The Making of:
The Attack of the Horrible Ugly Monster
Hollywood 1957 – Sam Goldwyn Studios – Exterior Writers Building.
Screenwriter Jeffrey Adams (born: Solomon Dwerkowski) is leaving the building as producer Raymond Crawford (born: Ruben Crapapopolis) drives up.
Adams: I’ve had it. Can’t type another word. That damn script is unworkable. Who came up with that cock-a-mamie idea anyway? You can dock me my pay, but I’m going over to La Brea to get sopping drunk. If I’m lucky, I won’t be back.
Crawford: Jeff, baby. Relax. I drove here straight from Santa Anita as soon as my secretary sent word you phoned. Why do you make yourself miserable? As Hitch says, “It’s only a movie”. The script idea was mine. I think it’s brilliant. I’ll bet you top line on the writer’s credits that it will take in more than last year’s Monster in the Sewer. Now tell me exactly what is bothering you? And, by the way, don’t lean on the fender of the Caddie.
Adams: You got this new monster but you don’t tell me what kind of a monster he is. How can I write about something if you don’t give me some hints. All the draft mentions is it is horrible and ugly. Good for monsters, but not so good for me to write about. Do you want him good like the Frankenstein monster and the little girl by the pond or bad like the monster in The Thing who only wreaks havoc?
Crawford: Yes. That’s it. Make him – good and bad. We’ll twist out all the pathos of his inner turmoil because he loves the girl, then show him in a rage when he goes on a rampage after she rejects him. All I ask is that you make him look good enough so the girl will fall for him. Keep the destruction of Battle Creek, Michigan down. For budget purposes, we have to use paper machÃ© for the shots showing the wreckage of Burr Street.
Adams: You want the girl to fall in love with an ugly monster? What, she ain’t got eyes? Which brings me to another question. What’s makeup and special effects gonna come up with?
Crawford: Jeff, Jeff. Calm down. Makeup and special effects are waiting till you tell them what you want. I’m telling you to write what I want. Make the monster ugly but a believable lover. In other words, whatever your devilish mind can think up.
Adams: What other restrictions do we have budget-wise? What about location shooting in Battle Creek? I need you to give me a handle on what you want.
Crawford: Forget Battle Creek. Nobody knows what Burr Street looks like anyway. Just use your imagination. We may use some process shots of #110, but that’s it. And, of course, we have plenty of budget restrictions. You think we’re MGM with money dropping into their laps like before Lowes was split off? The monster budget alone is a fifty thousand. Overall picture budget, less advertising, is two hundred thousand. We shoot here at the studio and a few setups in the valley. We start on the first of the month. That gives you 23 days. Which means no La Brea, no booze and 18 hour days minimum. I don’t want to pass by this building and not hear that Underwood clicking. You get my drift?
Adams: Yeah, yeah, I get your drift loud and clear. What’s so special about 110 Burr Street?
Crawford: An inside joke. I knew people that lived there. All the owners from the original to the present have all been weirdoes. Maybe it’s the building, I dunno. All I do know is that they are into some kind of publishing, probably cult stuff, about connecting with people all over the country through space. Weird stuff like that. Someday I make an exposÅ½ movie about it. Right now, it’s not commercial enough. What have you got so far on the monster?
Adams: The monster is paper mache and/or rubber. Make that rubber. Nubile young girls don’t find paper machÃ© a turn on for love making. Who are we casting as the girl? Kay Kristie again?
Crawford: Nah, I got my eye on a starlet over at Columbia. She can’t act. Can’t sing. Talks with a Brooklyn accent you can carve with a knife, but she got the biggest . . .
Adams: Yeah, I know, eyes. Them eyes will get you every time. You old letch. I’ll have the first twenty pages on your desk tomorrow morning.
Next morning – Interior Writers Building – writers office
Kay Kristie (born: Angelina Spumonesanta), starlet under personal contract to Raymond Crawford enters and hesitates before knocking on the open door. Inside Jeffrey Adams is busy typing.
Kristie: Hi, Jeffrey. Hope I’m not bothering you. Do you have a few minutes? I have to talk to someone and you’re the only one who is a good listener.
Adams: Sure, Kay. Come in. What’s up?
Kristie: Ray told me I’m out of the new monster film. Guess he’s found someone else to coach. Especially since I told him I didn’t want him coaching me anymore. I took your advice and laid it on the line. I told him marriage or he would have to find another girl. Guess he found someone new.
Adams: Ah, don’t feel bad. You did the right thing. I guess I shouldn’t have stuck my nose into it, but you asked my opinion, and I still stand by my advice. You are way too nice to be involved with Crawford. Why don’t you go back to that little town in Iowa, marry your high school boyfriend and have a household full of kids?
