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"The Manster" Originalton mit deutschen Untertiteln

1959

Als der erste mit einem zweiköpfigen Monster in der Titelrolle genießt dieser Film einen gewissen Kultstatus unter den Science-Fiction- und Horrorfans, die besonders gern an die Szene mit dem dritten Auge erinnern – und die Huldigung in Sam Raimis „Armee der Finsternis“ (1992). Obwohl eine amerikanisch-japanische Koproduktion, waren es Briten, die Regie führten, das Drehbuch lieferten und die beiden Hauptrollen belegten – samt amerikanischem Akzent. Schnickschnack Die Briten Peter Dyneley (Larry) und Jane Hylton (Linda) waren auch im echten Leben Mann und Frau und traten in vielen ihrer Filme gemeinsam auf. Unter Dyneleys bekanntesten Sprechrollen war Jeff Tracey in der britischen Fernsehserie „Thunderbirds“ (1965–66) – auch mit amerikanischem Akzent! Kurosawa-Fans werden unter der Badekappe des Tempelpriesters Shinpei Takagi erkennen, der in den Filmen „Das Schloß im Spinnwebwald“ (1957) und „Die sieben Samurai“ (1954) mitwirkte. In „The Manster“ zeichnete Takagi übrigens auch für die Tricktechnik verantwortlich. Von den 26 Namen im Vorspann blieb „The Manster“ für sieben ihr einziges Werk, darunter die Schauspieler Terri Zimmern (Tara) und Van Hawley (Ian Matthews). Die Schauspieler Jerry Ito (Aida) und Tetsu Nakamura (Suzuki) sind auch später in einem Film zusammen aufgetreten: „Mothra bedroht die Welt“ (1961). Die Werbezeile „Half Man – Half Monster“ („Halb Mann, halb Monster“) lieferte den Originaltitel „The Manster“. Für diese Fassung mit deutschen Untertiteln wurde „Die Spaltung“ in Anlehnung an „The Split“ gewählt, unter dem der englischsprachige Film in den japanischen Kinos lief. Das Wort „split“ kommt übrigens nur zweimal vor: einmal sagt es Dr. Suzuki („He might separate completely! Split into two human beings!“) und einmal steht es auf Dr. Suzukis wissenschaftlicher Darstellung des Mutationsverlaufs.


is a tokusatsu 1959 horror film, a co-production between the United States and Japan, starring Peter Dyneley. The film was notable for its creative use of special effects. The film is also known as The Split in the United Kingdom, Doktor Satan in Greece, and The Two-Headed Monster.<></>

Plot

American foreign news correspondent Larry Stanford (Peter Dyneley) has been working out of Japan for the last few years to the detriment of his marriage. His last assignment before returning to his wife in the United States is an interview with the renowned but reclusive scientist Dr. Robert Suzuki (Tetsu Nakamura), who lives atop a volcanic mountain.
During the brief interview, Dr. Suzuki amiably discusses his work on evolution caused by sporadic cosmic rays in the atmosphere, and professes that he has discovered a method for producing evolutionary change chemically.
Suzuki serves Larry a drugged libation, causing him to fall into a deep sleep. Announcing to Tara (Terri Zimmern), his voluptuous assistant, that Larry is the perfect candidate for his latest evolutionary experiments, he injects an unknown substance into Larry's shoulder.
Upon waking, Larry is oblivious to the true situation and accepts Suzuki's invitation to spend the next week vacationing with him around Japan. Over the next few days, Suzuki uses Tara as a beguiling distraction while conditioning Larry with mineral baths and copious amounts of alcohol, exacerbating the pain in Larry's shoulder.
Meanwhile, Larry's estranged wife (played by Dyneley's actual spouse Jane Hylton) has traveled to Japan to bring him back home with her. But when confronted, Larry uses to leave his new life of women and carousing. After a few drinks that night Larry examines his painful shoulder to discover that a large eyeball has grown at the spot of Dr. Suzuki's injection.
Becoming aloof and solitary, Larry wanders Tokyo late at night. He murders a woman on the street, a Buddhist monk, and a psychiatrist, while slowly changing form, culminating in his growing a second head. Seeking a cure, Larry climbs the volcano to Dr. Suzuki's laboratory where Suzuki has just informed Tara that Larry has become "an entirely new species" and beyond remedy.
Entering the lab, Larry kills Suzuki and sets the building on fire as Tara flees. Larry splits into two completely separate bodies, bringing himself back to normal. The monstrous second body grabs Tara, and throws her into the volcano, then falls into the volcano, himself, when Larry pushes him from behind. All this as Larry's wife and the police arrive. Larry, now cured, is taken away by the police, although it remains unclear how much moral or legal responsibility he has for his violent actions. The movie ends as Larry's wife and his friend discuss the good that remains in Larry.

Cast

  • Peter Dyneley as Larry Stanford
  • Jane Hylton as Linda Stanford
  • Tetsu Nakamura as Dr. Robert Suzuki
  • Terri Zimmern as Tara
  • Norman Van Hawley as Ian Matthews
  • Jerry Ito as Police Supt. Aida
  • Toyoko Takechi as Emiko Suzuki
  • Kenzo Kuroki as Genji Suzuki
  • Alan Tarlton as Dr. H.B. Jennsen
  • Shinpei Takagi as Temple Priest
  • George Wyman as Monster

Reception

=Critical response=

Image:The-manster-eye.jpg
Recently, film critic Richard Scheib gave the film a qualified positive review, writing, "This American-Japanese co-production is an interestingly obscure film, one whose reputation as a B movie has preceded its actual availability on video or tv. It is of course a venture into the schlock movie theme of the two-headed transplant. But The Manster is one entry that, when seen, proves a whole lot more entertaining than other variants on the theme such as the terrible The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (1971) and the deliberately silly The Thing with Two Heads (1972). It all comes with a luridly entertaining torridness. There’s the wonderful schlock moment where Peter Dyneley takes off his shirt to reveal an eye on his shoulder or later when the head first pops up during the attack on the psychiatrist."Erickson, Hal. .</>
Film critic Matthew M. Foster gave the film a quasi-positive review, writing, "The Manster is a dark, erotic film with some memorable moments. It is jam-packed with despair and corruption. With a few extra dollars, a bit of recasting, and a changed ending, it could be a great monster movie. Luckily, this is a film where the good stays with you and the mistakes are easily forgotten."

Presentations

Cassandra Peterson presented The Manster on her series Elvira's Movie Macabre.

=Notes=


=Bibliography=

Otis, Dmidtrui. "Transformation Predated: The Manster Reappraised." In: Cinemuerte Magazine (Vancouver, B.C.), Kier-La Janisse, Vol. 10, 2001, Pg. 40.

Category:1959 films
Category:Japanese films
Category:1950s science fiction films
Category:American horror films
Category:American science fiction films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:Fictional mutants
Category:Mad scientist films
Category:Monster movies
Category:1950s science fiction horror films
Category:This Movie Sucks! episodes
Category:Tokusatsu films
Category:Japanese science fiction horror films
George Breakston
rights: 
The movie is public domain. The subtitles were published in 2011 and submitted by the author to the public domain.

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