“You will emerge a woman of super strength and beauty.”
Dr. Eric Vornoff (Bela Lugosi) is a mad scientist who lives in the swamp and does nasty experiments on people. He has a giant servant named Lobo (Tor Johnson), and a monster octopus. Both of which he releases to do his biding. Right now he is trying to make super humans, however, all his experiments have failed. His pet octopus has also been responsible for many deaths in the swamp.
The police are stymied. There have been twelve disappearances in the swamps near Lake Marsh. People blame a monster. Janet Lawton (Loretta King) is a reporter who is on the story. Her fiancé Lieutenant Dick Craig (Tony McCoy) is with the police. Craig is speaking with his boss Captain Robbins (Harvey B. Dunn) when Janet barges in looking for information. Not getting anywhere she states that she is going to Lake Marsh herself to investigate. Professor Vladimir Strowski (George Becwar) is an expert in prehistoric monsters. He agrees to assist the police in investigating the Marsh. He wants to start in the morning to do his preliminary investigation.
That night Janet drives to Lake Marsh. Due to a storm causing poor visibility she drives off the road and into a ditch. Lobo finds her and takes her to Vornoff. The next day Craig and his partner Marty (Don Nagle) are driving towards Lake Marsh where they find Janet’s car.
While they run to report Janet’s disappearance Strowski drives to the swamp alone. When he arrives at Vornoff’s house he walks in and is confronted by Vornoff. Strowski is from Vornoff’s country of origin. He was sent to take Vornoff back to work on his experiments with atomic energy to create super humans. Vornoff having been humiliated in the past and called a mad man refuses to go. He feeds Strowski to his pet octopus. Vornoff dreams of his super human creations conquering the world in his own name. He wants to rule the world. Vornoff has decided to use Janet as the next subject of his experiments.
“Bride of the Monster” was released in 1955 and was directed, produced and written by Ed Wood. And no, there is no tentacle porn in the movie. Why the movie is called “Bride of the Monster” is up for grabs. Janet was wearing a wedding dress, but she was not going to be married to the octopus. The original title of the movie was supposed to be “Bride of the Atom”. It is suggested in the movie that she was to be a new creation, a super human, a new bride for the atomic age. It all seems to have gotten lost in the translation somewhere.
Others believe that Vornoff is actually attempting to use Janet to replace his long-lost wife. They state one of his reassuring lines to Janet concerning the experiment, "It hurts, just for a moment, but then you will emerge a woman...", sounds as if preparing her for the loss of her virginity. Also, to others, the scene of a young woman, in a bridal gown, restrained by leather shackles seems to be sadomasochistic in nature. It’s amazing what you can read into a bad movie.
Something else pointed out; throughout the film, the mute Lobo is implied to have an unspecified intellectual disability and to be of sub-human intelligence. Yet he successfully operates complex machinery as if trained to do so. This scene implies that supposedly "dumb" servants, can have a capacity of learning the secrets of their masters.
What are evident are Wood’s concerns about the atomic age and about the cold war. What country Vornoff is from is not stated. Could be either Nazi Germany or Russia. 1955 was not too far off from WWII for it to not still be in people’s minds. The inclusion of the mushroom cloud in the movie was a requirement set by the film’s backer and executive producer Donald McCoy. That and making his son Tony the star.