Kristie: It was Ohio. The old boyfriend treated me like a toy, just like Ray. Besides, I won’t go back home until I’m a real star in a real movie and not just a bimbo screaming her lungs out every other scene. I want to be taken seriously. I’d really like to play Grushenka in the Brothers Karamazov.
One week later: Special Effects Department
Hal Hoffer (born: Hors Hemplehoffer) star, and cast as the monster, is conferring with special effects coordinator, Sam Levine (born: Sam Levine).
Hoffer: Are you sure this is how Boris Karloff started? I can hardly breathe in this thing, and it weighs a ton. How I fell for Crawford’s sweet talk about .001 percentage of this turkey, I don’t know. I should have stayed at Universal. At least I was playing heavies regularly. Who the hell will know it’s me under this green goo?
Levine: Come on Hal. You know we’re not making Shakespeare. Get into the swing and you’ll be fine. Just remember when you walk to lift your foot up twice as high as normal or you’ll trip. Oh yeah, and don’t forget, in the bedroom love scene you got to keep one claw foot on the floor or, heaven forbid, the Legion of Decency people will be all over us.
Hoffer: Easy for you to say. Not so easy to remember with that blonde air head Crawford’s got to play the girl. Is that her real voice? I can barely understand her, let alone get near her in this outfit.
Levine: I knew it wouldn’t last. Crawford is dumping her after this picture. In the meantime, I hear he is dubbing her voice with Andy Williams’, an up and coming singer.
Hoffer: Get me out of this thing. I’m sweating up a storm and I got to take a leak.
Levine: I got to remember to put in a zipper for the next monster costume. It’s easy enough to hide with all the scales and seaweed. My oversight. Sorry.
Live Radio Broadcast of the World Premier of
Pinnacle Pictures The Horrible Ugly Monster
Exterior Pantages Theatre – downtown Battle Creek, Michigan
M.C.: Ladies and gentlemen of the radio audience, I’m pleased to introduce the monster maven of moviedom, Raymond Crawford. Mr. Crawford, I know our listeners would be thrilled to hear how you came up with yet another of your famous monster movies. Please tell us the story.
Crawford: I’ve always wanted to make a movie about my hometown, Battle Creek, and to give something back to the citizens who made my early life so . . . er, ah . . . memorable. Since most major cities in the USA have been subjected to my monsters, it was time to be more selective with the location. Where better than the heart of the Great Lake State, Michigan, and my fairybook hometown of Battle Creek? My first choice for a monster was a 50 story high wolverine made of cereal – high fibre, of course – but that proved difficult logistically. So we settled on our new monster who is horribly ugly but who is human enough to fall in love. Sorry I can’t tell you more. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot.
M.C.: Thank you, Mr. Raymond Crawford, producer/director of this important major motion picture production from all of us here in Battle Creek. We wish you success with your film. Please accept this giant Special “K” key to the city and have a good breakfast. Now, back to our studio for more easy listening.
Pinnacle Pictures Special Promotional Advertisement Package
Press – Please utilize special graphics border (included) in all advertisements.
Theatres – Two 10 ft. tall monster dummies supplied for lobby display.
TV spots – Station managers be sure to jack up sound during commercial airings.
Helicopter – Overflights with dangling monster at N.Y.C. and L.A. openings only.
The Horrible Ugly Monster (working title: I was Engaged to a Monster)
Never has the screen exploded with such passion and unbridled lust!
See the Monster fall under the spell of a beautiful woman!
See the untamed love of beauty and the beast!
See the terror of the citizens of Battle Creek as the monster runs amuck!
See the destruction of Battle Creek and the infamous 110 Burr Street!
Please note! Due to the intense subject matter, a registered nurse will be in attendance at all theatres – courtesy of Pinnacle Pictures.
Now showing at your neighborhood theatre and select drive-ins.
Tag Line: Will she say yes?
The author would like to thank the following films that inspired this retro-article:
Movie Title – Stars – Year issued – Director – Production Company – (Available on)
The Creature from the Black Lagoon – Richard Carlson & Julie Adams – 1954 – Jack Arnold – Universal International Pictures – (video / laser disc)
I Married a Monster from Outer Space -Tom Tryon & Gloria Talbot – 1958 – Gene Fowler Jr. – Paramount (video / laser disc)
Plan 9 from Outer Space – Gregory Walcott & Mona McKinnon -1958 –
Edward D. Wood Jr. – Reynolds Pictures – (video / laser disc)
Bucket of Blood – Dick Miller & Barboura Morris – 1959 –
Roger Corman – American International Pictures (video)
The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes – David Miller & Sharon Taylor – 1978 – John De Bello – Four Square Productions – (video)
The Toxic Avenger – Mitchell Cohen & Andree Maranda -1985 –
Michael Herz/Lloyd Kaufman – Troma Films (video / laser disc / DVD)