Mind Games: “Monstrosity” (1963)



“HEY… MY BRAIN’S UP HERE!”: Dr, Frank (Frank Gerstle) attempts to keep his eyes on the prize while prepping domestic Nina Rhodes (Erika Peters) for a literal change of mind in the cheap, derivative but rather disturbing “Monstrosity”.

                   “Monstrosity”  (1963)

    “Monstrosity” is a film that has a great deal on its plate but none of it worth doing as it has already all been done better. And worse. Hence we are privy to a narration (spokenmonstrosityos  by Bradford Dillman) postulating the wonders of brain transplantation and its connection to vampiric legend (don’t ask) as well as a sexy corpse, a mad scientist, a nocturnal prowling man-beast, a murder and grave robbing. And that’s only in the first four minutes. Unfortunately, sheer quantity of borrowed horror movie elements does not necessarily produce a better film, merely a traffic jam.

Cleverly named scientist Dr. Frank (Frank Gerstle) is experimenting with brain transplantation using the bodies of recently deceased, very healthy looking young women. Regardless of the fact that there is no explanation as to the availability of so much freshy departed female meat in such a desolate location, the experiments proceed with the usual monstrous blunders (hence the title of the film) present in every mad scientist film, including the aforementioned man-beast; the product of an animal brain placed inside a human body (though why this makes the subject suddenly look like a denizen of Dr. Moreau’s summermonstrosity1 cottage is another unexplained mystery of science). Frank’s research is funded by a miserly old woman, Mrs. March (Marjorie Eaton) whose interest is motivated by her own desire to have her brain transplanted into the body of a nubile young woman. Also in her employ is Victor (Frank Fowler), a toady who practically salivates at the prospect of grabbing onto Mrs. March’s money (though Mr. Dillman reminds us that the unsavory rewards of romantic attachment to a twenty-something pin-up girl only for her to have the mind of a crotchety octogenarian). The scheme nears fruition with the importation of three foreign domestics-  Nina (Erika Peters), Beatrice (Judy Bamber) and Anita (Lisa Lang)  -who, unlike most women in peril in horror films, seem acutely aware that something is amiss from the very start, but feel powerless to take countermeasures. 

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/poverty-row/


About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in Drive-In Movies, grindhouse, horror, Movies, science, women, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Mind Games: “Monstrosity” (1963)

  1. beetleypete says:

    Worryingly, I find this film appealing, in the ‘so bad it’s good’ category. Erika’s classic ‘bullet-bra’ may help with that, I’m not sure. I might have to try to find it now. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • The photo, as you may have guessed, was chosen with your patronage in mind. You’re welcome. It’s a cheap film, crudely executed, yet there is something so effectively uncomfortable, almost (here using a word that I detest through it’s abused overuse) surreal about the whole thing that I couldn’t possibly dismiss it.

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