Soul of a Monster (1944)

Article #774 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-28-2003
Posting Date: 9-25-2003
Directed by Will Jason
Featuring George MacReady, Rose Hobart, Jim Bannon

A man is saved from death by a strange woman, but his character is changed to that of a cruel, sinister man.

I don’t know who Will Jason is, but according to IMDB he was a composer as well as a director; this might go some ways to explaining why music plays a key role in one sequence of this movie. One other thing I can say was that he must have seen and been influenced by the movies of Val Lewton; there are definite touches here that recall the movies of that producer (though he does overdo it a bit in a couple of scenes). I have to admit that the opening sequence (in which a woman walking down the street is hit by a car, and then walks calmly away, causing sparks to shoot up out of streetlights as she passes) caught my attention in a big way, and I found myself really wondering what was going on for a good part of the movie; my first clue as to the nature of what I was watching came when one character mentioned the name of a writer who is primarily famous for a specific play. Overall, I’m still not sure; the movie is fascinating at times, but it’s incredibly talky, courts pretension, and the ending is less than satisfying. Still, it is unique; in feel it mostly reminded me of DAUGHTER OF HORROR, a movie that is really far stranger than this one is. It’s worth a look for the curious, but I know some people hate this movie, so be warned.


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