Starring Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, Tony McCoy, Loretta King, Harvey B. Dunn
Directed by Edward D. Wood Jr.
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)
Local police try to investigate the mysterious disappearances of several people in a swamp, not realizing a mad scientist trying to create atomic supermen is behind it all.
Notorious writer/director Ed Wood was behind this often ridiculed science fiction thriller, and there's plenty of his hallmarks here, perhaps best summed up by the inanimate octopus prop that "murders" its victims, and the clumsy integration of it with live octopus footage. There's also some less than talented actors in the film, led by Loretta King, who gives an overblown performance as a smarmy newspaper reporter. However, this is also just about the last starring role for Bela Lugosi, and it shouldn't disappoint his fans, for although he's over the top at times, he sure seems like he's giving it his all as the demented Dr. Vornoff, who hypnotizes King with probing eyes and extended fingers in scenes right out of Dracula. Some of the dialogue Wood and co-writer Alex Gordon give him is ludicrous, but the actor somehow maintains his dignity. I have to say that I enjoy Wood's films, despite the low-budget trappings and often inept staging, because they're certainly never boring, and have their own goofy charm. And in this one, it's clear that a love and respect for Lugosi fashioned the role of one last mad scientist for the aged actor to play.
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