Will a silver bullet kill a "synthetic" werewolf?!?
Patrick W. Crabtree | Lucasville, OH USA | 08/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First I must confess to being George Zucco's greatest fan, ergo the five stars. But truthfully, this is a fine old horror film with a unique twist in the story: This werewolf is created via a syringe-full of chemicals (supposedly from wolf-blood but it's a COYOTE in the lab cage!) concocted by the greatest mad scientist of all time: George Zucco, who portrays Dr. Lorenzo Cameron here.
Zucco has an innocent daughter in this one ("Lenora," played by Anne Nagel), a common denominator in Zucco formula horror flicks. She's in love with an investigative reporter by the name of Tom Gregory who suspects Zucco of being connected to the death of a child and others.
Zucco rents an old mansion (VERY good atmosphere!) where he conducts his heinous experiments upon his house man, "Pedro" (played by the original Frankenstein monster, the great Glenn Strange). Zucco's vision in all this is to generate an entire army of these werewolf-type monsters, but we don't exactly ever discover who might be the ultimate beneficiary of commanding this invincible force. The situation does go a bit awry for Zucco when, during his "tests," he wreaks revenge on former collegues with his monster and, at one point, Pedro reverts on his own into a werewolf without an injection!
One wise old crone of a woman tells the local vigilante leader that his shotguns and rifles are of no avail without a silver bullet. But, you know, I personally assert that a silver bullet is risky business when one is dealing with a synthetically-created werewolf. But, not to reveal the ending, we never get to find out anyway.
Zucco travels back and forth between his rural lab and the city (where he knocks off his former peers) and it takes the young and aggressive reporter, Tom Gregory, to put two and two together.
I really enjoyed this 1942 film as I did yet another great old Zucco/Strange film team effort: The Black Raven. It's also interesting to note that the British censors didn't like all the blood in this film and thus they banned the showing of it throughout the United Kingdom until 1952 when a compomise was finally reached to run a disclaimer regarding the blood transfusions!
My copy of Mad Monster, The was released by Alpha Video (about 5 bucks plus shipping), produced by Pictures Releasing Corporation (PRC), is in black-and-white, runs for 77 minutes, and the aspect is full-frame. The film was artfully directed by Sam Newfield. The soundtrack was composed by David Chudnow and sounds just like the one in The Flying Serpent, another superb Zucco entry! The special effects represent the work of Gene Stone and are also well-done.
My highest recommendation for fans of older horror films. (Also, see my "Listmania" list here on Amazon: "George Zucco... almost live!")"