Mel Welles - Rotten Tomatoes

Mel Welles

Lowest Rated:   13% The Silver Chalice (1954)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
A writer turned actor/director, Mel Welles was one of the most enduring cult figures from '50s exploitation pictures. Born in New York City in 1924, Welles moved into films after careers in clinical psychology, writing, and radio, and also performed in theater and wrestling promotion in Canada. He arrived in Hollywood at just about the time that his services were needed, in the first half of the 1950s -- filmmakers were eager to make movies appealing to teens, and in addition to some skills as an actor, Welles, who had written for jazz satirist Lord Buckley, was a natural both as a performer and writer of "special material" to jazz up the scripts and action of the exploitation pictures being ground out. His most notable work in this area was in the 1958 drug-and-sexploitation classic High School Confidential, directed by Jack Arnold, for which Welles provided two stunningly funny (and effective) parodies of beat poetry and jargon, and also served as the movie's resident expert on marijuana. During this period, Welles -- who was a master of numerous accents and dialects -- appeared in numerous Roger Corman films (Attack of the Crab Monsters, Rock All Night etc.), usually in small roles, and became part of the stock company that included Dick Miller and Jonathan Haze. His most prominent and enduring role for Corman -- and his personal favorite -- was that of Gravis Mushnik in the original 1960 non-musical version of Little Shop Of Horrors. During the '60s, Welles began directing low budget films such as the crime thriller Code of Silence (1960) and the horror film Lady Frankenstein (1972). By the 1980's, Welles had come to appreciate the admiration lavished on his work by his former teenage fans at conventions and in books -- he appreciated the outpourings of approval for his acting, in cult movies that came to be described and categorized as "psychotronic," though he was also somewhat embarrassed by the seriousness with which modern audiences embraced his beat poetry parodies in High School Confidential (and which, much to his puzzlement, recently surfaced on a compact-disc collection of actual Beat poetry). He had also resumed acting in the 1980s, including occasional voice-over work. Welles died of heart failure in 2005, at the age of 81.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Io monaca... per tre carogne e sette peccatrici (The Big Bust Out)
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2014
No Score Yet Wizards of the Lost Kingdom 2
  • Caedmon
1989
No Score Yet Rented Lips
  • Milo
1988
No Score Yet Commando Squad
  • Quintano
1987
No Score Yet Invasion Earth: The Aliens Are Here
  • Davar
1987
50% Chopping Mall (Killbots)
  • Cook
1986
No Score Yet Hell Hunters
  • Producer
  • Director
1986
No Score Yet Red Heat
  • Producer
1985
56% Chained Heat
  • Executive Producer
1983
No Score Yet Homework
  • Doctor
1982
75% The Last American Virgin
  • Druggist
1982
No Score Yet Body and Soul
  • Joe Gillardi
1981
75% Wolfen
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Hype
  • Dr. Vince Hinkle
1980
No Score Yet Joyride to Nowhere (Baby Dolls)
  • Director
  • Actor
1977
No Score Yet La Figlia di Frankenstein (Lady Frankenstein)(Daughter of Frankenstein)
  • Producer
  • Director
1971
No Score Yet Island of the Doomed (Maneater of Hydra) (La Isla de la muerte)
  • Director
1967
83% La Sorella di Satana (Revenge of the Blood Beast) (Sister of Satan) (The She-Beast)
  • Actor
1965
92% The Little Shop of Horrors
  • Gravis Mushnick
1960
70% High School Confidential
  • Actor
1958
No Score Yet The 27th Day
  • Marshall
1957
30% The Brothers Karamazov
  • Trifon Borissovitch
1957
No Score Yet Rock All Night
  • Sir Bop
1957
No Score Yet Hold That Hypnotist
  • Blackbeard
1957
71% Attack of the Crab Monsters
  • Jules Deveroux
1957
No Score Yet The Undead
  • Smolkin
1957
No Score Yet Flight To Hong Kong
  • Boris
1956
91% The Big Knife
  • Bearded Man
1955
25% Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy
  • Iben
1955
No Score Yet Soldier of Fortune
  • Rocha
1955
No Score Yet Pirates of Tripoli
  • Tomedi
1955
No Score Yet Wyoming Renegades
  • Whiskey Pearson
1955
No Score Yet The Racers
  • Fiori
1955
13% The Silver Chalice
  • Marcos
1954
86% Pushover
  • Detective
1954
No Score Yet Gun Fury
  • Pete Barratto (uncredited)
1953

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Alfred Hitchcock Presents
1955-1962
  • Kafir
  • 1958
No Score Yet Maverick
1957-1962
  • Carlos
  • 1958

Quotes from Mel Welles' Characters