MONSTROSITY (1963) Reviews and free to watch online

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‘Bodies for sale!’
Monstrosity is a 1963 American science fiction horror film directed by Joseph V. Mascelli. Co-produced by Jack Pollexfen (The Neanderthal Man; Captive Women; The Man from Planet X) who also had an uncredited hand in directing.

The movie stars Erika Peters, Judy Bamber, Marjorie Eaton and Frank Gerstle.

An elderly woman uses her vast fortune to convince an eccentric yet brilliant scientist to transplant her brain into a new, youthful body. The bodies are provided by three immigrant young women who are hired to be servants. The old woman then chooses which of the girls she finds most beautiful, and sets about replacing the young woman’s brain with her own…

Reviews:
“Before he teamed up with Steckler to lens the likes of The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies and The Thrill Killers, Joseph V. Mascelli directed Monstrosity, a whacked-out, sleazed-up variation on the venerable mad doctor theme. It’s slightly less loony than the typical Steckler picture, but only very slightly.” 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting

Even at 65 minutes, Monstrosity could have used a little tightening up; some scenes drag on far too long […]  even taking into account its ludicrous storyline, Monstrosity is a low-budget schlock-fest that could’ve been much worse than it is. Warts and all, I have to say I kinda liked it.” 2,500 Movies Challenge

“Aside from the film’s similarities to Wood’s late 50s oeuvre, a reliance on post-dubbing, dead pan narration, and a singular claustrophobic location (an old mansion located around Hancock Park in L.A.) is like cement in the mould. This is the kind of perfect strange film charm that inspires global searches to uncover its existence.” Bleeding Skull!

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“I loved how horrible the old widow was throughout the film, and how cheesy all of the human/animal hybrid experiments wound up. The leads weren’t particularly enthralling or interesting, but a lot of the peripheral action and characters were entertaining and ridiculous enough to make the movie a pretty decent watch (as far as bad movies go).” Misan[trope]y

“All of the awkward and intrusive narration makes sense when you hear about the problems getting the film finished.  When the film isn’t literally telling you what you need to know, the actual product is surprisingly-listless. This is a film about a man irradiating dead brains for a rich, crazy lady and it wasn’t interesting.” Mondo Bizarro

“There are some highly amusing scenes seeing Lisa Lang after her brain is supposedly replaced by one from a cat […] On the minus side, such a wonderfully lurid and amusing stew of B movie elements fails to come to a boil as a film. Joseph Mascelli’s direction is drearily dull and the photography downright primitive.” Moria

” …this feels like a 50s sci-fi film – or maybe one of those PRC mad scientist films from the 40s […] But the shots of pretty girls in their undies – and of course, the terrible things that happen to them! – put this solidly into the category of a 60s exploitation film. On the whole, it’s a somewhat uncomfortable combination with a few high points.” Rivets on the Poster

” …the rank incompetence odd visual style here is even more blatant than that of an Ed Wood movie. The editor occasionally inter-cuts material shot at night, with material filmed in broad daylight. Viewers are instantly transported to the sanity-challenged 2 a.m. Z-movie zone … where nothing is real.” Trailers from Hell

” …this is a treasure trove of tripe: drunk, horny mad doctors; wheelchair-bound old biddies living in dilapidated gothic mansions; forbidden experiments with atomic power; mutations run amok; and trampy Euro-dames (with atrocious fake accents). Add screamingly inept dialogue (by four screenwriters!), a droning narrator, and feel your own brain pan go nuclear. A must-see for bad-brain movie devotees; makes a cerebral double-bill with The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.” Videohound’s Complete Guide to Cult Flicks and Trash Pics

Choice dialogue:
Narrator [Bradford Dillman]: “Mrs March had not realized her future body had such a satisfactory shape. Perhaps not as spectacular as the English girl, but in excellent taste. She couldn’t help being amused. The stupid girl was not only modelling Mrs March’s future wardrobe but Mrs March’s future body: so firm, so nicely round in places men like.”

Narrator [Bradford Dillman]: “Three new bodies. Fresh, live, young bodies. No families or friends within thousands of miles, no one to ask embarrassing questions when they disappear. Victor wondered which one Mrs March would pick. The little Mexican, the girl from Vienna, or the buxom blonde? Victor knew his pick, but he still felt uneasy, making love to an eighty-year-old woman in the body of a twenty-year-old girl; it’s insanity!”

Narrator [Bradford Dillman]: “Oh, how she made them sweat. Especially this old fool, companion and gigolo. How many years she’s kept him dangling on promises. Well, sometimes it’s convenient to have a man, especially when he comes cheaper than servants.”

Narrator [Bradford Dillman]: “Where were the live, fresh bodies he’d been promised?”

Narrator [Bradford Dillman]: “As with the other bodies stolen from cemeteries, the nerve endings of the brain were too far gone to receive a proper transplant. The experiment failed to produce anything more than a walking, breathing zombie-like creature. But the doctor permitted her to wander about the laboratory – she was harmless and… at times even amusing.”

Mrs March [Marjorie Eaton]: “I don’t want you running up and down stairs – those pretty legs will get ugly muscles!”

Blu-ray release:
After a successful 2016 Kickstarter campaign by Ben Solovey of Moth Inc., the film was scanned and restored in 4K resolution for a Blu-ray release.

New 4k Restoration from the Original Camera Negative
Feature Length Audio Commentary from writers Tom Weaver and Robert J. Kiss
Widescreen and Fullscreen editions of the feature film (Blu-ray Exclusive Feature)
Original Theatrical Trailer – Alternate “Atomic Brain” title sequence
Stills Gallery
The Brothers Dillman: Interviews with Bradford Dillman and Pamela Dillman
Mascelli’s Monstrosity: Interview with Michael Goi

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com

Notes:
The film was shot in 1958 but remained unreleased until September 1963. According to producer Jack Pollexfen, the production company went bankrupt about halfway through shooting, leaving no money to finish the film. It was later retitled The Atomic Brain for TV showings. The film is now in the public domain.

Cast and characters:
Marjorie Eaton … Mrs March
Frank Gerstle … as Doctor Frank – The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake; Killers from Space
Frank Fowler … Victor
Erika Peters … Nina Rhodes
Judy Bamber … Beatrice ‘Bea’ Mullins
Lisa Lang … Anita Gonzales
Margie Fisco … Female Corpse
Xerxes … The Cat
Bradford Dillman … Narrator – Lords of the Deep; Piranha; Bug

Technical details:
1 hour 5 minutes
Black and white
Audio: Mono
Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1

Full film – free to watch online [1080p]:

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