Actor Frank Murgalo on the Cult Movie Attack of the Beast Creatures

Frank Murgalo (no info) is an actor and writer and comedian. He has worked among other things as a Marine and as a copier salesman and a financial adviser. He appeared in the ultra-low budget cult classic Attack of the Beast Creatures (1985) aka Beast Creatures aka Hell Island as Philip, who is one of the ill-fated castaways on an island inhabited by killer natives represented by small dolls. He is best known, however, as one of the original creators of fake news with Alan Abel (1924-2018). The pair, along with others, would create media hoaxes which became media circuses long before the antics of Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat and others. Murgalo appears as himself in the documentary about their antics entitled Abel Raises Cain (2005). He still works as a stand-up comedian and can be found on Twitter @frankbehavior. Here he gives us a quick tour of the world that is Attack of the Beast Creatures!

Frank Murgalo as Philip in Attack of the Beast Creatures (1985)

How did you get involved with Attack of the Beast Creatures?

They came to me. I had name recognition from the numerous pranks I played on the media with Alan Abel.. we created FAKE NEWS. Haha

 Was it a local dramatic group which filled out much of the cast? 

The actors consisted of regional theater actors and young actors looking for an acting credit.

Do you remember when the film was shot?

1981?

One of the killer natives in Attack of the Beast Creatures (1985)

What do you remember of the shoot? Was it a happy one?

It was a blast. Everyone got along, I hung out with the 20-something year old actors. The problem for me, I ate too much which didn’t stack up with the storyline. My character only ate berries on the Island but I put on 8 pounds during the 2-week shoot. Wardrobe had to let out my pants twice. My death scene was tough. The little guys trip me up and I land on a stake through the heart…we took about 10 takes from the side, I lunged too far and I would miss the stake or not far enough and the stake went through my ass.

Frank Murgalo’s death scene in Attack of the Beast Creatures (1985)

The director Michael Stanley and the writer Robert A. Hutton seem to have had a sincere vision for the movie despite its budget…

They were very professional and definitely had a vision and stuck to it. The actors never challenged any of the dialog and spoke what was written.

Did the cast take it as seriously as they seem to on film? Or did they accept they might look slightly ridiculous in some of the attack scenes?

Yes, we did take it seriously to honor the vision of the filmmakers and the professional approach by John Vichiola (Mr. Morgan) (1923-2004). John was in his 60’s and had the most acting experience of all of us.

John Vichiola as Mr. Morgan in Attack of the Beast Creatures (1985)

It appears Michael Stanley’s family was involved as well… Is that right?

I don’t recall.

Was anyone paid for their work? Or was it done for the experience?

Yes, everyone had an option to get paid $500 for the shoot or stock in the film. I chose the stock and got paid more than the $500. It was from video sales.

Do you know where the costumes came from?

The costume person did a great job and we only had that one costume. The film was shot in chronological order to show the dirt and grit of the moment. I believe the costumes came from thrift shops and tag sales.

A recent snap of Frank Murgalo

Was there ever a screening for the cast and crew upon completion? Was there a party afterwards?

Yes, a sold-out performance, one night only premiere and showing at an Art house theater in South Norwalk, Ct. with Klieg light to the skies. haha. There was a party but I do not remember any details.

Can you tell me anything else?

In 1989, the film was voted THE BEST OF THE WORST HORROR FILMS OF THE DECADE. By the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, I guess that’s good.

 Thank you, Frank Murgalo

To go to the main article about Attack of the Beast Creatures PRESS HERE.

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