Saturday, September 9, 2017

Monstrosity, Being a Woman in a Man's World

Why do women have to have brains? Couldn't they have been created with no brain? All we need them to do is traipse around in revealing lingerie, shut up, do amusing and alluring things sometimes, and serve man's every desire. This question and subsequent philosophy is explored in 1963's "Monstrosity" (aka "The Atomic Brain").
Anita, Bea, and Nina
Wealthy old hag Mrs. March (Marjorie Eaton) enlists the services of mad scientist Dr. Frank (Frank Gerstle). Frank is paid to put March's brain into the body of a 20 year old babe. Frank's experiments meet with mixed results. He steals the corpses of beautiful women from crypts and puts cat and dog brains in them. Even Dr. Frank can make it with a Victoria Secret's model if she had the brain of a golden retriever. Frank is ready, but he needs living beauties to make the transplant successful. On cue, three international beauties are summoned by March for 'domestic help." These ladies don't know one will be selected as the receptor of March's brain and the other two will be used and given to Frank for his amusement. The girls are studied by Mrs, March, after all, one will supply her with a perfect body.
Bea becomes Mrs. March's top choice
Anita (Lisa Lang) from Mexico is discarded immediately. During a strip search, March sees a blemish on her. Frank them puts a cat brain in Anita and her demise will be quite humiliating. March selects English beauty Nina (Erika Peters)...she's perfect. Bea (Judy Bamber)? Well the third beauty from Vienna will have to be eliminated.  Bea is the smartest of the trio and begins to figure out what is going on. Uh oh...beautiful Nina will have her eyes scratched out by the former Anita. Bea is now March's choice. Bea wants to live as Bea...not a grouchy old women and she tries to escape but March is always a few steps ahead of her.
Can anyone save Bea now?
There will be lots of cat-fights (literal and figurative). The three gals are classic damsels in much distress and will endure excruciating torture and humiliation. Can Bea, though out of her league, outsmart her tormentor, the evil Mrs. March and her mad scientist Dr. Frank? What of Dr. Frank's failed experiments which still walk around the mansion, including the living corpse (Margie Fisco) in a negligee? Is "Monstrosity" a thinly veiled metaphor for the misogyny that permeates western civilization? Directed by Joseph Mascelli, "Monstrosity" is a low-budget sexploitation horror flick that is infinitely more entertaining than the newest superhero bore-a-thon.

1 comment:

  1. Okay. This is a 50s B movie bonanza. A babe & a brain transplant plus outdated thoughts from the same era. Life would be a breeze if women had 0 brainpower & huge racks. Hey. I created a marketing slogan. #genius Good review, Christopher.