22 December 2014

Man Made Monster (1941)
60 min.
Directed by George Waggner.
With Lon Chaney Jr., Lionel Atwill, Anne Nagel, Frank Albertson, Samuel S. Hinds, William B. Davidson, Ben Taggart.
This unimpressive Universal horror from 1941 is strictly by the numbers.

The main reason to watch it is for an enthusiastic mad doctor performance from Lionel Atwill.

Chaney is Dan McCormick, a blue collar schmoe who is the sole survivor of a train crash that electrocutes all the other passengers.

Dr. Rigas (Atwill) is intrigued by Dan's immunity to electricity. He decides to use the poor sap as a case study to test his own theories on electrical currents in human biophysics.

But unfortunately, Rigas turns McCormick into a walking AC/DC unit!

Soon, Dan has become a superhuman monster full of thousands of watts...and he requires a constant jolt of volts in order to survive.

Can 'good' Dr. Lawrence (Hinds) and his sweet-natured daughter June (Nagel) save Dan before he experiences a serious power outage?

For a horror flick about electricity, there's not much spark to this lackluster effort.

Only Atwill injects the proceedings with any oomph. Always watchable, Atwill colors Dr. Rigas with a wide-eyed craziness that keeps things moving along.

There's a nice sequence where Chaney survives death in the electric chair (it only serves to give him a little tickle), but unfortunately there's not much else here.

Also known as either The Electric Man or as Mysterious Dr. R.

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