The Mad Monster is a 1942 film. It is a mad scientist Horror Film that uses a Werewolf as the main character. The film was originated by Producers Releasing Corporation. Poverty Rowwas the studio best known for low budget movies, but came into a viewable account by the initials P.R.C. The entire film is in black and White. The film appeared in movie theaters. The movie was directed by Sam Newfield and written by Fred Myton. The film starred George Zucco, Glen Strange and Anne Nagel. The film is Poverty Rows only Werewolf movie. It was the third film featured on the national broadcast of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
The plot involves a scientist who has been discredited by his peers. He plans to kill them off by using a secret formula that has actually transformed his gardener into a wolf man.
The story begins on a fog-bound moonlight night in a swampland and the initial scene demonstrates a wolf howling. The scene shifts to a room where another wolf is being kept in a cage and the other wolfs' howling can also be heard. The audience then first sees Dr. Lorenzo Cameron (George Zucco), who expresses his understanding that the wolf would rather be out howling at the moon like the other wolf is but he adds that this wolf is serving the cause of science in its cage.
We then see what he means when he says science. Dr Cameron walks over to the other side of the laboratory where his uneducated but strong Gardener, Pietro (Glenn Strange) is strapped to a couch. After talking sweetly with the gardener a little bit, Dr Cameron gives the Pietro an injection. The gardener then succumbs to slumber and a transformation occurs. Pietro grows fur and fangs and develops a vicious, snarling personality. Cameron then personify him like a Wolfman as he is no longer a human.
Dr Cameron then turns to an empty table and starts visualizing as if his four former colleagues sit there. These colleagues are the Professors: Blaine, Fitzgerald, Warwick and Hatfield.Though the audience sees them in ghostly form because they all are Cameron's mental illusion yet the four do exist elsewhere.
Dr. Cameron visualizes the images that sometime earlier in the past he had presented his theories of using blood transfusion to give a human being wolf-like traits. The response of the professors was to lead the scientific community off, the press and the public in a resounding chorus of ridicule. The result of that ridicule unfortunately Cameron lost almost everything that mattered to him. Most notably,he lost the esteem of the scientific community and his position at the University.
The images point out the problems as such wolfmen would have even if they could work. One of these problems concerns with the existence of such creatures. Cameron answers by saying "Right now, we're at war. At war with an enemy that produces a horde that strikes with a ferocious fanaticism." Cameron proposes to giving these wolfman traits to the entire army. He feels that an army of such creatures would be invincible. This suggests the story is seemingly taking place during World War II.The images continue to argue and Cameron points out what Pietro has become in real. He then says that his original goals matter no longer; he is now going to having his wolfman killed by each one of his former colleagues.
The scene ends when Cameron gives Pietro the antidote, transforming him back into a human. Pietro wakes up not remembering anything and Cameron sends him on his way. Cameron leaves the laboratory and visits his daughter Lenora(Anne Nagel) in the main part of the house. The audience learns that Cameron has bought an isolated house in a swampland area and that Lenora misses her boyfriend Tom Gregory (Johnny Downs),a newspaper reporter.Cameron says that he understands that but he remains in the house in order to finish his work. The following night, Cameron turns Pietro back into a wolf and sends him single to the swamp. The next scene is at a local inn where we see a little child playing with a ball. The child is seen requesting her mother to play for a few more minutes. The child is seen alone in her room who is completely unaware that Pietro is opening the window and approaching her. The child's ball is seen rolling into the next room but he is not seen again. A minute later, her mother is heard screaming.
Cameron hears about the little girls fate the next day from the locals and now knows his formulaic works. He turns to his real priority which is destroying the scientists who ruined his career. Cameron can only do that by seeing to it that Pietro is alone with each scientist when he becomes wolf. The rest of the film involves Cameron setting up elaborate scenarios to make that happen. The rest also involves Cameron finding out that he really can't control Pietro in wolf form and that Pietro becomes wolf with out his knowledge. Tom Gregory, Lenora's newspaper man boyfriend, begins to suspect Cameron as the being behind the slays.
Cameron's first attempt at revenge is to take Pietro along with him when he visits Professor Blaine. He tells Pietro that he is being rewarded for his assistance by being taken to the city. Cameron tells Blaine that he will see proof of a scientific breakthrough if he receives himself and Pietro as guests. Once they are in Professor Blaine's house, a prearranged phone call gives Cameron an excuse to leave Pietro alone with the Professor. Blaine agrees to give Pietro a second combined dose of the two injections if Cameron does not return at midnight.Though Cameron failed to do so and that incites Blaine to give Pietro the injection. Pietro becomes wolf which is the ultimate end of Professor Blaine.
