HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mighty Wind, A
Man at the Top
Guru the Mad Monk
Jezebel
Monos
Life at the Top
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
   
 
Newest Articles
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
   
 
  Man Made Monster ShockingBuy this film here.
Year: 1941
Director: George Waggner
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Lon Chaney Jr, Anne Nagel, Frank Albertson, Samuel S. Hinds, William B. Davidson, Ben Taggart, Constance Bergen, Ivan Miller, Chester Gan, George Meader, Frank O'Connor, John Dilson, Byron Foulger, Russell Hicks
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Last night there was a serious bus crash where the vehicle smashed into a pylon and electrocuted the driver and five passengers. Well, not all the passengers died, for Dan McCormick (Lon Chaney Jr) survived in a remarkably healthy condition. This could be down to his job, where he performs as Dan the Dynamo Man for customers at fairgrounds around the country, and although he claims his act is only a set of tricks, he does seem to have built up a resistance to electricity. While he's in hospital and eager to leave, his story catches the attention of local scientists - could he be useful in their experiments?

Could be, although that depends on your concept of useful and if it includes any murderous rampages. Man Made Monster was the film that set Lon Chaney Jr on his run of horror roles, and is believed to have been the part that secured him his most celebrated character in The Wolf Man later that same year as Universal saw his potential more for the chiller end of the market than the more leading character actor ones. Here he is set up in a fashion that would become typical: not inherently evil, but cursed by fickle fate to become a monster against his will, the tragic figure of horror that he would continually return to.

Not that he had much choice after a while, it was either that or versions of his Lennie from Of Mice and Men role he was destined for. Here he's a mix between the lummox with a sunny disposition and the bringer of death as Dan is taken to the country mansion of Dr Lawrence (Samuel S. Hinds) and his live in colleague Dr Rigas (scenery chewing Lionel Atwill). It is Rigas who is the true villain of the piece, as we perceive that Dan is not such a bad chap because the pet dog Corky likes him a lot, and a sentimental streak develops early on when the pooch has mixed feelings about him when the experiments get underway and Dan is electrolised (or whatever the term is).

So Corky shies away from Dan after he's been strapped to the table in Rigas' lab - and what a lab it is, the perfect home for the mad scientist about town with its abundance of bzzt things - and had a few thousand volts blasted through his body. Man Made Monster is often referred to as a horror movie, but it could equally be seen as a science fiction movie that was looking forward to the genre boom of the next decade, so perhaps this was less a throwback to the Frankenstein-influenced efforts of the thirties, and more an anticipation of things to come. Still, mad science was yet a popular subject in this field, so it could have been of its time.

If only Lon had been playing a giant spider then that question would have been definitively answered. Anyway, back at the plot and Dan has been sufficiently charged to be able to kill goldfish, so it's only a matter of time before he graduates to bumping off humans. His first victim? Not Dr Lawrence, the man who took him in? But yes, although we're set straight that Dan is acting against his will and it's Dr Rigas who has forced him to murder the kindly old gent. A trial results, and Dan is sent to the electric chair - but you can guess how that one turns out. Corky still has faith in him, though, leading to a poignant ending in a film that in its unassuming, get the job done technique never wears out its welcome and has won its way into the hearts of many vintage shocker fans over the years. It's no classic, but it is unexpectedly endearing.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2835 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: