Professor Morlock: Armageddon

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An unforgettable moment from the Morlock saga. When Morlock and Amanda Globe team up to save earth from the savage interplanetary warlord Wog the Destroyer, the insane professor discovers that the only way to vanquish the fiend is to complete his long dreamed-of plot to transplant a human brain into a gorilla. But in a cruel twist of fate, it is Morlock’s brain which must go into the ape. After instructing Amanda how to perform the operation, he orders her to flip the switch that will complete the transformation.

Merlin’s sensitive yet powerful portrayal of the man-ape won him that year’s Best Actor Oscar.

Morlock’s evil henchman Ruprecht (Steve Peterson) betrays his master yet again; this time by informing the savage interplanetary warlord Wog the Destroyer (Eddie Frierson) just as his spaceship armada is about to attack earth that Morlock’s brain has been transplanted into a gorilla, rendering Wog’s firepower useless. Jeebus Burbano and Joe Mullich’s complex and sophisticated screenplay won one of the 10 Oscars awarded to the film.

Peterson was a last-minute replacement for Ruprecht’s creator Tom Ackerman when Ackerman died of a reefer overdose on the eve of filming. His funeral was a star-studded affair attended by the entire Morlock cast through the years and led to a poignant moment when Jesse Merlin and Mara Marini (who was about to leave for the south of France for her marriage to “Morlock” costar Jonny M.) ended their long and bitter feud by embracing over Ackerman’s coffin. When it was disclosed that Ackerman had died destitute, leaving behind two children by his estranged wife Christine and dozens of illegitimate ones from his years as a bisexual prostitute, Ms. Marini quietly paid for the funeral herself.

Frierson was yet another actor who was plucked from obscurity to be made a star by the “Morlock” franchise, winning an Oscar nomination for his powerful performance as Wog. He was able to parlay his newfound popularity to finance his dream project, a big budget film biography of Hall of Fame baseball player Christy Mathewson. It proved to be one of the most monumental flops in movie history.

Amanda Globe (Amy Ball), Professor Morlock (Jesse Merlin) and Priscilla the sexy zombie (Robin Greenspan) prepare to wage war against Wog the Destroyer in the final battle for the planet earth in "Professor Morlock: Armageddon."

Merlin had been working out eight hours a day and went on a heavy regimen of steroids to prepare for the role and was reportedly furious that he was costumed in a massive black robe for the finale. Greenspan, by contrast, was relieved to finally have one scene in the movie where she was wearing any clothes at all and sent the wardrobe department five dozen roses when she saw her costume for the sequence.