The Monster Maker (1944)
A couple of days ago I came to see you at your surgery, Doctor Markoff (J. Carrol Naish), because my beautiful young daughter Patricia (Wanda McKay) told me you had upset her.
'Daddy' she said. 'Do you remember that strange man who kept on looking at me at your concert recital last night? Well, afterwards he started to pester me with a number of token gifts, supposedly because I reminded him of his dearly departed wife!'.
Yeah. That's right. That's what she said. So that's why I said to myself, 'Anthony Lawrence (Ralph Morgan). Even though you're a world renounced pianist, you still got to protect you're kin by sorting this mess out'.
However, during our confrontation you did something to me, didn't you? You infected me with a rare disease -- a very rare disease -- one that over time sped up my metabolism, forced my bones to grow, and basically turned me into the hideous looking creature you see before you today.
Now at first I didn't realize what you had done to me, Markoff. But after I saw my regular doctor, who informed me about my condition, stating you were the only person who could cure me, well, it was easy for me to figure out what was what.
Then again, that's most probably why what next transpires all takes a short nap when your orderly Steve (Glenn Strange) smacks me on the back of my head and knocks me out. As a Doctor tries to make a monkey out of his aide - a lovely woman has a nice glass of lemonade - a plan is hatched to invoke wedding bliss - and at the end of the day, you've got to love a world renounced concert pianist.
At face value I'd say 'The Monster Maker' is one of those films that looks fairly fine on the surface, as it has some pretty stoic acting and a number of very memorable set pieces which were rather pithy for it's time. Yet underneath it all, folks, the basic story-line relies heavily on us -- the audience -- connecting with the motivations behind some of the characters involved.
Heck, the only obvious person anyone could connect with was the father in question -- as played by Ralph Morgan -- cause in many ways I saw him as the link that connected the whole story-line together. He was the character Carrol used to commit his devilish deed. He was the character that his daughter wanted to save. And he was the character that generally guided us through the first half of this tale.
To some extent you could also connect with the daughter and the doctor's feminine aide, too -- as played by Wanda McKay and Tala Birell. In my opinion both of these roles where used to instill a much needed emotional bond between either-side of the equation. And in each case they were used to hit home what they meant to their 'associative others', whilst at the same time driving the plot along in the right direction.
Furthermore, I must say that the sets and the monster make-up's were pretty damn good for this type of movie. Not overtly realistic, of course. But for it's time it did manage to make me suspend disbelief without making me chuckle in the process.
Overall I'd say 'The Monster Maker' was an above average film for its time. The acting was pretty OK. The story was an associative one by nature. And all in all -- yeah -- good job -- because I would defiantly add this to my ever increasing re-make list.
Ha! Nuff said.
THE RATING: B-