Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The Bloody Pit #24 - FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD (1965)


I have always attempted to include as many guest hosts on The Bloody Pit as possible and this time I'm finally joined by a friend with whom I've planned to record for over a year. It shouldn't have taken so long but we only see each other every May so a missed opportunity means a full twelve months slip by before we can make another try. Luckily this year we made the time and ended up talking about FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD at length. Of course, talking monster movies is second nature for Mark and myself so the subject matter isn't all that odd but let me introduce my esteemed co-host for Bloody Pit #24.

Mark Maddox is a fantastic painter and illustrator whose work has appeared on the covers of most of my favorite monster magazines. Chances are good that if you read Little Shop of Horrors, Screem, Mad Scientist, HorrorHound or Monsters From Hell you have seen his artwork and been impressed by it. If you doubt his skills just look at that image at the top of the page! It's an action shot ripped straight from the film perfectly summing up the pure fun of the final act. Besides being an award winning creator of visual excellence he shares a love for classic horror movies that rivals my own and he is more than willing to debate, discuss and argue over the merits of his favorites. (And, if I'm lucky, one day I'll get him on the record about our mutual love of Spaghetti Westerns as well!)  If you haven't seen his work you are in for a real treat and I suggest a quick trip over to his website HERE for a peek. I'm thrilled to have a print of his beautiful piece inspired by John Carpenter's THE THING hanging in my bedroom, creeping me out each night before I go to sleep.


Since it's in each of our natures to start talking about horror films and never shut up we tried to limit the scope of our conversation to the film at hand but we do start off establishing a baseline. By that I mean that we talk about Lugosi in THE BLACK CAT and MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE and then about Cushing in BRIDES OF DRACULA before we finally get to Toho's brilliant riff on The Frankenstein Monster. We spared you our hour long discussion of the James Bond films! If you wish to comment on the show or any previous episode you can email me at thebloodypit@gmail.com where I am sure to reply. 

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2 comments:

Curt Fukuda said...

Hi Rod,
Fantastic in-depth show on "Frankenstein Conquers the World." You and Mark did a great job. I saw "Frankenstein Conquers the World" on TV as a kid and thought it was really dumb. I couldn't fathom the crazy idea of bringing Frankenstein's heart to Japan and then eventually turning into a giant monster. But, after listening to you guys, I realize that I wasn't watching the movie in the "right frame of mind" to appreciate it. I'll definitely give it another viewing.

BTW, did you recognize the famous actor Takashi Shimura in a small role as a doctor onboard the submarine near the beginning of the film? I was always amazed how he could leading roles in movies like "Rashomon" and "The Seven Samurai," and then turn around and appear in movies like "Frankenstein Conquers the World."

I hope you and Mark cover "The War of the Gargantuas" in a future episode ... it's supposed to be a sequel (of sorts) to "Frankenstein Conquers the World." I thought that film was crazy, too, when I first watched it. So, it'll be great to hear your perspectives on it and maybe it'll change my opinion of the film. :-)

All the best to you and Troy and all your guest hosts,
Curt

Rod Barnett said...

Thank you very much for the kind words! Yes- this is a CRAZY film without a doubt but the right frame of mind is certainly what is needed to enjoy it or any of the amazing Toho monster films of the era.

But I'm never shocked to notice actors like Takashi Shimura popping up in these movies. Remember- The great IshirĂ´ Honda himself worked on many Kurasawa films including Stray Dog, Kagemusha and Ran.

And i suspect Mark and I will cover more movies in the future. We had too much fun not to keep going.