Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (1965)

78 mins | Science fiction | September 1965

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HISTORY

In the 12 Feb 1964 Var, the New York City-based production team of Alan V. Iselin and Del Tenney announced a horror double feature for their next release: Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster and Voodoo Blood Death, also known as Curse of the Voodoo (1965, see entry). Filming was planned for 1 Apr 1964 in FL, with interior shooting at a Miami studio. An article in the 30 Mar 1966 Var revealed that Iselin and Tenney dissolved their partnership before the pictures were released. An advertisement in the 29 Apr 1964 issue stated that production was currently underway.
       On 25 Nov 1964, Var reported that Iselin’s newly-formed Futurama Productions, in association with Seneca Productions, was currently filming in Puerto Rico, using a cast and crew from the Eastern U.S. Iselin was expected on location for shooting of the final scenes on 5 Dec 1964.
       In an interview with the 26 Aug 1986 Newsday (Long Island, NY), cast member James Karen, crew members Lawrence Bertram and Daniel O’Brien, and makeup artist John Alese recalled that “interior spaceship scenes” were shot on two sound stages in a Hempstead, NY, studio that had once housed the NY National Guard. The budget was estimated at $85,000.
       Following its completion, the picture debuted at the 1965 Science-Fiction Film Festival in Trieste, Italy, during mid-Jul 1965, according to the 14 Jul 1965 Var. The 28 Jul 1965 issue described the film as “poorly-made.”
       An obituary in the 28 May 2008 Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) revealed that screenwriter George Garrett ... More Less

In the 12 Feb 1964 Var, the New York City-based production team of Alan V. Iselin and Del Tenney announced a horror double feature for their next release: Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster and Voodoo Blood Death, also known as Curse of the Voodoo (1965, see entry). Filming was planned for 1 Apr 1964 in FL, with interior shooting at a Miami studio. An article in the 30 Mar 1966 Var revealed that Iselin and Tenney dissolved their partnership before the pictures were released. An advertisement in the 29 Apr 1964 issue stated that production was currently underway.
       On 25 Nov 1964, Var reported that Iselin’s newly-formed Futurama Productions, in association with Seneca Productions, was currently filming in Puerto Rico, using a cast and crew from the Eastern U.S. Iselin was expected on location for shooting of the final scenes on 5 Dec 1964.
       In an interview with the 26 Aug 1986 Newsday (Long Island, NY), cast member James Karen, crew members Lawrence Bertram and Daniel O’Brien, and makeup artist John Alese recalled that “interior spaceship scenes” were shot on two sound stages in a Hempstead, NY, studio that had once housed the NY National Guard. The budget was estimated at $85,000.
       Following its completion, the picture debuted at the 1965 Science-Fiction Film Festival in Trieste, Italy, during mid-Jul 1965, according to the 14 Jul 1965 Var. The 28 Jul 1965 issue described the film as “poorly-made.”
       An obituary in the 28 May 2008 Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA) revealed that screenwriter George Garrett was a former Henry Hoyns Professor of Creative Writing at the University of VA, a winner of the 2006 Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, and VA’s poet laureate from 2002 to 2004. According to the 6 May 1990 Orlando Sentinel (FL), the picture was also released under the title, Mars Invades Puerto Rico, and received a Golden Turkey Award as “one of the 100 worst movies ever made.” Garrett told the 13 Jul 2002 Washington Post that he saw the film at a drive-in theater, and “it didn’t make any difference at all” when the reels were shown out of sequence.
       The 10 Nov 1965 Var reported that distributor Allied Artists was sufficiently satisfied with box-office receipts to commission two more pictures from Iselin. The 17 Jun 1970 Var later noted that Allied Artists re-packaged Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster and Curse of the Voodoo with The Horror of Party Beach (1964) and The Curse of the Living Corpse (1964, see entries), both of which were Iselin-Tenney productions.
Much of the film utilizes newsreel footage. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Los Angeles Times
14 Jan 1966
Section C, p. 10.
Newsday (Long Island, NY)
26 Aug 1986
p. 21.
Orlando Sentinel
6 May 1990
Section F, p. 8.
Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
28 May 2008.
---
Variety
12 Feb 1964
p. 23.
Variety
29 Apr 1964
p. 140.
Variety
25 Nov 1964
p. 5.
Variety
14 Jul 1965
p. 19.
Variety
28 Jul 1965
p. 16.
Variety
10 Nov 1965
p. 4.
Variety
30 Mar 1966
p. 4.
Variety
17 Jun 1970
p. 4.
Washington Post
13 Jul 2002
Section B, p. 1.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Frankenstein Meets the Spaceman
Mars Invades Puerto Rico
Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster
Release Date:
September 1965
Premiere Information:
Ohio release: 22 September 1965
Los Angeles release: 12 January 1966
Production Date:
November--December 1964
Copyright Claimant:
Vernon Films
Copyright Date:
22 September 1965
Copyright Number:
LP33581
Duration(in mins):
78
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Dr. Adam Steele has perfected a robot called Colonel Saunders that is so humanlike that he is able to fool the press before launching it into space. The robot is electrically damaged by a spaceship carrying invaders from another planet who plan to capture women from Earth for breeding purposes. As a result of the crash and a laser-gun attack, the robot's face is horribly disfigured, and he is transformed into a Frankenstein-type monster. The robot is traced to Puerto Rico and repaired but then captured by the invaders who also seize Dr. Steele's assistant, Karen Grant, and several other women. Meanwhile, Steele and General Bowers have prepared a large-scale attack, and once the robot has freed the women, the invading spaceship is ... +


Dr. Adam Steele has perfected a robot called Colonel Saunders that is so humanlike that he is able to fool the press before launching it into space. The robot is electrically damaged by a spaceship carrying invaders from another planet who plan to capture women from Earth for breeding purposes. As a result of the crash and a laser-gun attack, the robot's face is horribly disfigured, and he is transformed into a Frankenstein-type monster. The robot is traced to Puerto Rico and repaired but then captured by the invaders who also seize Dr. Steele's assistant, Karen Grant, and several other women. Meanwhile, Steele and General Bowers have prepared a large-scale attack, and once the robot has freed the women, the invading spaceship is destroyed. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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