Saturday, October 16, 2010

Die, Monster, Die! (1965)

I saw this as a kid. I remember Boris Karloff in a wheelchair. I remember a tarantula. And I remember something about a green, glowing rock. I didn't remember that it was in color. Maybe I watched it on a B&W set.

Hunky Stephen Reinhart (Nick Adams) visits the remote mansion estate of his girlfriend, the hot Susan Witley (Suzan Farmer). The townspeople refuse to assist him, or even let him rent a bicycle to get there. Nor will they tell him why. So, he walks. The land around the mansion is strangely dead and black.

O'll dad (Boris Karloff) gives him a rather hostile reception, but it wasn't Susan that invited him. It was her mom. Mom is bed-ridden and hides behind curtains. Her instructions: take Susan away from there.

Susan doesn't want to go while her mom is sick, dad acts strange, and the butler bursts into flames. Maybe the answer is in the greenhouse! I'll spoil no more.

Much of the logic of this story is best ignored. That said, it stays fairly true to it's roots of gothic roots. Spooky mansion, deep in the country, suspicious townspeople, and references to satanism. Boris was clearly on the back nine of his career and life. Less than four years later, he'd be gone. Still, he doesn't disappoint. Nick Adams was well cast in his role, and he would be outlived by Boris by a year. Drugs are bad, hmmm ok?

I will quibble about the title. Die, Monster, Die? Sounds like Russ Meyer's version of a Godzilla film. Online sources call Susan Stephen's fiance', but I don't recall that ever being established. At first they just seemed like college friends.

Good movie. It had atmosphere, good suspense, and interesting story line. AMRU 3.5.

This the first Karloff movie I've done? Seriously?

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