Professor Fitzgerald accepts Cameron's invitation to come and to have a talk with him at his home. The two scientist quarrel and Professor Fitzgerald says "It's not my fault, only the public gave your theories the ridicule, they deserved". The professor gets ready to leave the house but he, unwisely,agrees to give Pietro a ride. During the ride Pietro becomes wolf and in a panic Fitzgerald crashes the car. The unconscious scientist is found by the people of the town and by Tom Gregory, who are searching for the little girl's killer The Professor is taken back to Cameron's house. Once Fitzgerald is there and all but the reporter has left, Cameron finishes him off with a lethal injection. By this time Pietro, still in his wolf form, has returned to the house.
While all this is happening, a thunder and lightning in conjunction with rain and storm begins and a bolt of lightning sets some of Cameron's laboratory chemicals on fire. It is then that Lenora finds Pietro, still in wolf form in another part of the laboratory. Pietro chases her and Tom all over the house. The couple escapes and Pietro turns on and kills Cameron instead.
After Pietro does that, the completely ignored fire brings the house down on both Pietro and Cameron. Tom goes back into the house just long enough to see that they are both dead. Lenora is left crying in the rain as the story ends.
Cameron's reference to being at war against a fanatical adversary seems to be saying to hint that World War II is ongoing and that he is describing the Japanese. The period clothing seems to indicate this as well. However the reference is not very clear, the audience is left to guess which war Cameron is talking about and the subject is never mentioned again.
Early May,1942 the original release date for the Mad Monster was a time that saw the Nazis in charge throughout Europe, air bombing raids on many cities, the Empire of Japan on the march throughout Asia and German U-Boats on a rampage in the Atlantic as well as off The United States Eastern Seaboard. May,1942 saw fall of Corregidor and the first thousand air plane bombing raid. (See Wikipedia page for more details). For these reasons many American cities were in blackout at night because of the U-boats. War-time rationing was curtailing many aspects of day to day life. Price controls had gone into effect the previous month. Many people were either in the military or doing something at home to support the war effort. Even though this may all be taking place elsewhere while the events in the story are happening, there is no trace of any of that in this film. That makes this film part of a large amount of World War II era made fiction that may take place in the then present but mentions the war in passing if it mentions it at all.
The setting of the story is not very clear either. The story takes place in an area filled with fog, howling wolves, swamps,uneducated country people and a house that Tom Gregory refers to as a "Haunted Castle". There is a community called Ashton. It is never clear where the film is taking place.
Pietro is a chemically mutated human who becomes a werewolf because of a process of blood transfusion and injection. The word Werewolf is almost never mentioned in the film. Only an old country woman refers to Pietro by that description. The Werewolf folklore is downplayed. However in one scene Cameron does refer to him as a wolfman and says Pietro has wolf like traits from the transfusion. That fits the definition of a Werewolf. In another scene a still human Pietro says that voices from the swamp are telling him to do something terrible. In still another scene Pietro seems to be bullitproof. These two seemigly supernatural events go unexplained.
The 'wolf' used in the experiment is actually a coyote.
Description of MonsterEdit
In wolf form, Pietro has a beetled brow and long neat hair. He has a beard but no mustache. Other physical traits include large fangs and hair on the back of his hands. Pietro wears the same overalls he wears in human form.
Other World War II Werewolf filmsEdit
The World War II era was a time where man into animal stories were popular. There were films such as Pinocchio which showed boys turning into donkeys. The Nazis used the werewolf/beast myth for propaganda purposes. In addition to the Mad Monster other films featuring the Werewolf that were released during the war include The Undying Monster released in 1942.Cry of the Werewolf was the next werewolf themed motion picture to be released. Next, Matt Willis played Andréas the werewolf alongside Bela Lugosi in Columbia Pictures The Return of the Vampire. Both of these two films were released in 1944. There was to other human to animal transformation films released in the 1940s. Not really a werewolf movie but close enough, Val Lewton's Cat People and 1943's Captive Wild Woman. Of course there is still the classic film with Lon Chaney Jr. as the tormented human/animal in The Wolfman. It is documented that there is no knowledge of werewolves attacking the average human being. This is another myth created by the imaginations of screenwriters in Hollywood.
A new Hollywood Wolfman film is scheduled to be released in 2009.
1.The Mad Monster DVD
2.The Encyclopedia of Monsters by Jeff Rovin. Published by Facts on file co 1989
3.The Monster Show, revised edition by David J.Skal.new edition co.2001