‘Can you face the ultimate in diabolism …..can you stand pure terror?’
Die, Monster, Die! is a 1965 American science fiction horror film directed by Daniel Haller (the art director for Roger Corman‘s Poe films) from a screenplay written by Jerry Sohl, loosely adapted from H. P. Lovecraft‘s short story The Colour Out of Space.
Haller went on to direct another Lovecraft adaptation, The Dunwich Horror, in 1969.
The Alta Vista Film Productions movie stars Boris Karloff, Nick Adams (Godzilla vs. Monster Zero; Frankenstein Conquers the World), Freda Jackson, Suzan Farmer (Persecution; Rasputin: The Mad Monk), Terence De Marney and Patrick Magee (Dementia 13; Asylum; The Black Cat).
An American college student (Nick Adams) pays a visit to the English estate of his fiancée’s family.
During his journey, he finds an area of countryside burned out and an enormous crater, as well as villagers who are reluctant to the point of hostility to either drive to his destination or even talk about the family that lives there.
The source of all these problems is later revealed to be a radioactive meteorite kept hidden in the basement by his girlfriend’s father (Boris Karloff), who has been using the radiation to mutate plant and animal life, with horrific consequences. Worse yet, family members may have been affected, too…
“You not only get the weird mutant beings Nahum is growing in his basement, but also the monster referred to in the title […] It’s debatable whether the three acts of Die, Monster, Die! fit together well, but there’s no doubt they collectively add up to one deliriously goofy B-movie.” The Aisle Seat
“… stylish but slow-moving…” The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction book
“Haller and his crew make it all quite atmospheric, there are some interesting aural and light effects used at the finale, nice use of matte paintings throughout, some mildly icky make-up fx (such as a face-melting down) and an interesting metallic-looking meteor monster that shows up at the very end.” The Bloody Pit of Horror
“Director Daniel Haller provides isolated moments of fear and mystery, but the majority of Jerry Sohl’s script is muddled.” John Stanley, Creature Features
“The plodding plot would be more painful if the flick were longer, but the intriguing meld of gothic horror and contemporary sci-fi is hard to pass up.” DVD Talk
“Despite game performances from all involved, Die, Monster, Die! is ultimately undone by its generic and uninspired approach. The effects of the meteorite – kept squirreled away in the basement – are erratic and highly selective.” HorrorHound magazine
“The film looks good … The pacing is torpid, made bareable only by four or five decent shock moments spaced throughout. The acting is uninspired and seems a decade out of date. Even Karloff adds nothing new…”David Elroy Goldweber, Claws and Saucers
“Adams is cocky, arrogant, and self-righteous. The guy just can’t act beyond that one persona. Other than him, this film is great. Karloff plays a great curmudgeon, and you really dislike him at first. Once things get a bit clearer though, you feel sympathy for him. Suzan Farmer is pretty good, as she plays an excellent damsel in distress.” Magazines and Monsters
“Karloff is solidly cast, never entirely unsympathetic yet not at all trustworthy […] Adams, on the other hand, is too brash to fit in with the general gloom, and paired with the swooning Farmer the overall impression is more one of Fred and Daphne from Scooby-Doo investigating a mystery. The musty atmosphere is well enforced…” The Spinning Image
“When Monster is good –and Adams’s investigation of the creepy goings-on often aren’t bad – Adams is serviceable. […] Director Haller does a great job fifty per cent of the time. He’ll fully utilize the widescreen one shot, then do something lame the next.” The Stop Button
“Though it’s well shot, Jerry Sohl’s disjointed, blundering screenplay leaves a lot to be desired. The leads are left to hold up most of the movie and unfortunately, Freda Jackson and Nick Adams are way too bland and uninteresting to be able to do that.” Video Junkie
“All that I can see is horror. Horror!”
Cast and characters:
Boris Karloff … Nahum Witley
Nick Adams … Stephen Reinhart
Freda Jackson … Letitia Witley
Suzan Farmer … Susan Witley
Terence de Marney … Merwyn
Patrick Magee … Doctor Henderson
Paul Farrell … Jason
Leslie Dwyer … Potter
Harold Goodwin … Taxi Driver (UK version)
Sydney Bromley … Pierce
Billy Milton … Henry
Sheila Raynor … Miss Bailey (UK version)
Gretchen Franklin … Miss Bailey (uncredited)
George Moon … Taxi Driver (uncredited)
The House at the End of the World
Began on 15th February until March 1965.
Aspect ratio: 2.35: 1
Audio: Mono (Westrex Sound Recording)
In the USA, American International Pictures released the film on a double-bill with Mario Bava’s Planet of the Vampires (1965). In the UK, the film was released as Monster of Terror on a double-bill with Corman’s 1963 film The Haunted Palace (also based on a Lovecraft story).
Full film free to watch online: