The respective films are MAN-MADE MONSTER (1941), directed by George Waggner and starring horror stalwarts Lionel Atwill and Lon Chaney Jr. followed by THE MONOLITH MONSTERS (1957), directed by John Sherwood and starring Grant Williams and last but by no means least Jack Arnold’s 1958 MONSTER ON THE CAMPUS. Let’s start with “Man Made Monster” in which Dan McCormick (Lon Chaney Jr.) is the sole survivor of a bus crash after the vehicle hits a power line. There is a reason why Dan is the only survivor though, and that is that he seems to be immune to electric shocks! As the tabloid headlines race, Dr. Lawrence (Samuel Hinds) takes an interest in the case and saves Dan from a new career of exploitation as the “Dynamo Man” sideshow. While Dr. Lawrence’s intentions to study Dan’s unique condition are genuine, his colleague, mad scientist Dr. Riga (Lionell Atwill), hatches a diabolical plan involving an army of electrobiological zombies with Dan McCormick as his supposed guinea pig who ‘will help fulfill his dastardly ambition… While Dr. Lawrence is away on business, he leaves precise instructions for Dr. Riga which are quickly ignored, instead he ‘feeds’ Dan higher doses of electricity until his mind is zombified and he becomes increasingly addicted. electrical loads. Dan’s increasingly strange behavior causes Dr. Lawrence’s daughter June (Anna Nagel) and investigative reporter Mark Adams (Frank Albertson) to become suspicious of Dr. Riga despite having no proof so far. When Dr. Lawrence returns unexpectedly and is awakened by the light in his room flickering back and forth, he grabs his lab coat and enters the lab to see if any of the equipment is faulty. Instead, he overhears his colleague administering another heavy dose of electric shocks to Dan whose body now gives off an eerie glow and he shows no will of his own. When Riga orders him to kill Dr. Lawrence, he does and in order to save his own skin, Riga turns Dan into a killing machine that soon strikes terror into the countryside… The concept of creating an army of electrobiological “zombies” could It sounds a little silly, but there’s method to Dr Riga’s madness as he harbors ambitions to one day replace humans with robots as the main workforce – but at what cost ? While we could guess the outcome of this story early on, it’s still an exciting little B-thriller.
In “Monolith Monsters”, the California desert area near San Angelo is overflowing with countless mini-meteorites after a large meteorite crashes. The trouble is that these strange meteorites multiply on contact with water, and anyone who comes into contact with the strange black fragments quickly turns into stone, that is, organs and limbs become hard as rock! Dave Miller (Grant Williams) – head of the local geological bureau and his teacher girlfriend Cathy Barrett (Lola Albright) initially ignore the weird gossip about people turning to stone, not making the connection to the meteorite fragments that quickly turn into monoliths. But when young student Ginny picks up one of the black stones on a school trip and places the stone in a barrel filled with rainwater outside her parents’ house, disaster strikes. With Ginny the sole survivor and her parents dead, a race against time is on to save the little girl from turning to stone, though so far neither Dave nor any of the other experts have put two and two together to understand that it is the water that causes the stones to multiply at high speed. Journal editor Martin Cochrane (Les Tremayne), Professor Flanders (Trevor Bardette) and Dr. Hendricks (Harry Jackson) all offer their own theories at first, but when it appears these black meteorites are draining silicon from everyone that touch them. suddenly becomes clear why the victims are gradually turning to stone: the silicon in the human body maintains the vital flexibility of the tissues. Now they must come up with a plan to stop American citizens from turning to stone, seeing how meteorites multiply faster than you can say “run fast”! To aggravate the overall situation, a massive rainstorm is forecast. But when a scientist discovers that salt water is stopping the growth of the monoliths, Dave plans to blow up the local dam to ensure waves of water flow over the salt deposits at the edge of the canyon where most of the monolith. With the Governor against the idea of blowing up the dam, will Dave succeed in his mission?
In “Monster on the Campus”, science teacher Dr. Blake (Arthur Franz) is excited about the delivery of a so-called “coelacanth” – in this case, a prehistoric specimen of fish millions of years old. During a demonstration at the University of Dunsford, he teaches his enthusiastic students about evolution and decentralization, pointing out that man is the only specimen who can decide whether we move forward or backward provided we learn to control our basic instincts (humanity doesn’t seem to have learned much in this case…). Back at the lab, Blake accidentally scratches his hand on the fish-like reptile’s teeth and, to make matters worse, he then plunges his injured hand into the water tank the species was held in. It’s not long before strange changes begin to happen to Blake… When his assistant Molly Riordan (Helen Westcott) is found dead in the scientist’s garden shortly after and rumors of a strange beast startle the townspeople, Blake’s fiancée Madeline (Joanna Moore) has no idea she’s in love with the monster in question, neither Detective Powell (Phil Harvey) nor Dr. Howard (Alexander Lockwood). Naturally, there can’t be a happy ending to this low-budget feature that’s not entirely without interest, even if it has to be said that Blakes’ “costume” looks like it was purchased from a Halloween shop – perhaps. to be was he.
All three movies certainly don’t provide any intellectual stimulation, but if you like to be entertained by B-movie schlockers on a rainy night, then THREE MONSTER TALES OF SCI-FI TERROR is your best bet! Bonus material consists of audio commentary, trailers and a photo gallery.