The Aisle Seat - Movie Reviews by Mike McGranaghan
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THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan


Die, Monster, Die!

Die, Monster, Die! certainly has one of the most attention-getting titles of all time. Released in 1965, it was loosely adapted from H.P. Lovecraft's “The Colour Out of Space,” and in other countries it was known as Monster of Terror. The film hits Blu-Ray on January 21, with a beautiful new transfer from Scream Factory.

The story begins in classic horror fashion. An American scientist named Stephen Reinhart (Nick Adams) arrives at a tiny village in England, where he intends to visit his fiancee. He asks some of the locals how to get to her family's estate. Without fail, they all angrily refuse to answer his question. It's clear they are hiding something, likely out of fear. Stephen finally finds the place, where Susan (Suzan Farmer) is glad to see him. Her father, Nahum Witley (Boris Karloff), most definitely is not. He orders young Stephen to leave immediately, but his sickly wife, Letitia (Freda Jackson), intervenes. Stephen asks about the large crater out in the countryside. This irritates Nahum even more. Strange things begin to happen, and the family secret is soon revealed: Nahum is mutating plants and animals in his basement laboratory. Something then goes wrong, creating horrific consequences for all involved.

The first act of Die, Monster, Die! is creepy, as director Daniel Haller builds suspense over why the townsfolk are so hostile at the mere mention of the Witley name. This sort of thing has been done in other movies, but it's an effective way of setting a tone of evil and dread. The film's middle section is extremely draggy, with characters traipsing around the mansion, trying to figure out what's going on. Thankfully, the third act picks up again, with a series of unusual plot revelations and some awesomely bizarre imagery. You not only get the weird mutant beings Nahum is growing in his basement, but also the monster referred to in the title (and I will not spoil anything by telling you any more about it). 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.

Boris Karloff plays to type here, but he did this kind of thing so well that it hardly matters. His performance is nicely preserved for the ages on this Scream Factory Blu-Ray, which also contains the original theatrical trailer. Die, Monster, Die! may not be Karloff's best film, but it's certainly one of his most unusual, and therefore one of his most memorable.

For more information on this title, please visit the Scream Factory website.

Die, Monster, Die! is unrated but contains fairly tame scenes of violence and horror. The running time is 1 hour and 20 minutes.

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