Die, Monster, Die (1965) is a loose adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s story The Colour Out of Space, and I can see the influence of American International Pictures Corman-Poe adaptations. The sets are lavish, giving the Gothic Romance feeling as is present in many of this company’s adaptations. I watched The Curse, which follows first, not knowing that Die, Monster, Die was too.
Stephen Reinhart wants to go to the Witley place, but no one in town will give him directions or take him, and no one will tell him why. He is forced to walk and finds a crater and scorched out land on his trek to the estate. The sets, as I mentioned before, are of a Gothic nature, which I don’t mind and I thought added to the character of the strange story.
The monsters remind me of Sid the Sea Monster that didn’t come to TV until years later; for 1965 they aren’t the worst things that I’ve seen, but the puppet masters could’ve used more control over them. The makeup effects were total cheese, but that’s what’s great about this era in horror films.
I like the weird influence of AIP on this movie, and give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars.
The Curse (1987) is an adaptation of H. P. Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space, which I hadn’t read until after I watched Die, Monster, Die. I confess, I think I’ve only read one Lovecraft story back in my college days, and it was about Cthulhu. This movie is strange indeed and felt clunky in places, but the gross-out scenes made up for those rough patches.
I never know what to think about movies that start with an ending sequence. Why give it away? Besides what they displayed wasn’t the best hook. Deliverance-esque hillbillies quoting the Holy Bible always crack me up, and Nathan knows all the best parts to throw out at his stepson, Zack, and way younger wife, Frances; it’s obvious she married for the money, too bad there isn’t any.
The weird tryst between Frances and the farmhand, Mike, was like watching failed movies from Cinemax After Dark. This side-story is vital to the film, though I won’t say more. I kept staring at Zack Crane, trying to place him, then it hit me; he’s Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Zack and Frances are the best part of the movie, as the rest of the acting is B-movie quality.
The gross-out effects were unexpected but awesome. The other effects, like what appeared to be a flying ball of string wasn’t amazing and seemed like they didn’t know what else to do with the “meteor” like object crashing toward Earth. When it was on the ground it looked better, pulsating and gross, and then it solidified, reminding me of one of those giant jawbreakers that cost a dollar in the vending machine.
The vegetables are disgusting. I could imagine the stench when Frances cuts into them. The make-up effects are decent and are like the make-up in Fright Night when Evil Ed gets burned with the crucifix. I didn’t understand the house being destroyed like the Fall of the House of Usher with it sinking into the ground, but I guess not everything needs to make sense, just be cool.
I enjoyed The Curse and recommend that you don’t pass it up if you find it on your video service. I give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars.
After seeing Die, Monster, Die, I went to Amazon to find a Kindle copy of The Colour Out of Space. I was curious to see which adaptation was truer to the story, and I really wasn’t surprised to learn that The Curse is closer to the story as AIP has the tendency of going their own way with any story they adapt. But you should see both, and then read the short story after the fact. Each has its own peculiarities that are quite enjoyable as does the story.