Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster. 1965. USA. Directed by Robert Gaffney. 35mm. 79 min.
“What was it Jean-Michel Basquiat said about Club 57? Something like, ‘I’m tired of seeing bad stuff. Show me something good.’ Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster, along with the more famous Plan Nine from Outer Space and The Horror of Party Beach, is an excellent example of ‘bad stuff.’ Filmed in Hempstead, Long Island, and Puerto Rico, and with a storyline about kidnapping Earth chicks from pool parties to Mars, could it be anything else? Basquiat didn’t stick around long enough to see the Club 57 moviegoing aesthetic co-opted by the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000. And you, too, in the comfort of The Museum of Modern Art, can feel free to yell back at the screen, because Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster now ranks #7 as one of the worst films ever made. But its messiness is part of its charm. I saw it in 1965 at The Hazle Cinema in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, and it lived only in the back of my memory until I saw it again at Club 57, and suddenly that memory of Dr. Nadir came rushing to the forefront. As the website Bloody Pit of Horror says, ‘Bald, Spock-eared Dr. Nadir (Lou Cutell) [is] perhaps the gayest camp alien since Bunny Breckinridge in Plan Nine from Outer Space.’” (film notes by John Epperson).