Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Monster Maker (1944)

The villain of this film is kind of absurdly wicked.  In the course of the sixty minute run time, we will see him commit - or be told he has committed - the following crimes:
  • murdered a doctor and impersonated him
  • assorted acts of Creepy McStalker-ness
  • deliberately induced the disease acromegaly in his wife
  • deliberately induced the disease acromegaly in the father of a woman who looks like his now-deceased wife used to
  • attempted to blackmail said father into giving him riches and the hand of the daughter in marriage
  • attempted to blackmail the daughter into marrying him to save her father
  • attempted to murder his assistant by means of a gorilla (seriously, what is it with the gorillas, Poverty Row?  You're like the comic books with this stuff)

He's probably also kicked a puppy.  No such event is mentioned or shown on screen, but he seems the type.

You can probably piece together the plot from the above: wicked imposter guy (whose imposteriness is particularly egregious since it never actually seems to matter for the story) sees beautiful daughter, harasses her until her father tells him to back off, and then afflicts the father with the disease to get what he wants.  When his assistant protests, he tries to kill her.  Ultimately his plans are thwarted, he dies, and the film ends.

I was left feeling kind of creeped out by this movie, to be honest, and not in a good way. I think it is because the film spends more time with the villain than with any of the nominal heroes.  He comes across more like he's the film's protagonist than its antagonist, and that's ... well, you can see above why that's very icky.  I've seen other movies praise the "ugly edge" of the film, but I definitely don't share that sentiment.

A cheap and nasty little film.  Avoid.

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