"Keep the light on mother I’m afraid of the dark."
An expedition from Antarctica called Operation Deep Freeze has a special cargo on board. A unique type of prehistoric tree that’s found there is being shipped to the states. The trees are actually acid producing killer trees. They attack people on the plane. The plane hits the radio tower and crash lands at a Navy base on Gow Island in the South Seas blocking the runway. No way off the island and no way to radio out.
Lieutenant Charles Brown (Anthony Eisley) is in command of Gow's weather station. He, Navy nurse Nora Hall (Mamie Van Doren), and biologist Arthur Beecham (Walter Sande) reach the wreck There is only one person on board the plane and he is catatonic. He can't be questioned so no one knows what happened to everyone else that was suppose to be on the plane. The cargo consists of a few penguins and several prehistoric trees taken from the frozen tundra. To make sure the trees don’t die before they can be moved the Navy plants them. The trees rapidly grow into monsters. They are trees by day and monsters by night.
"The Navy vs The Night Monsters" was released in 1966 and was directed by Michael A. Hoey, Jon Hall, and Arthur C. Pierce. The movie stars Mamie Van Doren who is famous for being Mamie Van Doren. Was she good? No. But I’ve never had an issue with bad acting in low budget “B” movies. I think Mamie being cast is Roger Corman’s influence. He was an uncredited producer.
The monster trees are lame. People basically have to run into them to get killed. And they wobble more than they walk. Trees make really bad monsters. The last trees I saw that were actually scary were in “The Wizard of Oz”.
Director Michael A. Hoey and producer Jack Broder had major disagreements during shooting. Broder changed the title from "Night Crawlers" - the title of the book upon which the script was based - to its current title, which Hoey detested. Broder also had story ideas Hoey disagreed with, and when the "tree stump monsters" arrived, Hoey thought they were ridiculous and refused to shoot them. Broder called in Arthur C. Pierce, who was working on another movie Broder was producing, and had him shoot additional scenes to add the story elements Broder wanted. He also had Jon Hall, who had created the "tree stump monsters", shoot the scenes with them that Hoey refused to do.
For the most part it’s a regular crappy “B” movie and normally I would have been OK with a regular crappy “B” movie. I’ve seen a lot of them and I own a lot of them. Some bad movies are my favorites. But, I did have one problem with the movie that kept me from liking it. It’s a perfect example of chauvinistic sexism on film that is meant to be funny and campy but just comes off as cheap. They ogle women more than they fight monsters. If it hadn’t been for that I would have had a more favorable view of it. If you can ignore that or if you just like Mamie Van Doren then by all means give it a try.