Mill Creek Sci-Fi Invasion: The Manster (1959)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cat A. Waller has this bio on his website and who am I to dispute it?

“My full name is Rock Benjamin Armstrong. Seriously. I hate my real name so please call me “Arby (R.B.? Arby? Get it?), “Cat” or “Cat A. Waller” if you’d rather be formal. I live in Santa Monica, California, where I was born on March 12th. I’m a Pisces, not that that’s a big deal or anything. I wear glasses. I’m a huge media freak, pretty much a geek even. I was a roadie for a local new wave band way back when, used to write for The New Monkees TV show, and I once worked in The Beverly Center (a rather upscale mall in Los Angeles). I love beatniks and armchair psychology and that’s just about all there is to it.”

Larry Stanford is an American reporter stationed in Japan. His latest assignment? Interviewing some Japanese scientist guy named Dr. Robert Suzuki, who has a laboratory in a volcanic mountain and is working on…  um…  some sciency new evolutionary people-mutato-re-creationing experiment (real 50’s mad scientist stuff, right?) using his own home made drugs and cosmic rays or something. He has tried before but only ended up turning his brother into some kind of hairy ass killer ape thing and his wife into a scary freak with a big head who can’t talk (he keeps her in a cage). His brother tears apart a couple of Japanese chicks taking a relaxing dip in a natural spa in a cave in the mountain so the doctor sprays his brother with some steam (seriously), shoots him with a pistol, and tosses the body in a lava pit hidden behind a big metal door. Larry doesn’t know about any of this though.

When Larry first meets him Dr. Suzuki seems like a nice enough guy, and being a gracious host he gives Larry a drink. As it turns out it’s a glass of doped up booze. Larry passes out so the Doc injects some science juice into Larry’s right shoulder. Later, when Larry awakes we’re off and running. 

The science juice brings about changes in Larry. At first all he wants to do is get drunk and cheat on his wife. His poor Li’l Wifey-Poo is back in The States, waiting for his return. “Yeah yeah yeah, I’ll get home when I get there!”, he says, being all grouchy when he and the wife are sharing a phone call, “Lotsa work, Honey. I’m swamped here!”. More drinking and cheating commence. Then his right hand starts cramping up and we get a rousing blast of Theremin music. OOOOH WEEEE OOOOH OOOOOOOH!

A couple of nights later Larry spends some drinky and cheaty funtime with Tara, an Asian dame with absolute total babeosity who’s escorting Larry around Tokyo, keeping tabs on him, and secretly reporting the progress of the experiment back to Dr. Suzuki. When he and Tara get back to Larry’s place who’s waiting for him? You guessed it pal! Larry’s wife! Insert DUH DUH DAAAH music here!

It turns out Wifey flew to Japan to surprise Larry, accompanied by one of Larry’s old guy pals. When they see the condition Larry’s in, and who he happens to be in that condition with, Larry’s wife is understandably frazzled. She begs him to fly back to The States with them but Larry ain’t having none of that noise. He’s busy having a big pile of kicks and he’s not going anywhere soon. Except out the door. He’s up for more drinky and cheaty funtime with Tara.

This brings up some questions: Is Larry a dick because of the drug? Is he a dick because of the drinking? Is it a combination of the two? Or has he always been a dick but the movie didn’t tell us about that?

And, does his drinking affect the drug? Or is it part of the experiment? Dr. Suzuki doesn’t seem concerned about Larry kicking back the happy sauce so who knows? 

Aw, it’s just a B-movie so whatever, right? What’s the dif?

Anyway, Larry keeps on keeping on with that reprobate behavior like only a good white 50’s American misogynist can. Then, one night his right hand grows hair! Yeah! Like werewolf movie style or Robin Williams or something! Thick black back of the hand hair! 

What’s next? An eye grows out of his shoulder! He murders people and grows a second head! All of this leads to another body growing out of Larry’s body and separating into its own fully formed shape! And it lives!

Then it comes to a conclusion (screw spoilers!) and there’s one of those speeches about the duality of man and all that basic science fiction rhetoric that we’ve all heard a couple of zillion times before. 

End Credits and we Fade To Black.

Did I like it? Hell yes! I love this kind of thing! Of course I was drinking at the time and oohing and aahing and laughing pretty hard.

Would you like it? If you happen to be into crappy movies of this ilk I’d say yes. Being a drinker wouldn’t hurt either.

Where can you find it? It’s in public domain so not all that hard to find. YouTube has it all over the place.

If you’d like more info Google this sucker and read all about it.

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