The Bottom Line
- Has some "so bad it's good" appeal
- Great special features
- Poor acting
- Poor writing
- Poor editing
- Poor ending
- Starring Phil Morton, June Travis, Henry Hite, George Perry, Lois Brooks, Rork Stevens, Peter M. Thompson, Robert Simons
- Directed by Bill Rebane, Herschell Gordon Lewis
- Rated NR
- DVD Release Date: October 19, 2010
Guide Review - 'Monster A-Go Go' DVD Review
The infamously awful creature feature Monster A-Go Go has an unusual history. Four years after director Bill Rebane ran out of money and abandoned the project in 1961, pioneering exploitation director Herschell Gordon Lewis (Two Thousand Maniacs!, Blood Feast) discovered the footage and slapped together a few extra scenes (including a new ending) and some new dialogue, changing the title from Terror at Halfday to play up the unintentionally campy awfulness of the film. The result is what's considered by many to be one of the worst movies of all time.
The cobbled-together plot revolves around a space capsule that crash-lands on Earth without a trace of astronaut Frank Douglas. The helicopter pilot who discovered the capsule is found dead, apparently burned by some sort of radiation.
After several more deaths, it becomes apparent to scientists that there's a 10-foot-tall radioactive humanoid creature roaming the countryside. Investigators theorize that Douglas has mutated due to, ironically, a "radition repellent" tested on him before liftoff. It's thus up to a team of researchers and military-types to find the mutant and stop his reign of terror.
It goes without saying that Monster A-Go Go is a bad, bad movie. Not only does it boast the requisite poor sound, cheap special effects, plodding pace, stiff expository dialogue and even stiffer acting, but thanks to the four-year disconnect between the Rebane version and the Lewis version, we get awkward editing, continuity issues and plot holes galore. Characters are introduced and abandoned (because the actors weren't available for reshoots), actors switch roles and most egregiously, most of the action (including the creature) isn't shown on camera. Instead, it's narrated by a pompous voiceover that explains what would be a much more exciting movie than the one we're forced to watch.
The tacked-on climactic "twist" epitomizes the mess that is Monster A-Go Go. It's possibly the worst ending in cinematic history -- basically amounting to the filmmakers giving up and saying "never mind."
Yes, Monster A-Go Go is bad, but it only occasionally flutters into "so bad it's good" territory. That's because there's so little onscreen action, it becomes a slow, talky chore to watch. Still, there are moments of unintended hilarity, such as the comically awful "death face" that one actor chooses for his portrayal of a corpse, not to mention ridiculous dialogue like "horribly mangled in a way no one had ever seen before" and "What the hell do you want from me, Dr. Brent? I don't have a precision mind like yours."
Maybe a "precision mind" is what it takes to enjoy a movie like this. Those select few fans of the film should relish this Special Collector's Edition DVD, which provides plenty of special features, including a lovely and informative booklet.
Special features include commentary, interviews, short films, booklet.