Friday, 3 August 2007

The Monster Maker (1944)

The Monster Maker is a classic mad scientist/evil doctor horror B-movie from 1944, with J. Carrol Naish overacting outrageously (but entertainingly) as the mad scientist. He has discovered the secret of the rare and dreaded disease acromegaly – not just the secret of a possible cure, but also the secret of how to infect people with the illness. Very handy if you’re a mad scientist. It’s a disease that causes the extremities to swell hideously, and gives the sufferer almost superhuman energy. He determines to use his discovery not merely to gain fame and fortune, but also to force the beautiful daughter of an acclaimed concert pianist into marriage. Even by mad scientist standards this guy is a nasty piece of work. The movie also includes a guy in a gorilla suit, for no particular reason except that guys in gorilla suits were popular in horror movies at the time. The Monster Maker is genuinely creepy and exudes (for its era) a surprising amount of real menace. A must for fans of medical horror.

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