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LiamCasey

"Monster on the Campus" (1958)

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Tonight on METv's Svengoolie is 1958's Monster on the Campus:

 


 

Arthur Franz stars in this one as Donald Blake who, as we all remember from issue 83 of Journey Into Mystery, finds a walking stick in a Norwegian cave while hiding from extraterrestrials from Saturn and who then, after striking that stick against a rock, becomes The Mighty Thor who then ...

 

Oh, wait a minute, that is another Donald Blake entirely! Sorry about that.

 

:)

 

Monster on the Campus is one of those movies where, if you like the horror genre, then you will probably like this movie. And if you don't like the horror genre, then you will probably dislike this movie. This is not a movie that one uses to change any one's opinion on that genre.

 

Does Monster on the Campus have an extremely hokey title? Yes. Does it have hokey effects? Yes (including a very fake giant dragonfly with very visible non-fake wires and monster makeup that helps make the case that the best horror is the unseen horror). And does it feature a late-1950s paleontologist who still believes in the hokey Piltdown Man? Yes.

 

But this variation on the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde theme does takes that theme down a logical path from start to finish. And the characters react appropriately for that path (no characters for the sake of comic relief, no stupid cops, etc.).

 

And it is helped by the fact that it is directed by Jack Arnold. Monster on the Campus is no It Came from Outer Space (1953) or Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). But Mr. Arnold knew a thing or two on how to do these types of movies.

 

Besides the aforementioned Arthur Franz, this movie features a number of other actors whose names do not necessarily roll off my tongue (Joanna Moore, Judson Pratt, etc.). But it does feature a pre-stardom Troy Donahue. And, of course, Whit Bissell. Sometimes I think there was a law requiring Mr. Bissell to appear at least once in every movie of this type.

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Still don't watch Svengoolie.

Do have a DVD with Monster on the Campus on it.  Joanna Moore was in a lot of movies and TV during this period.  You'll know her when you see her.

The movie is about a B- or C+.  Tends to drag toward the end.

However, it does have some great looking late '50's Chrysler Corp. cars in it.  

During the late '50's and early '60's it seems Chrysler Corp. funished a lot of cars for movies.

As with most of his movies, Troy Donahue adds absolutely nothing to it.

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Still don't watch Svengoolie.

Do have a DVD with Monster on the Campus on it.  Joanna Moore was in a lot of movies and TV during this period.  You'll know her when you see her.

The movie is about a B- or C+.  Tends to drag toward the end.

However, it does have some great looking late '50's Chrysler Corp. cars in it.  

During the late '50's and early '60's it seems Chrysler Corp. funished a lot of cars for movies.

As with most of his movies, Troy Donahue adds absolutely nothing to it.

 

Universal's The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection, Volumes 1 & 2? That's the DVD set that I have that includes Monster on the Campus. I have no need or plans to watch Svengoolie tonight.

 

To me, Monster on the Campus starts to lose steam once we fully see the monster. Which seems to be a common failing among a lot of movies in this genre. Once the horror is seen, it is just not as, well, horrorific. And it is usually the point where the final chase commences.

 

A car guy? Should have guessed that from your photo. You must have hated the scene where the monster causes the Joanna Moore's character to crash.

 

Considering the character that Troy Donahue was portraying in this one, there wasn't much that he needed to add to this one.

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