“An astronaut went up – a “guess what” came down!”
“The picture that comes complete with a 10-foot-tall monster to give you the wim-wams!”
“You’ve Never Seen a Motion Picture Like This — Thank Goodness!”
I had never seen Monster a Go-Go (1965) before last week. I’ve enjoyed other movies by Wisconsin filmmaker Bill Rebane, including The Giant Spider Invasion (1975), Blood Harvest (1987) and The Alpha Incident (1978). Monster a Go-Go was his first attempt at a feature film. He began shooting in 1961 but never quite finished it. Later he sold it to Herschell Gordon Lewis, who needed a second film for a double feature with Moonshine Mountain (1964).
Lewis shot some additional scenes and retitled the film to Monster a Go-Go. The name Rebane had initially given it was Terror at Halfday.
Monster a Go-Go (1965) currently rates a 1.7 on the IMDb – which is shockingly low. I’ve seen plenty of horrendously bad movies which still manage to get a 3. In his book, Terror On Tape, James O’Neill gives it half a star and says “this flatfooted foolishness has all the charm of a 70-minute rectal examination.”
Is it really that bad?
I may have an unusually high tolerance for bad movies, but I would say no.
Don’t get me wrong. Monster a Go-Go is a bad movie. But I found it pretty easy to watch. It made me laugh a few times. And it’s not even 70 minutes long, so it doesn’t really overstay it’s welcome.
The plot is somewhat similar to another Not Quite Classic Cinema classic, The Incredible Melting Man (1977). Both movies are about an astronaut returning to Earth as a horrible monster. Monster a Go-Go features a real life giant; an actor named Henry Hite who was 7 foot 6. Hite plays the returning “monster” version of the astronaut, even though he is way too big to fit inside the capsule in which he supposedly fell back to Earth.
1930s Hollywood actress June Travis makes her final appearance in Monster a Go-Go as Ruth Logan, a widow with a young son who is a friend of astronaut/monster Frank Douglas.
It wouldn’t pay to try to make too much sense of Monster a Go-Go. Bill Rebane ran out of money after one week of shooting. When he tried to finish it later, many of the initial actors were unable (or unwilling) to return, so Rebane hired new actors and created new characters to carry on with the story. Unfortunately, he ran out of money again and abandoned the project.
Major characters, and their storyline, are simply dropped with no explanation. One actor who did return, looked so different that Rebane decided to claim he was the brother of the original character.
Like I said, don’t try to make sense of Monster a Go-Go. Just sit back and enjoy it for what it is: a jaw-droppingly unique example of 100% Certified #NotQuiteClassicCinema. Whether you love it or hate it, you’ve got to see it to believe it. And it’s surely worth 68 minutes of your time on a #FridayNightAtTheHomeDriveIn.
"An astronaut went up – a "guess what" came down!"
— Angus Kohm (@AngusKohm) May 21, 2022