he Manster (双頭の殺人鬼, Sōtō no Satsujinki, “The Two-Headed Killer”) is a 1959 American science-fiction horror film. Shot in Japan, it was produced by George P. Breakston and directed by Breakston and Kenneth G. Crane from a screenplay by Walter J. Sheldon. Sheldon’s script was based on Breakston’s story which he originally titled The Split.[page needed]
The film starred Peter Dyneley as a foreign correspondent in Japan who is given an experimental drug which causes an eye and eventually, a second head to grow from his shoulder. Tetsu Nakamura played the mad scientist, Dr. Suzuki, and Terri Zimmern his assistant, Tara. Jane Hylton also starred as Dyneley’s wife.
The Manster was an American production filmed in Japan, using a mostly Japanese crew and a number of Japanese actors. The Manster was shot in English. The film had several working titles, including Nightmare and The Two-Headed Monster. It was photographed by David Mason and edited by Kenneth G. Crane. Shinpei Takagi handled the special effects, George Wyman played the titular monster and Hirooki Ogawa composed the soundtrack.
The Manster was released in Japan on July 10, 1959 in Tokyo.
Lopert Pictures released The Manster in the United States on March 28, 1962 as a double feature with Eyes Without a Face. In the United Kingdom, The Manster was released as The Split. The American Film Institute also states that the film premiered in the United States in San Francisco on March 28, 1962, at a run time of 72 minutes.
In a contemporary review, the Monthly Film Bulletin reviewed a 67-minute version of The Manster titled The Split. The review called the film to be “a pathetic pot-boiler”, “never frightening” and an “incredibly far-fetched rehash of all the ingredients of the convention SF-horror film”. The review criticized the fact that the second head of the character appears to only “bob up and down on the actor’s raincoated shoulder, only visible in night scenes and never in close-up”.
In a retrospective review, AllMovie film critic Hal Erickson wrote, “Manster is a favorite among campy horror aficionados and for good reason as it is both unintentionally funny and genuinely creepy…Wait till you see the climax, with the hero battling himself on the edge of a live volcano”
DVD-R contains the original black & white version of THE MANSTER, as well as a cool new colorized version for 2023! the volcano scene in color at the end is just a stone gas. DVD-R comes packaged as shown in color DVD case, wrapped in plastic!