Man Made Monster

  • 1941
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Science Fiction

A classic "B" horror-science fiction film that represented Lon Chaney Jr.'s first foray into the genre (Universal considered this his trial run and its success led to roles in THE WOLFMAN and THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN). He plays a carnival sideshow performer whose act involves amazing displays of electrical wizardry. One night, when the carny bus crashes...read more

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A classic "B" horror-science fiction film that represented Lon Chaney Jr.'s first foray into the genre (Universal considered this his trial run and its success led to roles in THE WOLFMAN and THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN). He plays a carnival sideshow performer whose act involves amazing

displays of electrical wizardry. One night, when the carny bus crashes into an electrical pole during a storm, Chaney finds himself the only survivor. After a series of medical tests, it is discovered that he has somehow built up an immunity to electrical charges. Crazed scientist Atwill (who

steals the movie) latches on to Chaney and uses him in experiments to develop a race of supermen. Atwill slowly drains Chaney of energy and transforms him into a weak-willed zombie who will obey his command. As Chaney becomes more gaunt, his friends begin to suspect something's wrong (especially

after he electrocutes a bowlful of pet goldfish). Eventually, Atwill's boss, Hinds, begins to suspect the truth and Chaney, acting on Atwill's orders, kills him. Chaney is caught, tried, and sentenced to death in the electric chair, a fate that Atwill awaits with glee. When the executioner throws

the switch, prison officials are taken by surprise when Chaney absorbs every volt, breaks out of the chair and wreaks havoc on the prison, killing the warden. Atwill takes his now-glowing (literally, in a simple and very effective optical trick) guinea pig back to the lab and clothes him in an

insulated rubber suit that conserves his overabundant energy. Things go awry for Atwill, however, when he decides to try out his theories on the heroine, Nagel, whom Chaney had fallen for earlier in the picture. The glowing monster flies into a rage, kills Atwill with a few thousand volts and runs

off into the night. He runs afoul of a barbed-wire fence, tearing his suit and draining him of his energy. Short, fast-paced and economical, MAN MADE MONSTER sports two fine central performances (Atwill and Chaney) and a fairly intelligent script, which keeps the inherent silliness of the material

well under control.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A classic "B" horror-science fiction film that represented Lon Chaney Jr.'s first foray into the genre (Universal considered this his trial run and its success led to roles in THE WOLFMAN and THE GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN). He plays a carnival sideshow perform… (more)

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