Man Made Monster (1941)

Article #1012 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-22-2003
Posting Date: 5-20-2003
Directed by George Waggner
Featuring Lon Chaney Jr., Lionel Atwill, Anne Nagel

When a man miraculously survives being electrocuted in an automobile accident, scientists experiment to discover why he is immune to electricity. One scientist begins to experiment on him with high doses of electricity to test a theory.

In some ways, this is the real introduction of Lon Chaney Jr. to the realm of horror, and he makes good use of it by giving a strong performance as the unfortunate Dynamo Dan, the Electric Man. Oddly enough, though, this remains one of the more obscure of the Universal horrors; it isn’t unknown, by any means, but in comparison to some of the other output of the studio, it’s rarely discussed. This is probably because the movie isn’t quite as effective as the other Universal horrors; the fact that the monster is really just a man in a rubber suit may have something to do with this. His death is also a little disappointing, and I’m not sure it really makes much sense considering he spends a goodly part of the movie walking around without the protection of the rubber suit. Lionel Atwill does all right as the mad scientist, though he seems a little too cliched in the way his madness manifests itself; there was no real reason for him to reveal himself to the heroine near the end of the movie at all. Chaney and the director would reunite shortly for their breakthrough horror movie THE WOLF MAN.

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