Monster A Go-Go (1965)
Review by Annie Riordan
aka: Terror At Halfday (1961)
Directed by: Bill Rebane
Plot: Astronaut Frank Douglas’s space capsule has returned to Earth. It crashes, some people get killed, a big irradiated dude with volcanic acne stumbles around for a while, a couple of girls jiggle about, some other people die, scientists hang out in a laundromat and imitate telephones and finally it all ends faster than you can say Deus Ex Machina. Nothing is resolved, nothing makes sense and nobody cares. The end.
Originally entitled Terror At Halfday (whatever that means) this was a film abandoned and discarded by director Bill Rebane, who went on to make the incredibly sleazy Giant Spider Invasion. It sat around collecting dust for several years until Herschell Gordon Lewis picked it up, added a few new scenes and some dialogue and slapped it onto a double feature with his film Moonshine Mountain.
Thanks a lot, Lewis.
This was described by the cast of MST3K as the most depressing film they’d ever watched:
Tom: Joel, it’s this movie! It was really depressing! It was like–it was like being a little kid and eating dinner at your aunt Ruth’s apartment in the summer, and it’s hot in there, and she’s got a local Christian radio station on, and there’s nothing to do or look at cuz all she’s got in the apartment are Good Housekeeping magazines and linen doilies! (sobs)
Crow: Yeah! And then they send you out to play with the strange neighbor kids, and they’re all big, and their skin is pink, and they have big pores, and a big eighth grader makes you look at *really* upsetting pictures, and so you go back inside and sit down, and they’re all just talking and there are big pauses in their conversation and you can hear the clock ticking on the wall! (breaks down)
Tom: Yeah, yeah! So you dig into your seat cushion and you find a really old peanut, and you’re so bored you eat it, and then you just feel bad and a little sick, and–and then you think you’re about to go, but then–then Aunt Ruth takes out a photo album filled with black-and-white photos of kids with squinty eyes, and they’re supposed to be your uncles and aunts or something, and then your parents force you to look at them!
Oh, okay, I know…the guy who played the giant really was a giant. He was a former vaudeville actor who stood 7 feet and 6.75 inches tall.
And the guy who played the Solemn Jack Kerouac who pulls out a J in the middle of the room during the party sequence was played by director Bill Rebane.
Oh, and this was one of the few MST3K episodes whose sketches had nothing at all to do with the movie because the cast was so utterly uninspired, bored and disgusted that they couldn’t think of anything to do that would tie back to the film.
About the only person in this film who had any kind of a decent career was June Travis, who played Ruth, the big butted emotional train wreck and mother to annoying little Jimmy. Ruth is apparently the boyfriend/husband of Astronaut Frank Douglas, but she’s quick to start dating some high ranking official in charge of the case ASAP, sucking down anchovy olives and demonstrating an amazing ability to hear songs that aren’t even playing. But she was in a movie with Bette Davis once.
And that’s about it.