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Monster on the Campus

1 rating: -3.0
A movie directed by Jack Arnold

Arthur Franz stars in this far-out science fiction film as Donald, a professor of paleontology who receives a prehistoric fish at all-American Dunston University. First a student's dog licks up some of the fish's spilled blood and sprouts fangs and tries … see full wiki

Cast: Ross Elliott
Director: Jack Arnold
Release Date: 1958
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about Monster on the Campus

Monster on the Campus ~ a boring waste of time

  • Dec 18, 2000
Pros: Short movie

Cons: Make up was bad, acting was bad, script was bad, filming was bad, music was bad ...... did I mention this was a bad movie?

What does a fish, a dragon fly, a dog and a pipe have in common? A college professor! Yep, we have some freakish college professor with a love for prehistoric fish from Madagascar, played by Arthur Franz, and his lovely girlfriend Joanna Moore, who is also the daughter of his mentor played by Alexander Lockwood, delving into the scientific makeup of this fish. I might add this fish has a set of teeth that look like ‘store bought' and the beginnings of a pair of legs that never developed. It is also the approximate size of a dog.

Well, while we are on the subject of dogs, let me mention the wonderful Samson, played by - I guess, Sampson. When a student, Troy Donohue (gee, I thought he only made Gidget movies!), delivers the fish to Franz, the dripping water from the melting fish interests the dog, since dogs are always thirsty. After lapping up the drippings, the delightful Samson turns into quite a mean beast with a set of fangs that look more like tusks. It is a short lived transformation, though, making the professor appear foolish to his mentor, Lockwood.

After the fish is delivered to the lab, Franz is moving it to the fridge for storage and low and behold, sticks his hand in the mouth of the fish and gets quite a nasty bite (although the fish is dead), starting his own transformation. Later, while he is observing the fish a dragon fly lands on the back of the mammoth and suddenly is changed into a 747. Again, a short lived excursion, adding to his apparently growing stupidity!

However, juices from the dragon fly drip into the professors pipe and the next time he lights up, he gets a mighty dose of the gene altering fish stuff (whatever it is) - perhaps the first registered acid trip! Growing ever more curious, the professor injects himself with plasma from the dang fish and goes into a Jeckel/Hyde thing, similar to the change over that the wolf man makes in his movies. In fact, they use the same slow motion time frame change thing. As a monster he is a cross between the Incredible Hulk, the Wolf Man and Planet of the Apes, not particularly scary but somewhat disgusting anyway.

This movie was released in 1958, in black and white, and is definitely cheesy. The acting, what there is of it, is horrible and stilted, but I consider the time frame and let it go. The change over from man to monster is typical - you never really observe it like you do in todays movies, just keep getting shots of him with a new layer of makeup, then a fade away, then new makeup - so on, you get the idea.

Eddie Parker plays the part of the monster, they didn't even bother to make over the ‘star' of the movie into the monster but used a stand in. That in itself if pretty pitiful. The movie is enough like the Wolf Man to make you think you might be watching it, but without the panache of the Wolf Man. In fact, it is an embarrassing movie and I'm ashamed to admit I watched the thing, and more than once too. There are no memorable quotations from the movie, no outstanding scenery, no acting worth discussing and pretty much no story line.

Writer David Duncan, director Jack Arnold. Don't bother.


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