Charles Martinka

Tor, King of Beasts (1962, Donald F. Glut)

While Tor, King of Beasts is a remake of King Kong, director Glut comes up with a few new twists for the retelling.

The two most obvious are the futuristic plane Glut (he also stars) and his companions use to the get the island. At first I wondered if it was time travel. Second, there’s no girl. So why do the guys go after Kong? Sorry, I mean Tor. Apparently because they’re jerk kids.

The stop motion when Tor is alone is sort of lame (in a way I’d never be able to do it), but once Tor’s got something to do, Glut excels. He brings real personality to the animation, even if it’s never quite believable as a giant monster.

However, once Tor gets to civilization, Glut’s depth tricks work much better.

After the slow start, Tor is decidedly impressive at times. Those times make up for the rest.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Written, edited and directed by Donald F. Glut.

Starring Donald F. Glut (Carl Denham), Bill Bungert (crew member), Rich Hagopian (crew member), Charles Martinka (crew member) and Doug Hoffman (crew member).


The Teenage Frankenstein (1959, Donald F. Glut)

The Teenage Frankenstein. Where to start. How to start.

First, it’s not exactly The Teenage Frankenstein, it’s more The Teenage Bride of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, which actually works out pretty well.

It’s unclear why teen auteur Glut includes a werewolf–who saves Dr. Frankenstein from a hanging at the beginning–but it all comes together later. Glut’s homage to the Universal monsters is quite a bit darker than the original films, leading to some surprises.

Glut doesn’t credit his actors–maybe he was upset they couldn’t keep straight faces, though the werewolf does a nice Lon Chaney Jr. impression when it counts.

As a director, Glut comes up with some decent shots–especially the first person Monster–and the editing is fantastic.

Also notable are the titles (Teenage is silent). Glut’s method really brings them to life.

Teenage is constantly amusing and sometimes startlingly inventive, especially its narrative.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Written, directed, produced and edited by Donald F. Glut.

Starring Donald F. Glut (Frankenstein Monster), Charles Martinka (Dr. Frankenstein), Victor Fabian (Lawrence Talbot/Wolf Man), Bert Ott (Teenage Frankenstein Monster/hangman), Gene Gronemeyer (Count Dracula), Michael Salerno (blind hermit) and Chuck Kroon.


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