The Naked Monster (2005)
Article 5942 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Wayne Berwick and Ted Newsom
Featuring Kenneth Tobey, Brinke Stevens, R.G. Wilson
What it is: A hoot for the right audience
A giant monster is on the loose. Can authorities destroy it? If so, how?
Ted Newsom passed away last year. He was a film historian who specialized in the types of movies I review for my series, and he was one of the first figures of fandom I encountered when I began prowling around message boards about twenty years ago. I wish I had taken the time to review this movie earlier; I would have liked to chat with him about the making of this movie, which appears to have been started in the late eighties but only completed after the turn of the century.
The title seems to indicate one of two things; it’s either going to be an update of an old giant monster movie for a more permissive age (read: more nudity), or it was going to be a parody along the lines of the NAKED GUN movies. Yes, there is some (intentionally) gratuitous nudity in the movie, but not so much that it loses track of its fifties roots. I’m not surprised that some people think little of the movie (at this writing it has a 5.4 on IMDB), but I also believe it was targeted to a specialized audience – to those of us who love and studied the movies it parodied. If you’re part of that group, it’s an incredibly fun movie, and a lot of the enjoyment is going to be trying to identify the plethora of genre actors who pop up in cameos as well as the references to the movies being parodied. There’s lot so stock footage, clips from any number of genre films, cheap special effects, inside jokes (my favorite is the “mat lines” joke), etc. Quite frankly, this movie was a treat for me. Thanks, Mr. Newsom. I only wish you were still here to read this.