Saturday, November 22, 2008

Monster A Go-Go

Well, as with my post about THE BREEZE HORROR a year ago, it has now been 12 months since Steve in NZ reminded us that his favorite zombie movie is CHOPPER CHICKS, etc., etc. I saw that at a convention in Providence a long time ago, along with RE-ANIMATOR. Well, Charles emailed that he and Lana thought of me last night while they watched MONSTER A GO-GO on TCM. Capcom missed it, so I can't give too much away, but yeah, I knew it was on. I've been wanting to see this for years. Charles thought of me because it takes place near Chicago, which makes perfect sense, as a squad car was sent to look in a field for a space capsule that crashed. We are told this because a control voice narrates all of this. We see a field, yes, NASA chose Illinois to have the capsule land, because Iowa evidently wasn't available. The cops find a thing that looks like a model, they are actually TALLER than the thing, which is conveniently propped against a bush, and evidently they are concerned because it had been manned (!) and the astronaut was nowhere to be found. The narrator reminds me of the guy who did the intros to all the Quinn Martin Productions (like THE FUGITIVE) in the 60s, so that is kind of cool, because everything is said with a sense of urgency even when it is meaningless. "This is a world of ifs. If only they had not left the party. If only." Sounds like Dubya's Saturday radio address. Yea, the monster (presumably the astronaut has become a monster) is in the vicinity of a happening dance party at some kid's house out near a desolate field where NASA requires its manned spacecraft to land. So there's the go-go part. Bill Rebane started making this film in 1961 and lost funding, and H.G.Lewis took the film and finished in it 1965. With a different cast, in the same roles, because by then most of the kids were in college or in jail. Or had four year old kids and still trying to get SAG cards. I can't give away the ending because it is completely mind-bending. Yet, at the same time, brilliant. I have no doubt that this one film caused everyone to start seriously looking at drugs to get them the hell out of this reality. Yes, I am indeed saying that we can blame the existence hippies on this film. And since it double-billed with MOONSHINE MOUNTAIN, it then begat hillbilly hippies. The best part about this film, compared to say, THE HIDEOUS SUN-DEMON, is that you see absolutely nothing at all. The narrator tells you every damn thing. Even the WTF ending, when the viewers looked at each other, saying Now he didn't just go do what I think he did...did he?" (Meaning the director, bless his mind-bending heart). By all means, go to TCM, put the film on your email schedule (my notices consist of pretty much Mitchum, Frank Gorshin, Jack Lemmon, John Agar, VILLAGE OF THE GIANTS (Beau Bridges' first film), and MONSTER A GO-GO, now crossed off that list. Do it now. Too many people say PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE is the worst film ever made. People gotta quit hatin' on Ed Wood.