The Mad Monster (1942)

This is a typical PRC mad scientist film, in which crazed scientist (and PRC regular) George Zucco turns simple minded handyman Glenn Strange (who played the Frankenstein monster in some of the lesser Universal horror entries) into a wolfman (who, yes, looks a lot like the Universal monster).

There really isn’t a lot more you need to know about it than that.

Oddly enough, this one got banned in England – and remained unseen there until after the end of WWII, when it ran with a statement about how blood transfusions were, in fact, perfectly safe.

I can understand why they might feel a little sensitive about that in the middle of a war.

While some descriptions will tell you that George gives Glenn the blood of a wolf, which causes his transformation.  In reality, it is a compound he derived from the blood, along with a lot of goofy talk about there being some component of the blood that was pure electricity…

There’s some talk about this amazing scientific discovery -an injection that releases this monstrous creature from ordinary people, and another that restores them – being of great scientific importance (which suggests, without actually saying, super soldiers).  However, one of his fellow scientists asks him something that is remarkably sensible for this sort of film:

How do you expect to round them all up and give them an injection?

One also wonders why every one of these mad scientists seems to have a beautiful daughter who hopes that someday everyone will recognize the sheer genius of her father’s radical scientific theories?  Maybe she hasn’t noticed the evil chuckling, I don’t know.

I should point out that PRC was actually fairly accomplished as Poverty Row filmmakers went, and the film looks reasonably good.  It is actually longer than most of these (which were usually about an hour long, and intended to be the bottom half of a double feature).

There are worse 40s mad scientist movies out there.  But you still pretty much know what you’re getting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.