Friday, January 7, 2011

THE UNDYING MONSTER / 20th Century Fox - 1942

Tabonga saw this title a few times in the late fifties, early sixties, and remembers that there was something special about it, even if he couldn't recall much else. THE WOLFMAN was released just a year earlier, so, obviously, Fox was trying to capitalize on the Werewolf scare, and, was a perfect escape from the news and worries of WWII.

The story's about a werewolf that prowls at night, but, only seems to kill members of one family. The inspector finds out that this has been going on for generations and tries to find a link between the monster and the family.

It's odd, but 20th Century Fox has had some very interesting obscure titles that got little notoriety or even airtime on TV. Those titles are SPACEMASTER X-7, HAND OF DEATH and DARK INTRUDER. SPACEMASTER X-7 has a blob invasion from space and the makeup in HAND OF DEATH is considered a unique creation! If you haven't seen these titles, you're in for a treat because they also have cameos by Moe Howard and Joe Besser, and, Joe gets killed by the HAND OF DEATH!

The music is credited to four composers, Emil Newman, David Raksin, Arthur Lange and Cyril J. Mockridge. David Raskin just passed away in 2004 at the age of 92! Together, those composers worked tons of classics like NIGHT KEY, THE GREAT ZIEGFELD, DANTE'S INFERNO, SH! THE OCTOPUS, THE MALTESE FALCON, A-HAUNTING WE WILL GO, THE MAGNIFICENT DOPE, GIRL CRAZY, PIN UP GIRL, DRESSED TO KILL, THE CANTERVILLE GHOST, THE DEATH KISS, ATOM MAN vs SUPERMAN, ISLAND IN THE SKY, EARTH vs THE FLYING SAUCERS, 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH, HOUND-DOG MAN and NORTH TO ALASKA.

Okay then, let's bring in our little Dungeon helper, Ralphie The Tarantula, to push his first big red 'GO' button of 2011... He's all excited and nervous, but there he goes! Push the button, NOW... THE UNDYING MONSTER!

You can tell from this shot that there's going to be some great looking scenes. Art direction was by Lewis H. Creber and Richard Day, set decoration by Thomas Little and Walter M. Scott, cinematography by Lucien Ballard.

Here's Heather Angel as Helga Hammond and Halliwell Hobbes as Walton, the Butler, but, we'll just call him.. Catherwood! Helga is another strong woman character like the ones we've been showcasing lately, here at The Dungeon!

Hmmm, I wonder if Catherwood could be the monster?! He sure looks like one when creeping around in the shadows, don't he?! So, you can be sure he's not the killer.

When she hears that there has been an accident, Helga grabs the reigns and races along the dangerous road!

She ends up saving the life of her brother, Oliver, played by John Howard.

Here's James Ellison as Robert Curtis, smoking his pipe and doing science! James was also in movies like PLAY-GIRL, HOP-A-LONG CASSIDY, THE PLAINSMAN, HOTEL FOR WOMEN, 5TH AVE. GIRL, ANNE OF WINDY POPLARS, CALENDAR GIRL, THE GHOST GOES WILD, THE TEXAN MEETS CALAMITY JANE and WHEN THE GIRLS TAKE OVER!

His assiatant, played by Heather Thatcher, eats something she shouldn't have and has to spit it out fast!

Catherwood's still trying to get you to believe that he's the werewolf...

Here's another stunning outdoor scene!

This excursion to the family crypt leads to a fist fight.

Using the scientific method, the nerds come up with a match!

Oliver discovers some interesting things on his smoke break.

The mystery dude likes the cherry-flavored werewolf serum!

This is my favorite part, the werewolf is strong as crap, he has just lept from the second floor, carrying Helga, and lands on his feet, no prob!!

The creature carries the limp Helga over hill, over dell!

Every still a painting!

Great transformation scene at the end, never seen the technique before, see for yourself, because, you can get this title on Netflix!!

Ghoulnight Everbloody!!

9 comments:

Christopher said...

Was delighted to see when I got the John Brahm Fox Horror Classics Set a few years ago,that the movie I used to see on TV alot as a kid and get mixed up with Return Of The Vampire,was included.

Eegah!! said...

"Undying Monster" is a great movie, and would make a killer double bill with "Bedlam!"

zillagord said...

May I take your hat and goat, sir?

René Claude said...

Beautiful photogramms !

raculfright_13 said...

Looks like a pretty spooky movie. I need to see this!

TABONGA! said...

I have proof, look at this grape!

Greg Goodsell said...

BLEAH! This movie sucks when stood up against the other films in the Fox Horror Classic set, which include HANGOVER SQUARE and THE LODGER! Both star the immortal Laird Cregar, and HANGOVER SQUARE, about a mad pianist, would be a natural for this musically inclined Web site.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

Good tips, but we still like "Undying Monster" too!

Anonymous said...

The late actor, John Howard, was a distant relative of mine. When John was off fighting WWII, my mom and her sister kept an autographed photo from him on the mantle so they could be reminded to think of him in their prayers.

I briefly corresponded with him in the 1970s, when he was teaching in LA.

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