Tuesday, October 02, 2007

31 Days of Halloween - Day 2 Movie

Universal's horror films of the 30s and 40s are my favorites, and for me, go hand in hand with Halloween. Tonight I had the pleasure of watching a Universal horror movie, that I'm pretty certain I've never seen; "Man Made Monster" (1941), Starring Lon Chaney, Jr. and directed by George Waggner, both of whom would make on of my favorite Universal monster movies that same year, the far superior "The Wolf Man." Here Lon Chaney plays "Dynamo Dan" a carny performer whose act involves electricity. This act has apparently built up an immunity to electric shock in Dan's body, allowing him to survive a horrendous electrical accident which killed five others. Dan comes to the attention of a kindly researcher, and his not so benelovent assistant, played by Lionel Atwill who turns on his slimy mad scientist persona full volume. The mad doctor wants to create an army of controllable electric powered supermen, and uses Dan as his guinea pig, turning him into a murdering glwoing zombie.

The plot and pacing are more reminiscent of a poverty row production from this period, rather than a Universal classic, but I still found it pretty enjoyable, with the superior make-up and optical effects that universal was known for, and Chaney creates another sympathetic monster.

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