"Hey kids! Let's put on a show!" This timeworn bit of show business heraldry must surely have been uttered by the unflappable filmmakers on this list. Rallying friends and half-forgotten contacts, busting open the piggy bank, securing financing by any means necessary, like 'em or hate em', they had an idea, and by hook or crook, these ideas found their way to the silver screen:

10. The Atomic Brain aka Monstrosity (1963)
A deteriorating dowager houses a mad doctor in her basement. He conducts lurid experiments on the hapless au pairs she imports for the purpose. Somehow it's all supposed to keep her young. Tragically, her brain winds up in the body of a cat. Just how this comes about I don't profess to know. Directed by Ray Dennis Steckler's cinematographer, Joseph Mascelli, and produced by Jack Pollexfen, who bankrolled The Man From Planet X, The Indestructible Man and many others. Narrated by Bradford Dillman!

9. Daughter of Horror (1955)
This cost-conscious curio is a trivia geek's fantasy. Filmed on a shoestring by John Parker, the film is virtually without a soundtrack save for a young Ed McMahon's narration as the voice of Satan. Bruno Ve Sota pops up as Adrienne Barrett's overstuffed suitor. Accidentally killing Bruno, she flees through darkened streets where she encounters -- who else? -- jazz great Shorty Rogers. Bonus points go to those who've identified the film as the main attraction in the theater attacked by The Blob three years later. Amaze your friends at B movie cocktail parties!

8. Manos, The Hands of Fate (1966)
Starring, written, directed and produced by Texas fertilizer salesman Hal P. Warren. 'Nuff said? Not quite. It's all about a man and his vacationing family trapped in a rundown house with a grubby groundskeeper plagued with swollen knees (gasp!) who worships a mildly Satanic looking man with a harem of catty, nightie-clad chicks in his backyard. How does such a film get financing? Who better to spread the bull than a fertilizer salesman?

7. Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)
Tor Johnson, perhaps thinking he'd hit rock bottom with Ed Wood, was in for a surprise. Director/screenwriter Coleman Francis has Tor wander aimlessly about an arid landscape for just under an hour of silent footage. Hilarious non sequitur-spiced narration was added later ("A man runs, somebody shoots at him. Progress.") Tor dies in rags with a rabbit licking his face, symbolic of God knows what.

6. Man Beast (1955)
Jerry Warren strikes again, once more demonstrating a complete lack of respect for his audience. It seems the Yeti, shaggy creatures resembling tattered dust mops, are kidnapping human babes for crossbreeding. The posters crowed: "See women stalked and captured for breeding by Yeti monsters!" There was no mention of stage bound actors scaling the Himalayas in their shirt-sleeves.

5. Teenagers From Outer Space (1959)
Until quite recently, film scholars assumed that director/producer/screenwriter Tom Graeff was also the film's star David Love -- not so. Graeff may have been a Renaissance man but there are limits. Cheap, hammy and immensely enjoyable, the monsters are one of the 50s more notorious effects cop-outs -- silhouettes of lobsters! Graef deserves credit for one thing -- he got Warner Bros. to release it.

4. The Monster and the Stripper aka The Exotic Ones (1968)
Director Ron Ormond deserves to be remembered as one of the heartiest barrel-bottom entrepreneurs. Every bit as tenacious and prolific as Ed Wood, he gave the world Mesa of Lost Women, Untamed Mistress and others. Here, he combines gore with topless titillation amid a sleazy, swampy bayou setting. What's not to like about a film featuring rockabilly belter Sleepy LaBeef as a rampaging stripper slayer?

3. The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1959)
Mutants, mayhem and misogyny mix in one of the most lurid horrorfests on film. Mad Doc Herb (later Jason) Evers keeps his fiance's head alive in a roasting pan while cruising strip clubs to procure a new body for her. A marauding mutant he keeps in a closet breaks free and bites a chunk out of his shoulder, spitting out the distasteful gland on camera. Sorry, but we only have room to hit the highlights.

2. Monsters Crash the Pajama Party (1964)
Filmmaker David L. Hewitt made this good-natured, 40-minute drive-in oddity on a shoestring. The credit sequence goes a good five minutes, each read on screen by guys in gorilla suits. Virtually plotless, actorless and setless, it's all about some college kids who make camp in a haunted house, there to be kidnaped by a mad doctor and his pet gorilla. At one crucial point, the screen goes black, whereupon live actors would stalk the audience, seizing a planted victim.

1. The Mighty Gorga (1969)
David L. Hewitt makes the list a second time with this perfectly awful film about a gigantic gorilla worshiped by a native village and coveted by an enterprising circus owner. Interminable footage of Anthony Eisley strolling through the jungle or scaling Bronson Canyon, is peppered with ludicrous shots of Hewitt in the upper half of an ape suit (the complete suit was unaffordable). One great screen credit identifies William Bonner as "Clown/Witch Doctor."

"Behind the bamboo curtain, life is cheaper and the dolls are deadlier!"
Red Dragon

"It's coming for you!"
The Creeping Unknown

"In color of dripping blood!"
Bloody Pit of Horror

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