Monday, February 6, 2012

HAND OF DEATH / Associated Producers - 1962

This is Monster Monday with Tabonga... Tonite's little 'lost' movie is a personal favorite of mine, it features a unique monster played by Dungeon fave, John Agar. This was John's next gig after doing JOURNEY TO THE SEVENTH PLANET. Then, the next monster movies he would do are Larry Buchanan's ZONTAR: THE THING FROM VENUS and CURSE OF THE SWAMP CREATURE in 1966. This is a redo of a post we did back in 2008.

A decent looking poster, but, white backgrounds just don't make it for monster flicks!

The cool music (especially the atomic 'gear shifting' theme) is by Sonny Burke, Sonny has 25 soundtrack credits and wrote "He's a Tramp," "The Siamese Cat Song" and "Bella Notte This Is the Night" for LADY AND THE TRAMP!

Letz bring in our fuzzy little Dungeon helper and button pusher, what else, Ralphie The Tarantula!.. Good old Ralphie is here to start the show, so, push the big red 'GO' button located directly behind you, now, Ralphie! Here's our Eariffic Soundclip for... HAND OF DEATH!

It's about an experimental nerve gas being developed for a top-secret government project. John plays obsessed workaholic scientist, Alex Marsh. Working on weird chemical formulas when you're tired can lead to very dangerous situations!

Alex accidently gets some of the substance on his hand and it's quickly absorbed into his skin, causing a real nightmare!!

Alex's skin has darkened, and, when he touches his colleague, Carlos...

Carlos ends up dead on the floor with a big burn mark on his arm where Alex grabbed him. Alex panics and starts the place on fire to make it look like an accidental lab explosion!

Alex has to stop for gas, where, Joe Besser delivers some strange sounding lines, as heard in the soundclip. But, you have to understand, in 1962, if you were a gas station attendant, there was nothing worse than feeling unappreciated!

Once he's at Dr. Ramsey's house, the one who's trying to help him, his girlfriend shows up unannounced and almost touches him when she comes in his room!

Then, before long, Alex mutates into this hideous, puffed up, life-sucking hulk!..

The doctor accidently grabs Alex out of shock and also ends up on the floor. Again, excellent make-up work! Roy Gordon plays the doc, we remember Roy from WAR OF THE SATELLITES, ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN, WAR OF THE COLOSSAL BEAST and THE WASP WOMAN.

Paula (BLOOD OF DRACULA'S CASTLE) Raymond plays girlfriend, Carol. Here, she gets a double dose of horror, the doc with an Alex chaser!

Damn, he looks a lot like Ben Grimm with that hat!

I love the expression on that lady's face!!

Al Jolson takes a nap on the sidewalk after a few too many Kamikazes at lunch.

After stealing a cab, Alex has to ditch it on Pacific Coast Highway. The police seem to be stopping any Plymouth taxi they see, they're obviously looking for him.

Here's lil' Butch Patrick in his 3rd role as Davey, the kid on the beach that nearly touches Alex out of curiosity before going to his mom, who's calling him. Butch is currently in a flick in post production, ZOMBIE DREAM.

Alex kinda freaks Carol out!

One last look at this teriffic creation by master make-up artist, Bob Mark! Bob had 455 make-up department credits which includes movies like THE PURPLE MONSTER STRIKES, VALLEY OF THE ZOMBIES, KING OF THE ROCKET MEN, THE INVISIBLE MONSTER, SATAN'S SATELLITES, A BUCKET OF BLOOD, HOUSE OF THE DAMNED and THE HUMAN DUPLICATORS.

Coming in at just 58 minutes, it's time to end this flick, so, the cops quickly move in and fill Alex full of lead. We get to watch his dead body slosh around in the waves.

I used to have a complete mint set of HAND OF DEATH lobby cards.


Douglas McEwan said...

Ah John Agar, the man who got Shirley Temple's cherry. I once wrote a Fright Night with Seymour episode for an Agar movie in which I had Seymour describe John Agar as "An explosive actor. You can tell because every movie he is in is a bomb."

I was at a sci-fi banquet once (1973), and John Agar arrived half an hour late. The speaker, Gene Roddenberry, introduced him as he came in, and Agar thought he was being asked to speak. He wasn't. Roddenberry was in the middle of something he'd been interrupted in by Agar's late arrival. Agar babbled out a few sentences about the ghastly movies he's in, and then sat down. Roddenberry then said: "Now, where was I before this interruption?"

Exeter said...


Been looking for this one, after I saw it in "Keep Watching the skies"
Which I got recently...

Monster Music

Monster Music
AAARRGGHHH!!!! Ya'll Come On Back Now, Y'Hear??