Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, December 31, 2015


Tetsu Nakamura
THE MANSTER (1959). Directors: George P. Breakstone; Kenneth G. Crane.

Dr. Robert Suzuki (Tetsu Nakamura) is a mad scientist who experimented -- with their foolish permission -- on his wife and brother, with hideous results. Now he decides to surreptitiously give a formula to Larry Stanford (Peter Dyneley), a foreign correspondent located near Tokyo. The first thing to change is Larry's attitude, as he cruelly blows off his visiting wife, Linda (Jane Hylton), takes up with Suzuki's sexy assistant Tara (Terri Zimmern), and pretty much turns into a highly disagreeable drunk, much to the consternation of his boss, Ian (Norman Van Hawley). What's worse, one of his hands turns gross and hairy, but in the film's most startling scene, Larry sees an eyeball peeking out of his shoulder! Seems there's another creature growing right inside of Larry's body (shades of The Manitou). This is not a dubbed Japanese film despite the setting and many of the cast members, but an American-Japanese co-production spoken in English (at least in this version). The Manster is also an interesting and atmospheric horror flick with some laughable moments to be sure, but also a fair amount of creepiness and suspense. Dyneley amassed 86 credits and Hylton 75. Nakamura appeared in a number of Japanese horror and monster films, including The H Man. This was the only film credit for both Zimmern and Van Hawley.

Verdict: Watch out for that peeping eyeball! *** out of 4.

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