Man Made Monster
directed by George Waggner
starring Lionel Atwill, Lon Chaney jr, Anne Nagel, Frank Albertson, Samuel S. Hinds, William B. Davidson, Ben Taggart, Constance Bergen, Ivan Miller, Chester Gan, George Meader, Frank O'Connor, John Dilson, Byron Foulger, Russell Hicks, Gary Breckner, William Hall, Victor Zimmerman, Francis Sayles, Jessie Arnold, Wright Kramer, Jack Gardner
screenplay by Joseph West (= George Waggner), based on the story The Electric Man by Harry Essex, Sid Schwartz, Len Golos, music by Harry J.Salter, makeup by Jack Pierce, special effects by John P.Fulton
Universal horror cycle
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Dan McCormick (Lon Chaney jr), a carnival performer doing an electrical
act, has just survived an electrocution virtually unharmed that killed 5
other people - and that makes him prime research material for scientists
Dr. Lawrence (Samuel S.Hinds) and Dr. Rigas (Lionel Atwill). Dr.
Lawrence's intentions are purely benign, but Dr. Rigas are not, he wants
to use Dan to create "electric men" for whatever reason, and
when Doc Lawrence is out for a few days, Rigas makes Dan addicted to
electricity, and makes him take more and more of the stuff, until he
becomes all electrically loaded - but at the same time a mindless brute
totally under the control of Rigas. Lawrence returns, wants to interfere -
and Rigas orders Dan to murder Lawrence, and then admit the murder to the
police. By the time the police arrives, the electricity is gone from Dans
body, and he is soon tried, convicted and sent to the chair - on which he
is recharged, and using the electricity floating through his body, Dan
makes an escape.
Meanwhile, the deceased Doc Lawrence's niece and
assistant June (Anne Nagel) finds evidence that Dan was actually acting
under Rigas' control when he murdered the doctor ... but she is caught by
Dr. Rigas, who immediately wants to make her the subject of his next
experiment - when Dan bursts in and kills him, than puts on a rubber suit
to contain the electricity and drags off a passed out June - until his
path is short stopped by some barbed wire fence that rips open his robber
suit and totally discharges Dan until he dies ...
half of this film seems like not totally thought through or scientifically
sustainable but interesting, serious science fiction - but once Dan is
charged with electricity and starts glowing, all seriousness is thrown out
of the window, and the movie becomes a goofy monster flick, which
culminates in the death-by-barbed-wire ending ... which of course makes
the film fun in a purely unintentional way. And Lionel Atwill is given
some choice dialogue and seems to be having the time of his life playing
the mad scientist like ony he can.