Reviewed By: Aaron Tyler Frye
Release Date: 2005; Available Now on DVD
Directed by:Waybe Berwick & Ted Newsom
Released by: Anthem Pictures
2 and 1/2 out of 5 skulls
A direct homage to the sci-fi/creature feature films of the 50's and 60's, right down to the grade "z" film stock and bad "dude in a monster suit" gimmick. Tons of B-movie luminaries came out of the woodwork to participate in this film including Keneth Tobe ("It Came from Beneath the Sea", "The Thing from Another World"), John Agar ("Revenge of the Creature", "Tarantula", "Attack of the Puppet People"), Ann Robinson ("The War of the Worlds") and countless more. Everyone proceeds with tongue directly planted in cheek for a very pun-laden, satirical, and "Zucker-esque" lampooning of the schlock films that dominated the nuclear era.
Sheriff Lance Boiler (R.G. Wilson) and all-around crypto-scientist Dr. Nikki Carlton (a very lovely, and spontaneously nude, Brinke Stevens) lead a rag tag group of law enforcement and military officers in a campy assault against a giant, three-eyed monster (que the dude wearing a monster suit) called Creaturesaurus Erectus. It seems the creature is terrorizing the local surf and turf and swallowing up the residents along with the scenery. The heroes of the film have their work cut out for them as they dispatch jeeps (hilarious remote controlled ones, at that), airplanes (ditto), guys with pointed sticks ("Hey, it worked on 'The Blob'"), and even Godzilla! Can the tag team of science and militia save the world, or will we all be devoured by The Naked Monster!
Filmed with seemingly very little budget, The Naked Monster uses every cheapskate trick in the book to make it look like the authentic science fiction cheese it tries to emulate. The film stock is scratched, blurred and sometimes missing reels. The sound is intermittently cut with static and loaded with genre score pieces. The monster itself is comprised of nothing more than a hilarious green, three-eyed zip-up suit which serves as the center piece for countless gags involving miniature replicas of cars, people, jets, and anything else that could be modeled in miniscule scale. Stock footage from old sci-fi and industrial films makes up about a third of the film's total running time. The real crowning achievement of the film, however, is the bringing together of the cast, which is comprised of many legendary horror/sci-fi actors/actresses, many of whom are not with us now. Aside from Agar, Tobey, and Robinson, the lineup includes John ("Monster Of Piedras Blancas") Harmon, Linnea Quigley (in a tireless effort to show her boobs in every film no matter how small the role), Robert Shayne ("Superman"), Les Tremaine ("Them") and Robert ("Hideous Sun Demon") Clarke. Although the puns and one-liners do fall a little flat, you've heard them done better before courteousy of films like "Airplane", 'Naked' has a real edge in the nostalgia department. So, if you're hungry for a cheesy atomic monster film that is self-referential, as well as oddly competent in its retro-parody, suit up with The Naked Monster.
Special features on the Anthem disc include:
Commentary by directors Wayne Berwick and Ted Newsom
Interview with Kenneth Tobey
Recommended for your "B"loved