biopic ‘Ed Wood’. In his film, Burton spends much time re-enacting ‘BOTM’. So the original Wood film carries a strong echo effect for those who saw Burton’s biopic first.

    Bottom line: only Wood ‘fans’ need apply. I’ve seen just about all of Woodwork, and consider myself enriched by what I’ve seen. Go fig.

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