Monsoon-A-Day ‘The Ship Of Monsters’ (1960)

Welcome to Monsoon-a-day.
Where I watch and review a movie a day. Or whenever I fucking feel like it.

Day 81

 

There’s always been a stigma attached to low budget films. The generally accepted belief is that, the higher the price of a product, the more valuable it is. Diamonds are the perfect example of this. They serve no practical purpose but since they’re rare and expensive, the perception is that they’re valuable. On the other hand, the Cubic Zirconia is a mass produced synthetic gemstone that is almost indistinguishable from diamonds but since they’ve always been available at affordable prices, they’ve been considered cheap and worthless.

The twist being that diamonds are not rare at all. Their scarcity is a manufactured lie created to drive up the supply and demand. There has never been a shortage of diamonds and ironically, the “cheap” imitator (Cubic Zirconia) has become harder and harder to manufacture, thus making it actually valuable. It’s estimated that in 40 years, the diamond will actually be worth less than almost every other gemstone.

“But what the fuck does this have to do with a low rent Mexican science fiction film!?”

The analogy being, that it’s the low budget films (the Cubic Zirconias) that are usually more valuable than the big budget blockbusters (the diamonds.)

The Ship of Monsters is a cheap film. If the Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean movies are diamonds and films like Reservoir Dogs and Clerks are the Zirconias, The Ship of Monsters is a Blow Pop ring. It is made with a budget a little higher than a Ed Wood production.

Which, keeping with the analogy, automatically makes it sound terrible. The monster effects are cheesy as hell, The robot looks like cardboard and tubing slapped together with duct tape, the rocket set is nothing more than wires and poorly constructed props and the acting…well, the two leads are famous for being crowned Miss Mexico in 1953 and 1960, respectively.

On paper, this film should be a “so bad, It’s good” at best and a god awful train wreck at worst but, like the gem I compared it to earlier (yes, technically I compared it to a Blow Pop ring but shut up-a your mouth), it’s entertainment value is indistinguishable from that of its big budget brothers.

The film is about two female aliens tasked with bringing back the perfect male species to help repopulate Venus. They visit multiple planets until they find earth, Mexico to be specific. They quickly run into a singing cowboy and immediately decide that he’s the perfect specimen.

There’s a million terrible pornos with that exact premise. In fact, the film is probably already playing out in your head. The sexy female aliens take turns having sex with him until he can’t take anymore and he runs away to Benny Hill-esque music. Roll credits.

But The Ship of Monsters is no hackneyed XXX farce. As a matter of fact, porn is the genre not included in this film. It’s a sci-fi, musical, horror, kid’s film that feels like an extra long episode of Leave it to Beaver directed by Sid and Marty Krofft. It’s quant. It’s charming.

And that plot synopsis only covers the first half of the film. Instead of being about two thristy ass trap hoes from Venus trying to kidnap and rape my boy– the singing cowboy–it quickly turns into a monster film of all things.

One of the main characters turns out to be a vampire and decides to unleash the monsters (the alien men from the other planets they visited) they’ve captured to help her take over the world. It’s a completely out-of-nowhere twist that is awesome as shit.

The film never loses momentum and is constantly entertaining because it doesn’t use its low budget as a crutch. You’re never laughing at it, you’re laughing with it because it’s legitimately funny. A bigger budget wouldn’t have made the script any funnier. The groundwork was already there and that’s what separates it from every other low budget piece of garbage.

And it ends with a robot and jukebox singing a love duet at the end. If that doesn’t sell you on this, nothing well.