The Plot of Professor Morlock

Previous | Home | Next

The series returned to its roots with the first entry scripted by the original writer, Jeebus Burbano, since the third film “The Testament of Professor Morlock.” Burbano also served as producer of the film, which got away from the CGI special effects and sensational plot twists of the most recent Morlocks for the more streamlined, atmospheric feeling of the earliest films.

The reduced budget meant that the production couldn’t afford megastar Mara Marini as ace investigative report Janet Lawton, but returning for his first Morlock since “The Curse of Professor Morlock” was no-nonsense policeman Jack Mannix played by Jonny M. This reportedly led to a significant amount of tension on the set because series star Jesse Merlin detested Jonny and considered him a no-talent hack (Jonny provides his usual wooden performance as Mannix, although his astonishing good looks almost make up for his lack of ability as an actor).It was rumored that writer/producer Burbano insisted on Jonny’s participation in the film because she was sleeping with him at the time, and got around the character’s death by arguing that Morlock himself was killed at the end of every movie and was resurrected for the next one so they could do the same with Mannix.

The one new character returning from the last Morlock, at the insistence of the studio, was sexy zombie Priscilla (played by Robin Greenspan). She had proven popular with audiences because of her sensitive portrayal and willingness to appear in most of the movie completely naked.

The plot (which was worked out because they had made the poster first and had to come up with a script around it) concerns Morlock’s usual return from hell and his plot to turn the women of earth into his army of mermaid slaves, aided by his evil assistant Ruprecht (who returned from the spectral dimension he was consigned to after actor Tom Ackerman agreed to go back to working for a boxed lunch and deferred pay for his performance). The mad professor discovers a way of reversing the alien super powers of his nemesis Amanda Globe (played by Amy Ball only after a studio rep got her mind-numbingly drunk and had her sign the contract when she was essentially comatose) and mutates her into a mermaid so that she can lead his army in attacking New York City. His plan backfires when the pollution in the east River restores his super powers, resulting in an underwater battle royal between her and the professor. When it seems like she is finally on the verge of vanquishing her foe, she learns for the first time that she is an alien princess and that Morlock - who she had always believed wanted only to enslave and destroy her - had actually been placed on earth to protect her from the savage interplanetary warlord Wog the Destroyer (which really made no sense with everything that preceded it but the fans ate it up).

The entry got the series its best reviews since “The Curse of Professor Morlock,” with  Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post exclaiming that it was “The first ‘Morlock’ in ages that didn’t make me want to puke up my popcorn.”

The Morlock team swore up and down that this would be the final appearance of the insane professor. But we've heard that before.