Movie Review: The Wacky World of Dr.Morgus
South Louisiana residents may remember Morgus the Magnificent (Sid Noel) from his days as a late night horror host during the 1950’s through the 1980’s. Dr. Morgus, assisted by his sidekick Chopsley would perform various scientific experiments that would wrap around different science fiction and horror movies. Always very entertaining, Morgus was a television staple for the people of New Orleans and the surrounding areas.
But the great doctor also had one adventure in the big screen. The Wacky World of Dr. Morgus gave fans the chance to witness one of his greatest experiments in a full-length motion picture. The movie was filmed in early 1960’s New Orleans and features Dr. Morgus himself and a cast of outlandish characters that will still entertain to this day.
The movie revolves around Dr. Morgus and the “Instant People Machine” that he invented. The machine could apparently transform people into sand and then back to human form afterward. Dr. Morgus reveals the specifics of his invention to a reporter named Pencils (Dan Barton) who wants to get the doctor recognized so that he can get a story to write.
The machine was also sought out however by agents from the country of Microvania. They intended to use the machine to get themselves into the United States. But, as with most experiments from Dr. Morgus, it doesn’t go as planned. The sand spills out and is eventually dumped into a new highway.
The Wacky World of Dr. Morgus is not the timeless classic that will be seen by people the world over. But it is a nostalgic movie that New Orleanians and fans of the horror host will enjoy. The movie features great scenes from a New Orleans that I wasn’t alive to see. This was filmed at a time before the massive Mercedes Benz Superdome was built and the city was still developing. Also, the movie features a car chase down Canal Street, showcasing the heart of the Crescent City at that time.
And joining Dr. Morgus in the movie is his sidekick Chopsley (Thomas George), who helps Morgus as best he can. Also featured are New Orleans musicians Wayne Mack and Marshall Pearce. They showcase the music of the city through rare performances shot for the movie. And there is also a dancing scene from New Orleans legend Cris Owens. Any visitor to Bourbon Street can see the same club used in the movie as it is still open for business today.
So, if you are interested, sit back and grab a snack and enjoy this wonderful piece of New Orleans history. Like I said, it is not a timeless classic and it does not have a story that will keep you glued it the screen. I would say it is more of a movie for fans of Ed Wood. It may be horrible at moments, but it brings back a time that is forgotten in a city that was not showcased much in those days. And it features the one and only Morgus the Magnificent. The horror host that spanned through four decades and definitely made an impression on horror fans wherever his broadcasts were aired.
Daryl Karpinski Jr.