Thursday, 12 March 2015
The Mad Monster (1942)
Scientist toys with the laws of nature, and is destroyed by his own creation.
It's almost certainly a trope you've seen before. Frankenstein is closing in on its 200th anniversary after all, and many many books and films have followed this well worn path. The only distinction this film brings to the trope, frankly, is a sillier than usual scientific breakthrough.
Dr Lorenzo Cameron, you see, has spent many years attempting to distill the primal nature of animals - specifically wolves - into a serum that he can then inject into a man. His plan, he explains to an imaginary set of colleagues, is to create a stronger, more deadly human to fight in the current war (he doesn't directly specify which war he means, but this was made in 1942, so it's not hard to work out).
When he imagines his imaginary colleagues belittling his discovery - as the real men belittled his theories, some years earlier - he resolves instead to employ his creation in murdering those who have 'wronged' him. So he turns his gardener into a furry man-thing and sets him on his former compatriots.
This is why, folks, if you ever find yourself talking to a mad scientist, you should be polite. Courtesy costs nothing, and it might save you from being attacked by a wolf-man.
There's a sub-plot involving Dr Cameron's daughter and her boyfriend - who naturally is a reporter assigned to investigate one of the wolf-man's first kills - but the above revenge tale is the main (rather dull) arc of the film.
The Doctor's plans eventually bring him to a sticky end, of course. In case you were wondering.
I think I can sum up how I feel about this movie thusly: while it was on, I kept wishing I was watching The Manster, instead.