Die, Monster, Die!
by Shrub 1/15/05
OK, I think watching The Sorcerers put me on a bit of a Karloff kick, so here I watched another late appearance from Master Boris. I either did not ever realize, or had simply forgotten, that Die, Monster, Die! was based on H.P. Lovecraft's "The Colour Out of Space" until I saw the opening credits. But... I've yet to read that one so I can't compare the movie to its source here.
This one opens with an American, Steve, arriving in a close knit English burb, which seems very friendly until he starts asking the locals how to get to "The Witley Place." A cab driver leaves him on the curb, no one will give him directions and the bike shop even refuses to rent him a bicycle.
So Steve has to hoof it down the road carrying his bag until he comes to the Witley place, passing through a patch of crumbling landscape on his approach. Once he makes his way inside he is met by a wheelchair bound Karloff (Mr. Witley) who demands that he leave. Steve explains that he has come to see Susan, Mr. Witley's daughter, who he classes with back in the States. In fact, Steve had actually been invited by Susan's mother, an ailing, Mrs. Witley. Susan takes Steve to meet her mother who is lying in a darkened room, shrouded by mesh bed drapes and pleads with Steve to leave the house and to take Susan with him. A confused Steve then retreats to his sleeping quarters.
After this setup, there's not a whole lot to the story for the next little while. It's basically the typical story of a stranger staying in a dark gothic mansion where things aren't quite what they seem bit. However, things take a left turn after a household service person drops dead and Steve witnesses Mr. Witley, out of his chair, burying him on the grounds, a strange glow from the greenhouse and is jumped by a faceless attacker.
The next day Steve tells a skeptical Susan of his experiences and she shows him a hidden entrance to the greenhouse. There they discover monster plants and, to quote Steve, "a zoo in hell"! You really need to see this "zoo." The ride has now gotten a bit wilder and progresses to a fun excursion into a cellar with skeletons, bats and even giant demonic drawings on the wall. Cursed is the ground...