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Undying Monster
     

The Undying Monster

Director: John Brahm, James Ellison, Heather Angel, John Howard

Cast: John Brahm, James Ellison, Heather Angel, John Howard

 
One of two 20th Century-Fox horror melodramas released in 1942 (Dr. Renault's Secret was the second), The Undying Monster is a well-crafted variation on Universal's "Wolf Man" series. Ever since the suicide of its patriarch, the Hammonds, an old and wealthy English family has seemingly lived under a curse. When a number of murders occur on the Hammond

Overview

One of two 20th Century-Fox horror melodramas released in 1942 (Dr. Renault's Secret was the second), The Undying Monster is a well-crafted variation on Universal's "Wolf Man" series. Ever since the suicide of its patriarch, the Hammonds, an old and wealthy English family has seemingly lived under a curse. When a number of murders occur on the Hammond estate, Scotland Yard inspector Bob Curtis (James Ellison) and his garrulous female assistant Christy (Heather Thatcher) are sent out to investigate. Everyone on the premises-Helga Hammond (Heather Angel), her brother Oliver (John Howard), family doctor Geoffrey Covert (Bramwell Fletcher), family servants Mr. and Mrs. Walton (Halliwell Hobbes and Eily Malyon)-seems to know more than he or she is letting on. Only in the final few minutes of the film is the horrible family secret revealed and the murderer dispensed with. Atmospherically directed by John Brahm on several impressive standing sets (that gigantic stained-glass window is a knockout!), The Undying Monster is a model "B" picture, hampered only by Heather Thatcher's intrusive comedy relief.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
The Undying Monster is an unfortunately uneven horror film that divides into three parts. There's a good, involving opening, followed by a decidedly dull middle stretch and a ripping climax. This structural inconsistency is a shame, though it's hardly the only failing in the screenplay. The story is at times clumsily told, and the "comedy relief" provided by Heather Thatcher's character is absolutely painful. However, when the writers are left to deal with the supernatural aspect of the piece, it's gripping and quite enjoyable. John Brahm's direction can't reconcile the pedantic middle with the exciting bookends, but when it is on target, it's devilishly good. The cast is uneven, with Heather Angel a standout for her excellent work and Heather Thatcher a standout for the annoyance she causes, and the rest ranging from acceptable to adequate. Where Monster consistently shines is in its atmosphere, thanks largely to Lucien Ballard's fog-filled, shadowy, evocative cinematography, which is constantly inventive -- a nice surprise for a "B" effort like this. The sets are also surprisingly good for a "quickie," and the score effectively plays up the tension. If Monster doesn't belong in the top ranks, its good points are such that horror fans should seek it out for a viewing.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/22/2016
UPC:
0738329207304
Original Release:
1942
Rating:
NR
Source:
Kl Studio Classics
Time:
1:03:00
Sales rank:
7,800

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Ellison Bob Curtis
Heather Angel Helga Hammond
John Howard Oliver Hammond
Bramwell Fletcher Dr. Geoffrey Covert
Heather Thatcher Christy
Aubrey Mather Inspector Craig
Halliwell Hobbes Walton
Eily Malyon Mrs. Walton
Heather Wilde Millie
Charles McGraw Stredwick
Alec Craig Will
Holmes Herbert Constable
Clive Morgan Foster
David Thursby Miles McGregor
Donald Stuart Charles Clagpool
John Rogers Tom Clagpool
Matthew Boulton Coroner

Technical Credits
John Brahm Director
Lucien Ballard Cinematographer
Lewis H. Creber Art Director
Richard Day Art Director
Bryan Foy Producer
Lillie Hayward Screenwriter
Michel Jacoby Screenwriter
Emil Newman Score Composer
David Raksin Score Composer
Harry Reynolds Editor

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