Drive-In Dust Offs: The Manster (1959)

I love wordplay, and portmanteaus are my favourite. Come on over and I’ll tell you about The Manster (1959), part man, part monster, all good B movie madness. Two-headed Americans abroad in Japan is a very specific sub-genre, and underappreciated at that.

Originally released in Japan in July but not released stateside until March of ’62, United Artist Japan’s production was filmed there, and they spared every expense by using the same cardboard sets, flimsy, sparse labs and restaged hotel rooms as their American counterparts. (Papier mache volcano included.) But the mix of Japanese, British, and American actors gives The Manster (Aka The Split) a distinct flavor beyond the two pronged noggin. Oh, and the eyeball in the shoulder. Have I mentioned the caged sister with the melting face?

Our film opens on that mountainside by that gurgling volcano at the secret lab of Dr. Robert Suzuki (Tetsu NakamuraThe Last Dinosaur
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