Creature Features revisited – So bad they’re good!

brain-from-planet-arous- with strings

Creature Features revisited

A look back at the golden age of sci-fi. Our subject today…

So bad they’re good!

and by ‘good’ I mean they’re still bad, but you can get a good laugh watching themCreature Features logo

Robot Monster (1953)
The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)

Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965)


Robot Monster (1953)
This film is considered one of the worst films ever made perhaps only outdone by Plan 9. It was originally released in 3D. The monster is a gorilla costume with a diving-helmet… how good can it be? For whatever reason I like this the way some people like Plan-9 From Outer Space. In one scene Ro-man kidnaps Alice and runs down the mountainside with her. It is supposed to be terrifying and you hear Alice screaming. But, you can clearly see that actress Claudia Barrett is laughing hysterically the whole way down the hillside. I’m curious as to what Ro-man (George Barrows in costume) was saying to her as they raced through the mountainous terrain. In another scene you can see the human hand that is holding the rocket-ship as it’s landing on earth.

Ro-Man is sent to earth on an invasion mission. The plan goes well and Ro-man holes up in a cave near a family who are the last surviving people on earth. At first the alien leader instructs Ro-man to keep them alive for information. Later he instructs Ro-man to kill them, but Ro-man has developed feelings for Alice. His communications machine/computer shoots bubbles. It would be nice if our computers shot bubbles, there would be much less bullying on Facebook. Somehow in the end of the film, there’s dinosaurs. No one really knows why.

robot_monster poster art

The Brain from Planet Arous (1957)
A bulbous giant brain with glowing eyes seeks to take over the earth and get some action from Steve’s fiancé, Sally, in the interim. Steve is possessed by the space brain, Gor, and Sally seems initially turned-on by Steve’s aggressive kissing. (Hubba-hubba) But his strange behavior prompts her to call her dad. They investigate a desert cave and find another floating brain, Vol, who seeks to stop Gor. Vol takes over the body of George, Sally’s dog and reveals how to kill Gor. Steve’s friend, Dan is killed but there’s hardly an investigation. Then Gor blows up a commercial airliner just for fun. Steve attempts to date-rape Sally in the desert (his 2nd attempt) but George stops it from happening. Steve says, “awe lets forget the whole thing.” Steve/Gor plans to attend the nuclear blast test in Indian Springs, where he will unleash his plan to overtake the whole world. He kills the sheriff with a radioactive blast from his eyes.

Gor blows up the atomic test and demands to meet with the countries leaders at 8:pm. He returns home for a nap. At the meeting he blows up another commercial airliner and laughs insanely. This one looks like a model with strings attached and a few firecrackers blowing up around it. The leaders agree to Gor’s demands. That was easy.

Back at home, Gor comes out of Steve’s body for a rest and chases Sally around the basement. Third time is a charm, I guess. Hey! There’s strings attached to that balloon brain! Steve, now back to normal, hits Gor with an ax. The most powerful force and evil mind in the universe, and he’s killed with a sloppy swing of an ax. The world is saved.

Despite the bad effects and silly plot, this flick is still somewhat enjoyable. From Steve/Gor’s psychotic laughter, to his awkward failed attempts at getting some action with Sally, it’s amusing for the wrong reasons

brain-from-planet-arous poster

Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965)
The aliens are Dr. Evil-like characters and an Egyptian queen, wearing a bad hat with much ornamentation. The guy aliens have fake pointy ears that are about to fall off any second. Actor, James Karen is in this. We start our story at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Nice scenes of NASA in Florida from the 1960s. During a press interview with an Astronaut, the Astronaut freezes. The camera zooms in on his teeth (don‘t know why). He must be a robot. There’s some awesome, groovy, early 60s, head trip music over stock footage of the Apollo space missions. Watching the astronauts get suited up and climb into that little space capsule was interesting. It is followed by actual radio recordings from a launch.

The aliens shoot down the missile launch The robot astronaut (named Frank) survives the crash. He fights with the aliens and winds up with half of his face melted off. The damaged Robot-Frank goes insane and runs a-muck, choking everyone he sees to death. Frank then hacks a guy to pieces with a coconut knife for no reason. Meanwhile the aliens have a wickedly, cool looking monster, named Mull, that they intend to let loose against Frank the astro-bot. So the conflict is set, now we just have to sit through a whole bunch of hokey, boring, scenes with scientists discussing what had occurred.

Finally we get to the beach with a sun bathing beauty. The aliens kidnap her and bring her to their craft for Phase 3. There’s a very lesbian-like scene where the alien queen checks out the bathing beauty specimen. Two scientists, Karen (the girl not the actor) and Dr. Adam (James Karen, the actor), show up at the beach. Then, pseudo Caribbean/Beatles music plays as we go on a long ride on a mo-ped/scooter. I shrug my shoulders.

There are several spots in the film where music plays despite the fact we are watching the actors speaking lines. I guess the dialogue wasn’t that important. What is important is more hippy music as guys in space suits with ray-guns, run around collecting women at a pool party! There’s a HUGE military build up (stock footage of course) that goes on for about 10 minutes. The result of this huge build up? A few fire crackers explode near the ship.

Karen and Robot-Frank get kidnapped by the aliens, too. Karen convinces the robot to turn good and fight the evil aliens, he does. The fight lasts about 40 seconds. The bathing beauties escape and the ship blows up. Yeah! Earth is saved again.

This film is ranked #7 in the 50 Worst Movies Ever Made (2004)


Gallery of amusing visuals:

Damsels in Distress – part 4 – here’s some more!

More Damsels in Distress – Movie Posters!

This post also takes a look at Damsels in distress as depicted on movie posters through the years for horror and sci-fi.

I also included the ‘banned’ inside cover art for Guns & Roses first album Appetite for Destruction, just because it fit so well in the theme.

Damsels in distress – part II – horror and sci-fi movie posters

Damsels in distress – part II – horror and sci-fi movie posters

This post takes a look at Damsels in distress as depicted on movie posters for horror and sci-fi. There’s no truth in advertising here as many of these depictions never actually happen in the films.

Movie Posters:

Gallery 2:


And don’t forget to take a look at Part One of our Damsels in Distress pictorials: Damsels in Distress – in movies