The Undying Monster
|The Undying Monster|
|Directed by||John Brahm|
|Produced by||Bryan Foy|
|Written by||Lillie Hayward|
|Music by||David Raksin|
|Edited by||Harry Reynolds|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)||November 27, 1942|
|Running time||60 min.|
The Undying Monster is a 1942 horror and mystery film, also known as The Hammond Mystery, featuring a werewolf as the primary antagonist. The movie was directed by John Brahm and is based on the 1936 novel by Jessie Douglas Kerruish.
The Hammond family has been cursed since the Crusades, with family members dying or committing suicide under mysterious circumstances. When two people, including Oliver Hammond (John Howard) are attacked by an unknown creature, Robert Curtis (James Ellison) and his sidekick Christy (Heather Thatcher) are dispatched to investigate. Although the local townspeople are convinced that the attacks are the result of a curse upon the Hammond family, Curtis believes that he will be able to find a more scientific explanation for the attacks.
Curtis' investigation at the Hammond household reveals a number of unusual circumstances, including slamming doors and clanking chains, a recently entered secret room that had supposedly been locked for years, and a statue of a strange dog-like creature in the Hammond family crypt. During his investigation, one of the initial victims of the attack dies (after being in a coma) and the case is sent to an English jury for judgement. Upon hearing testimony from members of the Hammond family and their associates, the jury rules that the victim died at the hand of an unknown person or creature of unknown species.
After the ruling, Curtis decides to look for evidence upon the body of the victim. He finds a hair that he later identifies as being from a wolf, but the hair disappears mysteriously soon after he analyzes it. The monster attacks again at the end of the movie, this time kidnapping Helga Hammond (Heather Angel), but Curtis and the police chase him down. When the monster is finally shot, it transforms into a human being and we discover that it is actually Oliver Hammond. Afterwards, Dr. Jeff Colbert (Bramwell Fletcher), a friend of the Hammonds, reveals that they have been afflicted with lycanthropy for generations - that is, they are werewolves - and he had been attempting to cure them of the disease.
- James Ellison as Robert Curtis
- Heather Angel as Helga Hammond
- John Howard as Oliver Hammond
- Bramwell Fletcher as Dr. Jeff Colbert
- Heather Thatcher as Christy
- Aubrey Mather as Inspector Craig
- Halliwell Hobbes as Walton the butler
- Meehan, 2010, p. 97
- Meehan, Paul (2010). Horror Noir: Where Cinema's Dark Sisters Meet. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-4597-1.
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