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Monster in the Closet

D: Bob Dahlin C: Donald Grant, Denise DuBarry, Henry Gibson

A certain amount of nostalgia for the science fiction movies of the fifties is perhaps understandable – this after all was the Golden Age. We may smile a little at the poor effects.

It is however an affectionate smile, soon being replaced by an awe of the sense of wonder that these films were able to instill in their mostly youthful audiences. Modern attempts to duplicate them are often tempered with a sense of humor, but this is only because we know that we will never be able to recapture their special magic.

Of these “spoofs” MONSTER IN THE CLOSET is one of the best. Already the title is a stroke of genius – wasn’t every monster that appeared on the screen our own, waiting for us to come home?

And of course, it cheerfully rips off everything from KING KONG to THE THING to PSYCHO to DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS to CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND to SUPERMAN, and what is more, it does it with style and grace. Even the monster, which is usually the greatest liability of this particular genre, is both original and state of the art.

Without this, the mild-mannered reporter carried off by the female creature would have been no more than the kind of humor that is merely a reversal of roles. And it really is extremely funny, as when the Einstein clone tries to communicate with the alien by playing five notes on a xylophone, failing as miserably as the boy genius, who has built a laser in the basement.

Only John Carradine, as is often the case, is disastrously miscast. It’s a must-see!

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