“The Naked Monster” is a comedic spoof of atomic age alien invasion-themed cult classics

By on August 28, 2018

The Naked Monster — co-directed by Ted Newsom and Wayne Berwick, and featuring a great cast that includes Kenneth Tobey, Ron G. Wilson, Brinke Stevens, Daniel Roebuck, Cathy Cahn (as “Connie Lingus”), Forrest J. Ackerman, and scream queens Linnea Quigley and Michelle Bauer — is a comedic spoof of atomic age sci-fi/horror alien invasion cult classics.

This intentionally-schlocky low-budget modern-era sci-fi monster movie masterpiece — about a 60 ft. tall, three-eyed extraterrestrial lizard bent on destroying a small town north of Los Angeles — is now streaming in our Cult section over on Night Flight Plus.


The plot follows what happens when a trio of heroes — thick-headed sheriff “Lance Boiler” (R.G. Wilson), a sexy icthyo-paleontologist, “Dr. Nikki Carlton” (Brinke Stevens), and visiting FBI agent named “Jeff T. Stewart” (John Goodwin) partner up to deal with the defrosted, green-hued “Creaturesaurus Erectus.”

Needing additional help, they turn to retired monster fighter “Colonel Patrick Hendry” (Kenneth Tobey, in his last screen appearance), who has been locked away for decades in a government-run asylum.


Ted Newsom

Filmed in “Econocolor” and “Monsterama,” The Naked Monster was initially begun in the summer of 1984, when Newsom took a bet that he could produce a feature-length movie for just $5000.

That first effort, Attack of the B-Movie Monster, was given a very limited VHS release the following year.

Some twenty years later, Newsom decided to revisit the project again for a planned DVD release, this time expanding on his original idea.


Newsom assembled the film’s incredible cast of character actors, many of whom aren’t alive anymore, reprising roles they had in ’50s and ’60s films (their character names all refer to their own past films), including Tobey and Robert Cornwaithe (It Came From Beneath the Sea, The Thing From Another World), Ann Robinson and Les Tremayne (War of the Worlds), John Agar Revenge of the Creature, Tarantula, Attack of the Puppet People), and Paul Marco (Plan 9 From Outer Space, Night of the Ghouls).


Night Flight contributor Josh Hadley recently spoke with Newsom for his 12:01Beyond radio show and he’s kindly allowed us to excerpt a small, edited sample from his audio interview (“Ep. #396: Giant Monsters Run Amok with Ted Newsom”) below.


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Ted Newsom, with actors Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee

Ted Newsom: “When I started out, I wanted to write features, anything for newspapers, films, whatever. The first one I requested to do with my editor was an interview with Kenneth Tobey.”


“For those who don’t know, Ken Tobey was the star of several kind of seminal 1950s sci-fi films, The Thing, of course, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, It Came From Beneath the Sea, The Vampire.”

“He’s in a lot of other stuff too, a TV series called ‘The Whirlybirds,’ which I adored, and he was kind of mainstay in the Fifties and the Sixties. In the Sixties, he did about six or ten appearances in ‘I Spy,’ as the section chief, the boss to Robert Culp and Bill Cosby.”<snip>


“So we met, and then we had a nice conversation, and at the end of the conversation, I said, ‘You know, one of these days, I’m going to do a movie, where you’re an old monster fighter, and one of the young guys comes up with some stupid idea and you tell him, ‘You know, that’s ridiculous. I’ve been fighting monsters since before you were born, I know what I’m doing,’ and he just laughed and said, ‘Okay, one of these days.’


And then four or five years went by, and a friend of mine bet me that I couldn’t make a movie for five thousand dollars. He put it up, and I had to do it to that.

I lost the bet, as it was, but I took this script that I had done, a feature script, and I cut it down, and I kept some of the gags, and I kept some of the set-up, and I decided I was going to do, you know, what I’d intended to do, and I called Ken Tobey and I said ‘Can you give me a couple of days?,’ and he said ‘Oh sure’.” <snip>


“I wanted to do a spoof on movies that I loved. A lot of people do it, and one of the things that I’ve noticed on that is that none of them do it right. The one that I emulated at the time was Airplane, because it’s absolutely deadpan, it’s straight-faced. It’s doing a melodrama. It happens that it’s a ridiculous melodrama, but nobody’s copping to it.”

“Occasionally you get some looks at the camera like ‘Jesus Christ, what are we doing?,’ but you’re essentially playing it absolutely straight, and, well, that’s the way you have to do it, and that’s never the way that people do it. You know it’s ‘nudge-nudge,’ ‘wink-wink,’ ‘Isn’t this stupid?,’ and ‘Oh, those dumb old films.'”

“Well, that’s death to comedy. That’s not parody, that’s burlesque. That’s not at all what I had in mind.”<snip>


“Anyways, so I wrote the thing for Ken, with the other two, three people in mind, and I wrote the rest of it, and then I started gathering the people for little cameos.” <snip>

“We shot over a period of over two months, three months, and it’d be like a holiday that he’d come up and we’d get together for a half a day or whatever. It was a very relaxed deal.”


Be sure to give Josh’s entire interview a listen.

Watch The Naked Monster on Night Flight Plus.


About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.