Mel Welles

Mel Welles

  • Highest Rated: 92% The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
  • Lowest Rated: 13% The Silver Chalice (1954)
  • Birthday: Feb 17, 1924
  • 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
56% 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 Mushnik 1960
70% High School Confidential Actor 1958
No Score Yet The 27th Day Marshall 1957
22% The Brothers Karamazov Trifon Borissovitch 1957
No Score Yet Rock All Night Sir Bop 1957
No Score Yet Hold That Hypnotist Blackbeard 1957
67% Attack of the Crab Monsters Jules Deveroux 1957
No Score Yet The Undead Smolkin 1957
No Score Yet Flight To Hong Kong Boris 1956
86% The Big Knife Bearded Man 1955
27% 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
80% 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
  • 1957

QUOTES FROM Mel Welles CHARACTERS

Helene
A house, will I be safe there?
Smokin
A mad man can't be sure of that, no more than whether you bewitched me or did not. Hey diddle diddle the rat and the fiddle. The corpse jumped over his tomb. The murderer laughed to see such a sight as he strangled a girl in the gloom , gloom, gloom, gloom.
Seymour Krelboin
You mean I'm fired?
Gravis Mushnik
No, I'm electing you President from the United States!... YES, you are fired!
Fouch
I remember in one flower shop there was a whole wall covered with poison ivy. People came from miles around to look at that wall and they stayed to buy.
Gravis Mushnik
And the owner got rich?
Fouch
No, he scratched himself to death in an insane asylum
Fouch
No, he scratched himself to death in an insane asylum.