It’s time for another old film. The Man Made Monster is interesting because it takes your usual creature feature transformation film and throws in a little electricity to make it unique. It works well enough to be sure, but at the same time, the main character is extremely unrealistic. He even brings the film down to an extent because of how annoying he is. It’s a decent film I suppose, but it makes its share of errors along the way.
Dan the man was an ordinary guy until one day he he survived an intense electrical crash. Paul realizes that this could be the breakthrough that he had been waiting for so he could create his army of thunder zombies. He convinces Dan to come for the experiments and he would be providing a home in the meantime. Dan agrees because the older scientist is a fairly nice guy and technically, it’s his house. Unfortunately, the doctor isn’t very smart so Paul is able to zap Dan with increasing doses until Dan starts to slow down. He then becomes a thunder monster and can no longer reason….a perfect zombie slave for Paul. Can the cops stop this? Can Dan fight for himself? These are the questions that you will be asking.
Lets talk about why Dan is so annoying. You can’t blame him for taking advantage of the free lodging for taking part in the experiments. It sounds like a good plan and it’s not as if they will zap him with a lot of electricity. However, once Dan noticed that he was starting to get weaker he definitely should have said something. Instead, he kept on going for the treatments and getting slower and slower. By the end, he had gotten addicted to the electricity so he needed the shocks even though they were hurting him. He couldn’t really move and had to be helped there. It cost him his life since he would now be a slave. Once he got his thunder powers, he was then forced to go on a murder spree. Even once he regained parts of his mind, he couldn’t convince people not to grab him. A guy would tap him on the shoulder and die instantly since Dan was now made of electricity.
You feel bad for Dan of course, but he really created this situation himself to a large extent. He really should have tried a lot harder to explain what was happening or just leave in the middle of the night. He never stood up for himself and that’s why the character was annoying. At least he still has the same catchy voice though. The characters that the actor plays all talk and act in roughly the same way. It just turns out that his personality worked against him this time.
The actual plan that Paul had was also rather suspect. Does he really think that he’ll be getting a zombie army any time soon? He’d have to kidnap a whole bunch of people and he never really learned what made Dan immune to thunder in the first place. I don’t think the plan would have panned out at all, but I suppose I’ll give him an A for effort. He’s just not a likable villain though and if the characters weren’t so gullible, they could have stopped him already. It’s why you should never trust your lab assistant or go away on long vacations when you have a guest. It just doesn’t pan out well.
I have to give the film some credit for not doing anything to hurt the dog. I was worried that he would get zapped or something, but luckily that did not happen. He just started to avoid Dan once he sensed the thunder and that’s definitely the wise thing to do. It’s a little sad for the dog since he lost his play mate, but he’ll be able to find someone else to play with him eventually.
As for the other characters, I can’t say that June was very good. She was the main heroine who endured flirting for a while before relenting and deciding to go with a reporter. She suspects that Dan is in trouble for most of the film, but she ever acts on it. She even lets the Doctor know and he just claims that Dan must be tired. By the time she decides to make a move, it is already too late. Again, it’s rather sad for Dan. All of the obvious signs were present, but nobody connected the dots. The reporter was all right I suppose, but he did start flirting awful quickly. He needs to focus on getting all of the facts first.
When it comes to the climax, Man Made Monster does a good job. The villagers don’t look too smart though as one of them tries to hit Dan. Lets just say that it is a shocking experience for him. Get it? Shocking? Hahahaha…..ha. Dan also lasts quite a while considering that he supposedly only had a very limited amount of time left in him. It’s a rather sad fate as well since he knows that once the electricity runs out, he will die. Not that he had much of a mind left anyway. It was interesting seeing him survive the electric chair as well. It certainly wouldn’t have any effect on a guy who is immune to electricity. If it did, then that would have been pretty underwhelming. It’s also good that he survived since seeing an innocent man die in the chair would have been pretty grim.
Overall, Man Made Monster is a decent film. There are a lot of times where you will need to stretch your disbelief though. Everyone should have noticed what was happening to Dan. Dan should have taken steps to end things on his own as well. Those parts make the film annoying. On the other side of the spectrum, the writing is fairly solid. The characters are reasonable and the thunder form is pretty neat. While the film is never insanely captivating, it never gets very boring either. It’s just an entertaining film that you’ll watch. You won’t be looking at your watch or anything like that so that’s a success. If you haven’t watched a lot of old monster films, then this one is a good place as any to start. It hits enough of the right notes by the end.