The Monster Maker (1944)


There's good news and bad news in this ultra low budget 1944 release.  The good news includes capable actors, clean camera work, and a fast paced script (the movie is just a touch over an hour long).  It's not a bad looking film and the makeup effects are on par with any other movie of the time.

 The bad news is the story itself.  Several of the premises are far-fetched, even by B-movie standards.  The audience is expected to believe that it is possible to kill one of the world's preeminent medical researchers in a fit of jealousy, assume his identity, and continue advancing the doctor's work without any prior medical experience.  Then there's "Gratuitous Gorilla".  It's a given that you can't have a decent mad science lab in the 1940s without a cranky gorilla in a tiny cage in the corner, but this jungle genius takes the cake.  When Mongo's cell is "accidentally" left unlocked, he promptly exits the building and goes straight to the nearby apartment of the very person that the saboteur wanted the gorilla to kill.  Good Mongo. Smart Mongo.  Balance my checkbook Mongo.  Lastly, we have the movie's title which implies that we'll be seeing a monster at some point in the movie.  The "monster" is a kindly old gentleman disfigured by disease.  Now how do we feel about ourselves?

 Unless you're a diehard B-movie fan, you might want to pass on "The Monster Maker".  I give it a three out of ten.