Friday, December 3, 2010

Cinematic Pain Part V: Monster A Go-Go (1965)

Despite the ridiculous name, Monster A Go-Go is actually intended to be a serious movie with a "thought provoking" ending. The thoughts provoked involve the filmmakers and liberal application of medieval instruments of torture.

During his return to Earth, astronaut Frank Douglas disappears from his ludicrously undersized space capsule. The astronaut turns out to have been transformed into a horribly scarred and embiggened radioactive creature. Why was he transformed into said monster? Because he was given a dosage of a new type of untested "radiation repellent". This alone gives Monster A Go-Go the dubious distinction of being one of the most ignorant films with regards to radiation and radioactivity that I've ever seen.

The authorities spend the movie looking for the monster while the atomic astronaut commits several unexciting killings. This is all very boring and poorly executed. At one point the monster is apparently captured, but it escapes. I say "apparently" because none of this sequence is shown (that might have been entertaining). The movie reaches its "climax" after a very slow and time consuming chase through the sewers.

Warning: Spoilers ahead (assuming you ever want to see this abomination)

Just when it looks like the authorities will have the long-awaited showdown with the monster, the film pulls the most infuriating bait-and-switch ending ever. Upon being cornered, the monster disappears completely. A telegram is soon received reporting that the astronaut has been found in a life raft in the Atlantic Ocean; un-scarred, un-embiggened, and non-radioactive. To add insult to injury, the narrator has the gall to leave us with this little thought:
As if a switch had been turned, as if an eye had been blinked, as if some phantom force in the universe had made a move eons beyond our comprehension, suddenly, there was no trail! There was no giant, no monster, no thing called "Douglas" to be followed. There was nothing in the tunnel but the puzzled men of courage, who suddenly found themselves alone with shadows and darkness! With the telegram, one cloud lifts, and another descends. Astronaut Frank Douglas, rescued, alive, well, and of normal size, some eight thousand miles away in a lifeboat, with no memory of where he has been, or how he was separated from his capsule! Then who, or what, has landed here? Is it here yet? Or has the cosmic switch been pulled? Case in point: the line between science fiction and science fact is microscopically thin! You have witnessed the line being shaved even thinner! But is the menace with us? Or is the monster gone?
This movie was featured in season four of MST3K. Apparently, they said that it was the worst movie they had seen up to that point.

Next up: The Beast of Yucca Flats (another movie in Coleman Francis' trilogy of dreck).

How do you make a giant radioactive monster boring?

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