Man Made Monster
theatrical release poster
|Directed by||George Waggner|
|Produced by||Jack Bernhard|
|Written by||Harry Essex
|Starring||Lon Chaney, Jr.
|Music by||Hans J. Salter|
|Edited by||Arthur Hilton|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|March 28, 1941 US|
Man-Made Monster (1941) is a science fiction horror film released by Universal Pictures. The film stars Lon Chaney, Jr. in his horror film debut. Man-Made Monster was re-released under various titles including Electric Man and The Mysterious Dr. R. In 1953, it was re-released by Realart Pictures under the title The Atomic Monster on a double bill with The Flying Saucer (1950). 1956's Indestructible Man, also featuring Chaney, is considered a loose remake of this film.
A tragic accident occurs when a bus hits a high power line. The incident has claimed the lives of all on board, except for one Dan McCormick (Lon Chaney, Jr.), who survives because he is, surprisingly, immune to the deadly electricity. McCormick does a sideshow exhibit as Dynamo Dan, the Electric Man and is taken in by Dr. John Lawrence (Samuel S. Hinds), who wants to study him. Dr. Lawrence's colleague, mad scientist Dr. Paul Rigas (Lionel Atwill) has something else in mind, though. He wants to create an army of electrobiologically-driven zombies. He gives McCormick progressively higher doses of electricity until his mind is ruined and left dependent on the addicting electrical charges. This temporarily gives McCormick the touch of death, making him capable of killing anyone he touches by electrocution. After accidentally killing Lawrence, Rigas insures McCormick's conviction to see what will happen if he is sent to the electric chair. McCormick survives, and with a super charge in his glowing body he kills several people, including Rigas, before running out of electricity and dying.
- Lionel Atwill as Dr. Paul Rigas
- Lon Chaney, Jr. as Dan McCormick
- Anne Nagel as June Lawrence
- Frank Albertson as Mark Adams
- Samuel S. Hinds as Dr. John Lawrence
- William B. Davidson as Ralph Stanley, the district attorney
- Ben Taggart as Detective sergeant
- Constance Bergen as Nurse
- Ivan Miller as Doctor
- Chester Gan as Wong
- George Meader as Dr. Bruno
- Frank O'Connor as Detective
- John Dilson as Medical examiner
- Byron Foulger as Alienist
- Russell Hicks as Warden Harris
- The film was shot in three weeks and was the cheapest film made by Universal in 1941 alone.
- Boris Karloff was originally selected to play the role of Dan McCormick and Bela Lugosi would have appeared as Dr. Rigas In a film to have been titled The Electric Man. But the studio scrapped the idea because the concept was too similar to another Karloff/Lugosi movie, The Invisible Ray (1936).
- When Realart rereleased the film under the title Atomic Monster, Alex Gordon had titled one of his films with the same title. He sent his attorney Samuel Z. Arkoff to meet the Realart representative James H. Nicholson to discuss the matter. The three men started their own film company that became American International Pictures.
- Internet Movie Database
- Forrest Ackerman, The Frankenscience Monster Ace Books 1969
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