“For all they’ve tried, the Mexicans haven’t been able to destroy it,” says the electronic voice of the Venusian’s computer when describing Mexico in The Ship of Monsters (1960), aka La Nave de los Monstruos. Our very own Joseph Perry was so enamored with “Tiki Brain Guy” and Cyclops in Santo and Blue Demon Against the Monsters (Episode 19), he decided to take us back in time to 1960 to experience their earlier roles as Tagual and Uk, respectively. Ride along as this episode’s Grue Crew – Joseph Perry, Chad Hunt, Jeff Mohr, and special guest host Kieran Fisher – take an interplanetary voyage on The Ship of Monsters!

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 23 – The Ship of Monsters (1960)

In The Ship of Monsters, the female population of Venus is in desperate need of men for the purposes of procreation and the survival of their race, To that end, the Venusians organize a mission whereby a rocketship and its crew will embark on a voyage to various planets to retrieve the best men from each and bring them back to repopulate Venus. The ship’s crew, Gamma (Ana Bertha Lepe) and Beta (Lorena Velázquez), start their mission suitably clothed for space travel in their one-piece swimsuits.

By the time they get to Earth, they’ve acquired several male specimens: Tagual, Prince of Mars; Uk, a slobbering cyclops from the Red Planet; Utirr, a half-tick, half-spider creature with telescoping appendages from the fire planet; Zok, a sabre-toothed primate skeleton creature; and Tor, a robot from a barren planet whose population had long gone extinct. They are, indeed, a ship of monsters when they land on Earth and encounter the best male Earth has to offer, Lauriano (Eulalio González, aka Piporro), a tall-tale-telling cowboy with a decidedly comedic bent. Throw in an incognito vampire’s plot to take over Earth and an interspecies love story or two and you have the ridiculous, but hilarious tale told in The Ship of Monsters.

This Mexican production is directed by Rogelio A. González and and the very smart script is written by José María Fernández Unsáin and Alfredo Varela. Don’t let the cheap monster suits fool you! The filmmakers successfully skewer the alien invasion film genre as well as racism, colonialism, and a few other -isms in a way that will have you laughing out loud. The members of this episode’s Grue Crew each give The Ship of Monsters a very strong thumbs up!

Listen and you’ll be able to tell which of us made these comments regarding The Ship of Monsters:

  • “I think that was maybe the underlying message for the film with all this weird interspecies shenanigans.”
  • “Beta, she’s a naughty one.”
  • “You’re asking how blown was your mind when you really thought about it? I tried not to really think about it because I kept throwing up in my mouth a little bit.”
  • “I’ve seen Humanoids of the Deep like a thousand times so I’m not bothered by that stuff any more.”
  • “They had me at, ‘This is an atom.’”

We plan to release a new episode every other week. The next episode in our very flexible schedule is Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), selected and hosted by Jeff Mohr.

Please let us know what you think of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era and what films you’d like to hear us cover! We want to hear from you! After all, without you, we’re just four nutjobs talking about the films we love. Send us an email  (chadhunt@gruesomemagazine.com, erinmiskell@gruesomemagazine.com, jeffmohr@gruesomemagazine.com, or josephperry@gruesomemagazine.com) or leave us a message, a review, or a comment at GruesomeMagazine.com, iTunes, Stitcher, the Horror News Radio App, or the Horror News Radio Facebook group.

To each of you from each of us, “Thank you for listening!

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an “Old Boy.” Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for Horrornews.net and SQ Horror Magazine and co-hosted the SQ Bloodlines podcast. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is co-host of the Decades of Horror The Classic Era and 1970s podcasts.

One thought on “[Podcast] The Ship of Monsters (1960) – Episode 23 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era”

  1. Okay, that full poster with the cyclops dude holding the woman on your website is A MAZ ING. I so want that on my wall.

    As for the movie itself, I’ll admit I had serious reservations when that cowboy started singing (I am NOT a singing cowboy fan), but even he managed to steal my heart as things went along. I think the secret to enjoying this movie is in giving it plenty of room in your mind to just be what it is, even if what it is is schizophrenic and unnameable, because when you let any expectations drop away and just tune yourself in, it turns out to be a real treat.

    I definitely recognized Lorena Velazquez, here, but wasn’t sure where from. When you mentioned she was in Santos vs. the Vampire Women, I knew that must be it–loved that film–but a quick lookup on IMDB told me she was also in Doctor of Doom, and Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy, two other Mexican favorites (she played the same character, a wrestler, in both).

    Enjoyed hearing that Torr was also in The Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy. I might have to seek that Aztec Mummy trilogy out one of these days. (Though you wouldn’t know it from the titles, Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (1964) wasn’t part of that original late-fifties trilogy–different mummy altogether–you know, like Imhotep vs. Kharis.)

    Anyway, I couldn’t quite figure out if Lorena’s character was from Ur, as in some other planet than Venus, or if Ur was supposed to be a country or territory somewhere ON Venus. Sounds like you guys were divided on that too. Her doing the whole vampire thing might make (a little) more sense if she was a different species than the Venusian commander, I suppose. That was a jarring moment for me, going from sci-fi invasion to flying vampire attack with no warning whatsoever of any impending genre-bending. I guess it gave me no more of a whiplash than going from sci-fi to Singing Cowboy did earlier on, though.

    And I’m with you, Jeff: When your infallible robot companion suggests there’s a serious problem with your ship’s engines, you don’t just ignore him and give each other that “oh, he’s so adorable but so stupid and useless” smile–you take his advice and check the engines! What were those two women thinking?! They totally deserved an emergency landing as payback for ignoring ol’ Torr, in my book.

    And yes, Joseph, there WAS a frame holding that cow skeleton up. But I completely missed the fact it had grown horns.

    As for all the diversity of species and improbability of any of those captured males being able to actually mate with a Venusian, I’m going with the idea that the plan was to take them all back to Venus
    and then use some kind of genetic manipulation to pull out desired attributes and use those to create test tube Venusian babies. (Hey, it makes as much sense as anything else we see here.)

    At any rate, I greatly enjoyed both the film and the podcast. Keep up the great work, folks.

    Cheers.

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