Kiss Me Monster

Have you ever sat through a film that was so awful that you were willing to shove a coat hanger up your nose to try and gouge out the memory from your brain? Welcome to “Kiss Me Monster,” a 1970 clunker that also masquerades as “Castle of the Doomed.”


kissmemonsterNo matter what they call it, this Italian-German co- production is a piece of Winnie’s Pooh. Dubbed and running a mind-numbing 78 minutes, “Kiss Me Monster” has nothing to do with monsters. Nothing. Nada. Nil. There’s hardly any kissing, either. There’s plenty of bad acting, bad directing, bad dialogue, bad scenery and bad hair. There is a lot of bad hair in “Kiss Me Monster.” Big hair.

The kind of 1970’s, Ann-Margret “Kitten with a Whip” hair. Janine Reynaud and Rosanna Yanni star as Diana and Regina, two girls on the go who play a mean sax, know karate, dress like they’ve been to Diana Rigg’s garage sale, and live in a chic, lighthouse-style home overlooking the ocean. I’m not sure what Diana and Regina really do for a living, but somehow they get sucked into a plot by a mad scientist to create a whole race of perfect male specimens.

Oh boy. First sheep, now male bimbos. Just what the world needs, more dumb, good-looking guys. The only thing stopping them is a missing formula, which the girls are hot on the trail of. Watch in sheer horror as the girls sing, strip, dance, and pretend to be twins even though they look nothing like each other. “Kiss Me Monster” (where did they get that title?) Was directed by some guy named Jesus Franco, who has more pseudonyms as a director than Alan Smithee. If I were Jesus Franco and I just sat through “Kiss Me Monster” I would change my name too. This is one of the worst films I have ever seen.

It has no reason for being. It’s totally devoid of any entertainment or social value. It’s basically a waste of celluloid and 78 minutes of your time. The dubbing is atrocious, but it is funny. I’d love to see a script to see how close the dubbing matches the original dialogue. The performances are a real hoot. There isn’t one decent performance in the whole film. Gerard Depardieu’s dumps deliver a better performance than any one in this film.

Reynaud and Yanni (that last name should have been a tip-off) try desperately to be cutting-edge women, but their performances are so thin you could spit through them. Franco tries to make the film relevant by tossing in artifacts of the time, including dance clubs and sadomasochistic scenes of women being whipped and caged like animals. It all seems so dated, while the dance club scene (with a scene of a woman exposing herself that was obviously added after the fact) goes on forever. The film looks like it was edited by a rabid pit bull with dull dentures.

Woody Allen could have a lot of fun turning this mess into another “What’s Up Tiger Lily?” Although I doubt he could come up with funnier dialogue. My favorite line? A man is stabbed in the back while delivering a message to the girls, and collapses face first on the floor. One of the girls comes over, sees the body, and asks “What’s wrong with him?” I was on the floor. Please, no more. I’m not sure why Anchor Bay thought that “Kiss Me Monster” was worthy of mastering on DVD. It’s just not the kind of title you would really want to buy or even rent for that matter.

I’m sure when it played in theaters it was on the bottom of a triple bill at the drive-in, and by that time the patrons were either asleep, doing the nasty in the back seat, or so totally drunk that they thought the film was funny. If I were in the back seat of a car having sex while totally drunk and on the verge of falling asleep I still wouldn’t find “Kiss Me Monster” funny.

COMPLETE CHECK-UP

VISION: [ ] 20/20 [ X ] Good [ ] Cataracts [ ] Blind

An okay 1.66:1 widescreen transfer. There’s not a lot to brag or rag on here. The colors are okay. No big deal. The images are pretty flat, and the color is muted, but that’s a problem with the negative and not the transfer. There are some erratic cuts in the film, and the splices show up on the transfer. The blacks are okay, and don’t have a problem turning gray, but the flesh tones look pasty and artificial. There are some noticeable compression artifacts, but no pixelation. I guess Anchor Bay got the best possible transfer considering the original elements.

HEARING: [ ] Excellent [ ] Minor Hearing Loss [ X ] Needs Hearing Aid [ ] Deaf

Since most of the film has been dubbed, the sound is erratic. While most of the dialogue is strong, it’s also rather flat in its delivery and resonance. Every line sounds like the next. There’s little emotion or emphasis in the dubbing, which makes for dull viewing. Most of the dubbed dialogue sounds like it was made up on the spot to match the lips as closely as possible, and sounds redundant. The mono soundtrack delivers the cheesy musical score with a minimal amount of pain and suffering.

ORAL: [ ] Excellent [ ] Good [ X ] Poor

No closed captions or subtitles. This is one film where reading lips might be preferable to hearing the actual words being spoken.

COORDINATION: [ ] Excellent [ ] Good [ X ] Clumsy [ ] Weak

There’s what claims to be a theatrical trailer, but it’s more of a jumbled collection of scenes from the film thrown together in a blender and then poured all over the screen. Like the film, it makes no sense. The DVD also features traditional main and scene access menus. The scene access menu is rather sparse and economical. Like many other Anchor Bay titles, the chapter stops fail to register on the DVD display.

PROGNOSIS: [ ] Excellent [ ] Fit [ ] Will Live [ ] Resuscitate [ X ] Terminal

Does anyone have a coat hanger?

VITALS: $24.99/Rated R/78 Minutes/Color/12 Chapter Stops/Keepcase/#DV10600

ATTENDING RESIDENT: John Larsen

PATIENT: KISS ME MONSTER

BIRTH DATE: 1970

HMO: Anchor Bay Entertainment



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