Blu-Ray News #128: The Manster (1959).

Directed by Breakston and Kenneth G. Crane
Starring Peter Dyneley, Jane Hylton, Tetsu Nakamura, Terri Zimmern

The Manster is an American movie, shot in Japan in 1959, but not released till 1962. Some might say it shouldn’t have been released at all. Whatever your take on it, it’s coming to Blu-Ray from Shout Factory.

Peter Dyneley plays Larry Stanford, an American reporter in Japan who’s injected with an experimental serum by a demented scientist. At first, Larry’s transformed into a drunken womanizer (or make that even more of a drunken womanizer), then he goes all the way to become a murderous freak with two heads.  There’s a rampant sleaziness to the whole thing that goes way beyond what we normally expect from a 50s monster movie (though The Brain That Wouldn’t Die comes pretty close).

The Manster played the States in a double bill with Georges Franju’s Eyes Without A Face (1959), which was retitled The Horror Chamber Of Dr. Faustus. One’s an eery classic, one’s a bad-movie milestone. Both are highly recommended.

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3 Comments

Filed under 1959, 1962, DVD/Blu-ray News, Shout/Scream Factory

3 responses to “Blu-Ray News #128: The Manster (1959).

  1. Richard Oravitz

    Back in the day, the mid 1960s, the local TV station ran a 5PM after school program called Showtime. Monster movies on Mon., Wed., & Fri., and East Side Kids/Bowery Boys on Tues. & Thurs. This went on for a few years so I was always scurrying home to watch GIAGANTIS, TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE, ATOMIC SUBMARINE, NOT OF THIS EARTH and, of course, THE MANSTER, which had a build up of several weeks of coming attraction trailers. When it finally “premiered” I remember being a little disappointed. I was somewhat uncomfortable with it. The tone was more adult than what I was used to, more like the crime films that my dad liked to watch and which I now enjoy as Film Noir. But the actual monster scenes were great and that eyeball in the shoulder shot is one of the classic moments of vintage Monster Movie cinema, along with the skeletal seaman’s face in MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD and Whit Bissell falling off the mountain and disappearing into the fog in THE LOST CONTINENT. An upgrade from my old ALPHA DVD (which actually isn’t that bad for once) is worth considering as THE MANSTER is definitely a movie that I find more enjoyable with every viewing.

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    • Thanks for chiming in, Richard. Where were you living where you got so much good stuff every afternoon? We had a similar thing here in Raleigh, but it was regular stuff — the monster movies were at 5AM on Saturdays. Those afternoon movies are where I discovered two of my favorites: A Hard Day’s Night and One-Eyed Jacks.

      You hinted at something I was thinking as I typed up this Manster announcement — these movies, no matter how crappy, often offered up an image or two of genuine creepiness, something that etches itself into our brains and won’t let go. That eye/shoulder thing is a great example. James Griffith getting loaded into the incinerator in The Vampire is one that stuck with me.

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      • Richard Oravitz

        Toby, I guess I never really thought about how lucky I was watching Monster Movies back then. The station was WFMJ in Youngstown, Ohio and the host was Marc Howard. The show was called Five O’clock Showtime and I believe the premier movie was ATOMIC SUBMARINE. I tried looking up info about Showtime and WFMJ but couldn’t come up with much. I did a Google search on Marc Howard and found him to be now a retired longtime Philadelphia news anchor, and referring to Marc’s early start in broadcasting, had this to say about his stay at WFMJ…”One of Howard’s duties was hosting a late afternoon movie program called SHOWTIME…during the Monster Craze of the 1960s, the program almost exclusively featured horror and sci-fi movies Monday thru Friday. As host, Howard did not appear as a horror host character but as himself.”
        I remember the show starting everyday with a lot of noise, horns blaring, erratic music, as Howard bounced in wearing a WFMJ sweatshirt and a ball cap in the fashion of Huntz Hall. Howard always mispronounced actor’s names like, ” …the great Lulu Belagosi!” This is where I first saw most of the stuff I had already read about in FAMOUS, MAD and HORROR MONSTERS magazines, PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, MOLE PEOPLE, WASP WOMAN, BEGINNING OF THE END, KILLERS FROM SPACE, SHE DEMONS, BRIDE OF THE MONSTER, MAN FROM PLANET X, FRANKENSTEIN 1970 and of course, THE MANSTER and countless others over what seemed to be at least a 3-yr. period. Parents wrote angry letters to the newspaper but I recall the station stating that Showtime was the most popular program on TV, even getting higher ratings than any prime time programming….And if I set the TV antenna correctly I could pick up Ghoulardi (later Big Chuck & Hoolihan) out of Cleveland and Chilly Billy out of Pittsburgh on weekend evenings. It was a great time to be a kid.

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