The Monster Maker (1944)

The Monster Maker (1944) movie poster

director Sam Newfield
viewed: 07/03/2014

I’m developing a real interest in the whole “Poverty Row” movie scene.  It’s Hollywood with all the frills taken away.

The Monster Maker is typical in that it’s a cast of mostly unrecognizable names, but good, decent actors on the whole.  The sets and camerawork are at bare bones, but not so cheap and shoddy as to draw undue attention to themselves.  It’s interesting.  I’m getting curious to know more history about “Poverty Row”.

The Monster Maker is about a mad scientist (actually a mad-would-be scientist who actually stole the identity of a real scientist) who is looking for a cure for acromegaly.

Acromegaly, you say?  What’s that?  Well, it’s a result of an overactive pituitary gland that results in enlarged limbs and extremities, as well as tumorous aspects to the head.  Try dropping that term at your next cocktail party.   I will.

Of course, being a mad doctor, he falls for a woman who is the striking double of his dead wife.  He blackmails the girl’s father by injecting him with “acromegaly”, turning him into a “monster”.  He promises to “cure” him if he will consent to his daughter marrying him.  Apparently his dearly departed wife was also infected by the mad doctor, so that no one would want her but him.  She committed suicide.

Neither brilliant or terrible, it’s also largely unremarkable overall.  But that’s not to say it’s entirely uninteresting.  Running in at 62 minutes, it’s hard to go wrong.

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