FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD (1964)
Article #188 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 9-20-2001
Posting date: 2-3-2002
A giant version of the Frankenstein monster does battle with a burrowing monster known as Baragon.
The fifties and sixties were a bizarre time for Frankenstein and his creations, with several variations on the theme that were quite offbeat. This was one of the strangest, with the heart of the Frankenstein monster being sent to Japan during World War II, where it is on hand for the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, causing a giant version of the Frankenstein monster to grow from it. The monster is basically good, but misunderstood, more a victim than an aggressor, Once again I admire the skillful model work that Toho put into their movies; the scenes of him walking through the city are quite effective. I also like the touches of humor and (possibly) good-natured parody; when the heart is taken away from the scientist at the beginning of the movie, he destroys his own lab in much the same way we’ve known the monster to do so in the Universal movies. Two of my favorite moments are comic in nature, both involving the monster’s hunt for food. The first is where he tosses a tree at a wild boar, and the second is when he digs a pit to catch it and what he catches in its place. It’s colorful and energetic, but ultimately I find it a little dull and disappointing; I prefer the sequel, THE WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS, even though the English version of this movie excised all references that tied the two movies together. Nick Adams is on hand as one of the scientists.