The Naked Monster (2005)

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Monday, March 11, 2013

The Naked Monster (2005)

  • Actors: Kenneth Tobey, Brinke Stevens, R.G. Wilson, John Goodwin, Daniel Roebuck
  • Directors: Wayne Berwick, Ted Newsom
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Anthem Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: August 1, 2006
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • The Naked Monster is a 2005 American ultra low-budget science fiction and horror comedy film written by Ted Newsom and directed by Newsom and Wayne Berwick as an homage to and spoof of the "giant monster-on-the-loose" films of the 1950s.  The final project took 21 years to make, and was actor Kenneth Tobey's last film.

    The project originated in 1984, after director Ted Newsom was challenged with a bet to produce a movie for $2,500.  In response he created "Attack of the B-Movie Monster" which had a limited VHS release under that name in 1985.  In revisiting the project, the filmmakers added scenes from old monster films to make a new version for release on DVD.  According to Newsom, he "hauled out the old scripts, took gags and lines, and did a 25-page script, which condensed things to manageable size.  That version of the project was designed as a half-hour short which could be shot in about four weekends (plus the time for effects).  On that basis, I asked Wayne Berwick to direct "Attack of the B-Movie Monster", since I was 'producing' and had drawn the storyboards for both the live action and effects shots."  The film was shot on Super 8 film during 18 days of shooting in the summer of 1984, although for some days they would only shoot for two hours then quit.  Over the following months the animation effects were added and the version was finished by the end of the year.  The film was first screened at the now defunct EZTV in West Hollywood.

    In 1992, Newsom professed to have "slop-edited a version of the old show together using the original colour footage, although the FX shots were still in black and white", saying "I wanted to see if it looked any good."  However, several of the original stars had died, including Robert Shayne and John Harmon, and Ken Tobey had severe problems with his back which made a remake impossible with the original cast members.  In 1994, Newsom transferred the Super-8 film to tape on a high-end Rank Telecine apparatus and made a deal with Chuck Adleman of Anthem Pictures to use their editing system to cut the 100 minutes down by 16 minutes.  In the cutting process several effects shots were lost, such as the whole Titanic and submarine sequences, but Newsom claimed these needlessly slowed down the film.

    The character names of the veteran performers all refer to their own past films. Brinke Stevens stars, with cameos from two of her fellow Scream Queens. Kenneth Tobey returns as Colonel Patrick Hendry, a promotion for his character originally an army Captain in The Thing from Another World, and Les Tremayne reprises his General Mann role from War of the Worlds (1953).

    A colossal series of disasters releases something monstrous from a glacier.  Strange disappearances in a small California town attract the attention of a thick-headed sheriff (R.G. Wilson), his transparently uninterested scientist girlfriend (Brinke Stevens) and a visiting government agent (John Goodwin).  They discover that a giant green monster is at large, the Creaturesaurus Erectus, ("He wrecked us? He nearly KILLED us!")  They turn to experienced monster fighter Colonel Patrick Hendry (Kenneth Tobey), who has been locked in a government asylum for decades.  With the help of other monster experts, lots of stock footage and incredibly bad special effects, humanity fights back against the "Thing from Another Time Zone".


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