Tag Archives: Donald F. Glut

The Human Torch (1963, Donald F. Glut)

Sure, at one point the Human Torch appears to be a naked Ken doll painted red, but come on… it’s The Human Torch. I think it’s unintentional, but at times director (and star) Glut makes the Torch’s “flaming on” seem positively painful. Or maybe the rubber hand Glut ignited just melted fast.

The Torch short has a couple stand out elements. First (or second, chronologically speaking), there’s a great flying cut. Glut runs toward the camera, which tilts up with him as he takes flight and he disappears into the air. It’s a magical film moment, so magical I don’t even want to consider how he did it.

Second, he packs a lot into three or four minutes. He even figures out how to take away the Torch’s powers to make the struggle more human.

Torch is undeniably goofy, but Glut’s strong filmmaking instincts are very much on display here.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Edited and directed by Donald F. Glut; screenplay by Glut, based on the Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Starring Donald F. Glut (The Human Torch) and Rich Hagopian (The Raven).


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Tor, King of Beasts (1962, Donald F. Glut)

While Tor, King of Beasts is a remake of King Kong, director Glut comes up with a few new twists for the retelling.

The two most obvious are the futuristic plane Glut (he also stars) and his companions use to the get the island. At first I wondered if it was time travel. Second, there’s no girl. So why do the guys go after Kong? Sorry, I mean Tor. Apparently because they’re jerk kids.

The stop motion when Tor is alone is sort of lame (in a way I’d never be able to do it), but once Tor’s got something to do, Glut excels. He brings real personality to the animation, even if it’s never quite believable as a giant monster.

However, once Tor gets to civilization, Glut’s depth tricks work much better.

After the slow start, Tor is decidedly impressive at times. Those times make up for the rest.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Written, edited and directed by Donald F. Glut.

Starring Donald F. Glut (Carl Denham), Bill Bungert (crew member), Rich Hagopian (crew member), Charles Martinka (crew member) and Doug Hoffman (crew member).


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Time Is Just a Place (1961, Donald F. Glut)

I’m sure writer-director Glut understands Time Is Just a Place–and I’m sure he explained it to friends and family who watched it when he made it–but there’s no explanation in the short itself.

There are a couple rocket ships traveling through space. They’re apparently time rockets. One ends up in prehistoric times, the other in the modern day. The prehistoric rocket pilot encounters some dinosaurs–Place has a big fight between a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a stegosaurus–while the other rocket somehow causes the destruction of the planet Earth.

That final sequence is really effective, though Glut appears to have just broken up a disk.

The opening few shots suggests some kind of lyrical film, with the next few minutes suggesting a lot of riffing on time travel. Sadly, Glut delivers neither. Once the dinosaurs show up, he eschews most abstract ambition.

That dinosaur fight’s bitching though.

1/3Not Recommended

CREDITS

Written, edited, photographed and directed by Donald F. Glut.


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The Teenage Frankenstein (1959, Donald F. Glut)

The Teenage Frankenstein. Where to start. How to start.

First, it’s not exactly The Teenage Frankenstein, it’s more The Teenage Bride of Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, which actually works out pretty well.

It’s unclear why teen auteur Glut includes a werewolf–who saves Dr. Frankenstein from a hanging at the beginning–but it all comes together later. Glut’s homage to the Universal monsters is quite a bit darker than the original films, leading to some surprises.

Glut doesn’t credit his actors–maybe he was upset they couldn’t keep straight faces, though the werewolf does a nice Lon Chaney Jr. impression when it counts.

As a director, Glut comes up with some decent shots–especially the first person Monster–and the editing is fantastic.

Also notable are the titles (Teenage is silent). Glut’s method really brings them to life.

Teenage is constantly amusing and sometimes startlingly inventive, especially its narrative.

2/3Recommended

CREDITS

Written, directed, produced and edited by Donald F. Glut.

Starring Donald F. Glut (Frankenstein Monster), Charles Martinka (Dr. Frankenstein), Victor Fabian (Lawrence Talbot/Wolf Man), Bert Ott (Teenage Frankenstein Monster/hangman), Gene Gronemeyer (Count Dracula), Michael Salerno (blind hermit) and Chuck Kroon.


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