Diabolical! Fiendish! Horrorific! Legendary horror icon Bela Lugosi (Dracula) stars as Dr. Eric Vornoff, who with Lobo (Tor Johnson), a crazed man-beast servant, is conducting flesh-burning radiation experiments in an atte... more »mpt to create a legion of atomic supermen. Co-written, produced and directed by cult filmmaker Ed Wood, Jr., "Bride of the Monster" includes Ed's infamous stable of players: Dolores Fuller (Glen or Glenda?, Jailbait), Tor Johnson and Paul Marco (Plan 9 From Outer Space). This was Bela Lugosi's last screen performance and one of Ed Wood's best efforts.« less
"'Bride of the Monster' is probably Ed Wood's genuinely best movie, though it is, of course, still a low budget piece of cinematic cheese. I love Wood, and think his films are delightful in their ingenuity, stream-of-consciousness dialogue, illogical editing, and weirdo cast members and hangers on (I particularly miss Criswell and Vampira in this one.) In 'Bride of the Monster' (originally 'Bride of the Atom') Wood weaves a tale of mayhem, aging lunatic scientists (Bela Lugosi as Dr. Eric Vornoff) and their mute giant henchmen (Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson as 'Lobo'), pretty news reporters (Dolores Fuller), and giant rubber octopi. The story is fairly irrelevant, as in most Wood films, although some see this as Ed's anti-nuclear picture, which though reasonable, is not my personal opinion. I think the nuclear backdrop in the film is a device to explain the presence of Lugosi and his plot to make 'atomic powered supermen' to take over the world, but I could be wrong and you are free to have your own interpretation. The standout bits of unintentional comedy in this movie (present in all Wood films, though here less than most) are the colander on the head device in Vornoff's laboratory, the incredibly silly looking rubber octopus that cast members had to deal with (this is a story in itself as Ed appropriated the octopus from a major studio, but forgot to bring the device that made it work, so cast members ended up pulling the legs around them in their 'death struggle' scenes), and the now famous atomic explosion (requested by a financial backer of the film) at the end, which has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the film. Pure Ed Wood genius, in other words.The movie is the last one ever by Bela Lugosi (the minute or so of Lugosi in 'Plan 9' was used after Bela's death), and some of his performance is excellent, particularly the beginning of the genuinely autobiographical "I have no home" speech. He also exhibits the creepy double-jointed finger movements he was famous for in 'Dracula' and they are still very creepy. The other acting, while not Oscar worthy, is also a step above the typical Wood film. In summary, I think 'Bride of the Monster' is worth five stars for several reasons: first, it is probably Wood's genuinely best film; two, it is fun to watch in the spirit of campy old monster movies; and three, Bela Lugosi shines in his last role. Sure it's wacky, disjointed, and at times nonsensical, but if you get into the spirit of it, it's a fun film to watch by yourself, of better yet, with likeminded friends."
Ed Wood's Best Film and Lugosi's Last Hurrah
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 10/02/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Released in 1956, "Bride of the Monster" is an enjoyable schlock-fest from Grade-Z auteur Edward D. Wood, Jr. However, the film rises above its ultra-low budget thanks to the presence of Bela Lugosi. Regardless of personal and professional misfortunes, Bela plays Dr. Eric Vornoff as though it were the performance of his life. Sadly, it would be Lugosi's last starring and speaking role. Despite the amateurish supporting cast and obvious production flaws (who can forget that rubber octopus), "Bride of the Monster" has a comic-book charm that's hard to resist - definitely superior to Wood's "Glen or Glenda" (1953) and "Plan 9 From Outer Space" (1959). Hollywood has managed to surpass Ed Wood's cinematic ineptitude on a larger scale with "Showgirls" and "Battlefield Earth." For once, let's give the Master of Bad Cinema his due."
An Ed Wood Classic
Craig Loftin | Los Angeles | 11/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is essential Ed Wood, right up there with Plan 9 and Glen or Glenda. There is a scene towards the end where one of Bela's crazy mad scientist experiments backfires on him, and according to the story, the effect is supposed to make him grow in size. Wood achieves this illusion by placing Bela in a pair of 6-inch platform shoes. He doesn't even try to hide the crassness. Bela, all of a sudden, out of the blue, is just wearing these platform shoes to make it look as though his body had somehow become physically larger. And then, just to ruin the ending for you, the film climaxes with a nuclear explosion that has nothing to do with anything in the movie, and is never explained. And need I even mention the fake octopus? This is film is the gift that keeps on giving."
"Don't be afraid of Lobo. He's as gentle as a kitten."
jenbird | Havertown, PA | 01/24/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Bela Lugosi, Jr. once said in an interview that his father always gave his best to a performance, no matter how bad the movie itself was. This is true in the case of "Bride of the Monster." Lugosi's performance is the highlight of the film; despite his obviously frail health, he does a good job as Dr. Eric Vornoff, employing Dracula-like hand motions, extreme close-ups of his glaring eyes, and evil little chuckles.As for the rest of the film...well, it's not as bad as I would have expcted an Ed Wood film to be. Sure, the octopus is so fake it's ridiculous, and the dreaded atomic machine is a doctor's examining table with a salad bowl for your head, but it's not a total shambles of a production to the extent than "Plan 9" would be. The movie probably looks better than it did originally, due to a very good transfer to DVD; the picture is great for an old movie which was at the time cheaply made. The sound, however, could have been a little better; I had turn my TV volume almost all the way up in order to hear Loretta King speak and make out what Lugosi was saying, with his thick accent.If you're a fan of the movie "Ed Wood," it's worth checking out to see the real "Bride" portrayed in that film. I would also recommend it to loyal Lugosi fans who want to see Bela in his final speaking role. He said he wanted to work until the end, and although "Bride" is by no stretch a worthy farewell to such a fine actor, you will still enjoy Lugosi's performance."
Ed Wood at His Best!!!!
zeppfan | Kissimmee, FL United States | 07/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Call me crazy, but this movie is actually pretty good, compared to other black and white sci-fi films of the time. Ed Wood gets a bad rap, but he really did a good job considering the low budget of this film. (see the painted cardboard background in the lab scenes)
I've read other reviews lamenting Bela Lugosi's health in this movie, but I think he looked good considering his age, and how many seventy-something actors do you know who would wrestle with a fake octopus in cold water in the middle of the night!
I love Ed Wood movies and this is one of his best! A must for the Ed Wood fan!"