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The Magnetic Monster

USA 1953
produced by
Ivan Tors for A-Men Productions/United Artists
directed by Curt Siodmak
starring Richard Carlson, King Donovan, Jean Byron, Harry Ellerbe, Leo Britt, Leonard Mudie, Byron Foulger, Michael Fox, John Zeremba, Lee Phelps, Watson Downs, Roy Engel, Frank Gerstle, John Vosper, John Dodsworth, Charles Williams, Michael Granger, William 'Billy' Benedict, Kathleen Freeman, Douglas Evans, Strother Martin, Jarma Lewis, Elizabeth Root, Juney Ellis
written by Curt Siodmak, Ivan Tors, music by Blaine Sanford, edited by Herbert L.Strock

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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It all starts in Simon's (Byron Foulger) hardware store where the hardware seems to come to life ...

Soon enough, agents Stewart (Richard Carlson) and Forbes (King Donovan) of the OSI (Office for Scientific Investigarions) and they realize there is something wrong witht he magnetism in this shop ... and this something seems to originate from the lab directly above the shop, where two scientists were experimenting on a new radioactive element. One of the scientist is dead by now, drained of all life energy, the other (Leonard Mudie) has the element with him, on a plane - which is even worse because the element will quite surely eventually mess up the plane's engine due to its magnetism ...

Fortunately, Stewart and Forbes manage to somehow ground the airplane before anything happens, but the scientist they realize, is breathing his last, drained of all energy ...

Stewart and Forbes experiment with the element, and soon they realize that it actually feeds on energy, and with each feeding - which happens every eleven hours - the element doubles its size, but also needs double the amount of energy with the next feeding.

Soon enough, our scientist heroes realize that it is only a matter of days before the element will need the whole earth to feed on ...

Eventually, Stewart and Forbes fly the element to a laboratory below the ocean's surface with a generator big enough to not only feed the element but actually choke it with energy (!). When our heroes try that, the lab and the whole generator almost go up, but in the end, they succeed, and once again earth is saved.


My synopsis might sound rather boring and incomprehensible, but despite a storyline that is overconvoluted and silly at the same time, despite dialogue that is filled up with (now outdated) techno-babble, despite a certain dose of unintentional humour (I loved the scene best where the machines in the hardware store camt to life) and despite the fact that the most impressive scenes (those of the generator) were actually lifted from another film, the German Gold from 1934 (!), this film somehow works as a good-natured science fictioner containing plenty of action and suspense to keep one entertained nevertheless. It's certainly no genre classic, but it's fun ...


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD