After almost a week of zombie movies, it’s nice to be able to watch something different every now and then. Now today I find myself watching a movie from the Chilling Classics box set. Man, it has been a while since I watched something from this collection. Yes, I know that it is my fault for buying all of those movies at Christmas but in all fairness, the last movie I watched from this set was back in September so it honestly has been a while. So lets see what type of movie I am getting today with The Revenge Of Doctor X.
The plot: At NASA, Dr. Bragan is approached by his assistant, Dr. Paul Nakamura, and told of an approaching storm system that might delay the launch of their rocket. Bragan gets upset but he receives a call that the storm is shifting, giving them the window they need to launch. After the launch, Dr. Shannon and Dr. Stanley speak with Paul before all three of them approach Bragan and tell him that there might be a miscalculation in their flight data. Bragan starts yelling at them to fix the problem when he suddenly collapses. Paul suggests to Bragan that he take a vacation as the rocket won’t reach it’s destination for a few months and recommends going to Japan and Bragan tells him that he was going to go there once when he was studying botany but the war occurred and his studies shifted towards mathematics. As Bragan leaves Nasa to head for the airport, he stops at a garage to have his car checked out and notices a venus fly trap in the garage owner’s snake farm. He asks if it is for sale and the owner says no but says there are plenty more in the swamp behind his shop if he would like one so Bragan heads out to collect one. When Bragan arrives in Japan, he is greeted by Paul’s cousin, Noriko Hanamura, who says she has arranged for his use of the local botany lab at the university. When Bragan says he would prefer to work in solitude, she takes him to an abandoned hotel her family owns, where the only other person there is a caretaker and his dog. Bragan says the place is perfect and begins setting up the greenhouse in the back for his work. Although he forbids Noriko from touching the box he carried with her, he eventually shows her the venus fly trap he brought and begins working with it. After being unable to sleep one night, he decides that the fly trap is too weak and decides to cross breed it with another plant. Bragan goes diving to try and find a Japanese carnivorous plant that grows at the bottom of the ocean but is unable to find it. Noriko suggest asking some local divers if they have seen it and when he shows them a picture of the plant, they say they have and show him where to find it. With the diver’s help, Bragan is able to obtain one of the plants and place it in a container to take back to the greenhouse. Bragan begins working on genetically combining the two plants, intending to create a new species of plant and when Noriko states that it is impossible, he yells that he doesn’t believe in impossible and neither should she if she wants to continue working with him. Bragan begins combining various parts of the venus fly trap and the Japanese plant together, then uses lightning from a storm to jump start their biology and successfully fuse them into a single organism. The next morning, Noriko tries talking to him but Bragan becomes cross and yells at her but later apologizes. That night, as it begins raining, Bragan removes the coth covering his creation , and Noriko and the caretaker are horrified to see the humanoid plant creature moving before them. Later that night, Bragan is staring at his creation, which is dying, and starts laughing maniacally before collapsing. Noriko and the caretaker find him and help him back to his chair and he says he is all right. As he questions why his creation is dying, Noriko suggests starting over but Bragan says he doesn’t have time, as he has to be back at NASA in a month. As they leave to get some sleep, the caretaker grabs the puppies his dog had given birth too but one of them manages to stay inside the greenhouse and the plant eats it. The next day, Bragan is shocked to find the plant is alive and healthy and, theorizing what might have caused it, tells the caretaker to capture any animal he can so they can feed it. When he considers feeding the plant one of the puppies, Noriko is horrified and grabs the puppy from him so Bragan kicks her out of the greenhouse. As Bragan studies the plant, he remarks on it’s similarities to humans and decides to leave and sneak into a hospital, and steal some blood from a patient there, but injures his hand in the process. Bragan injects the blood into the plant and then leaves for the night. The next day, the caretaker is messing around with the plant when it suddenly lunges out and grabs at his head. The caretaker manages to escape and tells Bragan and Noriko what happened and Noriko says the creature should be destroyed but Bragan says that the caretaker must have done something to it. Believing the creature might be able to move soon, Bragan has the caretaker help him plant it outside. That night, they are woken up when something happens to the caretaker’s dog and Noriko says the creature did it but when Bragan argues that it is to far away from where the dog is, they see that it has the dog’s collar in it’s mouth/hands. Bragan has the creature moved back into the greenhouse and he and Noriko keep watch over it but unknown to them, the creature begins emitting a pollen that renders them unconscious. The creature then leaves the greenhouse and heads down to the nearby village, where it kills a little girl and later, a farmer walking his cow. Bragan and Noriko wake and find the creature is gone and Bragan argues they have to find it but Noriko says they should warn the villagers since the creature is made from carnivorous plants. When they learn what happened, Bragan agrees that he has to kill his creation and tells Noriko to stay where she is and keep the villagers from following after him, arguing that he is the only one that can get close enough to it. Taking a baby goat with him, Bragan heads up to the volcano where the creature was last seen and calls out for it, saying he will lead it to safety. When the creature appears, Bragan attempts to lure it away but when the creature tries to grab at him, Noriko is shown to have followed after Bragan and screams in horror as Bragan and the creature both end up going over the edge and falling into the lava below.
Well, I definitely did not expect to be watching a bizarre remake of Frankenstein this morning. This was a rather bizarre and odd movie to watch. The acting was ok, with James Craig (Bragan) and Atsuko Rome (Noriko) doing good jobs in their roles. The story was a little bit of a mess, starting off incredibly boring to be honest and didn’t really get interesting until it was almost halfway over. Bragan passing out due to stress and his becoming more erratic and manic was an interesting. I did think the fact that the 4 divers they talked to on the beach happened to be topless women was a bit gratuitous and honestly felt like it was done just to try and keep people’s interest in the movie because the first part was so boring. The plant creature did look interesting and had a certain Frankenstein’s monster appeal to it, but personally, I liked that the cheap look of the suit kind of gave it that Kaiju feel to it. An interesting movie and worth watching for the second half so long as you can get through the first part without falling asleep.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5