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How to Make a Monster

USA 1958
produced by
Herman Cohen, James H. Nicholson for AIP
directed by Herbert L. Strock
starring Robert H. Harris, Paul Birnegar, Gary Conway, Gary Clarke, Malcolm Atterbury, Dennis Cross, Morris Ankrum, Walter Reed, Paul Maxwell, Eddie Marr, Heather Ames, Robert Shayne, Joan Chandler, John Ashley

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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He has created monsters for the silver screen for the last 25 years, & successfully so, but now the new heads of the studio - Clayton & Nixon (Paul Maxwell, Eddie Marr) - decides to drop the production of monster movies in favour of ecapist musicals, & thus fire him, chief make-up artist Pete Dumond (Robert H.Harris).

Of course, Dumond is a man far too self-righteous to let this go by unrewarded, so he decides to take revenge ... & does so by using a special hypnotizing grounding cream on his monster-actors Tony (Gary Conway) & Larry (Gary Clarke), who then, made up as teenage Frankenstein & teenage werewolf, kill Clayton & Nixon while under Dumond's hypnotic spell. & when security guard Monahan (Dennis Cross) seems to find some clues leading to Dumond, he quickly applies the teenage caveman make-up onto himself & kills him.

All the same, Dumond has to leave the studio & is questioned by the police, who don't have anything definite on him though ... but his assistant Rivero (Paul Brinegar) almost breaks down under the police's questining, so Dumond decides to take more drastic measures to eliminate his clues: he invites Tony & Larry - his means in killing the studio heads -, plus Rivero to his home, which resembles a monster museum, under the pretense to give a farewell party, instead though he promptly kills his faithful assistant & tries to do the same with the boys, however his monster museum catches fire & since he has foolishly locked himself in with Larry & Tony, he dies in the flmes. Larry & Tony are saved by the police, who show up the very last minute.

 

It does sound like a sort of AIP-meta movie, that offers all the studio's favourite mmonsters as well as a rare look behind-the-scenes ... unfortunatley though the movie does not live up to its promise, as the story is just too pedestrian to hold much interest & devoid of any plottwists or surprises, the premise of the story is just silly even by drive-in cinema standards, & the story-telling totally avoids the almost obsious irony inherent in the story, making this one a rather lame AIP-effort.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD