in Shocktober

Shocktober: Day 10

Monster a-Go Go (1965)

Monster a-Go Go seems like one of those films where someone really wanted to make a quick buck by using the least amount of effort imaginable, including the overall lack of an idea. I’d imagine it was the monster craze of the 1960s that was responsible for even giving movies like this a chance. If you don’t know what I’m referring to I mean when things like Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine and Aurora Models helped reignite interest in the monsters of the 1930s with the young baby boomer crowd. This resulted in monsters, monsters, everywhere! But with the strange exception that no one was making any GOOD monsters movies to capitalize on this renewed interest. Instead you had all these cheap ass, double feature drive-in disasters and this is one of them.

According to IMDb this movie is about “A space capsule crash-lands, and the astronaut aboard disappears. Is there a connection between the missing man and the monster roaming the area?” Hey, I’m still not sure. So the astronaut, Frank I believe his name was apparently transforms or is um, somehow replaced by an ugly thing that looks like Gene Siskel with a cup of acid thrown in his face. So the military tries to capture him, they eventually do capture him and then he escapes again. Oh yeah and were not shown any of this military involvement the narrator just tells us that’s what happened. Later we learn that the monster was just immitating Frank, but then were told it never even existed? What the hell is going on here!

Doing a little research (Wikipedia) I learned that the original filmmaker Bill Rebane ran out of money while making this film. So strangely enough Herschell Gordon Lewis (that gory horror director that Jason Bateman likes in Juno) finished the film so that he could have a second film to show with his own feature Moonshine Mountain in a double bill. To do this Lewis added extra scenes and some more dialogue that somehow only made the film worse and even more convoluted. This whole process took several years which is probably why half of the film’s cast disappears midway into the film.

In addition to a messy production, Monster A Go-Go has all the essential makings of a bad 60s horror movie; copious amounts of unnecessary narration, a terrible looking monster, and lots of pointless filler. How hard can it be to just make a good monster movie? Very hard in this case. I mean even in the worst monster movies there should be some camp value in looking at the goofy monster but you don’t even get that satisfaction. I can barely even remember seeing the monster more than once, the rest of the time you just hear the narrator describing what happened in a scene we never saw, I didn’t know you could make movies that way! His screen time is so ridiculously minimal it’s like they sat down and said, “Hey let’s make a monster movie without a monster.”But perhaps the greatest question of all… What the hell is a “Monster a Go-Go?”