How To Make A Monster
If you ever wanted to know how to make a monster without alcohol, then How To Make A Monster, released in 1958, is your ticket. Warning: Like sweet refreshing booze, this might mess with your mind: a monster movie about making monster movies. I know, right? I’m being forced to question my own existence over that one.
In this semi-horror classic, Pete Dumond, chief make-up artist for American International Studios, has been creating monsters for the big scream for 25 years. That is, until stupid NBC came in and bought the place, putting two East Coast a-holes in charge. Here’s the b*tch of it all – they want to make comedies and musicals instead of monsters. How dare the both of them?
This puts Dumond and his makeup kit out on the street. Good – that gives him plenty of time to implement a rather ingenious revenge agenda: to get the exact monsters he’s created to do his murderous bidding. Brilliant, I say out loud.
Dumond mixes some brain anesthetizing gunk into the makeup he applies to his two teenage movie stars, Larry Drake and Tony Mantell, who play a teenage werewolf and a teenage Frankenstein. Once numb and number, Dumond hypnotizes the boys into doing dirty deeds, like killing off the East Coast a-holes. Did I not say brilliant out loud in the previous paragraph?
But why stop at two a-holes when the movie studio is full of ’em? Eventually the bloody, clue-ridden trail leads police back to Dumond’s place, which he’s fashioned into a museum of monster mask props that he calls his “children.” Okay, a little wackadoo, but his skills are not to be openly mocked.
Before the cops can get there to double arrest him, Dumond, who lured his unsuspecting creature teen killers there, is about to make his final curtain call when the curtains – and Dumond himself – catch on fire, thanks to a handy lit candelabra meant for design and ambiance purposes.
How To Make A Monster uses the same monster makeup that was used in I Was A Teenage Werewolf and I Was A Teenage Frankenstein, both released in 1957. Cooler still are the actual movie masks on Dumond’s wall of flame: It Conquered the World (1956), Invasion of the Saucer Men (1956), The She-Creature (1956) and Attack of the Puppet People (1958).
Is it too much to say brilliant out loud one more time? I think not.