“Before your startled eyes…man changes to monster! Once normal man actually splits in two…half human/half inhuman, in the laboratory of the damned…in which women are brutalized by the monster-born-of-man!” – The Manster movie poster
Travel with us now to the halcyon days of drive-in cinema as we take a look at 1959’s schlock masterpiece The Manster. Co-directed, produced, and conceived by George P. Breakston (a Hollywood veteran who also most notably helped bring us the Andy Hardy franchise), the movie concerns an American journalist with a troubled marriage who inadvertently becomes the news story of a lifetime after a Japanese scientist who believes that cosmic rays can be utilized to trigger mankind’s next evolutionary step injects him with a serum that causes him to grow another head and become part man/part monster. Like a less chill version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy‘s Zaphod Beeblebrox, he begins a reign of terror just as his estranged wife arrives in Japan with hopes of reconciliation. Two headed terror and a romantic subplot? Such are the things that lovers of psychotronic cinema dream about.
Otherwise known as The Split (the name it was fittingly sometimes called when it played on a double bill), The Manster lives to terrorize again thanks to the B-movie lovers at Shout Factory, who released the flick in a beautiful Blu-ray edition. Twice the fun or other cult flicks and trashy pics? Yep, The Manster more than delivers.
This article originally ran on MovieFanFare last year, we are reprinting it as part of our ongoing Summer of Sci-Fi celebrations.