Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


The Mad Monster (1942)

If you take George Zucco and Glenn Strange and put them in a bad horror movie and what do you get?  The fantastically watchable programmer The Mad Monster.

Zucco plays mad scientist Dr. Lorenzo Cameron.  Strange is his gardener cum guinea pig Petro.  And the great expiriment?  Let's turn a man into a wolf.  Why?  Because it's fun and because we can use the monster to kill our enemies.  What more excuse do we need?

We have to have a girl, so let's cast Anne Nagel (The Green Hornet, The Green Hornet Strikes Again!, Don Winslow of the Navy) as Cameron's daughter Lorena.  We certainly need a love interest for Lorena,  who better than Johnny Downs (Freckles Comes Home, The Gay Nineties, Square Dance Jamboree, and a regular on Captain Billy's Mississippi Music Hall) as intrepid young reporter Tom Gregory.  Helping to fill out the roster were a number of easily recognizable faces, among them Slim Whitaker, Henry Hall, Mae Busch, and Reginald Barlow.

This was one of slightly less than a zillion B movies directed by Sam Newfield (who helmed a number of "Lone Rider" and "Billy the Kid" westerns, as well as Terror of Tiny Torn).  [The Lone Rider's last name was Cameron -- an ancestor of our friend the mad doctor, perhaps?]  In the 1950's Newfield directed a number of television shows, including Ramar of the Jungle, Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion, and Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans.

The screenplay was by Fred Myton (Nabonga, Murder Is My Business -- one of several Michael Shayne mysteries he scripted, and some of the aforementioned "Lone Rider" and "Billy the Kid" features).

For reasons unclear to me, the UK refused to allow the film to be shown until 1952.

If all of the above does not whet your appetite, it was featured and pretty well dissected on Mystery Science Theatre 3000.



Todd Mason is corralling today's Overlooked Films and/or A/V at sweetfreedom.  Stop by and take a gander.

No comments:

Post a Comment